Need Valentine's Day treats be limited to chocolate and candy? The quick and easy recipes below offer a fun way for children to celebrate Valentine's Day nutritiously, suggests the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Heart-Smart Valentine Oatmeal
Oatmeal, considered good for the heart, offers a great start to any day. It doesn't take much to dress up oatmeal, for your little valentines, to further show how much you love them.
Cook oatmeal as directed on instructions, using either milk or water or a combination. Place the cooked oatmeal in a bowl and top with the fruit spread. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the fruit spread through the surface of the oatmeal. Arrange the fresh fruit in a heart shape on top. Makes one serving.
According to the USDA's food pyramid, children every day should eat at least three ounces of whole grains, a variety of fruit, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products. Serve this pyramid-friendly parfait on Valentine's Day or any day as a light breakfast, or with lunch, or as an easy and nutritious snack.
Put 2 tablespoons yogurt into a glass or clear bowl (for young children, use plastic instead of glass). Add one third of the granola, one third of the strawberries, and one third of the raspberries. Continue layering. Top with yogurt and a whole strawberry. Makes one serving.
Nutella® Strawberry Dessert Pizza
Served warm, this yummy dessert will become a favorite for your kids. Made with wholegrain flatbread, chocolate and fresh strawberries, it's a way to give your kids a nutritious treat.
Nutella® contains chocolate, but it's cocoa that is lower in fat than other forms of chocolate. Nutella® also contains skim milk and hazel nuts, so don't serve to children who are allergic to milk or nuts.
Spread Nutella® onto the flatbread. Top with thin slices of strawberries, then warm in a microwave or oven until slightly warm. Be sure not to overheat. Remove and cut into slices. Makes one or two servings.
For these and other Valentine's Day treats and ideas, visit the USDA at: http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/index.html
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