Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats - PIH Health

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Published on February 11, 2016

Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

Heart shaped kiwi for Valentine's treat

Heart shaped kiwi for Valentine's treatIt’s difficult enough sticking to a healthy meal plan on regular days, so when those pesky “holidays” come around, celebrating without undermining all your efforts can be frustrating. But with a little creativity you can enjoy a holiday treat and stick to your healthy meal routine at the same time.

“We often think that holiday treats require us to throw out all semblance of health, but that’s simply not the case,” says Danielle Halewijn, a registered dietitian at PIH Health.  “After all, what makes a holiday treat special is sharing it. When you add a little flair and creativity, you can enjoy the spirit of the holiday without sacrificing your health or feeling like you have to avoid holiday goodies altogether.”

Try These Fun Treats

These ideas can be used for any holiday. Here are a few with a Valentine’s Day twist.

Heart-shaped Treats:

  • Fruits: use a cookie cutter to make a colorful variety of honeydew, kiwi and pineapple options. Make tinier versions with strawberries (using a knife). It’s a bit more work but so adorable, plus they can be used in other treats.
  • Brownies: again, it’s the shape that makes them fun. Keep the portions bite size and keep the calories down.
  • Sandwiches: use whole wheat breads with low-fat or organic “butters” (almond, cashew, hazel nut, macadamia, sesame and more) and low sugar jams and preserves. Try a heart shaped cookie cutter for fun!

Kabob Treats:

  • Skewer pretty much anything you want; alternate juicy, colorful fruits with pieces of angel food cake. Any kind of berry will do, so will pineapple, melon and apples. Be creative and make a bouquet of fruit flowers.

Mini Treats:

  • You can make a mini version of just about anything; cheescake, cupcakes, muffins – top with pink and red hearts to add Valentine’s flair. Go even tinier with ‘bite-sized’ versions.

Substituting Ingredients

“Look for ways to substitute traditional ingredients with healthier, low-fat or low sugar options,” adds Danielle. “Sometimes the alternatives produce even tastier results than the originals.” If you can’t substitute the ingredients, keep your gift small to share a health conscious message with your loved one.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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