Friday, February 11, 2022

Family Fun with Citrus on Valentine's Day

 Family Fun with Citrus on Valentine's Day!

As Mr. and Mrs. Love Emoji above clearly demonstrate, Valentine's Day and Citrus fruit make a great pair! These easy-to-make emojis are perfect for any kind of citrus fruits, especially ones with evenly round or oval shapes such as oranges (Mrs. Love Emoji), Temple Oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits (Mr. Love Emoji).  We'll go over some really fun and creative ideas for bringing citrus into your Valentine's Day festivities. But first, you may be wondering:

Why Citrus Fruits for Valentine's Day?

Chocolates, flowers, and those little heart candies with sentiments on them: Aren't they what you give for Valentine's Day? Well, sure. Everybody does that. Citrus is a fabulous and healthy alternative. In the flood of classic Valentines' outpourings, giving citrus gifts, doing citrus crafts, and eating citrus foods as a way to commemorate Cupid definitely stands out. 

Oranges, in fact, actually boast a prominent place on the international stage for their association with love and romance.  In China, during the Valentine's-equivalent holiday of Chap Goh Mei, unmarried ladies write their phone numbers or email addresses on oranges and toss them out into the river or ocean, whereby potential suitors scurry to pick them up in order to make a love connection.  In Italy, the juice of the orange has long been considered a potent aphrodisiac, with orange juice being offered up in villages across the country on Valentine's Day to all who seek romance. Valentine's Day's long association with the heart symbol also makes it a shoe-in for focusing on heart health. Citrus is much better for one's heart than candy, and oranges have a healthy amount of heart health-boosting and vitality-inducing hesperidin in them, as well.  What better way to say "I Love You?"

Easy Citrus Valentine's Fun for Kids

Ready to celebrate Valentine's Day the healthy way?  You'll need just a few household supplies and a nice assortment of oranges, mandarins, and/or grapefruits from Florida Fruit Shippers. First, to make Mr. and Mrs. Love Emoji featured above, you simply need red and black markers. Look up classic emojis, or make up your own!  If you're doing these with younger kids, it's fine to use craft or dry erase versus permanent markers.  There's no right or wrong way to make your emojis, but for the purposes of Valentine's Day, you can definitely encourage lots of hearts.

Mr. and Mrs. Love Bug

Here's a fun way to dress up your citrus: turn them into love bugs!  You can start with your Love Emoji fruit creations, or use googly eyes and glitter for their faces.  Then, using toothpicks, insert little antennae on the tops of the fruits and glue pink or red hearts on them.  Finally, cut out larger red hearts from foam or construction paper, glitter them if you wish, and glue them to the bottom so that your lovebugs have little "feet."

Orange You Glad It's Valentine's Day Gift

Here's a juicy, inexpensive gift idea: Using mandarins or oranges, print out as many of the following tags as you will need: Orange You Glad It's Valentine's Day?  Then, using a red, pink, or heart-adorned gift bag (or decorating plain bags yourself), place a single citrus fruit in each bag. You may want to use your Emoji fruits or lovebugs, or just a simple undecorated fruit.  Add anything else you may wish: some chocolates, some paper confetti, etc., close the bag, and affix your tag. Give to everyone in your child's class, your coworkers, family members, friends, neighbors, mail carrier, garbage collectors, and anyone else you might think could use a burst of Valentine's sunshine!

A Yummy Valentine's Treat

Finally, while citrus fruits standalone in the taste department, there's no doubt about it: citrus and chocolate are perfect together.  Melt up some chocolate chips and butter in a pan for a fast fondue-style dipping sauce, cut up some orange and grapefruit wedges, dip, and enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Florida Fruit Shippers. 


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