Healthier Ice Cream Cones

Summer weather is upon us, and that means I need ice cream!  But, I'd rather that my kids not have sweet treats all the time, so I've got a few options that are as good or better tasting, and healthy at the same time.  I'll list them in order of effort required, 'cause we all know, that sometimes that's the make-or-break on eating healthy!

Yogurt tubes and Minigos:  Granted, these still have a chunk of sugar in them, but can be a good ice cream substitute some of the time.  The yogourt tubes can be frozen as is, then just eat them the same as you would a freezie.  Minigos can be eaten slightly slushy if you take them out of the freezer ahead of when you want to eat them, or you can pop the whole thing out into an ice cream cone.

Banana pop:  Frozen bananas are delicious!  You can poke a popsicle stick in a peeled, ripe banana (or a half banana might be the right size, depending on your kids' ages) , put the whole thing in the freezer, and then eat as is.

Make your own popsicle: I have the standard plastic popsicle molds that I fill with juice, or with pureed fruit to make frozen treats. Sometimes I'll mix in some yogourt too for a gourmet effect!
Tip for babies:  If you've got a baby like mine who is old enough to know a treat when she sees one, but you're a mom like me and want to hold off on any extra sweet stuff (even fruit juice sugars) until her first birthday, then here's a tip:  They don't know the difference between a juice popsicle and a water popsicle!  So make some up with straight water...the bonus is that when it melts all over the place, you just get a wet baby, not a sticky one!

If you don't want to make your own frozen juice treat. You can head to Chasers in Etobicoke at the Lakeshore. They make unique juice blends and sell mostly to restaurants, hotels and bars. But they have a small storefront where you can purchase a frozen dixie cup of juice on a popsicle stick -a small is 50 cents. Super yummy gourmet frozen treat! (Note: I haven't been in a couple of years, so I emailed to check if they still do this, -'cause I'm a responsible blogger like that - and yes they do! But they now also have "fudgiscles" made from avocado and almond milk or soy, chocolate, vanilla, honey. I am SO going back!)

Frozen Smoothies:  We make smoothies A LOT in our house.  It's usually a family affair, with lots of help from the kids adding the ingredients and then pushing the buttons on the blender.  I like to make them with whatever random fruit I have in the freezer or fridge.  Sometimes I'll add carrots, or kale, and nobody can tell the difference, but I'm happy knowing that there are veggies in our yummy treat.

Make your own ice cream:  I've been wanting to do this for a few years now, but still haven't managed to get up the energy to try it.  Here's a link to one site with instructions. You can find lots more if you search.

So there you go, a bunch of healthier alternatives that will help get you through the summer ice cream season.  If you try any of them, comment below to let me know what worked, and what didn't so I can try it too!

Tabitha is mother to three kids under the age of 6. Her most recent career move has her at home with the kids, figuring out how to be a happy and fulfilled stay-at-home-mom.

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