So, what are some options that are still refreshing, low calorie “sweet” treats for the summer? Here are my top six picks to beat the summer heat.
1. Smoothies: This treat provides hydration and is a healthier alternative to milkshakes. You can mix with fresh or frozen fruit. Try adding a handful of greens as well such as spinach to get your veggies. Your smoothie can be made with low fat milk or yogurt, greek yogurt or non-dairy milk. Try this smoothie recipe filled with nutritious ingredients to keep you fueled for a fun summer day. https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/recipes/fuel-you-up-smoothie-recipe
2. Fresh fruit snow cone: Who doesn’t love a snow cone? This is a great treat that your kids are sure to love. Try adding fresh fruit to your snow cone for some added health benefits.
3. Banana soft serve: Creating this lower calorie option for a tasty, healthier ice cream is an excellent way to get kids in the kitchen. It’s easy to make if you have a blender or food processor and the kids will be excited to eat their very own homemade “ice cream.” If you don’t like bananas, you can also make “ice cream” using frozen strawberries, cherries, or melon. Try different flavors and combinations, it’s a great way to experiment.
4. Homemade popsicles: Have you ever tried making your own fruit and veggie popsicles? Use your blender and start thinking of some colorful combination. You could use combinations such as strawberries and beets or maybe mango, orange and carrots. It’s refreshing and a good way to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet.
5. Frozen grapes: If you don’t have a blender or your pressed for time, there are other options to consider such as freezing grapes or other fruit. Frozen grapes are hydrating and taste like a creamy sorbet. In addition, this treat will provide some antioxidants and polyphenols, which protect our cells and are linked to heart health.
6. Lower calorie ice creams (Halo Top, Enlightened, Breyer’s Delights): Light ice cream or popular lower calorie ice creams like Halo Top and Enlightened are lower in fat and typically higher in protein when compared to traditional ice cream. This can be a great way to indulge in a chocolatey treat without overdoing it on the calories. However, just because the package may say there is only 320 calories per pint, doesn’t mean we should eat the whole pint. Even with healthier alternatives, portion control remains important. It is not an excuse to eat more!
These are just a few of the ways you can introduce healthier options into your daily diet. For more nutrition and healthy living tips, subscribe to the Fisher-Titus Healthy Living Blog at fishertitus.org/health.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nickie Kaetzel is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Fisher-Titus Medical Center. For help in reaching your health and wellness goals, contact your primary care physician for a referral for outpatient nutrition counseling.