Kids eat right.

9 Candy free Ideas for Valentine's Day

Contributors: Brandi Thompson, RD, LDN
Girl with a Valentine - 9 Chocolate-free Ideas for Valentine

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Thinkstock

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 dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, many of which can even be assembled in the classroom. If you’re child is participating in virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, consider hosting a virtual party or have a party at home with your immediate family. You also may consider a socially distanced neighborhood party or dropping safely packaged treats at the doorstep of a friend for a sweet surprise.

  1. 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!").
  2. 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.
  3. Red Salsa
    Set up a "dip bar" and 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.
  4. Banana Split Love Boats
    Split a peeled banana down the middle and top with low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and sliced heart-shaped fruit.
  5. Pink Milk
    Blend strawberries and low-fat milk for a delicious protein-packed, naturally sweet drink.
  6. Heart-Shaped Sandwiches
    Use a cookie cutter to turn a nut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-wheat bread into a heart-shaped Valentine.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. XOXO Trail Mix
    Mix together O-shaped cereal (the Os) and pretzel sticks (the Xs) along with bright red dried cranberries and dried strawberries.