It wasn’t long ago, every summer, I would undergo a huge adjustment. Schools out. 

It’s like its own “thing.” I never really prepare for it like it was the big event that it deserved. Going from a clean and quiet house to dirt everywhere, rowdy kids playing (or fighting), someone saying they’re hungry every 10 minutes takes time to adjust to after nine months of tranquility. 

This year may be different for many families. The kids may have been home for the year anyway due to COVID. I’ve also heard of many parents homeschooling—but that doesn’t change the fact that feeding hungry-picky kids gets tiresome and time-consuming.

When all my kids were home, I would try to cook extra meat for dinner the night before and I would have something leftover to work with the next day. The trick was finding something that each of my kids liked. It’s not possible with four. No wonder politics can be contentious amongst adult friends when kids from the same family can’t even agree on lunch. 

I worked hard at teaching them to share and take turns picking what we were going to eat, but sometimes it’s just easier to let each kid make their own lunch—within reason.

Many lunch meals at our house consisted of make-your-own-pizzas. Pick a simple leftover base like spaghetti sauce. The kids can choose their favorite toppings. Add cheese, bake, and lunch is served.

Take some pressure off yourself and make it fun for the kids. It will add at least an hour of peace to summer parenting!


Kid-Friendly Pita Pizzas

Serves 6


6 pitas

Assorted veggies chopped (onions, peppers, mushrooms, or whatever your kids like)

1 cup leftover spaghetti sauce with meat

2 cups mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 400degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Place each pita on the pan and divide the spaghetti sauce between the 6 pitas. Have kids assemble their pizza how they like them. And top them with the cheese. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is light brown and bubbling. Allow pizzas to cool slightly before serving.