Mini Pizzas : Fun for the whole family!

The following is a blog from NCSU student Kate Towery. It is the 1st in a series of blog posts she will be writing chronicling her experience as a Nutrition Instructor for a OFL Class she is teaching. Kate is teaching OFL as part of a Service Learning Class that has teamed up North Carolina State Students with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s OFL/Nutrition Program. Through this partnership the IFFS and NCSU hope to engage students in service learning and community nutrition while expanding the reach of its OFL program. We are trying some new healthy and delicious recipes with all new parent and child participants.  This week however, we just had to repeat an old favorite, the Mini-Pizzas and fruit salad.  These food items were a real hit and even had the kids trying mushrooms, onions, and peppers as toppings!  What a great way to get those veggies into our diets while preparing meals as a family.  Our other dish, fruit salad, provided yet another food group for our meal and is an easy, budget-friendly dish: simply buy seasonal fruit (canned and frozen are cheap options too!) and cut into bite size pieces!  During our mealtime we reviewed material covered in the nutrition lesson.  Our main topics revolved around the MyPyramid.  We discussed how colorful the food groups are and how we want to eat from all of these groups each day to stay healthy and strong.  The kids also placed ingredients from the recipe into their proper food groups with help from their parents.  Kids weren’t the only ones learning this week!  Earlier in the class Erick and Gloria went over some great knife rules and techniques with chef Will and got to dicing!  While the kids watched on they reminded parents to use “the claw” – a safety technique used to avoid slicing fingers when cutting produce.  Will, Cadi, Caitlin, and I look forward to building on these techniques and tips over the next few weeks.  Since we are taking next week off, I am leaving you with a few pointers we cover during this series of our “Side by Side” class.

To make cooking and eating as a family easier try out these easy tips:

  1. Clean as you go.  Less mess later means more play time for everyone!  Kids are often eager to help, just make it fun!  Give them “big kid” tasks like wiping down or setting the table.  Measuring and mixing are also fun and safe jobs.
  2. Make time to cook together.  If this can’t be done during a busy week, chop or prep ahead of time and keep frozen or refrigerated.  When kids take part in planning or making a dish they are often much more likely to try it!
  3.  Find ways for your kids to help cook, no matter what age!  You’ll be surprised at what they can do, and are creating less work for yourself!