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Happy Valentine's Day

Posted By Diquan Edmonds, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Monday, February 13, 2017
Updated: Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s day usually goes hand-in-hand with chocolates and other unhealthy foods. Whether you are exchanging candy with a loved one or eating a high-calorie romantic meal, it can be hard to stay healthy on the big day. This wellness blog will give you and your department some ways to promote healthy Valentine’s Day behaviors in your community.

According to the National Retail Federation, American consumers are expected to spend an estimated $1.7 billion on candy this Valentine’s Day. This equates to almost 50% of all American consumers.

In an article found on, Valentine’s Day is the second-busiest day for restaurants in America. Couples indulge on many different international food options, with Italian and French restaurants gaining the most interest. The article also pointed out that this spike in restaurant orders isn’t just limited to couples. Individuals who are single are more likely to order indulgent food such as fries, wings, and pizza on food ordering websites such as GrubHub.

I’ll be the first to admit that my Valentine’s Day plans include a bit of candy and a trip to the local Italian restaurant. However, it’s important to partake in everything in moderation and make smart choices. Instead of the giant candy heart box, try a smaller version to express your love.

Your department may be holding a Valentine’s Day event at some point this week. In after-school programs, the day is likely to be celebrated. Instead of focusing solely on Valentine’s Day Candy, try to include other Valentine’s Day activities such as crafts. The children in your program then give these Valentine’s Day crafts to their loved ones. Activity sheets such as this one are great to help children celebrate Valentine’s Day while learning a bit about their health.

Another idea to promote a healthy Valentine’s Day in your community is to encourage couples to take advantage of your department’s parks. Encourage couples to take a romantic walk on a trail or park. Pick the suggested trail or park strategically - think about facilities that have a great view of the sunset, field of romantic winter flowers, or just a beautiful view. Once you have a facility in mind, advertise it through flyers, social media, and other mediums to attract couples to come out. This could be a great way to get people active in your parks, while still celebrating the romantic day.

Additionally, if your department holds any cooking courses, a special couples cooking class sometime around Valentine’s Day could garner a lot of interest! Couples could be taught how to cook an affordable, healthy, and romantic dinner at home instead of going out to eat for the night.

Valentine’s Day serves as a great day to remember that February is Healthy Heart Month. Last week, the wellness blog covered Health Heart Month extensively, but Valentine’s Day really drives home the point of loving your heart. This is a great time to promote and implement programs regarding heart health in your community.

I hope that this wellness blog has given you some ways to promote a healthy Valentine’s Day in your community. If your department has any health related Valentine’s Day programs, I’d love to find out more. Contact me at with any information! Have a safe and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Until next time,


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