To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Americans will purchase more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. Parties and candy grams at school make the holiday a festive one for kids, too.

Let them know that the chocolate covering their heart-shaped candy didn’t always look that way. Between bites of chocolate, tell them where it comes from.

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Chocolate grows on trees! It starts out as a bean growing from the fruit of the cacao tree.

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The Aztecs – a tribe of people living in Mexico dating back to the 12th century – made a spicy chocolate drink for royal and religious celebrations. Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, drank 50 cups of cacao a day from a golden chalice. They also used the cacao seeds as money.

During World War I, the first chocolate candy bars were produced and the Hershey Company shipped them to soldiers overseas. Today, of all days, savor the food that has been a favorite with people of all ages and cultures for the past 4,000 years. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Content provided by Oakland University