5 Candy Free Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

5 Candy Free Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a sweet day that offers many sweet treats, but there are many other ways to celebrate this day! Here are some additional ways to spread the love:

Plan a heart-healthy dinner at home.

Beat the crowds and stay on budget by planning out your Valentine’s dinner ahead of time. This would also be a great excuse to try new recipes! For instance, you might try making a meatless dinner. Meatless options are naturally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which promote heart health. Here are some meatless meal options that are sure to be a hit:

Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos

Italian Eggplant Sliders

Homemade Veggie Pizza

family preparing dinner

Make this dinner about quality family time by including the kids in food preparation! You can also take this opportunity to teach them about the ways in which the food they are preparing is healthy.

Send handwritten notes to your loved ones.

Letters seem to be a lost art, but Valentine’s Day is a reason to bring them back to life! Think of a handful of loved ones in your life and write them a short, handwritten note about why you value their presence in your life. This is an easy, inexpensive way to make someone’s day. It can make you feel great, too!


Get crafty.

Choose materials from the list below to make Valentine’s-themed crafts with your kids. You can even make this activity into a game by seeing who can be the most creative with the materials available.

  • Markers
  • Newspapers/magazines/old cards
  • Glue/scissors
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Colored paper
  • String

Enjoy all of the red and pink fruits and veggies.

Here are some festive ways to get creative with fruits and vegetables on Valentine’s:

  • Arrange red pepper slices in the shape of a heart and place hummus in the middle to dip them in.
  • Slice strawberries in half to reveal their natural “heart-like” shape and enjoy them on top of your oatmeal or as a side at lunch.
  • Add pink grapefruit to the breakfast menu.
  • Pack pre-portioned red salsa and chips to snack on while at work.
  • Throw raspberries or beets into a smoothie to give it a bright and natural pop of pink!

hands holding apple with a heart cut out of the center


Perform an act of service.

Show love to those in your life by doing an act of service. Some ideas include cleaning your significant other’s car or offering them a night off of meal preparation. You could also choose to serve together by volunteering at a local homeless shelter or food bank.

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Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD, Ph.D. Student | Edited by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD

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