Healthy Desserts for Kids

Getting kids to eat healthy can often feel like a challenge. But guess what, you can sneak in the nutrients your kids need and still leave them excited for more! Whole foods like carrots, zucchini, avocado, fruits, and nuts can be seamlessly integrated in your desserts for a tasty and guilt-free treat! The antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients that you can include are endless. For the greatest benefit, use recipes that reduce refined sugars and other processed ingredients; while maximizing fresh, whole foods. This method is such a positive change for your kids health and a great way to avoid that pesky sugar crash! We have broken it down below, so keep reading for the ideas you need to make healthy desserts for kids.

Fruit

An easy place to start is something that kids usually already love: fruit! Use different ingredients like dark chocolate to dip fresh fruit pieces into. Anything from strawberries, bananas, apples, and even mandarins can be dipped in chocolate for a sweet treat that kids will want more of! These healthy dessert ideas are great ways to make something nutritious feel like a guilty pleasure. The darker the chocolate you use, the less the processed sugar. Kids will still taste the sweetness of the fruit in combination with the chocolate and even you will hardly notice the difference.

Another great option to swap desserts with fruit is to create decadent smoothies and popsicles. You can use frozen fruit chunks to retain the natural sweetness and nutrients at the same time. Try combining banana with chocolate and nut butter for a protein-packed drink — just like a milkshake! Avoid sugar packed fruit juices and instead opt for recipes with whole fruits and milk alternatives. Try freezing your smoothies into popsicles for those hot summer days!

Chocolate

For chocolate lovers, there are endless tasty recipes to pack in the nutrients for healthy, kid-friendly desserts. One popular option is chocolate mousse with avocado! The avocado makes the mousse creamy and the chocolate masks the difference in flavor. This way, kids get good fats in their diet! Another decadent option is a flourless chocolate cake. This will have more protein and less empty carbohydrates than the traditional cakes that have white flour.

If you want something for their lunch boxes, try fudge! Lower the sugar and load up on fruit and nut pieces for a yummy, sweet treat that is hard to resist and actually healthy!

Oats & Nuts

In all of your recipes, you can substitute healthier ingredients like oats or nuts for a wholesome treat. When making healthy desserts for kids, try using almond flour or coconut oil as viable substitutes, and see if they even notice the difference! It even works with candy! Recreate your favorite candies but with a healthy twist! For example, use a thin layer of dark chocolate over unsweetened shredded coconut and almonds and you’re good to go! 

For hot summer days, try a dairy-free ice cream with oat or nut milk! It is simple to make homemade ice cream and you can opt for alternatives such as nut or oat milk to make a creamy low fat treat! Use fruit to sweeten the ice cream so you can lower the amount of processed sugar you add. We recommend using vanilla extract too, to retain that classic ice cream base flavor as you add your fruit. This sneaky trick will make your treats feel creamy and delicious. Top with nuts and even coconut shavings for a good crunch! If you’re up for it, you can even make it a banana split!

Veggies

There are some holy grail healthy dessert ideas out there that might just change your outlook on sweets forever! With the right brownie recipe you can use things like black beans or zucchini and your little one wouldn’t know the difference. Who knows, they might even like it better than your classic recipes! 

For the kids that aren’t chocolate fans, opt for carrot cake and load up on the carrots while making spices mild. Use a cream cheese frosting that is lightly sweetened to cut down on the sugary frosting.

Sweeteners

Remember, it’s easy to make recipes that simply cut down on the bad stuff and load up on the good. Opt for fruits, honey, stevia, or a mix of these and cane sugar, for a treat with a lower glycemic index. This means the sweets will not have as much of an effect on your kiddo’s blood glucose levels. Avoid artificial sweeteners or “fake sugars” as these are not good for the body and can have a negative effect on your child’s tummy.

We hope these healthy dessert ideas will help you to integrate nutritious foods in all aspects of your child’s diet. For more ways to maximize nutrition for your child, set up an appointment with your Coastal Kids Pediatrician! We hope to see you soon, but until then, get cookin’!