Choosing Better For You Desserts

by Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Last Updated: January 19, 2021

When we think about desserts, it’s followed by a negative connotation more often than not. But why? Why can’t we celebrate eating a balanced diet that also includes desserts? Changing your perspective to view dessert with a clean lens will help you feel guilt-free about including sweets in your diet. Finding ways to enjoy dessert while boosting the nutrients is how we achieve balance. Below is a list of some delicious dessert options that pack in nutrients.
  1. Ice cream and popsicles.
    There’s always room in the week for some ice cream. While sometimes we choose to eat ice cream out, other times selecting an ice cream or popsicle from the store gives you more options for choosing healthy and delicious desserts. Selecting a Greek yogurt-based ice cream can easily reduce calories and fat while adding extra protein. Here are some delicious options to try:
    Fruit-based popsicles are also a fun choice to get in a serving of fruit while reducing the calories and fat:
  2. Dried fruit.
    Dried fruit is a convenient way to add vitamins, minerals, and fiber, not to mention another fruit serving. Some great options to try include Simple Truth Organic Dried Mangos, dates, and raisins (or, in other words, known as “nature’s candy”). Be sure to be on the lookout for the amount of added sugars some dried fruits can contain. Glance at the food label for little or no added sugar, or use the OptUP app as a guide.
  3. Chocolate covered fruits and nuts.
    Any food you can cover in chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a winner in our book. Dark chocolate provides antioxidants and contains less sugar than milk chocolate. Opting for dark chocolate covered fruit and/or nuts can not only provide antioxidants, but vitamins, minerals, fiber, and heart-healthy fats as well. A few delicious options include:
  4. Yogurt.
  5. Bars.
    Bars can be a nutrient-dense option providing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Lara Bars, Kind Bars, and Fiber One Bars will do just that. These bars are great on-the-go snacks and come in various flavors to please any chocolate, peanut butter, or sweets fan.

And yes, if you want to grab that occasional milkshake, a slice of cake, a scoop of ice cream, or a cookie, go for it! Dessert should be something we enjoy, and it shouldn’t ruin our day. Most of the options mentioned contain protein, and enjoying these sweets with protein can help us feel more satisfied. Reach out to one of our Kroger Health Registered Dietitians for more individualized sweet swaps and alternatives for you.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.


Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Kristen believes having a strong relationship with nutrition is key to having a healthy life and that relationship should center around the power of self-love!