Deep Freeze Valentine’s Day
I love Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re snuggled in at home or reliving memories of the days when you could go out to dinner at a real restaurant, Valentine’s Day gives us a reason to spread the love in the middle of a somewhat dreary two-month span. This year’s deep freeze Valentine’s Day combined with COVID probably means that you’re staying inside. My kids used to make blanket forts that covered the entire house on days like this, and then they would hide in their creation with books and snacks. Sometimes I couldn’t find them for days. JK.
Blanket forts can only keep kids occupied for so long, though, so let’s talk about snacks. Here are a few suggestions that are somewhat healthy, but also have a Valentine’s Day theme. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make everything Instagram-worthy. In fact, put the phones and the devices away and just spend time with your kids without the distractions or the knee-jerk posting ad nauseam. In the end, all kids want from you is your time and attention. And, if you let the kids make their own, it’s an activity and a snack in one. I made these three snacks this morning, and my dog, Sandy, thought they looked amazing.
Little kids love fun finger food, so why not cut their PB&J into a heart shape? If you use strawberry jam, it’s even more festive. Try using something to make a heart on top as well – I used dried cranberries on mine.
Of course, you could also make heart-shaped toast, French toast or heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries for a surprise breakfast. And, while you’re at it, add some food coloring to their milk for a little splash of pink.
I pulled out some things that I had in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet to come up with this kid-friendly dish that kids can make themselves. I put a little red food coloring in the Greek yogurt to make it Valentine’s Day pink. Provide little dishes of layering items and toppings such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts, sprinkles or even a little jam and let your kids come up with their own creations.
FRUIT & CHEESE CUPID’S ARROW KABOBS
The tour de force of my snack chef morning was the fruit kabob. I cut cheese into heart shapes and used kitchen scissors to make arrow points out of pieces of red pepper. I added a blueberry for some color. The feathered ends are pieces of hotdog, again cut with kitchen scissors. (I confess that I normally don’t have hotdogs, but, well, the Super Bowl… and my husband went to the grocery store…) Strawberries would have been a good addition to these, but I didn’t have any. You can easily cut strawberries into heart shapes and use them in a variety of ways, including dipping them in chocolate, so don’t forget to pick some up if you’re shopping.
THE VALENTINE’S DAY POSTER
A couple of times, I made my kids Valentine’s Day posters using candy and gum with names such as EXTRA, SLO POKE, NERDS, WHOPPERS, HOT TAMALES, 3 MUSKETEERS, etc. This is a fun activity for older kids, too. Just buy the candy with a variety of names and then let them come up with a giant “card” for friends, parents or other family members. Write messages and tape down the candy to fill in parts of the sentence. There are many examples of these online. It’s very creative, and I had fun making them for my own kids when they were younger.
Do you have any favorite Valentine’s Day activities or food to share?