A healthier American style party; Pizza and cupcakes

Jun 1st

It’s the first official blog post for the Whole Table!
Getting kids, especially teens, to eat healthy is a challenge in the sea of junk food and peer pressure. So when my teen asked to have a birthday sleepover with dinner I thought this is the prefect time to passively influence the girls. In our house we make a lot of homemade pizzas. At first it seemed like a lot of work and effort when dialing delivery seemed much easier. However, overtime we perfected the routine. Now it is fun and enjoying rather than seeming like a chore on a Friday night. IMG_6346
So I took to the kitchen for the party to create pizzas with less sugar and less preservatives than the delivery or store bought version. It required making several rounds of dough in advance. I have an old bread machine from when we got married. We have dusted it off on the last 9 months and now it is a staple every week for dough. Once you have all the ingredients stocked in your pantry putting the ingredients in the machine and pressing the button takes about 5 minutes. Turn it on and forget about it until your ready to make the pizzas. I love a recipe from King Arthur Flour but there are so many versions of pizza dough out there. You do not need to own a bread machine to make dough. A stand mixer or a good ol’bowl and your hands and do the same job.
So at party time instead of dialing the number for delivery or even going over to our local place for carry out we were ready to make some pizzas! The party guests love it! The teens were so excited creating their own creation. We use the grill constantly which makes home pizza even more fun.

One of my favorite pizzas copied from Ava's in St. Michaels, MD

One of my favorite pizzas copied from Ava’s in St. Michaels, MD

Why stop at the pizza though?!? A basic Strawberry spinach salad was whipped up by me to serve with the pizza. Spinach, strawberries, some balsamic vinegar, and a little sugar is all you need to make a really quick salad that kids will eat. IMG_6348
The finale was S’More Cupcakes instead of traditional cake. I recently had read the ingredients in Jet Puffed Marsh mellows. I had visions of the girls out on the deck around the fire pit but I had the internal struggle of how to make it healthier. I thought about homemade marsh mellows. It popped in my head then of the amazing S’more Cupcakes we had discovered watching Cup Cake Wars a couple years ago. Thanks to Martha Stewart I found a great recipe. Sure, there is a lot of sugar still involved in a cupcake but making your own uses real whole food ingredients. A cupcake is still a cupcake but when its homemade from real ingredients I can feel good about the lack of extra refined sugar, chemicals and dyes going in all these girls bodies.
Who needs that High Fructose Corn Syrup in store bought marsh mellows when homemade marshmellow frosting is amazing!

Who needs that High Fructose Corn Syrup in store bought marsh mellows when homemade marshmellow frosting is amazing!

Pelligrino limonata and plain old water are more enticing when you use some fun paper straws! No traditional sodas or juice boxes needed! When not offered soda, kids WILL drink water!
A party doesn’t have to be delivery pizza and store-bought cakes. Getting back into the kitchen and making an impression on kids about real food that tastes good it how it all starts!
I am now sitting in my kitchen with my cup of tea pondering all these other food and nutrition adventures I can have with kids.

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