1. Starting a Valentine’s Day Family Tradition for A Lifetime of Memories

    Valentine’s Day is steeped in customs and traditions, some dating back to England during Chaucer’s day. In England, for instance, it was believed to be a bad omen for young women if they tracked snow into the house before February 14. This would apparently make it unlikely for them to meet their valentine any time soon.
    Similar to an old Roman tradition, boys used to write girls’ names on papers and put them in a jar. The boy would then draw one of the girl’s names and wear that name on his sleeve. Hence the expression, “Wear your heart on your sleeve.”

    Spread the love…

    Perhaps you and your children are already making Valentine’s cards for each other, but consider this:

    Hospitals and nursing homes. Give your children a variety of paper, foam sheets, glitter, glue, crayons, colored markers and stickers to create handmade Valentine’s Day cards or crafts for people in nursing homes or hospitals. Your family can go together to deliver the cards and crafts, after getting the “okay” to do so from the facility.

    Neighbors. Create a “love bucket” filled with special treats such as candy or cookies to give to a neighbor, and then invite the neighbor to continue the tradition.

    Secret Valentines…

    Before Valentine’s Day, have family members place their name in a hat, and then have each person draw a name from the hat – a “Secret Valentine.”

    In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, each family member secretly does something nice every day for his or her “Secret Valentine,” without revealing who they are. For example, make your Valentine’s bed while they’re showering, do their chores while they’re away from the house, hide secret notes under their pillow, tuck surprise presents in a pocket or lunchbox or shoe.

    At a special Valentine’s meal, everyone reveals his or her identity.

    Send “love letters”…

    Each year, write a “love letter” to each child, saying how much you love and appreciate him or her. Drop the letter into the mail a few days before Valentine’s Day. Save the letter after your child has read it. When your child is older, return all the “love letters” you have saved. Your child can carry on the tradition by writing (or dictating) their own love letters to their siblings and parents.

    Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to create wonderful new memories for the family. Get together, get creative and get started!

    Source(s):

    http://www.familyfunshop.com/valentinesday.htm

    http://www.suite101.com/content/fun-family-valentines-day-games-and-activities-a93742

     

  2. Yummy and Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

    When thinking of Valentine’s Day, we often think of a heart-shaped box containing sinfully delicious chocolate truffles, or chocolate filled with caramel, or other delectable. While it tastes good on the lips, it’s not good for the hips – even for children.

    According to the Center for Disease Control, currently 16 percent of children are obese. Studies show that early weight problems can lead to diabetes and heart disease, even in childhood.
    How do you show your children love this Valentine’s Day without pouring on the sugar?Consider these fast and healthy treats, many of which you can make with your children:

    • Pink Heart Shake. Blend raspberries, strawberries, mangos, spring water and ice, along with stevia or a drop of honey to sweeten. Serve the shake in individual portions in decorated paper cups, and embellish each portion with cocktail umbrellas for a special touch.
    • Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip. Load red or pink plastic skewers with strawberries, cherries, watermelon and red seedless grapes. Use a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to  shape the watermelon, to add to the festive look. Low-fat vanilla yogurt works well as a dip, and strawberry yogurt makes a perfect a Valentine’s Day theme.
    • Chocolate Fondue with Fruit. Melt 1½ cups of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double-boiler (use dark chocolate – it helps blood vessels relax, to lower blood pressure, and has heart-protective antioxidants). Add 3 tablespoons of sour cream and stir until smooth. Prepare fruity treats such as fresh strawberries, banana chunks, apple slices, orange slices, or fresh or canned pineapple. Using a fork, dip the fruit into warm chocolate and eat immediately, or dip and freeze for later (to freeze, place the fruit on wax paper on a cookie sheet).

    This Valentine’s Day, keep the sugar at bay by mixing it up with treats that will keep your
    children’s asking for more — and keep them “in the pink.”


    Source:

    http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Throw_Heart-Healthy_Valentines/

    http://evolvingwellness.com/posts/1024/healthy-valentines-treats-for-kids-straight-from-mother-earth-replacingchocolate-hearts-with-raspberry-love/

    http://www.neighborhood-kids.com/articles/2008/02/mostly-healthy-valentines-treats/

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    Categories: Health & Safety