My son’s childminder often made homemade pizzas with the kids, and I was really keen to find a way that he could join in with the activity. He was still allergic to wheat then, and I was lucky to find some really tasty mini pizza bases by Venice Bakery at the London Allergy and Free From Show which I could send him in with. I was still a bit stuck with what toppings to suggest – at the time the soy free vegan cheese options were pitiful (SO much better now) and didn’t melt well at all. So, I just started making no-cheese pizzas, which felt revolutionary to me as I couldn’t envisage a pizza without piles of melty cheese – but of course my son didn’t care at all!
The pizza I make most often uses ingredients which I generally have sitting around in the store cupboard, perfect for a day when I have failed to plan ahead. It’s very quick to make and adaptable depending on what you have in. I’m always looking for good lunches to take out and about, and this pizza is perfect for that. It tastes good cold, so can be made in advance, cut into slices and is then easily transportable. It is also a good option for school lunchboxes.
I love getting the kids involved in cooking, and I think it’s particularly important for kids with allergies as a tool to help them gain confidence around food. Putting pizza topping on is a really easy and fun way to start getting them involved, even at a very young age.
For babies: Cut into small slices for a easy finger food; you may want to remove harder crusts until chewing skills are a bit more advanced! When using tinned fish, always check carefully for any small bones.
Ingredients and method:
These are ingredients for one mini pizza. To make a full size pizza simply scale the ingredients up.
- One mini pizza base (always check ingredients – Venice Bakery do a great gluten free option)
- Up to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Half of a tin mackerel in olive oil OR half of a tin of tuna in spring water or olive oil
- ¼ of a small tin of sweetcorn (no added salt)
- Pinch of mixed herbs
Pre-heat the oven according to the instructions on the pizza bases. Spread the tomato paste over the pizza base, making sure that it is thick enough to help the other ingredients stick and that there is relatively even coverage. Drain and flake the tinned fish, checking for bones, and spread the flakes over the pizza base. Drain the sweetcorn and spread about a quarter of it across the pizza base. Sprinkle over the mixed herbs. Try not to put too much filling right in the middle of the base, as this takes the longest to cook.
Before placing in the oven, press down the fillings so they are well embedded in the tomato paste; this is essential to avoid everything being flung off as soon as it gets near your child! Cook according the instructions on the pizza bases and then slice up in sizes suitable for little hands!
I tend to use the leftover sweetcorn and tinned fish the next day mashed up with a jacket potato.