Myself & my Italian husband Piero run an artisan pizza base business. We have provided Irish families with handmade award winning authentic pizza bases since 2007. As a baker, it's Piero's passion. He oversees the making of every single base and wouldn't have it any other way.
We are proud parents to 3 great girls and we are also passionate about making healthy meals for our family while teaching the kids the importance of eating well.
So, how can we make and eat so much pizza but claim to be advocates for healthy eating? In Italy, where Piero grew up, it's not at all uncommon for families to eat pasta everyday and pizza about twice a week. Up until a few years ago Italy still had one of the lowest rates of obesity in Europe. (Those figures have since changed as Italian children are eating less and less of the Italian diet, and more and more junk food)
I try to guide my children's choices, instead of dictating to them all the time what they can and can't eat
I try to have only fresh and healthy food and snacks in the house. Since we're always told the importance of drinking water every day why should it be any different for our kids?! I only serve water at meal times.
Ever found that sometimes kids can say one thing but mean the other?!!! If my kids say they don't like something I cook, I try not to give in and make something else. I will let them cool off (as it can get heated!). Once they've calmed down enough to try it, quite often they discover they like it!
If they're still hungry after dinner I'll get them to wait 10 minutes and drink some water. Then if they insist on more food it will always be a much smaller serving than the first one.
Family meal time
Of course this doesn't happen every singe day but I really make the effort to get everyone sitting at the table for dinner most days. We chat about our day, share stories and food.
Getting the kids involved
One of my daughters is a budding artist and sometimes writes up and designs a menu for our meals! The girls will set the table, yes it does take them ages, but they get there in the end!
Yes, my kids snack, A LOT!!!! So when they're in from school I'll make sure I have lot's of healthy stuff lying around the kitchen for them to grab if they want it. Homemade popcorn is a quick thing to make and super cheap. Put some berries and milk into a blender and you've got a smoothie. Or I'll leave out grapes, carrot and cucumber sticks with homemade hummus, a few sambos or boiled eggs. If it's cold I'll throw a load of veg in a pot and make a soup.
So there you have it. Yes we are a pizza making and pizza loving family but it's not the only thing we eat! Some days I'll spend time making Homemade Pesto or Hidden Veg Pizza Sauce (it's much cheaper then shop bought, fresher and easy to make, I promise!) I always get the kids involved. I find them way more willing to eat something they have made themselves!!! It does take effort on our parts, but knowing you are teaching your family valuable lessons in healthy eating has to be worth it doesn't it?