Decadent chocolate layers over luscious ganache, and indulgent nougat-are you hungry yet? Valentine’s Day is well known for its enormous chocolate boxes; the kind you may hide atop your fridge so the kids can’t reach them. But is there really anything extraordinary about Valentine’s Day chocolates, or is it just the holiday and presentation that makes them so enticing? In this sense, any food could be an exciting Valentine’s Day treat for kids, even healthy foods!
Berry-good chocolate box
Remember that chocolate box? Wash it; save it! Next year fill each nook with cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Dip some of the fruit in chocolate, if you are so inclined, but it won’t be necessary. Kids will love this secret stash of healthy snacks. If you don’t have a candy box, you can make one by filling a cookie tin with small Valentine’s Day themed cupcake foils!
I heart you
The heart-shaped cookie cutter is your friend! Create a veggie platter with carrot, cucumber, tomato, and other slices, all stamped into a heart. Arrange your veggie hearts around some tasty dip, and let your kids dig in! This can also be done with strawberry slices (the naturally heart-shaped food!), and melon heart cut-outs around a bowl of yogurt dip!
Sweet as sugar
Give your favorite sugar cookie recipe a nutritious kick by replacing the butter with applesauce or mashed banana! The result will be a fluffier, healthier cookie for your kiddos! For a truly Valentine inspired twist, sprinkle these cookies with tangy-sweet pomegranate arils!
Bananas for you
Put that box of 5,000 craft popsicle sticks to work! Peel and halve a banana. Skewer the fruit, and dip in strawberry yogurt (thick Greek yogurt works the best). Spread and even out the yogurt with a spoon, add sprinkles, nuts, or crushed cereal if desired. Repeat this process with more bananas. Place the dipped pops on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for two hours, or until the yogurt is firm.
You warm my heart
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of two bread slices. Put the hearts in the toaster. When the toast-hearts are ready, replace the centers for a fun, high-contrast bread, worthy of a healthy Valentine’s Day sandwich!
Valentine’s treats are special because of the day, not because of the sugar-content. The holiday gives an adoring prestige to chocolate boxes-you can give that fame to healthy snacks and foods!