This year, Sweetest Day falls on October 19th. Hardly 2 weeks from Halloween, another day of sweet treats, this candy-filled holiday is a reminder for many that they are loved, appreciated, and cared for by those who celebrate with them.
Wait? You haven’t heard of Sweetest Day? Well, don’t feel too out-of-the-loop; this holiday is primarily celebrated in the Midwestern and Northeastern parts of the U.S. It’s even better known in the state where it originated: Ohio!
In 1922, philanthropist Herbert Birch Kingston started the idea of Sweetest Day by distributing candy and gifts to orphans, the elderly, and the disabled to show kindness to those he felt received it less than others.
Today, people celebrate their friends and loved ones in this way to express their love, their gratitude, and to spread the kindness. If you’re observing Sweetest Day this year, or now thinking of adding a new tradition, we’d like to offer you some great (and less sugary) ideas to help you celebrate.
healthier treat ideas
Instead of the pure sugar you’d get in a box of candy, try out some of these delicious ideas. Not only are they more natural and nutritious treats, the fact that you made them yourself will definitely earn you some bonus points.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
These sweet treats are super easy. All you need is some banana slices, peanut butter (or almond butter), and dark chocolate. Simply sandwich some peanut butter in between two banana slices and then dip the bite into some melted chocolate. If you like, you can top your creation with crushed peanuts or almonds.
When using chocolate, we recommend you choose dark because of its lower sugar content. However, if you despise dark chocolate and all that it touches, feel free to use milk chocolate.
Tips: Freeze the bananas before and after working with them. If you’re using milk chocolate and you’re worried about this treat being too sweet, try dipping only half the bite into the chocolate.
Watermelon Feta and Mint Skewers
These skewers are colorful, refreshing, and really tasty, especially if you like to mix sweet and salty flavors. Probably the hardest part of this recipe is figuring out how to cut watermelon into cubes, but really any bite sized shape will do! Simply stack some watermelon, feta, and mint in any order onto some skewers. If you like, you can add a light sprinkle of salt and pepper for a little extra flavor.
Tips: If you’re cutting mint straight from your yard, try soaking it in a mixture of water and salt for a few minutes to help give the leaves a more thorough clean.
Healthy Oatmeal Balls
Not only do these look good, they’re also good for you. They’re little rolled packages of oatmeal, chia seeds, cranberries, coconut, flax seeds, and honey. They take little work but will certainly make a mess of your hands as you roll them together.
Tips: You can use a variety of ingredients according to the flavor profile you’re looking for. You can use peanut butter as the binder instead of honey, raisins instead of cranberries, cinnamon instead of coconut, and experiment with many other variations.
If you’re not sure you want to make something edible, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate Sweetest Day. In the next section, you’ll see exactly what we mean.
Nurture Healthier Relationships
When it comes to communicating our thanks, sometimes we can be pretty good at letting life, work, school, and everything else get in the way. You can use this day to reflect on the people in your life who matter and on who you’d like to acknowledge more often.
Unlike Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day is not restricted to celebrating your significant other. Think about all the people who are close to you. Do you have a friend who has been there for you and you want to let them know they are appreciated? Are there people you want to make amends with? Who do you want to show your gratitude for?
Once you’ve identified your crew, you can start hashing out the details. You can keep it simple or go a little nuts with it. It’s entirely up to you! For some ideas, you can:
Do Something Nice
A small act of kindness can go a long way. Do the dishes or take out the trash without being asked. Wash your brother’s car. Buy your coworker a cup of coffee. Compliment your classmate’s outfit. A very ordinary act of kindness, done unexpectedly, can go highly appreciated.
Write a Card
Some people are great at “doing,” others are great at “saying.” If you know you don’t say certain things enough, or you’re simply better at expressing what you need to say on paper, writing a heartfelt card is another great option.
Spend the Day Together
Let’s be honest, we all have a friend or family member that we don’t see as often as we used to or probably haven’t talked to in a while. Spending some time together may be just what you need. It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous. It can be as simple as going for a walk together, hitting the gym, cooking a meal (or going out for one).