Every year I go to my kids’ school Valentine’s Day parties. A few years ago, it got ugly. Parents were asked to bring in “snacks” which included cookies, filled-croissants, pretzels, skittles, starburst and a giant bag of mini candy bars. It was like a giant parade of “diabeetus.” I tried to keep it under control but not be that psycho parent who tried to force all the kids to eat celery. I gave the kids one cookie each, half a croissant, a handful of pretzels, two starburst, 5 kittles and one mini candy bar. Still! That’s more sugar than we eat in a week! One of the moms got pretty angry with me and started pouring handfuls of skittles on the kids’ plates (this was the same mom who told me if I ate non-organic berries I was eating “cancer berries”). I kept my cool and did some yoga breathing. Namaste crazy lady.
The next year I came a bit more prepared. I was asked to bring in a fun Valentine’s Day snack. I wanted to do something fun but actually provide the kids what I’d consider a nutritious snack. Here’s what we came up with.
To make the cheese, I just used a tiny heart cookie cutter and cut slices. I saved the scraps to melt over their scrambled eggs later.
To make the strawberries I cut them in half lengthwise.
Then I cut the stem out in a “v” shape to make the halves look like hearts.
Next to the cheese and strawberries, the pretzels looked like hearts. WIN!
The kids absolutely loved this. It was festive and they enjoyed eating it.
Now a word on Valentine’s Day. To me Valentine’s Day is a free day. And by free day I mean, I let the kids eat some of the treats from their Valentine’s box at school and I even buy them some. I buy them high quality chocolate like Ghiardelli or Lindt (not Palmer’s. That stuff sucks) but I do buy them chocolate with sugar. I’ve talked before about balance and kids (click here for post) and those principles apply to Valentine’s Day. They’re not going to destroy their future if they eat candy on Valentine’s Day. But if I don’t let them celebrate, they’ll remember that. I try to keep it under control, but a life without candy and cookies is just lame.