Valentine's Day is a big deal in the United States. A recent survey found that more than 50% of adults in a relationship expect to receive a present to celebrate the holiday.
Economists estimate that people in the U.S. will spend a collective $25.9 billion on Valentine's Day gifts in 2023. Nearly $10 billion of that will be spent on jewelry, but sugary treats are also a go-to gift as 57% of people plan to buy candy for their partner.
The good news is that Valentine's Day doesn't have to break your budget or negatively affect your healthy lifestyle. In fact, this year marks a notable shift in gift-giving trends: 32% of people plan to give an experiential gift as opposed to a physical object. Giving the gift of quality time to a partner is one way to show you care.
No matter who you're buying for, here are ideas for healthy Valentine's Day gifts.
For the traditional gift-giver: Chocolate is a go-to Valentine's Day gift.
Here are several ways to increase this gift's nutritional profile:
- Opt for dark chocolate-covered strawberries for a fiber and antioxidant boost.
- Avoid filler and artificial ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, vanillin, hydrogenated oils, and soy lecithin.
- Choose organic brands to avoid pesticide residues and GMOs. As an added bonus, choose Rainforest Alliance Certified brands to help protect habitats in which cacao beans and other chocolate ingredients are grown.
- Consider taking matters into your own hands, and create a healthier dessert to share together instead of relying on store-bought options.
Going out to dinner is also a popular Valentine's Day activity, and depending on where you make reservations, it can also serve as a healthy Valentine's Day gift.
Before you make a reservation, check out the menu and look for options with fresh ingredients. Many restaurants now offer farm-to-table dishes, meaning you'll get the freshest ingredients while also supporting your local farmers.
For someone who thinks outside the (candy) box: So what do you get for someone who doesn't like candy on Valentine's Day? Consider mixing things up a little. This could involve you and your partner planning something together rather than separately trying to surprise each other. (Because let's face it, trying to surprise someone involves a lot of effort, and frankly, can be stressful.)
Some ideas for co-planned quality time together include:
- Enjoy an indoor winter picnic.
- Sign up for a couples' cooking class.
- Go out and purchase matching running shoes together.
- Participate in a gentle yoga class together to ease stress and improve mobility.
- Recreate your first date.
- Volunteer for a cause you both care deeply about.
- Go thrift shopping.
- Visit a place you've wanted to check out together, but haven't yet found the time for.
For the homebody: Life is hectic. For some couples, planning a mini staycation to celebrate Valentine's Day brings the most satisfaction.
Here are some at-home ideas for Valentine's Day:
- Build a fire and stay in and cuddle.
- Play board or card games.
- Plan a spring garden together.
- Choose a healthy, new recipe and cook it up together.
- Use the AdaRose Spa in a Box to give each other soothing facials.
- Give each other massages.
- Put a photo album together, either in physical or digital form, to remember the good times you've shared in the past.
- Create a couple's vision board to prioritize your relationship and how you might make the most of it for the year. (Places to visit and dinners you want to share with each other are great places to start.)
- Put gratitude prompts in a bag. Periodically pull one out and complete it together.
For the adventurer or outdoor enthusiast: What's better than flowers on Valentine's Day?
For the adventurous type, the list may include things like:
- Taking a hike–or even a night hike or walk to look at the stars.
- Going horseback riding.
- Booking a weekend cabin getaway at a nearby state park.
- Taking your sleeping bags outside and stargazing together.
- Joining jiu-jitsu classes and becoming each others' training partners. (The close contact will increase oxytocin, the “love hormone.”)
- Going on–or designing–a scavenger hunt together.
No matter what gift or activity you choose, showing your partner you prioritize them–and your relationship–can go a long way in cementing a love-filled 2023.