As you enjoy these popular summer treats, you may be surprised to know they can actually be good for you.
There are many summer treats that don’t exactly wrack up much in the nutrition department. Whether you are strolling the boardwalk, at a ball game or enjoying the company of friends at an outdoor barbecue or picnic, plenty of not-so-healthy foods grab your attention.
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While it’s okay to occasionally splurge on these summer treats, you may be surprised by how healthy some summer goodies actually are. These three foods may seem indulgent, but they contribute more nutrition than meets the eye. So the next time you’re in the mood for a treat, try one of these healthier options—and check out our yummy summer treat recipes, too!
3 Summer Treats that Are Good to Eat
Ice cream supplies essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that help support healthy bones, teeth and muscles. These include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D and protein. Of course, it often also contains a good deal of fat, sugar and calories.
As you weigh the good and the bad of ice cream, keep in mind that it’s okay to enjoy this sweet summer treat on occasion, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Just stick to a small cup or cone and don’t overdo the toppings. Here are some tips for a healthier ice cream treat:
- Order a small or kid size and savor every lick.
- Top with fresh fruit or nuts instead of artificially colored sprinkles, syrups and candies.
- Make your own ice cream—check out our recipes below!
Healthy summer treat recipes:
Popcorn is 100% whole grain, making it a good source of dietary fiber. It also contains important nutrients, like zinc, magnesium and B-vitamins that contribute to overall health.
Although popcorn on its own is a healthy snack, it loses some of its healthfulness if its swimming in melted butter, caramel, cheese or salt. Tweaks like these can make popcorn a healthier treat:
- Stick to a small bag, even if the large bucket is a better deal.
- Ask for less butter, cheese or caramel—or skip the toppings completely.
- Air pop your own. Season with a bit of olive oil, oregano and grated Parmesan cheese or a touch of melted butter with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Or make our delicious popcorn recipe below!
Healthy summer treat recipe: Caramel Popcorn
Since watermelon is a fruit, it’s no surprise that it’s healthy. Some people think it contains a lot of sugar since it tastes so sweet but it’s actually made up of 92% water so it helps keep you hydrated. Watermelon contains lycopene (that’s what makes it so red) and potassium, essential nutrients for heart health. It also supplies vitamins A and C, which improves the health of skin and hair.
You can eat watermelon on its own for a delicious summer treat or try one of these flavorful combinations:
- Skewer watermelon cubes with berries and cantaloupe to make kabobs. Pair with vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping.
- Mix chopped watermelon with feta cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
- Puree and freeze watermelon to make into sorbet, granita or ice pops—recipe below!
Healthy summer treat recipes:
When it comes to summer treats, it’s okay to indulge on occasion. Just watch portion sizes and don’t splurge too often. Another way to enjoy popular summer treats without guilt is to try out some of the healthy summer treat recipes included here.