There’s a common misconception that eating dessert means gaining weight and living an unhealthy lifestyle. That is certainly not the case. You can enjoy a dessert as a family without sacrificing your health.
In fact, most of desserts aren’t evil when they’re eaten in moderation. The problem is in the constant focus on eating sweet treats and dessert food throughout the day.
When you want to cut down on the amount of sugar and unhealthy foods your family eats, you don’t need to say no to all desserts. It’s time to make some that the kids will love. These are extremely easy to put together.
Watch out! You’ll get the kids asking for these desserts every single day.
Create Your Own Rocky Road Parfaits
Rocky Road is a popular dessert option but traditionally fully of sugar and high-fat foods. You end up with lots of chocolate, cookies, and more. Well, it’s time for a slight variation on the traditional rocky road dessert.
These parfaits are quick to make. You will need to buy chocolate pudding mix, so you’ll want to check the type that you pick up. You have full control over the brand that you get. If you don’t want to buy one, you can make your chocolate pudding instead, but that’s an extra step that not everyone wants when it comes to creating a family dessert, right?
- 1 packet of chocolate/chocolate fudge instant pudding
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup of whipped dessert topping (thawed if frozen)
- ¼ cup of peanuts, chopped and unsalted
- ¼ cup of mini marshmallows
- Chocolate drops or curls for serving
- Prepare the pudding according to the directions with the milk
- Place three-quarters of a cup of the pudding in a bowl and put the other quarter to one side
- Fold the whipped topping in slowly
- Divide the quarter cup of leftover topping into four dessert dishes
- Top with the pudding/cream mix and then stand for 5-10 minutes
- Sprinkle the marshmallows and peanuts over the top and finish with the chocolate curls
You can make the pudding mix ahead of time and even mix in the whipped topping. Cover these and place them in the fridge until you’re ready to use the dessert mixture and finish off your desserts.
The amount of pudding and cream that you’ll get in the desserts isn’t that much. Your kids will feel like they’re eating something naughty though. They’ll also love sharing these with their friends when they have sleepovers!
Make Simple and Quick Whoopie Pies
The next dessert to make is a take on the traditional whoopie pies. The kids will love to get involved in these. If you can’t find marshmallow crème, you can melt your marshmallows down to create cream yourself.
Opt for thereduced-fat cream cheese to keep this as healthy as possible. Do look out for the sugar levels in the reduced fat versions. Sometimes the full fat is healthier overall!
As for the butter, you can opt for a vegan-friendly option to remove the trans fats. It’s also worth looking out for reduced trans-fat options.
- 4oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup of butter softened
- 3.5oz marshmallow crème
- 12 chocolate cookies (your preferred brand)
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy; you can do this by hand or with an electric mixer
- Fold in the marshmallow crème
- Lay out six cookies and spread the cream on the bottoms
- Top with the other six cookies to create sandwiches with them
- Wrap up the cookies and place in the fridge for two hours
If you want to make these more protein friendly and don’t have a nut allergy, you can switch the butter for some peanut butter. Use the smooth peanut butter rather than crunchy to make it easier to mix.
For those who are allergic, a seed butter is a popular alternative. You’ll get a slightly different taste, but the texture is the same.
Create Family-Friendly Chocolate and Caramel Bars
These chocolate and caramel bars aren’t just popular for desserts. They can also be used for snacks when the kids get in from school. They make popular options for birthday parties where you do your food. Your guests will certainly ask for more.
With the chocolate cake mix, look for your favorite. You can also make your own, as there are plenty of ideas for healthier chocolate cake ideas.
- 1 pack of chocolate cake mix
- ¾ cup of butter, melted
- 2/3 cup of evaporated milk
- 1 packet of vanilla caramels, unwrapped
- 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup of dark chocolate pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease your baking pan ready for use
- In a large bowl, mix your cake mix with the butter and half of the evaporated milk, beating together until smooth
- Spread half of the dough in your baking pan and put to one side
- In a large saucepan, combine the vanilla caramels with the rest of the milk, cooking overa medium to low heat while covered until everything melts
- Pour the caramel mix over the chocolate dough
- Sprinkle the nuts and chocolate over the top and crumble the rest of the dough over the top
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Allow to cook on a wire rack in the pan and then cut into bars
You’ll get about 48 bars out of this, depending on the size that you cut the cake up. You can make them smaller and serve with some fruit on the side for dessert to make it healthier.
If you’re allergic to walnuts, you can replace the nuts with some raisins or chopped dried fruit of choice.
Create a Homemade Cheesecake
How much do you love cheesecake for dessert? A lot of recipes out there tend to be unhealthy, but you can make your own. The benefit of this cheesecake is you don’t have the biscuit base. You also divide up into smaller portions to avoid unnecessary extra calories.
When getting cream cheese, look at both reduced fat and full-fat options. You want to find the one with the overall health benefits—reduced fat may have a lot of added sugar!
- 2oz of Brie cheese softened and rind discarded
- 3oz of cream cheese softened
- 2tbsp sugar (or substitute)
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 2 cups of strawberries, sliced
- ½ cup of almonds
- Honey for drizzling
- Beat the Brie, sugar, cream cheese, and lemon together until completely smooth and then put to one side
- Place half the strawberries in four glasses and then top with half the cheese mixture and half the almonds
- Repeat the above step if you have room or make an extra set of four desserts
- Drizzle with the honey and serve
You can make the cheese mixture beforehand if you’d like. Cover and leave in the fridge for no more than 24 hours. If you’re allergic to nuts, replace with some seeds or raisins.
Make Cookie Bars for a Special Treat
How about another dessert that can also work as a snack? You’ll need to cut the large dessert into bars, so you can make as many or as few as you’d like. If you want small bites, consider serving with some fruit on the side to create a healthier and more nutritious dessert.
- 1 roll of peanut butter cookie dough
- ¾ cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of milk chocolate pieces, candy covered is fine
- ½ cup of dark chocolate pieces/chips
- ½ cup of peanuts, unsalted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking pan with foil, extending over the edges
- Break the cookie dough into a bowl and add the oats, stirring to combine
- Add the chocolate and nuts and stir to combine fully
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan and pat down evenly
- Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cook in the pan on a wire rack
The foil makes it easier to pull the bar out of the pan. You may want to grease the foil before using it. Another option is to use parchment paper instead. If you are allergic to nuts, a chocolate chip cookie dough will work. You can skip the dark chocolate if you get this. Just omit the peanuts, too!
Make a Brownie Parfait
This is another recipe that calls for cream cheese. Like with the others, it’s worth checking the sugar amounts to ensure you get the healthiest option. There is also call for premade brownies. You can get these from the store or make your own to keep the sugar content to a minimum.
- 8oz cream cheese softened
- 3tbsp honey
- 1tbsp milk
- 4 brownies squares, chopped up roughly
- 8 mint cream filled patties, quartered
- Fresh mint for serving
- Place the cheese, milk, and honey into a food processor and blend until smooth
- Pour into a bowl, cover, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes
- Place a layer of brownies into your dessert bowls, then add a layer of cheese and a layer of mint patties; repeating as necessary
- Top with your mint sprigs
You’ll get four servings out of this recipe. If you don’t have any dessert glasses, you can use wine glasses instead, but watch your portion sizes!
Create a Delicious Mocha Mousse
Chocolate mousse tends to be a favorite for kids. It’s easy to make and fun to eat. This alternative is a mocha mousse, which means coffee and chocolate. If your kids don’t like coffee, then you can omit it and replace with a taste that they do love. However, we highly recommend sticking with the coffee when you want a more adult tasting mousse!
If you’re worried about caffeine, you won’t get that much from the recipe. You can even cut back on the coffee amount for the kid’s portions if you want, so they just get a hint of the taste.
- 1 ½ cups of chocolate milk/regular white milk
- 2tsp instant coffee crystals
- 1 pack of instant devil’s food pudding mix
- 1 envelope of whipped dessert topping mix
- 2 cups of strawberries and bananas, chopped
- Chocolate sprinkles/espresso beans for serving
- Mix the milk and coffee together in a bowl and leave to stand for 5 minutes for the crystals to dissolve
- Stir in both pudding and dessert mixes and then beat until moistened
- Beat further until fluffy and then start layering your dessert glasses with the pudding mix and the fruit
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve, if not doing so immediately
You can top with your favorite chocolate sprinkles or coffee beans if you’d like. Alternatively, you can add a strawberry on the top.
Serve a Chocolate Panini
Paninis are traditionally a savory item, but you can turn them into a dessert option instead. This is probably one of the healthiest options on the whole list. We make up for it with the very last one though!
If you are gluten intolerant, there are gluten free bread available. Watch out for the extra sugars and other ingredients added for taste.
- 8 slices of Hawaiian sweet bread
- 2tbsp butter, melted
- 4-6oz of dark chocolate, chopped
- Icing sugar
- Over a medium to low heat, add a skillet
- Brush some of the melted butter on one side of each slice of bread and place half buttered down on the work surface
- Sprinkle with the chocolate, covering most of the bread
- Place the other slices butter side up to create a sandwich
- Place them in the skillet and grill two at a time for 6-8 minutes, until the chocolate is melted
- Serve with a dusting of the sugar
These are best served warm. If you don’t want to use a pan, you can use a grill machine instead. Get the kids to help with sprinkling the chocolate and icing sugar.
Enjoy a Refreshing Cherry and Berry Smoothie
Who said that desserts had to be something you ate? Lots of adults prefer a coffee for dessert. Well, kids may want to drink a smoothie instead. This is a completely nutritious dessert and can be used for breakfast or as a snack if you’d like.
- ½ cup of pitted cherries, fresh or frozen is fine
- ½ cup of milk of choice
- ¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 2tbsp blueberries/raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1tbsp cherry or cranberry juice, (thawed if frozen)
- 1tbsp honey
- 1/2tsp vanilla
- 8 ice cubes
- Place all the ingredients except the ice into your blender and blitz until combined
- Add in the ice cubes and blitz for another 15 seconds to crush the ice
- Pour into your glasses and top with cherries
If your blender can’t take the ice, you can omit it. Opt for ice cubes to create a refreshing smoothie instead.
Desserts Don’t Have to Be Unhealthy
It’s time to enjoy your desserts again and not worry about your health. There are plenty of ways to create fun and simple desserts that are good for you. While some of the above aren’t the healthiest options out there, they’re not bad for you in moderation. Of course, you don’t want to have them every single day of the week.
If you want to have something that’s nutritious, then you’ll want to choose the smoothie at the very end.
Have one a week and let us know which ones you prefer.