Treating Your Sweet Tooth

By Kelsey Gemmill

Everyone loves a sweet treat. However, it’s important to find a dessert that’s a good fit for you and your family’s nutrition goals.

Whether you’re watching your intake of added sugars, have dietary restrictions or food allergies, or just want to control your portion sizes, there are smart ways to treat yourself.

If you’re looking for a healthier frozen dessert, you’re in luck. Freezer aisles at grocery stores have some wholesome alternatives.

Traditional ice cream is made with milk, flavorings, sweeteners, and stabilizers. It’s typically high in fat and sugar. Just one medium scoop of ice cream provides 20% of your daily limit for saturated fat and 11 grams of added sugar. Check out the products below to find a healthier swap.

  • Low-sugar ice creams are made with less added sugar or with sugar alcohols. Some of these products are a bit higher in fat, so be sure to read nutrition facts labels to make the best choices when comparing low-sugar brands. Some low sugar brands are also high in protein and taste just like regular ice cream!

  • Dairy-free frozen desserts made with almond or coconut milk as a base may be a good choice for those with a milk allergy or with an intolerance to dairy. Look for labels that say “dairy-free” or try non-dairy frozen treats like fruit popsicles, Italian ice, or sorbet.

  • Portion-controlled treats are perfect for when you want a treat but don’t want to overindulge. Choose between individually packaged popsicles, frozen Greek yogurt bars, frozen chocolate covered bananas and strawberries, and even mini-size favorites like ice cream sandwiches

Product Type Serving Size Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Total Sugar

(total sugar = added + naturally present)

Traditional ice cream (vanilla) ½ cup 150 7g 4 g 14 g
Low-sugar ice cream (vanilla) ½ cup 70 3 g 1.5 g 4 g

(4 g sugar alcohols)

Sorbet (strawberry) ½ cup 90 0 g 0 g 17 g
Dairy-free ice cream (vanilla) ½ cup 100 8 g 7 g 1 g

(3 g sugar alcohols)

Chocolate covered banana bites 6 bites 100 4.5 g 3 g 7 g
Mini ice cream sandwich 1 sandwich 100 2 g 1 g 10 g
Fruit popsicle (strawberry, made with real fruit) 1 popsicle 120 3 g 2.5 g 18 g


Make Your Own Frozen Treat

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? If so, consider making your own delicious and inexpensive frozen treat. Here’s a great one-ingredient frozen banana whip that will have you licking your lips.

Freeze ripe bananas, put them in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Toss in peanut butter, frozen berries, or even a tablespoon of cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist to this creamy dessert. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for an ice cream-like treat that’s actually good for you!

Frozen Banana Whip Optional Ingredients

Ingredient Amount Per Serving Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Total Sugar

(total sugar = added + naturally present)

Peanut butter 1 tablespoon 97 9 g 2 g 2 g
Fresh or frozen berries ¼ cup 20 0 g 0 g 4 g
Unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon 12 1 g 0 g 0 g
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon 0 0 g 0 g 0 g
Cinnamon 1 teaspoon 0 0 g 0 g 0 g


Nutrition Takeaway

The next time you feel the urge to indulge in a sweet frozen treat, remember there are some great options to regular ice cream. Take a trip down the freezer aisle or make a sweet treat at home like this no added sugar frozen banana whip for a healthier frozen treat that’s within your reach.


  1. SuperTracker: My Foods. My Fitness. My Health. SuperTracker Home. Accessed March 1, 2018.
  2. Times TNY. One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream Recipe. The New York Times. Accessed March 1, 2018.
  3. Schaeffer J. Frozen Dessert Innovations. Today’s Dietitian. 2017;19(11):42.

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Posted: May 3, 2018

Category: Health & Nutrition
Tags: Dessert, Dietetic Internship, Sugar

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