Longtime Parent Pages columnist and Capital District mom Jodie Fitz’s book “Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden is all about knowing where your food comes from. It also teaches kids that veggies aren’t the enemy – in fact one of the most kid-friendly foods (pizza!) is nothing without vegetables.
Parent Pages recently caught up with Jodie to talk a little bit more about the book, its lessons and how easy it is to start a “pizza garden” of your own.
Parent Pages: How did the idea for “Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden” come about?
Jodie Fitz: “Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden” was inspired by an experience with my own daughter, who I nicknamed My Little Miss Fidget. We planted a patio garden and called it our pizza garden when she was 4 years old. I found it humorous when her very literal 4-year-old mind was truly disappointed when the garden didn’t grow pizza! I wrote the story shortly after the experience, and it stayed in a folder until approximately five years ago, when the book development process began.
PP: Can you tell us a little bit about who Fidget is?
JF: Fidget is a curious young girl with an active imagination.
PP: What are the key components of a pizza garden?
JF: In the book, I included tomatoes, oregano, basil and parsley for the sauce, and peppers for the top of the pizza. You can expand on what’s in your own pizza garden based on what your family likes on your pizza.
PP: Are pizza gardens doable in smaller spaces?
JF: All of Fidget’s pizza-growing activities in the book take place on her back patio in planters. You do not need a large garden space to plant a pizza garden.
PP: What is the most important message you hope kids and families take away after reading this book?
JF: Actually, I think there are three subtle messages in the book: the importance of spending time together, understanding where our food comes from (farm to table), and realizing that we may eat fruits and vegetables we think we don’t like alone in a recipe.
For more information about the book “Fidget Grows a Pizza Garden” along with activities and recupes, visit Jodie’s website (www.jodiefitz.com). You’ll also find a calendar of locations where she will be visiting communities and sharing her book this spring, summer and fall. At her author visits, she is either planting pizza gardens with children or making pizzas. Sponsors of her 2019 tour include Saratoga Sod, Primo Sauce, Saratoga Olive Oil and Cabot Cheese.
Monster Pizza Fun
Flatbread pizza crusts
Bell peppers, sliced
Mini pepperoni, turkey
Flavored Olive Oil
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Add your family’s other favorite veggies like grape tomatoes, onions, broccoli, etc.
Create an assembly line of sauce and toppings.
Place your pizza crusts on a baking sheet that’s been coated with olive oil.
Add pizza sauce to the crust, add a layer of shredded cheese and use the toppings to create your own personal pan monsters.
Bake your personal pan monsters at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Let the monsters cool slightly and then enjoy your delicious creation!