Healthy dessert ideas

Kids and adults alike love a good dessert.

The dinner meal just isn’t the same without it. Here are some healthy ideas to craft desserts that are filling and fun.

What is it about dessert that has everyone hooked? In the old days, it was probably the way that parents got their kids to eat foods that they didn’t much care for at dinner. Today, it is a tradition that most don’t want to move away from.

But, just because it is sweet doesn’t mean it has to be bad for you. Even fatty desserts are not bad in moderation, although you don’t get a really big portion for your calories. Wouldn’t it be better to eat more for less?

Some healthy dessert ideas

Fruit and nuts – Fresh fruit has a natural sweetness that anyone will love. Combine it with a crumb topping of nuts and brown sugar and you have a tasty treat. Baking an apple and filling it with candied nuts and raisins is like eating a healthier deconstructed apple pie. Try sliced pears and peaches with a nut topping. Diced walnuts and almond slivers are healthier nut choices.

Dark chocolate – Ongoing research shows that dark chocolate has many health benefits. Melt your own dark chocolate into candy molds and create lollipop treats for yourself and the kids.

Fruit ice – You can use fruit juice to create your own shaved ice or buy low fat lemon ices from the store. They are full of fruit sweetness with fewer calories than ice cream pops.

Strawberry shortcake – Spongy angel food cake and strawberries with fat free whipped topping is a treat for anyone. Make it taste better by baking your own cake and adding fresh strawberries sweetened with Splenda to make syrup.

Parfaits – They are beautiful to look at and even better to eat. Use diced fruit and layer it with whipped cream (low fat or fat free, of course) or vanilla pudding made with skim milk. For a chocolate treat, layer fat free chocolate pudding with whipped cream and top with chocolate cookie crumbles or granola.

Fruit pizzas – Take a sugar cookie and roll it out like dough. You can cut some calories by making your own sugar cookie dough at home. The “sauce” is made with sugar and cream cheese. You can also try peanut butter and low fat cream cheese. Top with slices of your favorite fruit. Drizzle with fat free caramel.

Gelatin – There’s nothing like the old standby. Create your favorite gelatin dessert. Add fruit pieces if you like. Top with whipped topping and coconut.

Desserts can be good for you. You are better off making your own for enhanced flavor, larger portion size and lower calories.