5 Toddler Desserts That Sneak in Healthy Treats

I have made a point of traveling as much as possible during the summers while my kids are young, as I know that soon enough (like teenagery) they’ll have their own ideas of how to spend the school-free months. Generally, my two daughters and I escape New York in August and do a tour of their grandparents along the West Coast. During this excursion, a new rule was put in place not just by me, but by my husband’s parents. It's called the “Dessert Every Night” rule. It’s fine when our visits are short, but for the long stays, I’ve had to step in to stop the insanity.

If your children are like mine and expect a nightly dessert while on vacation (or any time), perhaps you’ll appreciate my top 5 desserts for toddlers that sneak in the good stuff. These, by the way, are often effective on grandparents as well!


1. "Ice Cream." I serve my kids Trader Joe’s Nonfat Plain Frozen Yogurt and tell them that it’s lemon ice cream. They buy it hook line and sinker. I’m not surprised because the stuff is delicious and has a similar tang to Pinkberry.

2. "Popsicle." Even though I feel that real popsicles are rather benign, sometimes I’d rather not heap on the empty sugar. So, once again I turn to Trader Joe’s. This time, it’s their frozen mango. I chop it up and present it as “popsicle bites.”

3. "Pudding ." I was as surprised as anyone that my faux pudding worked, but it did!  Put a little vanilla yogurt in a dish and top it with chocolate jimmies and voila!, “chocolate chip pudding.” Side note: I don’t think my older daughter is going to fall for this one much longer, so use it while you can on a toddler.  

4. "Cheese cake." This is one of my personal favorites, so I was tickled when my children went for it as well. Just a small layer of cream cheese on a graham cracker with a dollop of honey turns into individual honey cheesecake.

5. "Milkshake."  Who doesn’t love a chocolate milkshake?  And my kids think this one is truly decadent.  Ha, it’s only chocolate soy milk, vanilla yogurt, and ice.

What sneaky healthy dessert ideas can you share?


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