Boardwalk fare, ball game snacks, and refreshing sweet treats go hand-in-hand with that summer feel. Many are indulgences that don’t rack up much in the nutrition department. But some summertime foods contribute more nutrition than meets the eye.
It's okay to occasionally splurge on your summer favorites. But here are three better-for-you summer treats.
Healthier Summer Treats
In addition to satisfying your summer food cravings, these tasty choices are also good for you.
Popcorn is 100% whole grain and low in calories. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, with nearly 4 grams per 3-cup serving. In addition to fiber, whole grains supply important nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and B-vitamins. These contribute to overall health.
Popcorn in its simplest form is a smart snack. It can lose some of its healthfulness when swimming in melted butter, caramel, cheese, or lots of salt. Small tweaks like these can make it healthier:
- Scale down from a large bucket to a small bag.
- Order with less butter, cheese, caramel, and other add-ons, or skip the toppings completely.
- Air pop your own and top with different seasoning combinations. Try olive oil, oregano, and grated Parmesan cheese. Or top with a touch of melted butter and a dusting of cinnamon and sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder.
Try this healthy caramel popcorn recipe.
That scoop of your favorite frozen treat does more than cool you down. It also supplies essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like:
- Vitamin D
Like other dairy products, nutrients in ice cream support healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.
Find Healthy Recipes
Check out our recipe library, including gluten-free and diabetes-friendly options.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, go ahead and enjoy some. Just stick to a small cup or cone and don’t make it a daily indulgence. After all, in addition to the nutrition it supplies, ice cream typically contains a lot of fat, sugar, and calories.
Here are some tips for a healthier ice cream treat:
- Top with fresh fruit or chopped nuts.
- Skip artificially colored sprinkles, syrups, and candies.
- Order a small or kid-size and savor every lick.
Watermelon is a naturally sweet and juicy summer treat. It’s made up of 92% water, so it’s no surprise that it helps keep you hydrated. Watermelon’s vibrant red hue is due to the lycopene it contains, a heart-protective compound also found in tomatoes. It also has potassium, another essential nutrient for heart health. And it supplies vitamins A and C, important for healthy skin and hair.
You can eat watermelon in cubes or slices or puree it into a juice or smoothie. Its versatile flavor makes it a match for a variety of sweet and savory flavor combinations like these:
- Thread watermelon cubes onto skewers with strawberries and blueberries to make kabobs. Pair with vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping.
- Garnish chopped watermelon with feta cheese crumbles and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
- Puree and freeze watermelon. It can be made into ice pops, sorbet, or granita.
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