Valentine's Day Treats to Make With Your Family
What's more fun than cooking with your kids?
Of course you could be playing outside, you could be at the movies, or you could be at some theme park, but how many parents actually cook with their children?
Measuring flour, learning how salt and yeast work together, mixing gelatins, and even learning about melting chocolate . . . Not only is cooking a valuable skill, but it can also be very educational and bring families closer to together.
Your kids are learning measurements, what two substances are like when they are combined, and how to take a multitude of different ingredients (not very pleasant on their own) and put them together into something delicious.
Just the one-on-one time that your kids get with you when you're making a meal together is enough to make this day of projects worthwhile.
That's all most kids want anyways. These activities were not intended to be handed over to children to "keep them busy," "get them out of your hair," or even to "keep them quiet."
Although these wonderful activities do all of those things, there should be some interaction. They will have great questions to ask you along the way, and will want to share their new knowledge and discoveries with you as they create.
Your kids will love being able to measure, and mix, and create as they put each of the projects together.
Even better, they'll be able to eat them afterward!
Have fun getting into the mood for Valentine's Day with all of these great food crafts!
Valentine's Jello Pops
This is a slightly more complicated dessert that will most certainly require adult help. Each layer will need to be made separately. But it's definitely not difficult.
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 (3oz) package strawberry jello
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 11/2 envelopes plain gelatin
- 1 (6oz) container strawberry yogurt
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 envelope plain gelatin
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Popsicle sticks
- Loaf pan or small bathroom cups
- I will assume that you are using small bathroom cups as molds for this delectable treat.
- Each layer will need to be made separately and left to chill before adding in the next layer.
- So start by laying out approximately 10-15 little bathroom cups on a small cookie sheet so you can easily slide them into the refrigerator after each layer and remove them to add the next.
- Start with your red layer. Heat a half cup of water in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
- Immediately stir in your package of strawberry jello until it's completely dissolved. Now add a half cup of cold water and mix through.
- Add about 1 teaspoon of your mixture to each of your cups. Pop them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill while you are making the next layer.
- Now heat another half cup of water, but only for 1 minute in the microwave.
- Immediately stir in your 1 1/2 envelopes of plain gelatin until dissolved. Then stir in your yogurt.
- Add 1 tablespoon of your mixture to each of your cups, smooth them out gently, and then pop them back into the fridge for another 15 minutes or so to chill while you are making your last layer.
- Finally repeat this process again like for the second layer, except this time, after your gelatin dissolves, stir in your condensed milk.
- Allow to cool completely and then add about 2 teaspoons of this mixture to each of your cups.
- Stick a popsicle stick in the middle of each one and chill for a few hours to allow the layers to meld together. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Strawberry Pops
Not only are these goodies gorgeous, but they are just as delicious! Substitute frozen yogurt instead of the icing and you're kids can have a semi-healthy treat with their crafts.
- Graham crackers
- Chocolate chips
- Strawberry icing
- Popsicle sticks
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Start by gently cutting heart shapes out of your graham crackers by softy pushing your cookie cutters into each cookie.
- You should be able to get two cookies, or one sandwich out of each full graham cracker sheet.
- Spread strawberry icing on one cracker.
- Lay down your popsicle stick and chocolate chips.
- Spread a layer of strawberry icing on the other cracker, and press the two sides together.
Sweet and Strawberries
Of course, you could really make this great by filling the bottoms with yogurt, cottage cheese, or cupcakes, but I wanted to make it super fun and easy for little ones!
- Whipped cream
- Small cupcake liners
- Lay out small cupcake cups on the table.
- Fill each one with a couple of tablespoons of whipped cream.
- And now to prepare the strawberries. With a plastic knife, your kids can do this safely on their own.
- Hold each strawberry in one hand, cut out the top with your plastic knife, and then lay it down on a hard surface and slice each of your strawberries from the top down into small slices.
- An adult can do this ahead of time if preferred.
- Lay one slice of strawberry on top of each pile of whipped cream and enjoy!
White Chocolate Valentine's Popcorn
Your kids are going to love this recipe! They get to mix all kinds of wonderful goodies together in a large bowl. I bet you their hands and mouths end up doing most of the mixing!
- 2 bags of popcorn
- 2 cups of Rice Chex
- 1 (12oz) bag of white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bag of Valentine's M&Ms
- Pop your popcorn in the microwave and then pour into a very large mixing bowl.
- Add in your 2 cups of cereal and mix.
- Either melt your chocolate chips and oil slowly in the microwave or on the stove until smooth and completely melted.
- When finished, pour your melted chocolate over your popped popcorn and cereal while you kids stir the mixture together.
- Finally, pour in your M&Ms and mix until everything is fully combined.
- I suggest spreading it onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and popping it into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to harden before eating, but who am I kidding . . .
Fun Dipped Marshmallow Pops
Here's another fun food craft! As this project requires heat over the stove, this one will again need adult supervision to complete.
- Bag of large marshmallows
- One bag of white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Red food coloring (if desired)
- Sprinkles and other fun toppings
- Wooden skewers
- Begin by spearing all of the marshmallows you plan to use with your wooden skewers.
- Set your sprinkles and other toppings in small bowls to the side to be ready.
- Now, either in the microwave or on the stove, slowly heat your white chocolate chips and your tablespoon of oil until thoroughly melted and smooth.
- If you wish for your chocolate to be pink or red, you'll want to add red food coloring to your chocolate right away.
- As soon as possible, dip your marshmallows into your melted chocolate chips and then dip into your chosen toppings.
- Set them in a tall glass when finished to allow them to dry. Enjoy!
If you can make Valentine-specific recipes for this holiday, why not go all out and make everything heart-shaped? You can cut your sandwiches into hearts, all of your fruits and veggies, and even your pizza.
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Plastic knife
- Heart-shaped cupcake liners
- (Or whatever else you might need to do this)
- Offer your kids whatever they need to turn any meal all the way to Valentine's Day and afterward into heart shapes.
- Cut sandwiches, fruit, and even pizza that you offer your children into heart shapes. They'll love it.
- You could even make it a point to add Valentine's colors into all of their everyday meals.
- Make the most of all of your meals!
We have so very few holidays throughout the year. There's no reason not to enjoy every one of them to the fullest. Get together and play games, decorate the house together, throw a party for close friends, make Great Valentine's Day Crafts together, cook fun treats together, and enjoy the holiday!
Valentine's Day should be all about having fun with your loved ones, making cookies and candies, love and it's expression, cards and smiles, and even laughter. Get it started off on the right foot by doing some of these together. Your children will love spending time with you and these fun treats. Take this opportunity to slather some extra love on them this year to really show them how much they mean to you.
Since originally writing this article, we have learned how to cut sugar out of our diets and eat healthier at all times of the year. My kids have even shown me how truly capable they are in making some more difficult but delicious valentine's Day treats, even as toddlers. So if you'd like, come check out some amazing clean eating Valentine's Day treats to make with your kids this year! You can thank me later.
© 2014 Victoria Van Ness