I have always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day (I mean, any day dedicated to celebrating love is a great day in my book), but (as with most holidays) my affinity for it increased exponentially when I had kids. It’s still fun to celebrate with just my husband, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get the most excited about putting together Valentine’s treats for and participating in Valentine’s activities with my little ones. And while a sweet treat or two is always a part of it, I really try to focus on ways to celebrate that don’t involve excessive sugar. This can be a challenge when it’s holiday that is practically based on giving candy, but it’s easier than you think. And today I’m teaming up with one of our favorite brands, Stonyfield® Organic Kids®, to share some of the ways we do this.
1. Valentine Story Time. Both Essley and Emmett love a good story time, and if it involves a holiday, they are especially stoked. Around Valentine’s Day, we pick a couple of love-themed books every night and read them together as a family. It’s a great way to get pumped for the holiday (that doesn’t involve downing loads of candy hearts).
2. Handmade Valentines. Every year since she was born Essley has made Valentines for family, and for the past two years, for her preschool classmates. (Okay, so she may have had a little help in 2014 when she was 6 weeks old, but the thought was still there, man.) This year Emmett is in on the action too. One of my favorite memories of being a kid was making Valentines, and it’s been really wonderful to pass this torch on to my kids. Essley loves cutting out red and pink hearts and decorating them herself so much that she actually requests we do it other times of the year as well. I also make special Valentines for her and her brother to give to them on the 14th. (I might love it even more than they do.)
3. Healthier Valentine Treats. Rather than give the kids an overload of candy for Valentine’s Day, I really try to focus on balance (life mantra!) by giving them treats that are delicious but not full of sugar. I do this by putting together a little basket for them filled with special edible items I know they love, like Fuji apples, a toy or two, and Stonyfield® Organic Kids® yogurts (their favorite). We are long time fans of Stonyfield, but my love for them grew when they recently completed a sugar reduction across their Organic Kids® portfolio and now contain 25% – 40% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt. Woot! And while the kids admittedly love Stonyfield because, as Essley says, “it’s the yummiest ever!”, it’s the fact that (in addition to being lower in sugar) they are certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified that wins my heart. Just because a product is labeled as “natural” doesn’t mean it’s without potentially harmful ingredients, so organic certification is important to me. I also feel good purchasing from a certified B Corp (meaning the company has been verified to the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability). To me, that’s just another great way to celebrate a holiday about loving one another – by making conscious decisions with our dollars to show our love for other humans and the environment. And their new dessert flavor Choco-Mooo flavor (which has less sugar than other other desserts and the leading kids yogurt!) is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
4. Simple But Festive Decor. This time of year is usually busy for us and we don’t go overboard with Valentine’s Day decor, but we do put up a few decorations to get into the spirit. It’s an easy way to celebrate the holiday without making it all about candy. And it’s always fun to walk into a room and see something pretty that represents a special time of year!
5. Appreciation Time. Essley actually made up this “game” one night when Robbie was on tour with the band and she was especially missing her daddy. She decided we should FaceTime him on the road, and each tell each other something we love about the others. (The best, right?) This time of year, we talk about Love Day (Valentine’s Day), what loves means, and why we love each other. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I’m telling you guys – it’s such an awesome way to remember what the holiday is really about.
I’d love to hear any ways you may celebrate Valentine’s Day with your little ones, so please let me know in the comments if you have other ideas! (Bonus points if they’re low or void of sugar!)
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stonyfield® Organic Kids®. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.