Looking for Valentine's Day treats can be a heart-stopping experience. Think outside the heart-shaped box and use the holiday as a time to learn about healthy snacking.
These Valentine's Day party treats feature choices offering nutrients from low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, many of which can even be assembled in the classroom.
- Send a Message
Using a felt-tipped marker, write fun messages on the peels of clementines ("Hi, Cutie!") or bananas ("I'm bananas for you!").
- Strawberries on Cloud Nine
Strawberries, a naturally healthy treat, provide dietary fiber and are rich in vitamin C. Serve them with a small dollop of whipped cream or yogurt.
- Red Salsa
Let kids make their own snack plates with cut up vegetables, whole-grain pita chips or crackers and low-fat cheese cubes to dip into tomato salsa.
- Banana Split Love Boats
Split a peeled banana down the middle and top with low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and sliced heart-shaped fruit.
- Pink Milk
Blend strawberries and low-fat milk for a delicious protein-packed, naturally sweet drink.
- Heart-Shaped Sandwiches
Use a cookie cutter to turn a nut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-wheat bread into a heart-shaped Valentine.
- Red Fruit and Yogurt Dip
Celebrate with fruits that are red, the unofficial color of Valentine's Day: apples, blood oranges, grape tomatoes, red grapes and red peppers. For a sweet dip, mix cinnamon and low-fat vanilla yogurt.
- Cupid's Smoothie
Before the party starts, blend cranberry or pomegranate juice with low-fat milk, bananas and canned pineapple to make a naturally sweet and pink colored beverage.
- XOXO Trail Mix
Mix together O-shaped cereal (the Os) and pretzel sticks (the Xs) along with bright red dried cranberries and dried strawberries.
Brandi Thompson, RD, LDN, works with schools, long-term care facilities and dialysis centers in Boca Raton, Fla.
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