Many of us like to satisfy our sweet tooth with delicious, ready-made, frozen treats like ice cream and popsicles. However, these are often high in both sugar and fat and are minimally nutritious. It can also be very easy to overdo it with the ice cream scoop at home—sometimes we end up serving ourselves a much bigger bowl than we had planned. Dietitians absolutely share in this struggle, but with their expertise, they have some nutritionally-savvy choices that may help keep those portions under control. Here are a few of their favorites:
Outshine Fruit Bars and Frozen Yogurt Bars
Holly Conrady, RD, LDN often recommends Outshine’s frozen treats. They offer a variety of flavors, all made with real fruit and fruit juice. Holly loves that you can go the traditional popsicle route or enjoy a creamy yogurt bar instead – whichever suits your mood! While you’ll want to be mindful of their sugar content, Outshine fruit bars are a good source of vitamin C, and the frozen yogurt bars contain 10% daily value of calcium. Smaller sized bars are available for certain products which makes monitoring portions easy.
Acai Blueberry Frozen Fruit Bars (2.5 oz size)
Nutrition per bar: Calories: 60, Total Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: <1g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 0g
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Bars
Nutrition per bar: Calories: 90, Total Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 35 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 5g
Treasures at Trader Joe’s
“When I want to have my sweet fix, I want to do it without packing on the calories, while at the same time also feeling good about what I’m putting in my body,” says Gina Benci, MS, RD, CDN. I think we can all agree with Gina on that one!
Her go-to frozen sweet fixes are Trader Joe’s Gone Bananas Chocolate-Covered Banana Slices and Gone Berry Crazy Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces. Made with flash-frozen fruit, these treats are loaded with fiber and nutrients like potassium and vitamin C. “Not only do I not feel guilty after eating it because it is minimally processed—what I like to call a ‘clean-food’—it is also covered in dark chocolate, which is my favorite!”
Gone Berry Crazy Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces
Nutrition per 6 pieces: Calories: 100, Total Fat: 3.5g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 20 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: <1g
Gone Bananas Chocolate-Covered Banana Slices
Nutrition per 4 pieces: Calories: 130, Total Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 10 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 2g
Bonus Tip: For an even more filling treat, Gina recommends topping plain Greek yogurt with these tasty pieces.
Rebecca Perkins, MS, RDN, LDN calls herself “the queen of savory,” so if you’re looking for non-traditional “treat” that’s nutritionally dense and delicious look no further than Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi. Rebecca recommends cooking them “one specific way: crispy on the stove top. These little nuggets are great for switching up pasta night, crispy little appetizers, or even just drizzled with olive oil and parmesan cheese.”
Nutrition per cup: Calories: 140, Total Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 460 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: <1g, Protein: 2g
My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream
McKenna Welshans, RD, ACSM-CEP loves these sticky Japanese treats. If you’ve never heard of them before, Mochi ice cream consists of a rice dumpling formed around an ice cream filling; they comes in various delicious flavors. These are another great pre-portioned treat that’s the perfect size to satisfy your sweet tooth without overdoing it. Not only that, but Mochi is a lower-fat way to enjoy ice cream. My/Mo also offers vegan and dairy free choices. McKenna’s all time favorite flavor is their Salted Caramel.
Salted Caramel Mochi Ice Cream
Nutrition per ball: Calories: 110, Total Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 35 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 1g
Taylor Conrady, RD, LDN has a few easy at-home frozen treats up her sleeve, including banana-yogurt popsicles. “They take 5 minutes to whip up and throw in the freezer, and there are endless combinations. I like to add oats, a dash of honey, cinnamon, and chocolate chips to mashed banana and plain Greek yogurt,” she says. With these, you have control over how much sugar goes in, portion size, and nutrient density. Other easy and nutritious add-ins include nuts, nut butters, flax or chia seeds, berries and other fruits, or dried fruits.
Another favorite of Taylor’s is this Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie. It makes for a great treat and is also nutritionally dense enough to be a breakfast option.
Nutrition per 1 ½ cup: Calories: 367, Total Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 160 mg, Carbohydrates: 54 g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 31g, Protein: 18g
As you can tell, frozen treats can come in all shapes, forms, and flavor profiles. With this variety of dietitian-approved choices, there is something for everyone to enjoy!