Let’s face it, it’s summertime and pool gatherings and pizza parties are the norm for lots of families, especially kids on vacation. Now, normally I would say just eat a few slices of pizza (yes, the greasy, high fat kind) once a week, enjoy it and move on, but in the summer pizza and other high calorie foods tend to be consumed more often and thus might need some tweaks. This day and age there is a healthy twist on almost every food in the book and many times people don’t even know you swapped the ingredients.
So, for the sake of all women that are having kids over and throwing nightly slumber parties this summer, let’s dish out 5 slices of nutrient-rich information on how to make your kid-pleaser pizza tasty and healthy!
- Play with the dough: Who doesn’t love bread?! Few people, trust me! However, thick crusty bread can add up to lots of calories and maybe extra carbs if you are just kicking it around the pool. There are many ways to “play with the dough” by using a whole grain mix or even just making thin crust pizza/flatbread. One of the best tricks in the book is using cauliflower instead of bread for dough! Sound crazy and definitely worth a try!
- Sauce it up: Plain ole tomato sauce can get old if you eat pizza often. Try adding herbs like oregano or basil to make your own tomato goodness or try olive oil-based pesto as the sauce. If you like creamy white pizzas, try using Greek yogurt and herbs as your base for more protein and lower calories.
- Swap the top: Many pizzas are laden with fat and calories due to high-fat meat toppings like sausage, bacon and pepperoni. Swapping those proteins for chicken, turkey, lean ham or Canadian Bacon can lower the calories and the accumulated grease on top. In addition, using a 2% cheese can also lower the calories without compromising the taste.
- Go green: Adding veggies of any kind is a great option! They add color, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals for basically no added calories. Squash, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, orange and red peppers and even asparagus can beautify and “healthify” your slice!
- Flip the dip: Dipping pizza in Ranch dressing or a creamy garlic sauce is pretty common, but as with anything white, thick and creamy, it adds up quickly! Try taking Ranch powder and mixing it with Greek yogurt or using hummus as dip to a chicken and veggie pizza. Even a little balsamic vinaigrette can be a great dip with a pesto-based pizzas. Flipping your dip to a lower-calorie version can help you cut the guilt with your pizza slice!