How to Put a Healthier Spin on Summertime Sweets

Summer is filled with sugary goodies that can tempt kids — and kids at heart. As temperatures spike over 100 degrees, grab-and-go popsicles and endless varieties of ice cream can sometimes seem like the only option to cool down. However, there are ways to swap in a few healthier items.

To inspire you to think beyond the old favorites, UnitedHealthcare has curated a list of choices that combine taste and nutrition.

Homemade Pops: With two key ingredients and a few essentials such as popsicle sticks, pass out homemade yogurt pops to the neighborhood crew.

Fruity Cone: Skip the scoop of ice cream and fill a cone with cubed melon, grapes, berries and other fruits. They are easy to make and give you another serving of fruit for the day.

Go Bananas: Another ice cream substitute is blended frozen bananas. Peel and chop several bananas, freeze them for a few hours and then pop them in the blender. Add some flavorings, such as cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread to liven things up.

Fresh Fruit Snow Cones: Flavored or shaved ice cups are a summertime staple. Cut the sugar and artificial colors with a three-ingredient swap, which calls for your favorite fruit, agave nectar and ice.

Blend Up Smoothies: Whip up a refreshing cool sipper with a small amount of fruit juice, frozen berries and low-fat yogurt. When it comes to blended smoothies, there are tons of customized combinations based on dietary preferences, preferred flavors or what’s already in the fridge.

Layers of Nutrition: In a few steps, create a layered parfait that really packs in healthy ingredients. For example, you can top Greek yogurt with blackberries, lemon juice and honey for a delicious, nutritious treat.

Freeze Juice Cubes: It can be tough to cut back on juice when you need to quench your thirst. Instead, flip the idea by freezing juice cubes and adding them to your water. It’ll help reduce your juice intake and give your water an added kick.

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