I have a little sugar problem. Actually, after completing my first Whole30, I discovered that I am seriously addicted to sugar. Nevertheless, life is short, and I believe wholeheartedly in (1) moderation and (2) making the best of the days I have numbered. That means we eat dessert on a fairly regular basis. However, I can sense my girls also cultivating their own sweet
teeth tooths, and I’m not sure that’s a road I want them to walk down.
So, this summer, I’ve been looking for healthier summer treats that we can enjoy as a family without feeling guilty for eating them.
My criteria for a good recipe include the following:
- Low in sugar or sugar-free
- Made with real ingredients (no artificial flavors or colors)
- Using ingredients we will actually eat (i.e. no Splenda, weird fruits or veggies)
Here’s a round-up of 16 cool & healthysummer treats that fit each of those criteria. I hope you find something that looks good and that your family will enjoy!
My older girls have never been big smoothie fans. I’m not sure why either. But we are going to try these because they would make perfect afternoon snacks, especially after a hot day playing outside. Slurpees and agua frescas — they are completely new to my kids!
Strawberries & Cream Smoothie — Super easy and you can decide for yourself how much (if any) and what kind of sweetener to use. I think a touch of honey would be delicious!
Orange PushUp Smoothie — Oh, I have fond memories of Orange PushUps from my childhood! But if I can make my own at home, then we can cut back on the sugar and still enjoy a nice orange-y, creamy treat. Think Orange Julius.
Healthy Chocolate “Milkshake” — I hear “milkshake” and I think loads of sugar. Let’s tell the kids it’s a milkshake, but rest assured it has very little sugar. Plus, there’s some protein and greens in there!
Healthy Strawberry Lemonade Slurpee — Store-bought lemonade is often loaded with sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup. Make your own or find a healthier alternative like Santa Cruz brand. Add strawberries and lots of ice, and you have a delicious, refreshing, antioxidant-rich drink perfect for hot summer days.
Watermelon Agua Fresca — This one may not be very child-friendly (no, there’s no alcohol), but it would be the perfect drink for when you have a girlfriend over. Made with only 4 ingredients, this drink can be sweetened with agave or powdered sugar if needed. Divine!
When the warm weather hits, I stock up on popsicles, but so many are loaded with sugar and artificial stuff. These popsicles may take a little more effort than ripping open a box of Jell-O pudding pops (do they still make those?), but they’re way healthier. Plus, kids will eat ANYTHING on a stick, right? These are the popsicle molds I just ordered.
Frozen Yogurt Watermelon Popsicles — This recipe only has two ingredients: watermelon and Greek yogurt. However, if you want to add a little agave, honey, Stevia, or maple syrup, go for it!
Homemade Peanut Butter Fudgesicle — Oh the fudgesicle. It takes me back to elementary school, cafeteria food, and free ice cream Fridays. This recipe uses canned coconut milk (dairy-free), cocoa powder, honey, and peanut butter. Wanna go back to elementary school? Nope, me neither. But I do want to try these popsicles!
Whipped Pineapple Pops — 3 ingredients: Pineapple, lime, & milk. You can use a dairy-free option. Plus, there’s no added sugar. Cool, refreshing, just yum!
Three-Ingredient Blueberry Cream Popsicles — Again, dairy-free and sugar-free but naturally sweetened, healthy, cool, and fun!
We recently bought this amazing ice cream maker and have made some quite divine ice cream with it: strawberry, chocolate, even peanut butter with Butterfingers. Alas, though, none of these decadent ice creams meet my criteria for “healthy” so I must stop making them. Boo. Fortunately, there are TONS of recipes that do. Here are a few:
Healthy Homemade Banana Treat — No ice cream maker required. Simply process frozen bananas with cocoa powder for a cool, naturally sweetened treat. Don’t like chocolate? (Yes, there are some of you poor souls out there.) Mix in frozen strawberries, pineapple, or peanut butter and honey instead.
Strawberry Ice Cream — I never used canned coconut milk until we went Paleo, but it is a great-tasting, healthy fat that is dairy-free. This ice cream has only 3 ingredients: coconut milk, strawberries, and honey. Plus, there are lots of ways to make it and freeze it.
Homemade Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt — I’m seriously addicted to peanut butter. If I ever find out that I’m allergic, then there will be lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Yogurt is so good for you, but if you have a dairy allergy, use coconut or soy yogurt and any dairy-free milk option you like. Problems with peanuts? Use almond butter instead.
Magic Fruit Ice Cream — You had me at “Magic Fruit.” This is an ice cream you can make and eat every day if you want! It’s straight up fruit. That’s it. Customize it to meet the needs/likes of your family. Use up your perishing produce. Whatever you do, make it. It’s healthy and very cool.
Other Healthy Snacks
These aren’t necessarily frozen treats like smoothies and popsicles, but they are cool and healthy!
Grab-&-Go Fruit Kebabs — Can we say lovely?! We can’t keep fruit in this house, but that’s a good thing! Here’s a beautiful and easy way to ensure your kids get the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need and on a skewer!
Frozen Yogurt Buttons — You only need ONE ingredient for this fun, cool, and healthy snack: Yogurt. Brilliant!You can choose the flavor and type you and your kids like — even sugar-free if you like. I will probably use Greek yogurt for extra protein.
Frozen Grapes — Nothing new or exciting but super easy to make and naturally sweet. Have you tried these?
Summer is officially here as is the heat! If you like cool, healthy treats, experiment with some of these today!
For these and other great summer recipes, follow my Summer Recipes board on Pinterest!
What are YOUR favorite cool, healthy summer treats?