This is a guest post by registered dietitian Alysa Bajenaru. She blogs at Inspired RD about food and fitness.

Does your family have a designated pizza night?  If so, I would like to challenge you to try making your own pizza next time.  In the same amount of time that it takes you to call in a pizza order and wait for it to be delivered, you can make a much healthier version and have fun as a family putting it together!  Making homemade pizza is one of our favorite ways to come together as a family.  It is also a fun way for our kids to try new vegetables.

We either make our own dough (you can find an easy focaccia recipe here) or use refrigerated whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s.  The kids accompany me to the store where they choose veggies, cheese and sometimes meat to top their pizza with.  Lately, my 3-year-old son has been choosing butternut squash, zucchini and chicken apple sausage with mozzarella cheese.  The best part about family pizza night is that everyone can make their portion of the pizza just the way they like it!

Tip: Chop the vegetables into small bite-sized pieces.  Kids will add more to their pizza this way!

Have the kids help you roll out the dough and spread on the sauce.  Put different toppings out on a cutting board or in small bowls.  Cut the dough into smaller pieces so everyone can have their own pizza, or just designate different areas on one large pizza.  Encourage your kids to choose at least one vegetable.  Throw it in the oven for 12-20 minutes (depending on your dough) at 450 degrees.  Slice, serve and enjoy a family dinner together!

Here are some topping suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

-marinara sauce, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese
-arugula, butternut squash, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese
-pesto, asparagus, tomatoes, fontina cheese
-barbecue sauce, shredded cooked chicken, pineapple chunks

Start thinking about family pizza night in a whole new (and healthier) way!