Healthier sweets for your sweetheart
ELIZABETH HALL, MS, RDN, LDN
Food City Registered Dietitian
Feb 14, 2018 at 5:15 PM
Whether you are throwing a Valentine’s Day party for the kiddos or planning something sweet for your sweetheart, it’s important to balance treats with healthier items as well. Consider adding some of these nutritious and festive sweets to your Valentine’s celebrations this year.
Include Festive Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in nutrition! Plus, 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 produce 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.
Create Single-Serve Sweets: Miniature or single-serve desserts can help you enjoy your favorite treats but in the proper portion sizes. Try mini cheesecakes or brownie bites in a muffin tin. Since desserts are typically more calorie-dense from added fat and sugar, these calories can add up quickly. If you are given some delicious chocolate, freeze it and eat small portions slowly over the coming months. Enjoy your sweet treats, but watch your portions.
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. Substitute low-fat milk for whole milk in recipes to save almost half the calories with little change in taste. Or instead of changing your recipe, bake your favorite brownies but serve them alongside fresh strawberries or raspberries for complementing 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 give 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.