Make your loved ones and yourself feel treated and special while still staying true to maintaining healthy, long-term habits.
Starting with Breakfast
Often Valentine’s Day breakfasts are loaded with sugar and very indulgent, but there are healthier options that can still be cheerful enough to set the mood for the day. And as a bonus, you’ll likely feel better and more energized to enjoy the whole day without crashing early from too much richness or sugar.
Strawberry Topped Banana Pancakes
Banana pancakes are very easy to make. All you need are eggs and bananas. Mix the two together until you get a pancake-like consistency. Cook in the same way you would traditional pancakes. Top them with strawberries and add some honey to taste. This gives you the benefits of potassium-packed bananas, the benefits of honey, and the benefits of having several fruit servings in one easy-to-make breakfast. Add a special touch by cutting the pancakes into heart shapes.
Red Heart Smoothie
Smoothies are a go-to for many people who have busy lives. They are easy to make, easy to pack with superfoods and protein, and can be sipped on the go. You can make a special Valentine’s smoothie by using strawberries, pomegranate, and bananas to create a pink hue, and add in some Greek yogurt for extra nutrition. If you want, make some coconut milk whipped cream (instructions below) to top it off for extra effect.
French Toast with Red Coconut Whipped Cream and Honey
Use whole grain or gluten-free bread for your French toast base, and then use a mixture of cinnamon, almond milk, and egg or egg substitute to cook it with. While the toast is cooking, make up the whipped cream by beating a can of coconut milk until you get a whipped cream consistency. Add in some coconut flakes and your choice of red or mixed berries and top off your toast with it when it’s ready. Then add a final touch of drizzled honey over it all.
Then for Lunch
Sometimes couples are so busy during the week that the best or only time to enjoy each other’s company without distractions is on their lunch break. Or maybe you’d just like to enjoy the Valentine’s Day mood all day long, but the middle of the day doesn’t always feel as magical as the beginning or end. So here are some lunchtime pick-me-ups to keep the celebration going even while in the midst of the not-so-romantic responsibilities you’re taking care of throughout the day.
Heart Healthy Sushi
One of the fastest and easiest of lunches to create for Valentine’s Day is sushi. Or if you’re not inclined to make it yourself, you can pick some up from a local restaurant or grocery store. California rolls, avocado and cream cheese, and other similar rolls are ideal. After making the sushi or picking it up, lay it out in a heart shape on each plate, and then in the center, use fresh avocado slices to create a fan-like or circle sunburst shape. Serve with a special berry juice or sparkling water with strawberries for an added touch.
Heart-Shaped Mock Chicken Salad
This is a mock chicken salad that can be made easily with chickpeas. It may sound boring, but you can dress it up to take this healthy lunch option to the next level for Valentine’s Day. Mix chickpeas with your choice of low-calorie dressing or low-fat sour cream and any favored herbs or spices. Serve over lettuce cups or in a sandwich, creating a heart shape with the lettuce or bread. Add fruit on the side for extra color and nutrition.
Pink Cauliflower Soup
If you’re looking more for comfort food to get through a cold weather snap, or for a side dish to go with the mock chicken salad above, then pink cauliflower soup may be what you’re looking for. The key to this soup is using purple cauliflower. Just blend the cauliflower and add a hint of cream to the mix until smooth. Heat and serve. It’s quick, easy, and has the perfect pink color for the day.
Low-Fat Chocolate Desserts (Yes, they do exist!)
You don’t have to give up chocolate to maintain your discipline. There are indeed ways to include it while still excluding the fat that often accompanies it. Try these recipes for satisfying sweets that won’t break your health resolutions.
Chocolate Crepes with Berry Sauce
Chocolate crepes are easy to make, and they don’t pack the fat punch that some other desserts do. All you need for this dessert is a crepe mix kit, cocoa powder, and a berry sauce. Mix the crepe mix and add cocoa to taste. Then while your crepes are cooking, prepare your sauce by making a simple sugar base (boil equal parts sugar and water) and then cooking down your choice of berries into it. Roll the crepes, pour on the sauce, and enjoy. You can also fill the crepes with a berry and coconut whipped cream filling to add flair.
Chocolate Espresso Mousse Shots
If you really want to cut the fat but still want your mousse and to eat it too, try making a shot out of the dessert. Chocolate espresso mousse is easy to make, and you can turn one serving into two shots. The easiest way to make this is to purchase a chocolate mousse kit from the store and add one teaspoon of espresso powder. Split the serving into shot glasses that are a slight bit larger than traditional shot glasses. You can find these in the dessert section of a culinary supplies store. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Chocolate-Covered Crisped Peanut Butter Bananas
This may sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy to make and low in fat. Grab a bag of chocolate morsels, a can of sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, crisped rice cereal, and some bananas. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in separate bowls, and place the crisped rice in another bowl to set up a three-stop station for your bananas. Slice the bananas and, using a toothpick, dip the banana in the peanut butter first, and then the chocolate. Roll the dipped banana in the crisped rice and set on a tray to cool. You can also experiment with other fruits and dips for more variety. This is also a fun recipe for kids if you’d like to get them involved.
Fun Non-Treat Gifts for Kids
If you want to add in some non-food-related fun that will still treat your kids, you might consider these.
If you have just a few children to buy for, then heart-shaped earbuds may be an ideal option. They can often be purchased from dollar stores as a novelty item for Valentine’s Day. If you have a kid that spends a lot of time on a tablet or listening to music, these can be very appreciated. For boys, hearts may not be so ideal, but you might find other options like solid red that will still feel special.
Red Jenga Games
If you have a family game night, or your kids enjoy playing games among themselves, Jenga is a good one that will develop dexterity and critical thinking skills. Red sets are available, but you can also paint the pieces of another set yourself if you can’t find one.
Pajama Movie Night
This can be for the whole family or a special treat for just the kids if the adults have other plans for the evening. Pick out a movie they will love — it doesn’t need to be romantic if that’s not what they’ll enjoy. Then pick up some special pajamas for them that speak to their heart in some way they’ll treasure long after the day is over.
You can combine these things into a gift basket as well. When it comes to kids, think outside of the box. Think of the things they love and bring that into the theme for the day. For the most part, they feel loved by knowing their words and interests are being paid attention to.
Health-Related Valentine’s Day Gifts
Finally, for those people who feel more loved by being supported in their goals rather than by being treated with food or other means of celebration, here are some fitness related gifts to consider.
Fitness Watch and Heart Monitor
Okay, so a fitness watch may not be the first thing you think of when buying a Valentine’s Day gift, but they can be a great boon to someone who’s been trying to track their fitness efforts by hand. Plus, there are often multiple, interchangeable band options available with looks that can range from casual to fine jewelry to match what fits best for the recipient.
Flowering Tea Set
Flowering tea consists of small round balls of herbal ingredients that bloom into flowers as they steep. This herbal tea is available in various flavors and relaxation options. Pop them into a clear glass teapot and watch them bloom for something romantic without going overboard on hearts. It can also be added to a full relaxation and spa day or night, as well as being a beautiful and functional gift that lasts beyond the day. The ideal set is one that comes with the tea pot, infuser, and flowering tea.
5k Valentine’s Day Race
This is definitely not a gift for everyone, but if you want to support a runner in your life, it may be ideal. Look for a Valentine’s Day 5k race you can do together. It’s an activity you can both enjoy, and you will get a medal for the event to remember it by. You might also be able to find a race that supports a cause you mutually care about.
Keep in mind that gifts by themselves are just a part of the giving process. A lot is also in how you give the gifts and the environment you create. Make each gift special by personalizing them in some way that show how much you pay attention and care.