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Getting a child with sensory processing disorder to try new foods can be difficult to say the least. Most days, getting Nicholas to eat something other than graham crackers, bread, and other solid, dry foods is cause for celebration.
Lately though, since starting our Kids in the Kitchen series, he has been getting a little more adventurous with his food choices. Nothing too drastic, but we are making some progress :)
His current food adventure? Pizza.
Normally foods with sauces or toppings of any kind send him heading in the other direction, but he seems to have taken a liking to pizza. While not the healthiest of options, I am glad that he is starting to branch out and try textures that would have been unheard of for him only a few months ago.
There is however, only so much pepperoni pizza that mommy can take and we’ve started building a list of new combinations to try while still maintaining that “pizza” look to keep him eating :) Our current favorite…
Chicken Alfredo Pizza with homemade pizza dough. Don’t worry! Sounds way harder than it is!
In fact, your bread machine will do most of the work :)
To make the crust, you’ll need:
1 cup Warm Water
2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Yeast
Throw all of your ingredients into your bread machine pan in the order they’re listed above and put the pan into the machine.
Set your bread machine on the dough cycle and let it do all of the work. In about an hour and a half, your dough will be ready to go.
(Now, I completely missed getting a picture of the next step but it is one the adults will need to do anyway!) During the last 30-45 minutes of your dough cycle, get your toppings ready.
For this pizza you’ll need:
2-3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Alfredo Sauce (you could make your own or just buy a jar)
A few tablespoons of butter
Cook your chicken breast however you normally cook them. You can bake them if you like or just cook them up on the stove, whatever works for you. Once they’ve finished cooking, give them a minute or two to cool and then chop them up into bite-sized pieces.
When the bread machine is finished, dump your pizza dough right onto your greased pizza pan.
Let it sit for about 5 minutes, otherwise you may have trouble getting it to stay in a round pizza shape. After it’s rested for a few minutes, have your child start kneading the dough and shaping it into a pizza. This recipe makes quite a bit of dough so we spread ours all the way to the ends of the pizza pan. You want to make sure that you don’t have a ton of dough left in the middle or it will still be doughy when the outside is done cooking.
Now, we like to add a little something extra to our pizza but you certainly don’t have to do this step if you’re not a garlic fan. To give the crust more of a bread stick flavor, melt a tablespoon or two of butter and stir in a little bit of garlic powder and basil.
While you’re working on that, give your child a fork and have them poke holes into the pizza dough with it. Not only do they find this step a lot of fun, it will keep your pizza dough from expanding and your toppings from sliding off.
Now you’re ready for the good stuff!
If you’re using the garlic butter, go ahead and have your child use a marinade brush to add a light layer to the entire surface of the dough. Give that a minute or two to soak into the dough a little and then add your Alfredo sauce.
I will generally just pour some on and give Nicholas a spoon and let him spread it all over the dough. Make sure you get a nice even layer across your pizza.
Finally, take your cheese and split it in half. Spread half of it lightly over you entire pizza. Repeat that process with your chicken and then again with the second half of your cheese.
All that’s left to do is stick that baby in the oven! Cook for 18-20 minutes (depending on your oven) at 400 degrees or until the cheese on top is a nice golden brown.
Cut and enjoy a new take on an old favorite!