54 Sweet and Healthier Valentine's Day Treats

By , SparkPeople Blogger
According to the Census Bureau, Americans ate 24.3 pounds of candy per capita in 2009, and at least part of that was consumed on and around Valentine's Day. With boxes of chocolate so easily accessible--and so many varieties to try (just a nibble won't hurt!)--it's easy to see how the calories and empty wrappers add up. (That could amount to more than 10 pounds of extra weight a year!)

We're here to keep you and your sweetie in tip-top shape this Valentine's Day. We surveyed members and the SparkPeople team and compiled a list of better-for-you sweet treats, including several that are either calorie-free or will burn calories. I present to you the good, the "bad" and the chocolate-y!

This one from ARIZONAMARY was my favorite: One year we were beyond broke. I made 50 hearts out of construction paper (see below!) & hand wrote a different reason I loved him on each heart. I got a glass jar with hearts on it from the thrift store & filled it with the hearts. Now 10 years into our marriage, he still has it... along with the hearts inside.

The Good, the "Bad" (wink, wink)…
  1. Attune probiotic chocolate bars (We sampled these in the office and love them! We'll be giving some away on Friday!)
  2. Sugar-free, chocolate-covered strawberries!
  3. Yoga, Pilates and a massage!
  4. Angel food cake with sugar-free icing
  5. Tickets to a hockey game!
  6. Couples massage.
  7. Diamonds! Or new running shoes.
  8. A DVD with a good workout.
  9. New running shoes! (OK, or at least some really pretty flowers.)
  10. A fruit bouquet with dark chocolate dipping sauce.
  11. pink Wii fit accessories.
  12. COUPON BOOK! One free hour of video game time...one meal of your choice... one massage session... or movie tickets
  13. scented candles
  14. Cocoa flavored Pirate's Booty--tastes a bit like Cocoa Puffs
  15. A snazzy new exercise outfit
  16. nothing beats a scary movie so you can cuddle closer
  17. dark cocoa & raspberries
  18. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch bars. So, so good. (We also sampled these in the office!)
  19. Jewelry lasts much longer the candy...much prettier too...just saying.
  20. last year, we walked a half marathon for Valentine's Day!
  21. Matching bikes, heart rate monitor that has a pedometer and calorie counter, fitness magazine subscriptions, Zumba classes or a gym membership, or dance lessons... either swing, salsa, tango...or a couples spa day!
  22. a Pandora bead for my bracelet
  23. Diamonds... one for every pound I want to lose? ROFL!!
  24. Bubble bath and candle supplies!! A great to soothe yourself without food plus romantic for 2
  25. Naughty = Champagne and Strawberries! Nice = spa day!
  26. Candy = DumDum lollipops are sugar free
  27. Fitness = P90X system
  28. Romantic = Detoxifying spa treatment and massage for two!
  29. A bowl of fresh berries, a pitcher of lemon water and the Wii Biggest Loser game.
  30. I'm making homemade granola to give as Valentine's treats in pretty jars, rather than candies!
  31. Healthy cookbooks!
  32. a GO Red for Women lapel red dress pin!
  33. CD of romantic and personal songs; dancing lessons; date at a healthy restaurant; a night at a nice hotel/suite/bed & breakfast; ski or snowshoeing trip; hike; walk on the beach; healthy picnic; blender bottle full of flowers; healthy recipe book; homemade healthy treats
  34. As a mom of five boys, I don't ask for chocolate, flowers, or jewelry. I ask that each of us hand-made cards and list a few reasons we love each other on the card. After dinner, we read the cards to each other. I always feel like the most loved, richest woman in the world on Valentine's! I have years of cards saved; it truly is a treasure!
  35. A hiking trip, weather permitting! My boyfriend and I have a book of "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles" and plan on doing as many as we can. If we lived in a warmer climate, we'd have done some already... but that's what spring, summer, and fall are for.
  36. An indoor picnic--blanket on the floor, music playing, healthy food and drink.
And the Chocolate-y
  1. mixing a dark chocolate Hershey's Kiss with nut butter, melted and then dipping apples into it!
  2. one Riesen chocolate caramel with a cup of good coffee = my personal heaven.
  3. Favorite chocolate treat? Cherry Cordial Hershey's Kisses. It is easy to control portion size.
  4. Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% dark chocolate bars. Always keep a bag at my desk.
  5. Nature Valley Dark Chocolate & oats fiber bars. Addicting and my go to treat with hot green tea.
  6. OOOH! Definitely gotta be a single square of high-quality dark (72%+) chocolate! 
  7. Skinny Cow bars!
  8. dark chocolate covered blueberries
  9. a bit of dark chocolate by itself. So yummy and with antioxidants, healthy.
  10. Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
  11. 2 chocolate graham crackers, lite Cool Whip between them, freeze for a couple of hrs - easy and very good!
  12. Yoplait Chocolate Whips...all flavors
  13. A single square of Lindt Chocolate dark chocolate with sea salt. Real ingredients, decadent flavors!
  14. I'm old-fashioned - if I want a taste of chocolate, I just pop a Hershey's Kiss (but just one).
  15. My fave chocolate treat is VitaMuffin: Triple Chocolate!
  16. Sugar-free Jell-o pudding cups! Favorite chocolate treat. Only 60 calories, several flavors and super yummy.
  17. Chocolate graham crackers
How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day? (Admittedly, I don't do much. My attitude: You should love everyone and everything in your life 365 days a year!)

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I had a quarter cup of chocolate Cheerios mixed into my fiber one cereal for breakfast today. Report
Good food and non-food ideas! Report
Great information. Thanks. Report
Great ideas, Thank you! Report
Not a huge chocolate fan like I once was a kid. I prefer Red Vines & a steak dinner which is "cooked" by muaahhhh Report
thanks Report
Thanks for the ideas Report
Happy Valentines Day to all of you. Report
Got my sis the next "action Figure" in her collection - captian marvel and i got me a de stress adult coloring bookoh and we split a bag (share size) of m &ms Report
We don't do much for Valentine's Day. Cards mostly. Can't go out to dinner this year because DH is working. Report
Great Ideas. Thanks to all. Report
If someone gave me Dum dums I'd have to hit them! I too thought Panera Bread instead of Pandora Bead. LOL. Many of the chocolate ones are great. Our local Chocolatier makes chocolate covered raspberries and grapes. You keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. I love them more than Chocolate covered strawberries.
We don't observe Valentine's Day specifically, as we believe we should be expression our love all year around... So it is fun to surprise each other with little treats. One of our favorites is Chocolove bars https:// www.chocolove.com which come in a wide variety of flavors. I haven't tried every single flavor but I sure enjoy trying the ones that I have tried so far (Mint, Almonds, Chili, Caramel with Sea Salt, Almonds With Sea Salt, Toffee, I don't remember all. Each bar is wrapped in a luxurious gold foiled paper. The best part is under the label wrap: a printed copy of one of the (usually public domain) romantic love poems from previous centuries. It's probably a little too old school for some, but if you or your loved one likes chocolate and poetry, this is a pleasant surprise. I find them at our local health food stores (Green Acres Market & Deli, Nature's Grocers, etc. Report
Love 7 and 9 love my running shoes, a diamond for every pounds loss dont think that will happen, who has that much money! LOL! Report
These ideas are sooooo helpful! Thanks! Report
Great idea. Report
OMG- what great and fun suggestions! Report
Some of those things are no longer in stock or the page says it is in error. However, I love the ideas Report
Stepfanie Romine mentioned a single hershey kiss - I like a single dark chocolate Hershey's kiss - a Dark chocolate Dove Promise or a Dark Chocolate Hershey's Bliss are two acceptable alternatives Report
nuts are a great treat Report
Love the list of ideas!! Especially, a diamond for each pound I want to lose. LOL!! I would be dripping in diamonds. I'm gonna try the sugar free dipped strawberries and probably do the heart jar. I'm not a very creative person but when my daughter was in school, we always handmade her cards for classmates. My favorite cards ones we made with pink or red construction paper. We cut them into hearts and used a heart shape doily glued on top of the paper. The we attached one piece of candy and a pencil or pen to the heart. They were a huge hit. Report
I love the ideas people posted like the heartshaped meatloaf
I am single so may go to a singles valentine bash but if I feel like catching up on DVD's that would be just fine with me lol
ENJOY the love of God, friends and family everyday of your life! Report
Because my husband's birthday is Jan. 31st, and mine falls three days later on Feb. 1st, we usually feel pretty celebrated out by Valentine's Day! We may give cards, we go to dinner, but it's really not a big deal to us. Report
We've become a society "revolving" holidays around food. How about planning a special activity for either you & spouce or for all the family? Homemade cards also pull at my heart strings, more thought & time goes into those, than just stopping at the shop to purchase a card. I too, still put out a card I made my husband & sons over 28 years ago. That alone, starts our day out special. Report
Make heart shaped meatloaf. Use ketchup to write, "I Love You". Place the meatloaf on a platter and use mashed potatoes to make an arrow, green peas could be added for the tip of the arrow, corn for the feathers. Report
I love this Idea and i'm going to use it for my kids and hubby Report
The heart with all the veggies looks and sounds better than all of the chocolate! :-o

I NEVER thought I would say that, nevermind feel that way! Report
My daughter and her boyfriend are home from college for the weekend, so my son and his GF are coming over for dinner Saturday night. This is when we are celebrating Valentines Day. I am making a vegetable fetticine and my husband will cook either salmon or cod. Then we will play games and watch movies. And I am trying the recipe for the pineapple and mandarin organge cake that of got off SP. Report
we like to go out for a nice 4 course dinner- portions are small at nicer restaurants, and the food is better and worth savoring. No Maggianos or Macaroni Grill for us, thank you! Report
I do like valentine's day do not give nor do I want anything I would like to be treated nicely all year long not just one day a year. Report
I will try some of these things with my husband--THANKS!!! Report
I first read Panera Bread instead of Pandora bead too! Love the idea from ArizonaMary as my favorite. Hope you don't mind me copying you - this will be my gift to my teenage son. Thank you for sharing so many great ideas! Report
Great ideas. However, I know my mind isn't in the Spark frame of mind when I read "Panera bread" instead of "Pandora bead" and am more excited about getting the bread than the bead. Report
Thinking outside the box. Report
Stick these little fruit stickers on the apples and bananas in the fruit bowl for your sweetie to find... what a cute idea, and of course healthy! (I printed mine out on normal paper and just cut them out... I couldn't wait til Valentine's Day!)

/ Report
My 14-month-old's daycare sent out notes a couple days ago asking for all the parents to bring a bag of candy for the kids to exchange on Valentine's day. I've asked them over and over again to lay off the sweets, but they've never listened. To appease my indignation, I took a box of mini-packs of Cheddar Goldfish. My husband said, "Don't be that mom!" but I will -- if I can't stop them from what they do, I can at least lessen the impact they have on the kids. Report
Love all the ideas. I plan on mindfully splurging on truffles this Vday, Deep Chocolate Vitatops are a life saver the rest of the year! Report
Dark chocolate covered almonds sounds like heaven to me! How about adding that to the list!

Also, I agree that love should be celebrated every day of the year, but Valentine's day just gives the celebration such a touch of romance... it kinda sets the mood... so why not take advantage of the day! =) Report
I love the chocolate blueberries idea. Report
Now this is thinking outside of the box! Great ideas. Thanks!! Report
Thanks for the great ideas!!!! Report
Great ideas Report
GREAT ideas! Thinking about using some myself this year...lol Report
Yum!!.. Loved the ideas Report
Your list is great and I really like the idea of 50 hearts in a jar. Thanks. Report
I make a flourless chocolate torte (in the shape of a heart) each year - it's about 300 cals per slice, but I can't eat a full slice, I usually have just a half slice at a time.

This year, we're having dinner with friends, so I'll bring our cake as the dessert. Report
Love the ideas! So fun! Report
Fun ideas! Report
Thank you for sharing the list. Report