by Judy Mullican
A Valentine’s Day party can bring excitement and fun in the middle of a cold winter month. But often parties feature gooey cupcakes, sticky candy, and other treats that fill children up without providing much nutrition. Why not offer party foods that not only taste good, but also provide important nutrients? Here are 4 ideas to try!
Valentine’s Day Sandwiches
- Whole grain bread
- Fresh strawberries
- Softened cream cheese
Use a cookie cutter to cut whole grain bread into heart shapes. Mash some fresh strawberries with a fork and stir them into soft cream cheese. Spread the mixture on the bread for a festive but healthy treat.
- Seedless watermelon
- Other fruit (optional)
- 1 cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons honey
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Stir together all the ingredients except the fruit. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice the watermelon crosswise and use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut it. Serve the watermelon hearts or any fruit you like with the dip. (Note: Do not serve honey to children under 12 months.)
Super Easy Fresh Guacamole
- Hass avocados
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- Baked tortilla chips
- Fresh vegetables (celery sticks, cucumber slices, bell pepper slices, carrot sticks, broccoli, etc.)
Allow one avocado for every three or four children. Cut the avocados lengthwise. Remove and discard each seed. Cut the flesh in a crisscross pattern and scoop into a bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mash with a potato masher or fork. You can make it smooth or leave it a little chunky. Taste and add more seasonings if desired. Serve immediately with baked tortilla chips and your choice of fresh vegetables. (Note: Younger children may choke on firm raw vegetables. Be sure to steam hard vegetables as necessary to make them easier to chew.) To store the guacamole, place it in a container and press plastic wrap onto the surface, covering well to eliminate air pockets.
Pink Party Punch
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
- 1 banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup strawberry yogurt
- ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
Place frozen berries and banana slices in a blender. Add milk and yogurt. Cover and blend on high until smooth. Taste. If it is too tart, add ½ teaspoon sugar and blend again. This makes about 4 cups. Repeat as needed to make enough to serve your group.