Healthy Living - Healthier sweets for your sweetheart

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Whether you are throwing a Valentine’s party for the kiddos or creating something sweet for your sweetheart, it’s important to balance out the piles of treats with some healthier items as well. Consider adding some of these nutritious and festive sweets to your Valentine’s celebrations this year:

1. Include Festive Fruits and Vegetables

- Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, but high in nutrition!

- The micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber found in fruits and vegetables are lacking in our eating patterns, so every little bit counts.

- Choose red, pink, or purple fruits and vegetables for a fun and festive color scheme. Nothing says “Be Mine” more than some delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberries, especially paired with some beautiful flowers from Food City!

2. Create Single-Serve Sweets

- Miniature or single-serve desserts can help you enjoy your favorites but in the proper portion size. Try mini cheesecakes or brownie bites in a muffin tin. Try to keep your dessert no larger than about a cup or the size of your fist.

- Desserts are typically more calorie-dense from added fat and sugar. These calories add up quickly, so enjoy your sweet treats, but watch portions!

3. Rekindle an Old Flame

- Does your sweetheart have a favorite dessert or dish? If he or she is health conscious, try making minor modifications to make that dish a little healthier.

- Try low-fat milk instead of whole milk in recipes to save almost half the calories with little change in taste. Bake your favorite brownie recipe, but serve it alongside fresh strawberries or raspberries for complimenting flavors but less calories overall.

- Regardless of whether or not you make a change, cooking at home can help you to be more calorie conscious and gives you more control over the amount of salt, sugar, or fat added.

Quality time can mean the world, so instead of focusing solely on sweets, focus your efforts on spending time together. Better yet, do something active to celebrate your love such as going for a walk or hike, playing hide and seek outside with your kids, or going on a bike-ride.