The month of February has a lot to do with hearts, and not just for Valentines Day.
February is Healthy Heart month, and Official Kids Mag wants to celebrate you taking good care of your heart. The American Heart Association has a cool chart you can use to make sure you’re getting enough of the food that will help keep your heart healthy.
The American Heart Association also has a Big Green Monster Smoothie recipe that is good for your heart, AND fun to make. Remember to grab your adult to be safe in the kitchen.
Big Green Monster Smoothie
Makes six (6) 4-oz. (½-cup) servings.
• 1 green apple, cored and cut into chunks (leave skin on)
• 1-2 handfuls of washed spinach
¼ large cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
• 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into chunks
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup low-fat milk (or milk substitute or water)
• 2 teaspoons honey
• 1 cup ice cubes
Add all ingredients into a blender. Pulse until thoroughly blended. When blended to desired consistency, pour into cups and serve.
• Food allergies and sensitivities: This recipe includes milk. Water or milk substitute can be used in place of milk, if necessary.
• If ice cubes aren’t available, use chilled ingredients for best results.
• Try adding cinnamon, vanilla or ginger to change the flavor of the smoothie.
• If listed vegetables and fruits aren’t available, substitute other green produce items such as parsley, pears, peas, kale, leaf lettuce, greens or green beans. Note: The flavor profile and nutrition information will change.
American Heart Association Healthy Eating Recommendations for Kids
Building a healthy, balanced diet can be challenging. It’s important for kids to know how to make healthy choices and get the right amount of foods from each group. Here are the American Heart Association’s daily food recommendations by age group.
Healthy Valentines Hearts
• 1 tube Ready to bake crescent rolls
• 1 small container Ranch dip or garlic & herb cream cheese
• 1/2 cup Broccoli, small
• 1/2 cup Shoestring carrots
• 1/2 cup Red chopped peppers
• 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
For crust, use refrigerated Crescent Roll dough, spread out on a flat surface.
Cut hearts from the dough using a heart shaped cookie cutter and place heart cutouts place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven according to package directions.
Spread a Ranch dip or cream cheese over all your hearts. Sprinkle vegetables on top, then sprinkle shredded cheese. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Sweet and Healthy Valentines Pizza
Use the same crust instructions as above but make into circle for pizza crust.
• 8 oz cream cheese(at room temperature)
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
• Assorted fruit (blueberries, kiwi fruit, strawberry slices, raspberries, sliced grapes, pineapple chunks)
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until completely combined, then mix in the vanilla extract. Using a spatula, spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust.
Top with assorted fruit of your choice. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.