Welcome Love

5 Ways to Show Love without Food

Like many women, I enjoy showing love by making special treats or buying my friends and family their favorite goodies (chocolate, coffee, etc.), but what if they are trying to eat healthier and would prefer not to have those special treats tempting them? Welcome Love

Don’t sabotage your loved ones efforts to be healthier – instead find ways to show love without food!  Here are 5 of my favorites:

  1. Plan a day trip or other special outing.  The bookstore, a museum, a park, a day of hiking or biking, even a massage or pedicure would be a fun outing!
  2. Tickets for an upcoming event.  My kids love going to the Disney on Ice productions, so that is always a winner for them, but a concert, play or sporting event would be terrific too.
  3. Love notes.  This can be as simple (a note in their lunch or on their pillow) or as elaborate (a note inserted into a helium balloon or a scavenger hunt of notes) as you’d like – but it’s always an effective, tangible way of showing love.
  4. Do something nice for them.  How about doing “their” chores for the day?  Or just doing something they enjoy with them, WITHOUT complaining?
  5. Flowers are always nice.  Pick up an unexpected bouquet at the grocery or even pick some from your yard – they brighten the house and will brighten your loved one’s day.  Guess what?  Kids like getting flowers too – how often does your little one bring YOU flowers from the yard?  They will appreciate you reciprocating!

There are so many more ways to show love – but one thing to consider is to think about WHO you are trying to show love to.  For some people, gifts mean more than words, and for others acts of service are key.  If you’ve never thought about the best way to show love to specifically to your family members, I encourage you to check out the book The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, and take some time to determine which love language will be the most effective for each member of your family – it will probably be different for everyone.   This way, you can tailor your offerings of love in the manner each of them will appreciate the most.  I just finished this book this week, and love it.  So much good advice – I checked it out from the library, but then turned around a purchased a copy – it’s one I’ll want to refer to often.

How about you?  How do YOU show love to your friends and family?  Please share your ideas in the comments – with Valentine’s Day this week, we can ALL use some more good ideas!

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  1. Oh, my gosh! I am totally guilty of food=love! I guess it comes down to the fact that I love making friends and family happy–and I know that cookies or other goodies will bring a smile to their faces. But you are totally right–there should be a focus on non-food rewards/ gifts. Love these ideas!

    1. Nothing wrong with showing love with food – as long as it’s not the ONLY way – or even the most frequent – I do it too – it’s easy and does make people happy!

  2. My children and I love to do crafts together… or, play a board game, or toss a ball together. I guess just spending quality time together is always a great option!

  3. I live in the south. It seems like no two people can get together in my family or my husband’s family without there being food involved. I have several food allergies. I also don’t let my children have lots of sweets. And these family get togethers are always full of both foods I can’t eat and foods I don’t want my kids consuming. I’m going to have to tell them all about your post and let them see that there are others ways we can all get together and enjoy each others company without having food involved.

    1. Angie – I like the idea of working together to come up with ideas – that way everyone is in and feels involved. I’d love to hear what you guys come up with!

    1. Good point Rebecca – it’s always a fun challenge to “re-make” something loved into a healthier version. Or do a fun “theme snack.”

  4. Must admit that what I got the hubby was food related. His deep fat fryer broke so I bought him a new one (and yes, it is his. I don’t eat fried foods). But being the sweetheart he is, I got a 3DS, so that I could play games in the living room while he plays on his x-box.

  5. Spontaneous gifts are the best kinds! I have tons of friends that love food goodies, so I always take care to use wholesome, healthy ingredients when I bake for friends and family. That being said, it’s also good to show people you care about some consideration in other ways, and I completely agree with the thoughtful ideas you are sharing about things you can do for others! Flowers can be expensive, but I think even a store-bought or handmade card bear plenty of sentimental value when it is thoughtfully picked out!

    This is the second year in a row where I’ve hidden my husband’s Valentine’s Day card in his iPad case, so he’ll see it as soon as he flips it open. He seems to love that, since I’m always sneaky and it is always a surprise. I may have to start leaving random notes for him to find, too! Thanks for the great suggestion!!!

    1. Lalia, love the ipad idea! I left my husband’s valentine on the steering wheel so he’d see it when he left work for the day – it just took me five minutes to run over and drop it off and he loved the surprise!

  6. It’s amazing how we use food to communicate our love. Recognizing other creative, thoughtful ways to show we care takes some time and consideration. I think you’ve made some great suggestions and plan on taking your advice. Thanks for this lovely post.

  7. I’m totally guilty of showering my “loves” with food. I love baking, so I always think I should make something for my husband/son. I definitely need some other ideas, because eating sweets every other day is NOT good. Thanks for the great tips!

  8. Pam, you’ve already been by my site and my Weigh-in Wednesday series. This is a great post for me especially since I’m trying to change my relationship with food and using it to celebrate or as a love language is definitely my pattern. This is a great list of alternatives and I’m going to bookmark it later so I can refer back to it in an upcoming post in the series. Thanks for sharing, I’ve signed up to receive new posts by email!

    Sarah’s Fare recently posted → Eggs in a Nest

    1. Alix, good for you on the love notes! It is unusual to give flowers to your kids, but a little $3.99 bouquet of sunflowers from Trader Joe’s just made my daughters day! I even let her put them in her room and she loved it.

  9. I love these ideas! It drives me crazy when my kids get treats filled with high fructose corn syrup when we’ve been trying to get rid of the processed junk in our house. For Valentine’s Day I always make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast with strawberries and we do fun little crafts.

    Thank you so much for sharing these ideas. And I will definitely have to check out that book, it sounds perfect!

    1. Thanks Jessi – we do the heart shaped pancakes too – I have a pretty healthy recipe and I make it every week, so although I can do it with my eyes closed, making the hearts makes it feel like a whole different breakfast to the kids!

  10. I have to smile because I gave my husband a card and ‘a get a great night together’. Though I am appreciative of the chocolate covered strawberries he got me.

  11. Such a good post. So many times I see people rewarding or saying I love you to their kids with food. Good for you for finding other ways to show your love.

  12. Those are all great suggestions for alternative gifting. I especially like the idea of doing someone else’s chore. I do this from time to time for my husband and he never fails to acknowledge it. It makes me feel like I have really made his day a little brighter. Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

  13. I think many of us are guilty of this very thing–I like to try to give stickers or little dumb presents, as I call them–usually little things that I know someone will us in the dollar spot at Target.

  14. Great ideas here,e specially about how for some people, acts of service mean more than gifts. And those acts of services can be completely free too! Thanks again!

  15. In my family, in addition to the food thing, we all try to show love by stepping and helping out or doing nice things for each other. I agree there are so many ways to show those you love that you care.

  16. Food is great, but I absolutely love the other ways you described. I’ve only received flowers three times in my life, so I appreciate things along those lines very, very much.

    1. Thanks Liz – quick suggestion – buy yourself some flowers – it’s not quite the same, but fresh flowers will still give you a lift!

  17. I have a daily goal of 10 min. each with my children and let them pick what they want. As far as treats go or using food to show love I am somewhat guilty. If we are out and they have been good I will stop and grab ice cream or cookies at McDonalds. (They are only $1.00!)

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