How to Cook a Gourmet Meal for Kids

Gourmet Pizza for Kids

If your kids already love pizza, then making it gourmet can be a perfect way to get your kids eating more adventurously and nutritiously. A slice of medium thin-crust pizza with cheese has about 215 calories and limited nutritional value [source: U.S. Department of Agriculture]. Without missing out on convenience, you can add nutrition and interest by adding fresh vegetables to an ordinary frozen cheese pizza. You might also want to try a whole-wheat crust instead of the traditional crust.

Making your own pizza gives you a wealth of choices while also allowing you to regulate the choices you offer your child. "Doing it at home you can control the amount and what you add; kids are probably less likely to try it in a pizza restaurant where they know their old favorites are," says Krieger.

Make your own dough, or pick up one of the refrigerated versions at your local grocery. Let your kids decorate their sections of the pizza with the toppings that you've cut and placed out. You might also try using more fresh ingredients instead of processed pizza sauce. "Do some 'salsa fresca' -- chop fresh tomatoes, a smidge of onion, fresh basil and a small amount of olive oil to use instead of sauce or as an additional topping," says Berkoff.

Another great twist on pizza might be serving it as a dessert instead of an entree. "Top a baked pizza crust with fruited yogurt sauce or a thin layer of yogurt, and then use diced dried fruit, thinly sliced melon, apples, pears, grapes, sliced ripe bananas, etc.," says Berkoff.

How can you turn another classic kids' meal -- macaroni and cheese -- into a healthy gourmet dinner?