Sweets and Treats in a Healthy Diet
8 ways to fit sweets into your diet.
4. Make Your Own 100-Calorie Treat Packs
Save money and make it easy for everyone to keep within the healthy limits by making your own grab-n-go snack packs. “Buy economy sized bags of baked chips, tortilla chips or cookies,” says Blake, then divide them into individual baggies.
5. Modify Your Recipes
For a healthy makeover of your favorite cookies or cakes, replace half the fat with applesauce or canola oil. Use whole-grain pastry flour. Add in nutritious extras such as dried fruit and nuts.
“When you make treats yourself, you can trim fat, calories, and sugar to make them healthier,” says Bedwell.
6. Buy Single-Serve Portions of Ice Cream, Cookies, and Chips
Certain treats such as chips, cookies, and ice cream are so tempting that we can’t just eat a small portion. “Buy single serve sweets and treats so the portion is controlled for you,” says Blake.
Other ways to limit portions are to buy pint size containers, and serve ice cream in a cone.
7. Keep Tough Treats Out of the House
Certain treats are downright taunting and just too difficult to control. “Don’t keep any treats in the house that challenge your family” says Ward. She suggests going out for these treats, or only bringing them in for special occasions.
8. Freeze Your Favorite Treats
Simple foods can be transformed into yummy treats in the freezer. Try freezing a container of whipped yogurt, fruit, or 100% fruit juice in paper cups for refreshing summertime treats everyone will enjoy.
“Keep bags of frozen fruit handy to microwave as a topping on ice cream or to make smoothies and sorbets with a little added juice or low-fat yogurt,” says Blake. An added bonus, cold treats are more satisfying because they need to be enjoyed slowly to avoid the "brain freeze."
Quick Treat and Snack Ideas
Need more ideas? Try one of these healthy choice treats:
- 10-12 baked tortilla chips and 1/4 cup salsa
- Light popcorn plus a few tablespoons of peanuts
- Whole-grain crackers with low-fat string cheese
- A cup of fresh fruit and 1 tablespoon melted chocolate chips for dipping
- 1/2 cup or single serve low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Strawberry shortcake with angel food cake, fresh berries, and low-fat topping.
- Grilled pineapples, bananas, or peaches
- 6 whole-grain pretzels with 1/4 cup hummus