Entertainment for the Kids’ Table: Make Your Own Pizzas

If you entertain other families with children, one dilemma you are bound to face is how to keep the kids occupied so the adults can talk and enjoy themsleves. At minimum, you probably have a dining table for the kids and pull out all the operational toys you can find for after dinner entertainment. Here is an ingenious way to feed the kids and keep them occupied at the same time.

This idea comes from Pizzeria Uno where we recently dined during a famiy vacation. The kids ordered “make your own pizzas” and they were a huge hit that has also been as successful at home.

Flatbread is a perfect pizza base because it fits on a standard plate and is available at any grocery (one package contains 6 eight-inch flatbreads and costs around $2). Provide a flatbread for each kid and portion out pizza sauce and shredded cheese for each person in side/fruit bowls (these hold about 1/3 of a cup) as well as a few pepperoni slices in a pinch bowl.

Let the kids take their time assembling their masterpieces before you place each pizza in a 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Bake them directly on the rack for a crispy crust; bake on a stone or cookie sheet for a softer crust. We’ve found the kids can’t wait to see how their pizza turns out and they have a strong appetite for a dish they make themselves. (Pizzeria Uno had the kids write their names on a popsicle stick they baked alongside the pizza, but we’ve never had trouble distinguishing who made which pizza based on the pepperoni designs.)

Yes, this meal takes supervision, but is easier than creating a second kids’ menu, describing each item to the kiddos, then having you or the guest moms help plate and serve. These ingredients are uniform to prepare, universally liked, and easily customized for the kids who, for example, only want cheese on their pizzas. In fact, a make-your-own pizza buffet would work for almost any age – including adults – but is especially well suited for company among kids who may not be as well acquainted as the parents. The time they spend preparing, comparing, and eating their pizzas is time you parents can be enjoying your grown-up meal and conversation.