There’s no doubt about it—Valentine’s Day is one of the sweetest holidays around. But from cookies and sweet treats to all that candy, the traditional celebration is often laden with added sugar, sugar substitutes and artificial dyes.
Even so, that doesn’t mean kids can’t take part in the fun. A few healthier substitutions paired with creative presentation will have your little cupids sweet on all things St. Valentine. Here are 9 ideas for a fun day of healthy treats.
Start the day off with love—and a breakfast of healthy heart-shaped favorites. From whole wheat pancakes and waffles to eggs in a basket, creating a heart-themed meal is easier than you might think. (A heart-shaped cookie cutter goes a long way! For a no-prep option, you could even serve our Egg Bite with Mini Pancakes and use the cookie cutter on the egg and the pancake for double the love.)
Looking for lunch options? Try a nut butter sandwich in a heart or heart-shaped quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas, mozzarella cheese, black beans and a topping of salsa for that red punch!
Red Fruit Salad
Toss together some nutrient-filled red and pink fruits: Pomegranate seeds are brimming with antioxidants, strawberries and cherries are vitamin C powerhouses and red apples are a good source of fiber. Perfect for breakfast or a snack, an antioxidant-rich red fruit salad is as pretty as it is nutrient-rich.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Layer protein-rich Greek yogurt with strawberries, top with some granola and voilá—a Valentine’s Day breakfast or snack that keeps with the color scheme.
XO Cheese and Crackers
Grab a couple cookie cutters shaped like Xs and Os, then cut out a series from cheddar, Monterey jack or any other sliced cheese. Pair with whole grain crackers for an afternoon kid-friendly snack full of love.
Veggies with a Message
Slice a few red bell peppers, baby carrots or celery into several thin strips and arrange a sweet surprise message. Look to classic conversation hearts for ideas—think fun phrases like “UR SWEET,” “LUV U” or “BE MINE.” Pair these kid-friendly veggies with your kid’s favorite hummus for a nutritious and filling snack.
Edamame is another tiny veggie that’s perfect for spelling out words. Serve our Protein Bento Box, using the adorable green pods to write out “LUV” or even create a heart shape!
Frozen Banana Splits
Fill a few red or pink silicone muffin cups with Greek yogurt or low-fat frozen yogurt, then layer on a few bite-sized pieces of banana. Add chopped strawberries, sliced almonds, chocolate chips or any other banana split toppings your kids like. Freeze and serve as a fun dessert for your little loves.
This classic Valentine’s Day treat is perfect for kids who like getting creative in the kitchen. Melt some semi-sweet chocolate, set out the parchment paper and use popsicle sticks for skewers. Let your little ones choose their fruit—anything from strawberries and bananas to clementines and berries will work.
Ever notice that chocolate chips fit perfectly into raspberries? Try a mix of white, dark and milk chocolate chips, then use them to top a yogurt parfait or bowl of ice cream for a perfectly balanced dessert.
100% Fruit Leathers
For an easy, on-the-go fruit snack, pack up a few fruit leathers in various flavors. Look for options that do not contain any added sugar and that are made with 100% fruit ingredients. Bonus: These also make great Valentine’s Day gifts! Put on a few favorite stickers and have your kid leave them on friends’ doorsteps with their Valentine’s cards for a fruity and nutritious treat.
Making your own healthy Valentine’s Day treats is a great way to ensure your kids opt for healthier treats free from artificial preservatives and coloring. Enjoy the natural sweetness from their favorite fruits and the time spent with your little one this Valentine’s Day!