6 Ways to Take the Stress out of Valentine’s Day

6 Ways to Take the Stress out of Valentine’s Day

- in Food

Content sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Valentine’s Day likely exceeds New Year’s Eve when it comes to high-expectation holidays. Pop culture would have us believe that every couple is showering each other with baubles, ribbon-wrapped luxury cars and globe-trotting trips. But, in reality, “let’s just plan a date night” is a more common conversation. This year, Valentine’s falls on a Tuesday and getting a babysitter for a rushed, school-night romantic attempt seems silly — especially when everyone you love is already under one roof!

Here are six tips for a stress-free Valentine’s Day celebration:

1. Make the Kids Feel Special
You can’t celebrate love and leave out the kids. Surprise your little ones with a fancy breakfast that shows just how special they are. Make heart-shaped pancakes using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (Mom or Dad will gladly eat the scraps), fruit kabobs and put the juice in fancy glasses. Craft paper placemats and crayons are an easy way to let your little ones express their love, too.

Dinner can be just as easy. “Kids of all ages love to play with pizza dough, “says Josh Chung, Prepared Foods Team Leader Whole Foods Market. “We sell our fresh dough in our prepared foods section and it can be shaped into hearts, topped with sauce and cheese for an easy, kid-friendly Valentine’s Day dinner.”

2. Impress Each Other for Less
So the kids are having pizza, but what about the grownups? You don’t have to be an Iron Chef to master a surf and turf dinner at home. “When you do it yourself, it’s a five-star worthy meal, for half the price,” says Geoff Crump, Seafood and Meat Team Leader at Whole Foods Market. “Our butchers take prized cuts of beef and age them for 21-days — the end result is a flavorful, tender steak that pairs great with lobster tails or crab legs!”

And, that bottle of bubbly — again no restaurant mark up! Select something special like De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rose Brut, a lively pink sparkly wine. All Northeast Ohio Whole Foods Market stores employ wine specialists who can help you pick out the best bottle for your budget.

3. Do One Really Special (and Unexpected) Thing
It’s no secret that oysters are thought to have an aphrodisiac power. “We source the highest quality oysters for a fraction of restaurant prices,” says Crump.   “Plus, our fishmongers will shuck them, too, for no charge.” Pulling a tray of chilled oysters out of the fridge will create that “aha” moment that makes the evening feel extra special. And, if oysters are in your cart, you’ll want to pick up scented candles and bubble, bath too.

4. But Don’t do it All
There is something very special about cooking for your loved one, but don’t try to do too much. Let the professionals handle dessert. “Our bakery team is very busy this time of year. We’re making chocolate-covered strawberries, enrobed chocolate cakes, tarts and cookies,” says Sarah Schoenberger, Bakery Team Leader at Whole Foods Market. “And, don’t forget a loaf of fresh-baked bread.”

5. Power of the Pen
Let your loved one know how you feel. Pick up a card, and wax poetic. It’s the one time of year when it’s OK for adults to dot i’s with bubble hearts. Sharing your feelings and appreciating your partner has benefits that reach far beyond Valentine’s Day.

6. Spread the Love
Roses are synonymous with Valentine’s Day, but many people don’t think about where they buy their roses. Whole Foods Market offers Whole Trade Guarantee roses, which are roses with heart. Each purchase gives back to the communities where the roses are sourced, building schools, community centers and much more.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be stressful to feel special. Put flowers on the dining room table. Use the good china. Get the kids to bed. Light the candles. Tell stressed out Cupid to take a hike and celebrate Valentine’s Day at home as a family. (You’re on your own for your anniversary!)

— Written by Lisa Sweeney, Marketing Team Leader of Whole Foods Market Rocky River and a mom of two.

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