In our February 2013 edition of Healthy Bites, the diet and nutrition newsletter for health-conscious families from Brain Balance Achievement Centers, we’re offering alternative ideas to help you keep Valentine’s Day healthy for your family. Find an excerpt below, and stop by your nearest center for a copy of our full newsletter and for more information about The Brain Balance Program.
Keep Valentine’s Day Healthy
By Christie Korth, CHC AADP
I was surprised to come across a recent article claiming Americans spend more money on candy for Valentine’s Day than for Halloween! This month, I want to share some scrumptious allergen free snacks and delectable treat ideas that will make you wonder why you ever even cared about the heart shaped sampler box (which is chock full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup, by the way). Keeping Valentine’s Day healthy is particularly important if you have a child with a neuro-developmental disorder like ADHD or Aspergers.
Here is an added bonus: You can make some of these yummy treats at home to get your kiddos excited about being in the kitchen. This year on Valentine’s Day, show your love for your family member by sparing them from too much candy, chocolate and sugar. If something sweet is still in your plan, simply follow these delicious tips to keep the sweets without hurting your body!
Fun with Fruit
If you aren’t too savvy at baking or lack the time, one of my favorite sweet ideas, that spares your insulin-producing-pancreas from screaming in fright, is fruit. There is so much you can do with fruit to make it appealing. For most kids and even adults, we eat with our eyes. Half the battle to get kids to try new foods is to make sure the food looks pretty. Taste is important, but in this case, presentation is crucial.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Most kids enjoy the taste of a sweet ripe strawberry dipped in chocolate. If you or your child has a dairy intolerance, choose dark chocolate covered strawberries. They will give you all of the yumminess without the dairy.
Pretty and Healthy Fruit Bouquets
Cut out your favorite fruits, place them on a stick and arrange them in a fun, decorative base. Children love this and so do nutritionists and health conscious Brain Balance parents! It’s also a great sensory activity for kids with ADHD and Aspergers. If making your own fruit bouquet doesn’t fit your schedule or your skill set, no worries. Edible Arrangements® offers beautiful and healthy fruit bouquets for purchase.
All Natural Candy
If you still can’t resist candy and other sweet treats on Valentine’s Day, check out one of my favorite websites, NaturalCandyStore.com. They have candy that is free from the top 8 common allergens. One of my favorite options is the Indy Candy’s Chocolate Sampler Box. This allergy-friendly box of chocolates is filled with delicious truffles and cups in Espresso, Orange, Peppermint, Raisin, Cranberry and Ginger.
If you’re looking to steer clear of sweet treats this Valentine’s Day, consider gifting your young kids with small holiday-inspired items in a pretty basket or pail. For example, a light-up heart-shaped necklace, heart stampers, stickers, craft items, and a small plush toy in a cute package makes a great sugar-free Valentine’s Day gift. Presentation is key, so make sure your non-edible gift is cute as well as creative to get little minds thinking and playing!
All of us at Brain Balance Achievement Centers hope you enjoy a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day with your loved ones! For more information about how the Brain Balance Program helps kids with symptoms of ADHD, Aspergers, and Dyslexia connect with success, contact us today!