Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and affection, but it doesn’t have to be synonymous with sugary treats. While candy may be a traditional go-to for this holiday, there are plenty of creative alternatives that are just as sweet, but healthier for children. At Durham’s Partnership for Children, we believe in promoting wellness and fostering healthy habits from a young age. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Valentine’s Day treat alternatives that are sure to delight children without the added sugar rush.
1. Fruit Kabobs:
Swap out candy hearts for heart-shaped fruit kabobs. Use a variety of colorful fruits such as strawberries, grapes, pineapple chunks, and melon balls. Thread them onto skewers in heart shapes or arrange them on a plate in the shape of a heart for a festive and nutritious treat.
2. Homemade Granola Bars:
Instead of store-bought candy bars, make homemade granola bars with oats, nuts, seeds, and a touch of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. You can even customize them with dried fruits or chocolate chips. Package them in cute Valentine’s-themed wrappers for a fun and wholesome snack.
3. Yogurt Parfaits:
Layer Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a sprinkle of granola in small cups or jars for a delicious and nutritious treat. Kids will love the vibrant colors and creamy texture, and you can even add a drizzle of honey or a few dark chocolate shavings for a touch of sweetness.
4. Heart-Shaped Sandwiches:
Get creative with lunchtime by making heart-shaped sandwiches using whole grain bread and filling them with lean protein, cheese, and veggies. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the sandwiches for an adorable twist on a classic lunchtime favorite.
5. Popcorn Trail Mix:
Combine air-popped popcorn with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for a crunchy and satisfying snack. Package it in individual bags or containers decorated with Valentine’s Day stickers or ribbons for a festive touch.
6. Heart-Shaped Cheese and Crackers:
Cut cheese slices and whole grain crackers into heart shapes using cookie cutters. Arrange them on a plate with some cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices for a wholesome and fun snack that kids will love.
This Valentine’s Day, skip the candy aisle and opt for these sweet alternatives that promote health and wellness. By incorporating nutritious and delicious treats into your celebrations, you can show your love for your children while also instilling healthy habits that will last a lifetime. From fruit kabobs to homemade granola bars, there are plenty of options to make this holiday both memorable and healthy. Happy Valentine’s Day from Durham’s Partnership for Children!