For many kids, the meal isn’t over until dessert is served–but cookies, candy and cakes have far too much fat and sugar for daily consumption. You don’t have to force your kids to give up dessert; with these easy and healthy ideas, you can give them what they crave while boosting their nutrition. Below are some kid-tested, parent-approved healthy dessert ideas.
A healthier take on chocolate and strawberries
This kid-appropriate ‘fondue’ gives them the sweet, chocolaty taste they love without all the extra sugar and fat. You can make your chocolate pudding, or buy it premade in your supermarket.
Bananas and chocolate
Cut peeled bananas into pieces, inserting a stick into each piece. Put the bananas on a tray and freeze for a couple of hours. Dip the frozen bananas into melted chocolate, and freeze for another half hour. Eat right away, or freeze for another night’s dessert.
In glasses or bowls, add layers of fresh fruit, granola and yogurt. Top with chopped nuts or chocolate shavings if desired.
Toast mini pitas or English muffins, and top them with chocolate spread, fat-free cream cheese or peanut butter. Add fruit preserves, fresh fruit and chocolate syrup for extra flavor.
These frozen treats give a sweet flavor without the extra fat of cream and milk. Begin with frozen fruit, and puree it until it’s smooth (you can add juice or water if needed). Spoon the mixture into bowls, or pour it into molds and freeze.
To update a family recipe in a healthy way, cut the sugar by one-third and substitute half the butter or oil with applesauce. Use whole wheat flour instead of white, and stir in chocolate chips for extra sweetness.
Use low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt, sticking to one scoop per serving. Toppings can be almost anything you wish–raisins, chopped nuts, cinnamon, cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, crushed pretzels or even jam.
Cinnamon bun toast
No child can resist the gooey, warm goodness of cream cheese and cinnamon. To make this a healthy treat, start with whole wheat toast and margarine with no trans fats. While the buttered bread is still warm, drizzle it with sweetened, melted cream cheese. Make the drizzling process easier by spooning the cream cheese into a zipper bag and snipping one corner.
Every kid likes finger food–and it’s up to you to indulge their cravings in a healthy way. Cut watermelon, pineapple and other fruits into bite-size pieces, and mix in some grapes. Thread the fruit on to wooden skewers, drizzling with melted chocolate just before serving.
Dessert is the perfect end to any meal, but your child’s sweet treats don’t have to be laden with fat and calories. By using some of the delicious recipes listed above, you can give your kids the tastes they want without adding too much unhealthy stuff to their diet. You could also prepare the dessert with them, which will definitely be more interesting for them.
Photo credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicafm/