Creative valentine gifts that don’t include food are hard to come by.
Large chocolate hearts, small and crunchy hearts, chocolate covered nuts, caramel and cream in heart-shaped boxes, sour hearts, gummy hearts, marshmallows and even lolly hearts … ‘This is the season for every sweet version you can imagine.
And everywhere you look. So it stands to reason that half of Valentine’s Day shoppers offer their loved ones some form of candy, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF). However, what might surprise you is just how damaging a day of such wastage can be to your weight.
Before asking, “How many calories are in those sweet desserts,” you may want to prepare yourself. Walmart’s Hershey Chocolate Box (specifically the Pot of God Valentine’s Premium Collection Pink Heart Box) contains 200 calories per serving, half of which is from fat.
But this is not the worst part. There are four servings per pack, which means if you go get it – and enjoy your little $ 6 Valentine’s Day gift – you are actually consuming 800 calories. Yikes. It’s still the case for the fancy desserts, which contain 190 calories in just three small portions. It’s true that a little bit of dark chocolate can be healthy in moderation. But, if your loved ones are monitoring their weight, or trying to shed extra pounds, consider thinking outside the box in the shape of a heart to help them on their way.
Here are some creative no-food Valentine’s Day gifts and dates:
1. Plan an active date.
Instead of going for dinner and the movie date, start your day early and take a long tour along a beautiful road. Hiking and cycling are fun and healthy options for dates. If the weather isn’t cooperating, maybe tour a museum, head to the bowling alley or if you’re more ambitious – try ice skating or indoor rock climbing.
2. Download a new exercise playlist.
Surprise your sweetheart by filling his iPod with cheerful songs that mean something to both of you or put a smile on his face. Include some relaxing romance favorites. To make this Valentine’s Day gift even sweeter, pair the playlist with a new in-ear headphone or mini speaker for a home workout.
3. Experience gift.
Your wife mentioned wanting to try yoga? Purchase her permits for a few classes. If your Valentine loves drawing, send him an art lesson. To make it an experience that brings you both closer, take a dance class together or sign up for a cooking class. Lots of pottery and paint shops have opened their doors to BYOS users (bring your own snacks), who want to take part in a painting or pottery class while savoring the things they bring. Give your honey a gift card for one of these experiences, and bring healthy options to enjoy while creating something special together. Gifting an exciting activity creates a special memory or reinforces a specific skill that lasts longer than a stale candy.
4. Consider health equipment.
Give your child something to really get used to with healthy equipment. Find a unique or customized, reusable water bottle to help them stay hydrated, even during the most ambitious sweat session. The new exercise mats are perfect for yoga and pilates enthusiasts, while fitness trackers do the job for someone just starting out. The mini blenders satisfy anyone who starts their day with juices or loves to get creative in the kitchen. The new healthy lifestyle component? Air fryers. The tools to help your loved ones stay on the right track are endless, so explore a host of different options to find the perfect option for that perfect person.
5. Volunteer together.
Volunteering can bring two people together just like anything else. In this scenario, the spouses are united, with a common purpose, learning how to work together, and possibly having fun with each other while doing so. Volunteering also helps individuals feel more socially connected, while reducing depression and anxiety. Research also indicates that people who give their time to others may also enjoy better health – including lower blood pressure and a longer life. So give them a gift this Valentine’s Day that does the opposite of that boring old candy.