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We all need a little sweetness in our lives – especially at Valentines – and this can certainly be incorporated in to a healthy diet. Nutritionist Liza Rowan explains how:

Many of us struggle with that mid-afternoon energy slump, or the infamous late night sweet-attack. Rather than fight these urges, and risk throwing the towel in by diving into a snacking frenzy, why not give in to temptation in a healthy way?

It‘s important that we snack appropriately in-between meals based on our mental and physical challenges. This is particularly important for active and learning kids, who need sustained energy throughout the day. Just like parents. Like us, kids of course enjoy their sweeter snacks like muffins and cookies, and provided these are made with the right ingredients, they can be the perfect snack.

Try our sweet valentine treats:

Oatmeal Cookies with Almond and Coconut

Banana Muffins (Gluten Free)

Quinoa Bites

We know that good quality chocolate is good for us (yes, but not the whole chunky bar) as it is rich in flavonoids, which contribute to a healthy heart. It also contains good saturated fats and the amino acid arginine, which helps protect against inflammation and high blood pressure. Unrefined honey and maple syrup contain minerals (e.g. manganese, zinc) and some various vitamins, and can provide a slower release of energy than refined sugars.

So enjoy your sweet treats – just make healthier versions. In place of refined sugar use ripe mashed bananas, soaked dried fruits or a little maple syrup; in your cookies use dark chocolate nibs and a healthier sweetener such as coconut sugar. Enjoying such treats in moderation will ensure you don’t feel deprived – life is far to short not to indulge now and then. And, of course you deserve it.

Happy Valentines!

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