A lot of people make resolutions to eat healthier in the New Year, but in my work as a registered dietitian, I’ve found that guidelines that are too strict can leave people bailing on their goals in just a few weeks—or even a few days! My goal, as not only a healthy professional but someone who loves food, has always been to recreate my favorite childhood classics with a healthier and unique twist so that I can avoid restricting myself too much. I love sharing recipes and tips that help other people maintain the same kind of balance.
The trick is to pay attention to the ingredients in the packaged foods that you’re eating. A lot of items are advertised as "healthy," but more often than not the ingredients tell a different story. Most packaged items, especially desserts, contain a crazy amount of excess processed ingredients. Learning what to avoid on nutrition labels can help you develop healthier habits, but instead of just telling people what they can’t have, I love sharing tips to create healthier versions of classic indulgences.
Swapping refined sugar for natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and dates is a great way to stay on track. When you get in the habit of choosing sweets that are smartly sweetened using natural/minimal ingredients, you can enjoy having the occasional sweet treat and truly enjoy it without feeling like it’s a setback.
If you don’t have time to cook, there are a few options that offer pre-made healthy desserts. I’m always recommending Simple Mills to my clients—they’ve created an incredible line of baking mixes, crackers, and cookies, all free of artificial flavors and fillers, gluten, soy, corn, dairy, and grains. I love keeping the chocolate chip cookies on hand for when cravings strike, so I don’t succumb to something far less healthy for my body.
If you do feel like cooking, here are four of my favorite healthier alternatives for dessert. Don’t worry, they definitely don’t skimp on the flavor. Check them out!