How to Make Valentine’s Day Extra Sweet on the Ketogenic Diet

We are excited to share today’s guest blog post by ketogenic dietitian and Keto Ambassador Stacey Bessone, RDN, LDN. Thanks for these helpful tips, Stacey!


Being on any diet can be a little tricky on Valentine’s Day.  For some it may be keeping on track for a new year’s resolution.  For people on the ketogenic diet it can be extra complicated.  Candy hearts and boxes of chocolates are everywhere.  Here are a few ideas to make Valentine’s Day extra sweet for your little one.

  1. Nonfood items are always a thoughtful token. Decorating homemade valentines with colored paper and lace are wonderful little ways to say I love you.  They also keep, so you can hang them up and enjoy them for days to come.
  1. Keto friendly treats. Make your own little frosting candies. Prepare a keto frosting, such as this chocolate frosting recipe, then spoon into heart-shaped silicon molds and refrigerate to set.
  1. The same heart-shaped silicon molds can be used to make sugar free gelatin hearts or heart-shaped ice cubes (water and food coloring).
  1. A fancy dinner can be as simple as steak with cream sauce and a bit of veggie with a KetoCal® crème brule for dessert.
  1. Doing an activity together such as a movie or a bike ride can be healthy and fun without any mention of eating.
  1. Dress up is always fun too. You can dress up and create a fancy restaurant-type atmosphere at home with a waiter.  You can put flowers on the table and use cloth napkins and low lighting.  Kids think it is a treat and usually love to be the servers!

These are just a few tips to get you thinking about Valentine’s Day the keto way.  There are plenty of fun things to do and make to make someone feel special- even if they are on the ketogenic diet.

For more information, see “Tips and Recipes for Making Valentine’s Day Fun for Your Keto Kid”.

Tips and Recipes for Making Valentine’s Day Fun for Your Keto Kid

valentinesdayLike most holidays and special occasions, Valentine’s Day can be tricky when you have a child on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Most valentine celebrations involve candy and other sweets not allowed on the ketogenic diet, which can make it stressful for parents trying to ensure that their child does not consume any non-allowed foods.  Parents may also find it challenging to make the day fun despite the dietary restrictions. Fortunately, little things go a long way when it comes to making special occasions fun for kids. For today’s KetoConnect Blog Post, we have some tips and ideas for small ways to make Valentine’s Day fun and special for your keto kid.

Add a Festive Touch!

You can make any meal more festive with a cute Valentine’s Day-themed straw, cup, plate, etc.

Decorate Your KetoCal!

Replace your child’s regular KetoCal with pink, strawberry-flavored KetoCal. Simply add a sugar-free, carb-free strawberry flavoring, such as DaVinci Gourmet’s strawberry syrup, to the KetoCal LQ Vanilla. Add your festive straw and voila!–You have a Valentine’s treat!

Another idea is to actually decorate the KetoCal LQ drink box. We found some cute ideas on Pinterest, such as these. You can find more ideas on our “Valentine’s Day on the Ketogenic Diet board on Pinterest! (Please note- these ideas use juice boxes, so you would just use your KetoCal LQ boxes instead).

Make Everything Heart-Shaped!

Another easy way to make Valentine’s Day special is to make your child’s favorite foods in the shape of a heart. Below are a few ideas:

  • Make your KetoCal pancakes into hearts by pouring the batter into a cookie cutter on the pan.
  • Make a heart-shaped KetoCal pizza by spreading the pizza dough into the shape of a heart before topping and cooking (you could do this by hand or using a larger-sized cookie cutter–just place the cookie cutter on the parchment paper and spread the dough inside of it to shape the pizza).
  • Make heart-shaped muffins or cupcakes using heart-shaped silicone baking cups, such as these.

Embrace Pink!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by making recipes that are naturally festive by color! Here are some recipe ideas that are pink and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Rasstrawberry_smoothiepberry or Strawberry Smoothie:

Our KetoCal Raspberry or Strawberry Smoothie recipes are naturally pink in color and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Optional–Top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with carb-free sweetener and serve with a festive straw!

KetoCal Cherry Float:

Add scoops of KetoCal Vanilla Ice Cream to any sugar-free, carb-free cherry-flavored soda, such as Zevia® Black Cherry or Professor Fizz (please note, these sodas are not carb-free but the carb comes from erythritol, which some dietitians do not count towards total carbohydrate– check with your dietitian first). Usually, the carb-free cherry soda is red in color but if the brand you use is not, you could add a small amount of red food coloring. Optional- top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with carb-free sweetener and serve with a festive straw!

Strawberry Panna Cotta:panna-cotta

Panna Cotta is a creamy Italian dessert. Our KetoCal Strawberry Panna Cotta recipe is tasty and perfectly-colored for a Valentine’s Day treat!

Make Awesome Non-Food Valentines!

Many valentines involve candy, but there are many other options for non-food valentine treats which are just as much fun for kids. We found some awesome ideas for non-candy valentines on Pinterest. You can check them out on our “Valentine’s Day on the Ketogenic Diet” Pinterest board. If your child’s school is having a Valentine’s Day celebration, send along some non-food valentine treats for your child and the rest of the children to enjoy. If you are friends with other parents of children in the class, you could share some non-food Valentine ideas with them as well. There are likely other children in the class with food restrictions, such as those with food allergies, and many parents try to minimize their children’s sugar intake, so you might find that other parents embrace the awesome non-food valentine idea too!

-Mallory