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updated: 2/13/2013 11:35 AM

Embrace Valentine's Day with festive foods for kids

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--February 14 is Valentine's Day and the DuPage County Health Department recommends that parents embrace some healthy ideas for foods and treats for their children on this sweet occasion.

Generally, children will gravitate toward foods that are attractive, novel and eye-catching, so use this holiday to alter snacks to encourage healthy consumption. Remember that while it is fine to occasionally give your children sweets for a festive occasion, it is also important to establish healthy eating habits.

Now is your chance to get the kids to eat some healthier foods by making these Valentine's Day foods that are festive and eye-catching:

A hug and a squeeze:

• Real fruit juice can be used to make heart-shaped ice pops.

• Freeze juice in heart-shaped ice cube trays, and serve them in carbonated water.

Tug at the heart:

• Serve healthy vegetable soups in heart-shaped bowls.

• Make heart-shaped sandwiches with whole grain bread by using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Griddle your child's morning egg in a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Red and festive:

• Decorate a veggie platter with flowers and red roses. While the flowers are not meant for consumption, their colors may attract children to eat more servings of the healthier food.

• Make healthy, heart-shaped veggie pizzas with heart-shaped tomato cutouts just for Valentine's Day.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.