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 choices offering nutrients from low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, many of which can even be assembled in the classroom. If your 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
    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.