Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I’m not much for making “cute” food on a regular basis. I’ve always followed the philosophy that healthy, delicious meals and snacks are already appealing to the eye, so they don’t need a lot of extra dressing up. However, on certain occasions, I realize that my wholesome homemade foods are going to be up against a lot of competition: Sugary, highly processed, marketed-within-an-inch-of-their-lives sweets and treats.

Valentine’s Day is probably the worst culprit, at least in my book. Just as we’ve finally started to get everyone back on track after the winter holidays and hot-cocoa-fueled sledding trips, along comes a “holiday” that’s pretty much solely devoted to red dye and chocolate. Even when class parties follow a no-sweets rule, my boys inevitably come home from school with sacks full of Valentines that well-meaning parents prepared: Conversation hearts, fruit gushers, gummies, Pixie sticks, Hershey kisses. Some kids even pass out entire goody bags full of sugary sweets. Multiply that by the 18-20 kids in each of my boys’ classes, and you can imagine that V-Day sometimes feels like Halloween: The Sequel.

I don’t for a moment imagine that I can compete head-to-head with the allure of candy (although for dye-allergic P., most of those extravagant Red 40 lovebombs are going straight into the trash). I do, however, figure that I can at least take the “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em” approach. So on days like Valentine’s Day, I try to find ways to fill the family up on foods that stick with the theme, but don’t sacrifice nutrition.
For a naturally sweet Valentine’s breakfast or snack, try these Pink Chocolate Smoothies. They’re packed with fruit and protein, so you can feel good about starting the day with a chocolatey treat!

Pink Chocolate SmoothieGet the recipe:
Pink Chocolate Smoothies





And for a fancy-but-fun addition to lunch, snack, or dinnertime, these tomato-cheese hearts take Valentine’s Day in a savory direction. Who said love has to mean sugar?

Tomato-Cheese HeartsGet the recipe:
Tomato-Cheese Hearts





Today’s post is part of a fabulous campaign called #LoveHealthy! I’m honored to be a part of this series, along with my follow bloggers:


We’re all posting recipes and resources in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t stop there. If you “like” the LoveHealthy Facebook page, you’ll find tons more inspiration, plus great giveaways from sponsors like Applegate, Kids Konserve, and Laptop Lunches!

I hope you’ll support the campaign by liking and sharing resources from all the great bloggers involved. This February, it’s time to teach our families to #LoveHealthy!