We’ve all heard that too much sugar isn’t a good thing. But cutting back on it can be hard to do on a holiday like Valentine’s Day where heart-shaped candies rule.

Here are three simple, colorful and fun ways to indulge and say “I Heart You” to your favorite little loved one this Valentine’s Day—without all the sugar. Your kids won’t even know what they’re missing—pinky promise.

1. Ruby Red Soda

On average, about half of kids’ sugar intake is from drinks like soda, sports drinks and fruit punch. A 12-ounce cola has a whopping 32 grams of sugar. It’s clear we need to ditch the sugar-sweetened drinks. But Valentine’s Day calls for something more exciting than water!

This Ruby Red Soda, featured on the cover of my cookbook, Mom’s Sugar Solution, is a great solution. It’s fun, simple, and completely free of artificial dyes and sugar.

2. Brownie Bites

In addition to beverages, baked goods and other desserts are the other major source of sugar in our diets, especially on a day like Valentine’s! Not only are most baked goods overly sweetened, but the portion size is out of control. I’m a firm believer in enjoying sweets now and then, but we need to scale back their size.

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My Mom’s Sugar Solution recipe for Brownie Bites is super scrumptious and way lower in sugar than a store-bought version. They’re also gluten-free, but you’d never know it!

3. Apple Peanut Butter Rings

Valentine’s Day is full of sweetness, but just 10 of those cute little Valentine’s conversation candies rings in at at whopping 28 grams of sugar—more than your kiddo should be eating in a whole day.

Instead, try these wholesome Apple Peanut Butter Rings, which are naturally sweet and colorful. Insider tip: any apple will do, but my kids’ favorites are newer varietites like Ambrosia, Kanzi and Kiku. They’re bursting with flavor!

What other ways will you be taming your little sugar monster this Valentine’s Day? Share with me in the comments below.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Josh Newman via Flickr