Valentine’s Day “Healthy” Treats | Pacific Integrative Pediatric Health

With all the chocolate and other sweet treats for Valentine’s Day that are loaded with heavily processed ingredients, we wanted to share a couple ideas for some more healthy options. Realize these are all relative. Most anything that is highly sweet is going to carry some calories and bounce your sugar and insulin levels. But hey, you’re trying, right? Here are some ideas for any meal of the day…

Breakfast: Pancakes

With paleo diets all the rage, how about some chocolate paleo-friendly pancakes? Yum!! Top them with your favorite super red organic fruit like raspberries or strawberries and you’ll knock it out of the park this Valentine’s Day and still be relatively healthy. These look wonderful as an amazing breakfast that kids will just love, and so will mom and dad. As an added bonus, they are gluten, dairy, and grain free! This recipe from Perry’s Plate features almond and tapioca flour as the base with eggs, applesauce, ghee or coconut oil. You should already have most of the ingredients. Check it out and make them into heart-shaped pancakes for that added Valentine’s Day touch. Top with just some plain fruit, or indulge with a little pure maple syrup, and you’re sure to be a hit! I’m going to try to make these into waffles this weekend for my valentine.

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Lunch/snack: Fruit Kabobs

Here is a fast and easy idea; and you can find the right ingredients at your favorite produce store. Make some Valentine’s Day fruit kabobs! Skewer fresh fruit in various order to create Valentine’s Day themed kabobs that can be served fresh or frozen. I’d start with strawberries cut in ½, to look similar to hearts. Cut some sliced watermelon into heart shaped pieces. Peel some Cuties or mandarin oranges and use the sections. Grapefruit would be another good citrus option to add. Grapes are easy to find and, though tough to make into hearts, kids love them. The Sky’s the limit here. If you are really down to get creative, melt some dark chocolate and dip or drizzle over the fruit before serving. Use your imagination to make a Valentine’s Day treat that is all natural, gluten, dairy, grain free and not an ounce of added sweetener! 

Dinner: Pizza

Stuck for fun ideas for healthy Valentine’s Day dinner for kids? So was I….so PIZZA it is!

What about making a heart shaped pizza crust and topping it with lots of healthy toppings? Or let the kids top their own individual “heart”. Crusts are available to suit every dietary need and desire. Try using a cauliflower crust from Trader Joe’s. The pizza sauce can be any puree from tomato, hummus, salsa, pesto, carrot, etc. For toppings, using items like fresh tomatoes, fire roasted sweet red peppers, roasted sweet potato or beets, apples, or pineapple can give festive color to your unique pie. And of course, don’t forget your greens of most any type: spinach, kale, artichoke, zucchini, broccoli. The list goes on and on. It can be a family affair in the making and enjoying!

Dessert: Chocolate Cupcakes

There are many recipes for treats for that after dinner sweet tooth, I’ve come full circle back to the chocolate paleo idea. Check out this recipe from Texanerin Baking for paleo chocolate cupcakes. They are also gluten free, grain free, and dairy free for added bonus to those who have limitations or preferences. How, you may ask, can you make such a treat and still make it taste good? The secret is in nut flour (almond in this case), coconut oil, honey and applesauce, eggs and some coconut sugar. We have a whole list of healthier sugar substitutes in our blog from earlier this month, so make sure to check that out, too. These cupcakes are reported to be amazing and have a mouse like texture, rich and almost creamy. You could make these alone or top them with a paleo fudge frosting, linked to the recipe. I think I’d like them warm with raspberries and some froyo or coconut ice cream. What do you think?

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Whatever you do for your children and your family this year, do it with thoughtfulness and love. Kids understand that more than the sweet goodies that they receive. Give them lots of hugs and kisses and top it with some fresh air. You and your loved ones are good to go!


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