Top 10 Treats to Satisfy Any Sweet Tooth

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by: Lindsay Hutton
When that sweet tooth hits, what do you and your kids usually reach for? Whether you're craving candy, ice cream, or a homemade chocolate chip cookie, we've got some sweet, nutritious snacks for kids to keep you and your family eating healthy without feeling deprived. For more great dessert recipes, check out our recipe database.
IceCream
Frozen Yogurt
This delicious alternative to ice cream can be served in a cone, a cup, or as a sundae with a little hot fudge, a dollop of fat-free whipped cream, and a sprinkling of nuts. Yogurt has been shown to help regulate the digestive system, offers a good dose of calcium, and has a lot fewer calories than its higher-fat ice cream alternative. Your kids will never know the difference, and you won't feel guilty enjoying this treat with them!
DarkChocolate
Dark Chocolate
Let's face it -- kids love chocolate. But before you reach for that bag of Herhsey kisses, try giving them some dark chocolate instead. This rich treat is chock-full of flavonoids, a pigment found in plants that acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, the culprits that contribute to clogged arteries, damaged cells, and chronic illnesses. Flavonoids also help to regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and balance certain hormones in the body. All in all, dark chocolate tastes great, makes you feel good, and is good for you. Just remember that chocolate is still a high calorie food, so eat it in moderation, and go for pieces that have 65% or higher cocoa content for maximum health benefits.

Another tip: Although you should be getting two to three servings of dairy a day, avoid having a glass of milk while enjoying your chocolate treat. Some research has shown milk can prevent antioxidants from being absorbed and used by the body.

RedGrapes
Frozen Grapes
Frozen grapes are an especially refreshing snack for a scorching summer day. Just a few hours in the freezer will turn these sweet pieces of fruit into a bite-sized Popsicle treat with all the health benefits of fruit and no artificial sweeteners.

Make sure to wash your grapes thoroughly and remove any stems. Pop them into a freezer bag, and prepare yourself for a treat that tastes too good to be healthy, but is.

FruitSmoothie
Fruit Smoothies
A sweet drink to sip on may be just what the doctor ordered, but a milkshake or frappe packs a ton of calories and not a whole lot of nutrition. The next time a craving hits, try making your own fruit smoothie.

In a blender, mix up some fat-free yogurt, skim milk, fruit, and ice. Honey will add a little sweetness, but remember that infants under the age of one shouldn't have any.

You can even use frozen yogurt for a frosty treat that won't leave you feeling guilty, like this delicious caramel apple smoothie. For a chocolaty twist, substitute the fruit with fat-free chocolate syrup.

Smoothies are great for a quick breakfast, snack, or as a dessert to enjoy with the whole family.

M&MChocolateChipCookies
Cookies
Baking cookies is a great family activity. And, really, who can resist this homemade treat? The next time you're whipping up a batch of your famous chocolate chip cookies, try making a few adjustments for a healthier alternative.

For example, try using 100% whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Applesauce or pureed fruit can be used to replace oil (or a half and half mixture if you can't bring yourself to go completely oil-free). And, instead of using the full amount of chocolate chips, try using half of the recommended amount and replace the other half with nuts to add some healthy fat and extra protein.

Cookies may not be considered a health food, but with a few substitutions on your part, you can make them an occasional treat for your whole family to enjoy.

ChocolatePudding
Pudding
Creamy pudding can satisfy any sweet tooth, and comes in many low-calorie flavors and varieties. During your next trip to the grocery store, pick up some single serve snack cups to put in your child's lunch for a tasty dessert, or make your own batch with sugar-free pudding mix and low-fat or skim milk to be enjoyed at home.
FruitSalad
Fruit Salad
Fresh fruit is nature's dessert. Crisp, crunchy, and sweet, it has natural sugars that help to curb cravings, offers a multitude of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and carbohydrates, and provides an instant pick-me-up, all rolled into a low-calorie, great-tasting snack.

Treat your family to a delicious fruit salad with all of your favorite, in-season fruits. For added crunch and sweetness, sprinkle each serving with honey, coconut flakes, nuts, or a combination of the three. Your kids will absolutely love this deliciously natural treat!

BananaandChocolateDip
Monkey's Tail
Kids go crazy for this fun dessert, and you'll rest easy knowing you aren't pumping your children full of unneeded sugar. It's easy to make, too! Simply drizzle a frozen banana with a little chocolate syrup, add some whipped cream, and sprinkle some nuts on top. Your children will think you've treated them to a special sugary treat, and you'll be happy knowing they are getting a full serving of fruit out of it.
DriedFruit
Dried Fruit
The natural sugars found in dried fruits make them a healthy and satisfying alternative to snacking on hard candy. Naturally sweet fruits like cherries, apricots, and mangoes are delicious in dried form. Rich in vitamins and low in fat, they pack an instant energy boost, thanks to natural sugars like glucose and fructose.

Dried fruit is a great choice for an after-school snack, or the cure for a mid-afternoon energy slump.

CrepeswithMarmalade
Ricotta Cheese Crepe
If decadence is what you're craving, a crepe may be just what you need. This thinly cooked pancake is usually made with wheat flour, which contains a host of nutrients that are stripped from white flour, including fiber and magnesium. Ricotta cheese filling adds a healthy dose of calcium to this yummy treat. Top it off with strawberries or your favorite fruit, and you'll feel like you're spoiling yourself with a gourmet dessert.