9 Valentine’s Day treats your kids will love

February 13, 2017 Providence Health Team

Kids will go bananas for these healthier Valentine’s Day snacks

It’s that lovely time of year again when the grocery stores are painted with aisles of red and pink. As far as the eye can see, there are jumbo bags brimming with candy and sweets for kids to share with classmates.

Given everything we know about sugar consumption, gluten intolerance, chemicals and allergies, it has become more challenging for parents to send their kids to school with bags of lollipops and candy on Valentine’s Day without feeling a twinge of guilt.

The dilemma is this: How can you make a healthier treat exciting for kids on a day when packaged candy is the historical norm? Challenge accepted! We offer you these 9 valentines that are both fun and healthier for your little ones to share at school.

1) Watermelon Heart pops

The natural flavor of these watermelon heart pops will give your child’s classmates a healthy-sweet fix! They’re easy to make and perfectly festive.

You’ll Need:

  • A heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Watermelon
  • Washi tape (optional)

For complete instructions, see here

2) Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels

You can create tasty Valentine’s day goody bags with plain pretzels or add some flair to the pretzels by dipping them in dark or white chocolate. You can glue a heart on the bag with a cute message, such as, “What’s “KNOT” to Love!?” or “Our Class would “Knot” Be The Same Without You!”

You’ll Need:

  • Pretzels
  • Dark chocolate or white chocolate
  • Goody bags
  • Paper Hearts for Message

For complete instructions, see here

3) Allergy-Free Marshmallow Krispy Hearts

One of parents’ biggest concerns is protecting their child from food allergies, which can induce rapid, and in some cases dangerous, reactions. These dairy-free, gluten-free raspberry marshmallow rice krispy treats are safe for those with sensitivities to lactose or wheat, and will delight your child’s classmates!

You’ll Need:

  • Gluten-free rice krispies
  • Freeze-dried raspberries
  • Mini marshmallow (most marshmallows are gluten free)
  • Virgin coconut oil

For complete instructions, see here

4) “You’re A Cutie” Clementines

Without having to do any real work at all, send your child to school to share Clementines in a baggy with a tag reading “You’re a Cutie!” or “Peel the love!”

You’ll Need:

  • Clementines (Cuties)
  • Tags for fun messages to classmates

5) Frozen Greek Yogurt Covered Strawberries

Your child will be the hit of their Valentine’s Day celebration when they pass out little containers or cups of these strawberries (halved or whole) dipped in vanilla Greek yogurt and frozen.

You’ll Need:

  • Strawberries
  • Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • Baggies or cups

For complete instructions, see here

6) Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies

This is probably the most creative healthy alternative for your child. It’s not just a sweet spiral, it has a surprise message inside too! These unique Valentine’s Day treats will not only thrill classmates but will have parents asking how you came up with the idea.

You’ll Need:

  • Box of organic fruit roll-ups (instructions don’t require organic, but it’s recommended)
  • Permanent marker
  • Parchment paper (don’t use plain paper, it will stick to the fruit roll-ups)
  • 1 (2-inch) round cookie cutter

For complete instructions, see here

7) Sugar-Free Homemade Marshmallows (Strawberry Optional)

This recipe is a little more time consuming, but with a big reward when your child proudly distributes “mom or dad’s homemade goodies” to peers. You can even make these sugar-free.

You’ll Need:

  • Unflavored Gelatin
  • Cold Water
  • Food-Grade Vegetable Glycerine
  • Powdered Erythritol
  • Water
  • Vanilla Paste
  • Vanilla Creme-Flavored Stevia Extract
  • Salt
  • Arrowroot Starch
  • Optional: Add Strawberry Purree
  • Tags for messages (e.g. “I like you berry much.”)

For complete instructions, see here

8) Dark Chocolate Filled Raspberries

These delectable morsels include dark chocolate, which has half the sugar and fewer carbs than milk chocolate. And raspberries are only 65 calories per cup. Their red color makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day and you can pass them out in heart-themed cupcake wrappers.

You’ll Need:

  • Raspberries
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Cupcake wrappers

For complete instructions, see here

9) “Let’s Stick Together, Valentine!” String Cheese

These low-calorie mozzarella string cheese sticks can easily be made into the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for kids who can't have sugar. This treat will also please the parents who have concerns about only consuming individually-wrapped goodies. Simply weave the sticks into a 6-inch piece of paper decorated with “Let’s stick together!”

You’ll Need:

  • Low-Cal Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks
  • 6x3-in pieces of paper, “Let’s Stick Together, Valentine!” message

What treat will you send your kids to school with this Valentine’s Day?

We’d love to hear your crafty ideas!

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