Healthy Valentine’s Day Menu

It’s almost that time of year! Instead of spoiling your loved ones with sugary treats that could lead to upset stomachs and dental carries, show them that you care by cooking some extra special, wholesome meals. Here is an entire day’s menu of healthy Valentine’s meals. The images are meant to inspire you, while the accompanying text will guide you through how to keep each meal nutritious. Enjoy!

Breakfast: Heart Shaped Pancakes

Healthy Valentines Breakfast

Image 1 via More Design Please, Image 2 via a pretty cool life

You can get these lovely heart shaped pancakes by using a squeeze bottle, cookie cutters, or even a plastic sandwich baggie with a snipped off corner. Serve with fresh fruit and a protein source (such as Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs). Make sure that you are using a whole grain pancake mix, such as one of these below.

Healthy Pancake Mixes

1) Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix, 2) Kodiak Cakes Frontier Flapjack and Waffle Mix – Whole Wheat Oat and Honey, 3) Hodgson Mill Multigrain Buttermilk Pancake Mix with Milled Flax Seed & Soy

Lunch: LOVELY Sandwiches

Healthy Valentines Lunches

Image via Lisa Storms

The possibilities with this one are endless! I love the balance with the fruits, veggies, and nuts. Just be sure to aim for a whole grain bread.

Snack: Heart Fruit Kabobs

Heart Fruit

Image 1 via Parents.com, Image 2 via Spoonful.com

A great set of cookie cutters goes a long way! Feel free to serve with either low fat or nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese on the side.

Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup for the SOUL MATE + HEARTS of Palm Salad

Valentines Dinner

Image 1 via Recipe by Photo, Image 2 via Paula Deen

This link has a great tutorial on how to make the heart shaped carrots. For a basic chicken noodle soup recipe, start here. I also like the one in my new Ellie Krieger cookbook. Paula Deen’s Hearts of Palm Salad with strawberries and spinach looks great as is, but hearts of romaine and heart shaped veggies (such as cucumber slices) would also make for a special thematic treat.

Dessert: Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

sunday-brunch-46

Image via the Berry

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something sweet. I love the look of these X’s and O’s cupcakes. Instead of sugar laden box cake mixes, try this winning Red Velvet Cake recipe from the New York Times, which includes whole grain flour, cherries, apple sauce, and beets, among other healthy ingredients. Also on my list of healthy Valentine’s Day desserts to try is this Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Icing, and these Gluten Free + Vegan Red Velvet Brownies.

For more heart shaped food inspiration, check out this page on Pinterest. What will you be making this Valentine’s Day?

– Kelly

5 Healthy Holiday Snacks

Did you enjoy my 12 days of Christmas fruit and veggie platters? For days when you don’t need an entire tray of holiday food, here are 5 healthy snack ideas. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy them!

Candy-Cane-Fruit

image via The Diva Dish

xmasbens

image via Little Nummies

watermelontree

image via Shop Lasoo

snowman dinner (2)

image via Nifty, Thrifty, & Thriving

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image via Live Better America

For more Christmas food inspiration, check out my Christmas food board on Pinterest. Happy holidays!

– Kelly

12 Days of Christmas Fruit & Veggie Platters

Only 12 days left until the big day! Here is a roundup of the best fruit & veggie platters from around the web to take you all the way to Christmas. Sweet treats are handed out left and right this time of year, so nutrient dense produce is exactly what the season calls for to give your blood sugar and waistband a little break. These would also be great to bring to class parties for children, or any holiday party. My family always serves appetizers on Christmas Eve, so I hope to see an inspired platter such as one of these at our celebration.

https://i2.wp.com/comfyinthekitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/IMG_7128.jpg

1. image via Roo mag

2. Image via Julia Usher

littlewonders

3. Image via Little Wonders’ Days

4. Image via Ginger and Garlic

5. Image via good + happy days

Snowman

6. Image via What about Watermelon

7. Image via My Spice Sage

Christmas Tree Vegetable Platter

8. Image via Betty Crocker

Crudite Christmas Tree

9. Image via Wendy Copley

wannagreenbean

10. Image via Wanna Green Bean
https://i1.wp.com/veggiewala.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/wreath_0002.jpg

11. Image via Veggie Wala

12. Image via Keitha’s Chaos

Craving veggies yet? I hope that these images inspire you as much as they inspire me! For plenty of other Christmas food ideas, see my Christmas Food page on Pinterest. Looking for a cute holiday veggie plating, rather than a veggie platter? Check out my Christmas tree plating of brown rice, green beans, and cranberries. Stay tuned for healthy holiday snack ideas!

– Kelly

Holiday Vegetable Plating: Christmas Tree

Healthy Christmas Tree

Now that it’s December, I’m ready to fully embrace the Christmas season, and my meals are no exception! This holiday vegetable plating is a delicious and healthy way to get into the Christmas spirit, and it is also a great way to create a meal based on the MyPlate guidelines.

Healthy Christmas Tree

Instructions: I arranged ½ cup brown rice (cooked in low sodium chicken broth), 1 cup of green beans (boiled), and 2 tablespoons of cranberries (also boiled) on the plate in a tree shape. I then drizzled the tree with 1 teaspoon of good balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled on a tiny bit of rosemary and thyme.

Nutrition (using ingredients as listed above): 161 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 43mg sodium, 6mg potassium, 33g carbohydrates (6.5g fiber, 4g sugars), 5g protein, 5% Vitamin A, 16% Vitamin C, 6% Calcium, 5% Iron

To make a meal, pair this with your favorite protein food! I paired mine with leftover turkey, but this vegetable plating would also look excellent with a roasted chicken. This holiday vegetable plating is also the perfect formula for following the latest nutrition guidelines. By making half of your plate fruits and vegetables (green beans and cranberries), a quarter of your plate whole grains (brown rice), and a quarter of your plate lean protein (your choice- I used Turkey), you are following the nutrition guidelines as suggested by MyPlate (see below).

MyPlate

Are you a fan of cute holiday foods made HEALTHY? Inspired by my post on the Best Thanksgiving Fruit and Veggie Platters from Around the Web, I will be posting a collection of the best Christmas themed fruit and veggie platters. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks!

-Kelly

10 Best Thanksgiving Fruit & Veggie Platters from Around the Web

Eating healthy around the holidays can be hard, especially when surrounded by festive treats and comfort food favorites. That’s why I am LOVING these super cute Thanksgiving fruit and vegetable platters! These Thanksgiving themed displays would be great to bring to fall parties and Thanksgiving dinner, and would also make excellent after school snacks. Great presentation can make fruits and vegetables more appealing for kids and adults alike. I hope that these images inspire you as much as they inspire me. Enjoy!

image via LivingLocurto

image via The Happy Raw Kitchen

image via Eating with Food Allergies

image via Catch my Party

image via Why Veg

image via Brimful Curiosities

Image via Family Fun

Image via Family Fun

Image via Clean and Scentsible

Image via The Happy Raw Kitchen

Check out my Pinterest page for more healthy inspiration!

-Kelly