Summer time and the living isn’t always easy. Hot weather seems to cry out “time to stop at the ice cream shop.” Ice cream is a great treat, but it can also be a dilemma for those that are mindful about a healthful diet.
The number of calories in that ice cream treat can vary widely and range from about 100 calories to over 500 depending on portion size and what goes in and on your ice cream.
Here are 10 ways to make trade-offs that keep you in the fun without the guilt or blowing your calorie or fat budgets:
- Pick a cake cone instead of a waffle cone (this could save you about 100 calories). Have your ice cream in a cup and avoid the cone all together.
- Go for a child’s size, one scoop or a small cone instead of a “regular” which is frequently 2 or more large scoops.
- Watch the flavors you pick. Plain flavors such as vanilla and strawberry usually have less calories than the fancier choices.
- Limit the add-ins. Obviously those with added chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, cookie crumbs and candies have more calories.
- Select ices or sherbets instead of ice cream. These usually have less or no fat. Greek yogurt bars are pre-portioned and a great treat, too.
- Look for light, reduced fat or fat-free ice cream, since they generally have less fat (and calories) than regular ice cream.
- Many soft-serv cones are lower in fat and calories than the hand-dipped ice cream varieties.
- Don’t assume that a frozen yogurt is more healthful or contains less fat or calories—be a good consumer and read labels or ask for nutritional information.
- Instead of going out, make ice cream or sorbet at home. It is a fun family project if you have an ice cream maker. Plus you won’t be tempted to keep gallons on hand. Consider that a gallon of ice cream can be over 5000 calories! Peach Berry Crush Frozen Fruit Pop Cups
- How about substituting frozen fruit instead? I posted about the Yonanna machine https://news.nutritioneducationstore.com/your-bananas-my-bananasyonanas/ a while back that takes frozen fruit and turns it into an ice cream-like product.
It isn’t always easy when the gang is screaming for ice cream. As we all know healthful eating is a matter of moderation. I have a friend who says that once or twice a summer she goes out and gets a super cone with all the frills, but it’s not a daily or weekly practice.
Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University