10 Ways to Make Valentine's Day Special for Your Kids

Show your love from breakfast till dessert.

Valentine's Day is Thursday, just in case your kids haven't told you repeatedly. And while I know my mom spent her fair share of time baking and dying frosting for classroom parties in the early '90s, making all my heart-shaped dreams come true, I don't get to do that. Yes, you read that correctly: I work at Food Network and I can't take homemade treats to school for my kids and their classmates (#Allergies #SchoolRules).

The only logical solution? Spoil them rotten at home. So, if you're in the same no-homemade-treats-at-school boat as me, here's how to impress your kids and make their Valentine's Day super special — but, you know, without having to schlep two dozen cupcakes to school.

Ellie Krieger's Heart Shaped Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce as seen on Food Netowkr

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Pancakes are a weekend treat in our house, so surprising the kids with heart-shaped pancakes ON A WEEKDAY is a surefire way to blow their minds. And while the sweet strawberry sauce looks festive and tastes amazing, it's also a great way for you to sneak some nutrients into the kids before they head off to school.

FNK HEARTSHAPED FOODS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY HEART SHAPED FOODS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Eggs, Bacon, Pancakes, Shrimp, Cheese, Pepperoni, Pork Chops, Cinnamon, Strawberries, Rice Cereal

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Use a cookie cutter to turn cheese squares into fun heart shapes. Pack them with crackers, grapes and your kid's favorite deli meat for a festive lunch that'll guarantee smiles.

FNK NONCANDY VALENTINE’S IDEAS FOR KIDS

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Turn those fish crackers you know your kids love into funny Valentine's Day treats. "You're a great catch" or "I'm hooked on you" will have all the kindergarteners at the lunch table drowning in laughter. (Sorry, we had to say it!)

FN_Strawberry-Oatmeal-Bars

FN_Strawberry-Oatmeal-Bars

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Marshall Troy, 2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Mother-of-four Ree Drummond knows a thing or two about feeding hungry kids. Make her easy strawberry oatmeal bars for a sweet lunchbox snack or a grab-and-go breakfast.

copy_that_hearts_v2.tif

copy_that_hearts_v2.tif

Food Styling: Karen Evans

Photo by: Sam Kaplan

Sam Kaplan

Those beloved Sweethearts Candy Hearts might be hard to find this year, but we've got the perfect solution: Food Network Kitchen's candy hearts. Use food decorating pens to personalize your hearts and send your little valentines one-of-a-kind notes.

Valentines Day Black Bottom Cupcakes

Photo by: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

These cheesecake-filled cupcakes are so delicious no one will even notice they're missing frosting — except you, that is. Give yourself the Valentine's gift of not having to figure out how to pack a cupcake in your kid's lunchbox without smooshing the frosting.

FNK_ValentinesPizzaForTwo_H

FNK_ValentinesPizzaForTwo_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Valentine's Pizza for Two for NEW FNK, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Armed with store-bought dough, prepared sauce, pepperoni and shredded mozzarella, you've got everything you need for a dinner your whole family will love. Just be sure to double the recipe; those heart-shaped pepperoni slices are too cute to not eat.

Food Network Kitchen’s Heart-Shaped Lasagna Bundt

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Big and little kids alike will be amazed when you slice into this heart-shaped lasagna and the red meat sauce oozes out.

ntd_cupcakes.tif

ntd_cupcakes.tif

Food Styling: Karen Evans

Photo by: Sam Kaplan

Sam Kaplan

Strawberries and chocolate are a classic Valentine's Day flavor pairing everyone can appreciate. But kids will especially love these cupcakes and the heart-y surprise waiting for them inside.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Love letters aren't just for you and your significant other. Write cute phrases or funny jokes on parchment paper to stick inside adorable cookies. Address the cookies to your kids and watch their faces light up as they break open their treats to reveal their own personal love notes.

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