February is almost here so it is time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day treats for your kids and their friends and classmates. Valentine’s Day is notorious for chocolate, candy, and other sugar-filled treats! This year, revamp your family and kid’s classroom Valentine’s Day traditions with these easy tips!
Valentine Fruit Kebobs
Use skewers and alternate watermelon cubes, strawberries, cherries, or red seedless grapes. Use low fat vanilla or berry yogurt for dipping! Or use heart shaped cookie cutter to cut melon, apples, pineapple, and kiwi to add to skewers. This is a great healthy class treat the kids will love!
Not all hearts have to be made of chocolate! This year create an edible centerpiece with a colorful heart-shaped berry arrangement. Or use any healthy food to create your Valentine’s Day, heart-shaped masterpiece!
Heart-Shaped Soft Pretzels
Turn this traditional soft pretzel recipe into a heart-shaped Valentine’s Day work of art you and your kids will enjoy making together. Kids will love making these soft pretzels for family and friends and they will be proud to deliver this special treat!
Soft Pretzel Recipe
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
1 cup flour
4 cups flour, mixed with
1 tablespoon salt, more flour if needed
1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, stir yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let rest until yeast is dissolved and is a little foamy.
Stir in 1 cup flour followed by the rest of the flour mixed with 1 tablespoon salt. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl, rolling the dough around until it is covered in oil. Cover and let rise until it doubles in size.
Remove and knead gently. Cut into 16 pieces, roll each piece into a rope, shape the ropes into hearts, and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 15 minutes.
Drop each, one or two at a time, into a small pot of boiling water. Boil each pretzel for one minute and place back onto the greased cookie sheet.
Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Make your own heart-healthy chocolate desserts by dipping fresh fruits in dark, antioxidant rich chocolate. Or make dark chocolate fondue using chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. Heat up about ½ cup of whole milk and add 3-4 ounces of chopped chocolate. If it is too thick add a bit more milk. Try dipping strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, pineapple, bananas, pears, oranges, and apple slices. Add some “sprinkles” like chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
Valentine’s Day Cards
Instead of the traditional candy attached to your kid’s Valentine’s cards, give stickers, pencils, erasers, notebooks, or other small toys this year.
Trail Mix Buffet
Set up a trail mix station in the classroom. Kids get a small sandwich bag and are allowed to scoop assorted snacks to create their own custom mix. Some healthy ingredient ideas include:
Low-sugar whole-grain cereal
Raisins and other dried fruit like cranberries, apricots, apples, or papaya
Nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pistachios
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Whole wheat crackers or pretzels
This year make a few small changes to give your kids a healthier Valentine’s Day!