You can help promote your loved one’s independence by letting them make their own decisions. Pizzas are easily customizable and the possibilites for toppings are endless! Offer samples of each food item, allowing them to taste, touch, and smell for a fully imersive experience. Offer social cues by buidling your own pizza right alongside them and creating conversations about why you chose your selected toppings.
Ready to head back into the kitchen and whip up some tasty new meals with your loved one, for some dementia friendly cooking? Consider trying out this homemade pizza recipe where the possibilities are literally endless! Pick out some of your favorite toppings, throw in a few new ones to try, and open the kitchen up to some fun conversations like, “Does pineapple really go on pizza?”
Not only is this recipe great for serving up some quality down time together, but your pizzas can also be easily altered to match your household’s specific dietary needs. With a recipe this simple, you can enjoy working alongside your loved one at their own pace and within their own comfort level, helping them to feel included, productive, and creative throughout this activity.
To make Homemade Pizzas:
- Start by selecting the base for your pizzas. For simplicity, consider using premade breading, such as pita bread, flat bread, naan, pre-baked mini pizza crusts, or Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
- In 3 small bowls, set out options for sauces, such as tomato sauce, pesto sauce, and alfredo.
- In another set of 3 bowls, set out options for grated cheeses, such as parmesan, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack.
- To complete your spread, set out various options for toppings and garnishes. Consider:
- Cooked crumbled sausage
- Sliced mushrooms
- Sliced black olives
- Sliced bell peppers
- Sundried tomatoes
- Diced onions
- Red pepper flakes
- Place breading on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet
- Spread 2 – 3 tbsp. of selected sauce on top of the breading
- Now for the fun part — Get creative with selecting toppings for your pizzas! You can choose as many or as little as you would like. Offer up different samples of each food to your loved one, allowing them to decide independently what they do and do not want on top of their pizzas.
- Preheat and bake your pizzas in the oven according to the instructions on your selected breading’s package
* TIP: It’s okay to get a little messy with this activity! Allow your loved one the independence to create their pizzas according to their comfort level. Also take time for breaks inbetween if you notice any signs your loved one may need a moment to recharge.