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Keep Valentines Day Healthy!

Heart shaped chocolate dessert cups with pudding and raspberries on plate with wood background

I must admit- Valentines Day is one of my least favorite holidays- one of the holidays that seem to be an excuse to give, and eat, a bunch of candy. Sure I love the underlying message of celebrating love and friendship but why exactly does that have to be tied to candy? And since it’s about red and pink that means that it’s almost impossible to escape food dye!

What’s wrong with food dye? I mean it makes all the treats looks so pretty and so bright they can almost glow in the dark! Food dyes have been linked to all sorts of health problems, including hyperactivity and ADHD to name just a few. In fact in most European countries foods containing synthetic food dyes are required to include warning labels. You may be even more surprised to learn that many food companies that sell the same products in the U.S and abroad opt for natural alternatives to food dyes in Europe but choose cheap food dyes for the same products when sold in the U.S. For more information about food dyes take a look at this great article. If you’re wondering what other effects food can have on your children take a look at this article I wrote for Fox News with input from Dr. Randy Naidoo a Plano, TX based pediatrician.

So now what? Well, you can still find great alternatives to synthetic food dyes and even sprinkles that are made from foods- such as beets- for coloring! If you still really want chocolate there are plenty of bite sized organic chocolates to choose from that you can find at any health food store.

What are we doing? Well we’re not giving candy out at school. This year we’ve opted for pretty Valentines Day pencils from the Dollar Store that we taped onto hearts that Annabelle cut out for her friends. If you’re crafty and want to make some non candy valentines cards for your kids to take to school POPSUGAR has some great ideas!

Still want something sweet? Here are some great simple ideas that you can make at home!

These Strawberry Protein bites are made with strawberries, almond butter and dark chocolate!

Weelicious has a delicious recipe for Beet Cookies which come out a really pretty shade of pink so all you need to do is cut them into heart shapes!  It doesn’t get much simpler than that right? And they have beets in them- extra win! Or you can try Red Beet Cupcakes which are also festive and pink! We’ll probably end up making one of these with gluten free flour!

Chocolate Covered Katie also has a multitude of yummy, healthy desserts you can browse through to find the perfect Valentines day Treat. Bonus they can all be made vegan and gluten free!

Here’s another great, healthy treat! Banana and Strawberry Kabobs drizzled with chocolate. Her recipe uses Godiva chocolate but I’d use organic, dark chocolate instead! I’m sure we’ll end up making these too because they look amazing even for non valentines day treats!

 

 

 


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