Apparently living without air conditioning makes me crave things I don’t normally want. Like, ice cream. While I may enjoy many sweet treats ice cream isn’t at the top of my personal list. However, in the heat of the summer I’ve found myself craving ice cream and went searching to find a better option. This led me to come with this list of healthier summer treats.
While some of the options on my list, such as La Croix, contain no sugar, others like the popular and trending Starbucks pink drink still contain sugar and should be consumed in moderation. However, it definitely beats the sugar content of a frappucino! Read on for my summer treat recommendations.
Healthier Summer Treats
Popular Summer Treat
|Soda||La Croix Sparkling Water|
|Slushy or Popsicle||Homemade smoothie or popsicles|
|Strawberry Shortcake||Fresh fruit kabobs or fruit salad|
|Ice Cream||Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars|
|Starbucks Frappucino||Starbucks “Pink Drink” or Iced Green Tea|
- La Croix Sparkling Water – This is the number one thing I’ve been enjoying this summer. It’s sugar free, has no artificial sweeteners, and no sodium. Basically the ingredient list looks like this: carbonated water, natural flavor. The first time I had La Croix quite a few years ago I did not like it at all, but giving a different flavor a try made all the difference. It’s best when it’s really, really cold. Basically, it’s my favorite thing off this list. Favorite flavors: Orange and Cherry Lime.
- Fruit smoothie or smoothie popsicles – Try making your own fruit smoothie at home with frozen fruit, greek yogurt, coconut water, and even throw in some veggies like spinach. You can drink it icy and cold or you can freeze it into popsicle trays to make your own smoothie popsicles.
- Fresh Fruit Kabobs – Instead of serving strawberry shortcake for dessert why not try these fruit kabobs? Your guests or kids will find the kabobs both visually appealing and delicious. Lightly grilling them will make them juicy and bring out extra flavor.
- Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars – If you don’t have time to make your own ice cream at home, these bars are a great alternative to typical ice cream. At 100 calories these frozen yogurt bars do contain less sugar than many other comparable treats. (Think Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice cream at 280 calories in 1/2 cup.) The portion controlling of these bars will help to keep you from overdoing. Also, 5 grams of protein to 100 calories is not bad for a dessert. The ingredients list is not perfect; it includes sugar and some other ingredients you wouldn’t find in food you make at home. However, on the positive side, they are made with rBST-free milk and contains no artificial sweeteners. They are definitely a better alternative to most store-bought ice cream. Favorite flavor: Cookie dough.
- Starbucks “Pink Drink” or Green Tea Lemonade – Instead of that Frappuccino on your summer starbucks run try the new trending “pink drink”. To order, ask for a Strawberry Acai Refresher with Coconut Milk. While the exact nutritional info can’t be found on starbucks website for this drink, the refresher in water is only 90 calories and no artificial sweeteners. With a mocha frappuccino weighing in at about 410 calories, it is definitely an improvement. Another option would be the green tea lemonade. Ordering it unsweetened will save you some sugar (but there will still be some left from the lemonade).
Finding Balance with Treats
The important thing to remember is that it’s okay to have a treat every now and then. Too much sugar is definitely not good for us and I do not consume refined sugar on a regular basis. However, if you make something completely off limits to yourself it may make you want it more. The best nutrition plan is one that you can consistently follow day in and day out, month after month. This varies from person to person, but anyone can start by making small changes. Switching your regular ice cream treat to the healthier alternative will help to reduce your sugar intake and still feel like you are allowed a treat when you truly want something. I hope this list of healthier summer treats will allow you to spice up your routine without completely overdoing it.