It’s Mom versus the kids. They want pizza; you want a meal that isn’t greasy and actually has a nutritional profile you’re proud to feed growing little bodies. Before you slip on the gloves and duke it out, consider the middle ground. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
I’m a mom of two very active, very healthy and very hungry kids. And I’m Italian, so we all love pizza! But what I’ve learned is that delivery pizza is never going to be as healthy as a home-cooked pie — no matter how many veggies you pile on. To keep the peace (and my waistline in check), I’ll cave into their demands…to a certain degree.
What I love to do is have a whole grain pizza shell on hand (pizza crust mix works, too, if you have the time to knead and roll). This way all we have to do is layer on marinara sauce, fresh veggies, Italian seasoning, grilled chicken breast and top it all off with low-fat mozzarella cheese. Each family member can craft individual-sized pizzas their own way. The best part is the add-on options are endless. You could even make a separate dessert pizza with cinnamon, caramel sauce and chocolate chips. Though it’s not exactly diet-friendly fare, dessert pies are a great after-dinner treat, or save the idea for the next kids’ birthday party — no cake needed.
You can rest easy knowing everyone is getting a high dose of fiber, protein and calcium. In addition to being healthier and more wholesome, it’s also more fun to make a meal at home. It pulls the family together and reminds us of what we love about each other. Plus, it doesn’t feel like yet another chore I have to check off the to-do list.
Every body and every taste bud wins — SCORE!
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an International fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tips and videos exclusively on the Vitacost Blog.