This Valentine’s Day, skip the sugar-riddled sweets and instead serve your kids foods that are fun, festive, and nutritious. These 6 recipes, which include dishes such as Waffle Heart Sandwiches and Healthy-Heart Sweet Tarts, are all easy to prepare, so you can even have your little ones roll up their sleeves and help you in the kitchen. Nutritious, heart-themed dishes are a great way to ensure your kids have a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day!
1. Kid-Friendly French Toast
Kick start Valentine’s Day by preparing Parenting’s heart-shaped Kid-Friendly French Toast. There are plenty of opportunities for your little ones to help, too! Have them stir the egg mixture, dip the bread, and cut the hearts. If you’d like to add another homemade element to this breakfast recipe, we suggest using Eating Well’s Honey Oat Quick Bread to make your French toast.
- Oatmeal bread
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
Directions: Beat an egg, using a fork, in a medium, low bowl. Add about ¾ cup milk per each egg used. Add a teaspoon of maple syrup and stir well. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes from the center of bread slices. Dip all bread pieces into egg mixture and set onto pancake griddle or large skillet set on medium heat. Brown lightly on both sides. Garnish with cut strawberries and maple syrup.
2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Heart Sandwiches
For a festive lunch that your kids will love making and eating, prepare Fabulous Foods’ Peanut Butter and Jelly Heart Sandwiches. By using whole-wheat bread, preservative-free jelly, and natural peanut butter, you can ensure your children’s sandwiches are as healthy as possible. You can even make your own nutritious ingredients; The Kitchn’s recipe shows you how to make Homemade Peanut Butter, while The Blender Girl’s recipe explains how to prepare Raw Sugar-Free All-But-Instant Raspberry Jam.
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons preserves or jelly
- 1 stick red licorice
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
Directions: Cut bread slices into heart shapes using a large cookie cutter, or make a template out of cardboard. Carefully cut around the template with a sharp knife. Cut licorice in shape of an arrow, if desired. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread; spread preserves on the other slice. Place the licorice stick diagonally on the peanut buttered slice of bread. Put both slices of bread together to make a sandwich, and gently press together.
3. Waffle Heart Sandwiches
Whole-wheat bread, honey, and raspberries create a heart-shaped sandwich that will make your kids’ Valentine’s Day extra special. To prepare this dish, cut your bread into hearts, add the cream cheese, honey, and raspberries to one heart-shaped slice, and top with the other piece of bread. Place the sandwich in the waffle iron until golden-brown, and Weelicious’ Waffle Heart Sandwiches will be ready to serve!
- 4 slices sandwich bread
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- Honey, to taste
- 6 to 8 fresh raspberries
Directions: Preheat waffle iron. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the sandwich bread into hearts. Spread half the cream cheese on 1 heart and drizzle with honey to taste. Flatten the raspberries by opening them up with your fingers. Place 3 to 4 raspberries on top of the cream cheese and top with a plain piece of bread. Place the sandwich in the waffle iron for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.
4. Heart-Shaped Fruit
Chicago Parent’s Heart-Shaped Fruit is a nutritious snack that your kids can easily help you prepare. Cookie cutters and mixed fruit are all you need to make this nutritious Valentine’s Day dish.
- Mixed fruit, such as large strawberries, pineapple, and melon
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
Directions: Choose fruit that you can easily cut into small hearts. Clean and trim the fruit and then use a very small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut an assortment of fresh fruit into heart shapes. Enjoy!
5. Heart-Shaped Whole-Wheat Mini Calzones
Looking for a family-friendly dinner to serve on Valentine’s Day? Prepare AllRecipes.com’s Heart-Shaped Whole Wheat Mini Calzones, which are stuffed with broccoli, chicken, and light cream cheese. Your kids will have a blast helping you cut the dough into hearts!
- 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
- 1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups warm water
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
- 1 cup light cream cheese, softened
Directions:Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine white whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer; make a well in the center of flour mixture. Mix water, olive oil, and honey together in a separate bowl; sprinkle yeast over water mixture.
Let stand without stirring until yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. Pour yeast mixture into well of the flour mixture; mix on low setting using paddle beater until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace paddle beater with dough hook and beat dough on low setting for 10 minutes. Spray the inside of a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to the prepared bowl; cover bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm area at least 30 minutes.
Divide dough into two balls; knead each by hand for about 1 minute. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Roll each dough ball out with a rolling pin onto the prepared baking sheets about ¼ inch thick. Cut dough into an even number of hearts using heart-shaped cookie cutters. Place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; cook on high in microwave until slightly tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
Mix cooked broccoli, chicken, and cream cheese together in a bowl. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons filling into the center of a heart; top with another heart. Seal edges together by pressing around the heart with a fork. Repeat with remaining filling and hearts. Bake in the preheated oven until hearts are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
6. Healthy-Heart Sweet Tarts
Parents Magazine’s recipe, which yields 12 tarts, uses mini pie shells, low-fat yogurt, and fresh fruit to create this fun and nutritious dessert. When preparing your Healthy-Heart Sweet Tarts, your little ones can pitch in by pressing the dough into the cups of a muffin pan and filling them with yogurt and strawberries.
- 1 (15=ounce) package refrigerated pie crust
- 2 cups vanilla low-fat yogurt
- 3 cups diced strawberries
- Whipped nondairy topping
- Red crystal sugar
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Unroll both pie crusts and cut out 12 4-inch circles of dough. Press dough into the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan. Place an identical muffin pan inside the filled one. Bake 12 minutes. Let cool completely. Fill shells with yogurt and strawberries. Add a dollop of topping and sprinkle with crystal sugar.