I needed a quick and easy Valentine for the kindergartener this year. J
likes obsesses about ninjas, but I’m so done with the nunchuks and swords and “hiyas!” that I just couldn’t bear it anymore. I needed something else to divert his attention. He also likes superheros, so that was a good place to start. Of course I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and ran across this Zakka Life tutorial that includes a free printable download. Because it’s all there, I won’t bother providing details, except to say that this is the first time — ever — that I simply copied something without tweaking it in some way. (OK, you got me. I did cut-and-paste the images to fit 6 on a page in all red, the kiddo’s favorite color.) Also, the cutting and assembly was a bit much for my 5-year old with somewhat limited fine motor skills, so I think this would be a better do-it-yourself project for an older kid.
And, yes, I went for a candy-based Valentine instead of a toy or healthy option. It’s a special occasion. And I made sure that there would be some healthy items for the afternoon celebration at school. I can’t always deny him life’s sweet pleasures. Besides, it’s all about balance, especially since I’ve always been that mom. J had a mostly sugar-free, dye-free, preservative-free existence until he was at least 3 — and it’s still strictly limited. I started loosening the reigns once he ended up in preschool and, during his first week in class, came home adorned with blue frosting around his mouth. Some battles aren’t worth fighting — at least not in public. We keep to “the plan” at home, but with some balance. We practice “eating a rainbow” at home with tons of fresh fruit and veggies. His 5th birthday pinata was filled with equal numbers of treats and toys. I still sneak some veggies into sauces and replace sugar with fruit purees sometimes. But we also try to instill healthy values so that he can make the best choices on his own. He doesn’t always select the healthiest options first, but when he recounts how he chose white milk and ate all the veggies he picked out himself from the lunch room salad bar, I can’t help but think we’re headed in the right direction.