Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means many sweet little indulgences are probably in your future. But what can you do if you and/or your significant other are trying to be more health conscious? Here are five healthy alternatives to help you satisfy your – and your loved one’s – sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day.
1. Get Your Sugar Fix from Fruit
Fruit gives us that sweet taste we crave on Valentine’s Day and provides many health benefits. Try using heart-shaped cookie cutters and make a fruit bowl or display of assorted heart-shaped fruit. Be creative and make Cupid’s arrow by cutting out a larger heart out of a watermelon slice, then poke a bamboo stick through it and finish it off with an orange slice as an arrow tip and tail. Bonus tip: This could also be done with vegetables.
2. Add a Little Dark Chocolate to Your Fruit
Although dark chocolate will add some extra sugar and calories, it also has beneficial antioxidants to help reduce cell damage in your body. Try melting dark chocolate over some strawberries, bananas or pineapples. This will give you that sweet chocolate taste you are looking for with only half the calories. And, remember, there is no rule that you have to completely cover the fruit with chocolate. It can simply be dipped in chocolate to further skimp on calories.
3. Make Baked Goods with a Healthy Twist
By making baked goods at home, you can reduce the amount of fat, sugar and calories, as well as add fiber. There are numerous ways you can substitute ingredients in recipes to make them healthier. Try making brownies with black beans to increase the fiber and protein content or making chocolate cupcakes with whole wheat flour and shredded zucchini.
4. Nix the Foodie Gifts
You can’t go wrong with some traditional gifts, such as flowers, stuffed animals, heart-shaped pillows, jewelry, picture frames and homemade cards. You could also make a personal coupon book, a scrapbook or give a gift certificate for a manicure and/or pedicure treatment.
5. Plan an Active Date
Instead of focusing on satisfying that sweet tooth on Valentine’s Day, try focusing more attention on planning a special date with your loved one. Take advantage of the wintery weather by going snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating or skiing. If you two haven’t done any of these activities before, it would be something new you can learn together while burning calories at the same time. You could also take a dance class, go bowling, make up a scavenger hunt with items resembling your first date or get a spa or massage treatment. As long as the date involves you two spending time together, it will be time well spent.