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.”