Did you know that physical activity and a healthy diet are the key to a healthy heart? A great way to show someone you love them is to support their health and nutrition goals. Instead of focusing on the abundance of sugar this Valentine’s Day, consider offering gifts to create better health.
Check out these ten tips for a healthier Valentines Day:
- Quality time is a great way to show someone you love them. The memories made will last a lot longer than a sugar cookie, box of chocolates, or calorie heavy dinner. Whether it’s staying bundled up at home and playing board games, or something more adventurous like snowshoeing, plan a fun, and memorable activity as a way to celebrate.
- If your child is having a Valentine’s Day party at school, consider sending a healthy treat or snack. Mini bags of trail mix, pretzels, or whole grain crackers are all great ideas. Or skip the food entirely and send pencils, miniature notepads, or erasers instead.
- Plan a romantic candlelight dinner at home using one of our healthy recipes.
- Send a fruit basket to someone you love instead of a box of chocolates. It’s still a sweet treat, but in a more healthy way.
- If you choose to dine out, choose a restaurant that has heart healthy options. Consider sharing your meal with your loved one to control your portion sizes.
- Don’t deprive yourself. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed. A small slice of cake, a handful of candy, or a couple of chocolates are not going to ruin your path to create better health. Moderation is key. Enjoy a small amount of what you like, and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Instead of a fancy dinner, plan a physical activity. Play a game of racquetball together at your local rec center, bundle up and take a walk, or practice a dance routine together at home.
- Make your desserts in a healthier way. Use bean pure and whole grains when making cakes and cookies, add a fruit topping to your ice cream, or enjoy smaller portions of the treats you really love.
- If you will be celebrating with the whole family, make a heart shaped pizza with our Three-ingredient Pizza Dough recipe, or use a cookie cutter to make heart shaped pancakes topped with berries, or heart shaped peanut butter sandwiches.
- Instead of focusing on elaborate dishes or fancy treats, keep things simple. Make an easy, healthy recipe and decorate your table with Valentine’s Day decor from the dollar store. Trust me, your kids will love it!
Read on below for four quick and easy recipes perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Cookies
This cookie recipe uses whole wheat flour to boost nutrition. It also has less sugar than many cookie recipes, making it a healthier choice.
Berries and Chocolate
I’m sure you’ve heard of chocolate dipped strawberries, but what about chocolate filled raspberries? Using chocolate with berries is a great way make a dessert more healthy.
Start by melting some chocolate chips. Put 1-2 cups of chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave them for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and give the chocolate a good stir. Place the bowl back in the microwave for 30 more seconds. Repeat this process until the chocolate is all the way melted. While your chocolate is melting, rinse your berries under cool water and let them dry. When the chocolate is ready, dip the strawberries into the chocolate and set them on a plate to let the chocolate set up. To fill the raspberries with chocolate, I used an icing bag with a small tip. I put the melted chocolate into the bag and squeezed a little into each berries. For a little bit of added flair, you can sprinkle your berries with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Scrumptious Strawberry Sherbet
This recipe truly lives up to it’s name. It’s full of fruit and tastes amazing!
The recipe calls for frozen berries. If you have fresh berries on hand, wash and chop them, and place them in the freezer a few hours before you plan to make the Sherbet.
Valentine’s Day Popcorn Mix
A really quick and easy treat idea that kids will love is a popcorn mix.
Air pop a bit of popcorn and add in whatever mixings you have on hand. I used peanuts, chocolate chips, and conversation hearts. To make the mix look festive for Valentine’s Day, I sprinkled the popcorn with a few pink and red candy sprinkles.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, remember that it is all about balance. Balance what you eat with how much you move. Don’t deprive yourself. Instead, enjoy what you like, but focus on portion control. Enjoy!