Healthy desserts for kids — is there such a thing?
Sweets and treats are everywhere these days, so choosing to make healthier versions for kids cuts down on sugar and junk that can wreak havoc on our wellness.
What makes for a healthy dessert? Well, real food ingredients, of course!
- Choose less processed flours: almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour
- Opt for natural sweeteners (and less of them): honey, real maple syrup, coconut sugar
- Avoid artificial food dyes, flavorings, and preservatives
With just a few ingredient swaps, you can make delicious, wholesome, healthy desserts for kids! Or, better yet, invite them to help you in the kitchen. It’s a great way to pique their interest and start teaching kids to cook.
Making sweet surprises from single ingredients in your own kitchen naturally reduces the processed ingredients, increases our appreciation for homemade food, and brings us together as a family.
Here is a list of our family’s favorite healthier dessert recipes.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding
OMG! If your kids love chocolate and peanut butter, then this Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding recipe from Minimalist Baker will be begged for! It’s one of my favorite healthy desserts for kids.
My kids are always shocked when the avocado goes in the food processor because you can’t taste it in the end result, but the creamy texture it provides brings this treat together (and I love the healthy fats my kids get from it!).
Edible Cookie Dough
There’s something about that ooey-gooey goodness of cookie dough that makes every kid (and grown-up) sneak a lick from the bowl. This Edible Cookie Dough recipe is safe to eat raw with no eggs or flour to worry about — so, no sneaking necessary.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
There’s something special about the specks of real vanilla bean, and there’s something special about homemade ice cream. Together, this Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe from Live Simply is a must try. It’s easy to make, sweetened with honey, and simply delicious!
My kids LOVE watermelon — especially during the summer months — so, I’m always looking for fun ways to serve this refreshing fruit. Watermelon Pizza is uber healthy, but its creative beauty and tantalizing taste will leave your kids’ desire for a treat completely fulfilled.
Almond Fudge Brownies
You can’t have a dessert list without brownies! This Almond Fudge Brownie recipe from Primal Palate was one of the first desserts we made as a family when we eliminated processed flours from our diet, and it is STILL one of our absolute favorite treats! The boys love making them, and we all love eating them.
This Apple Crisp recipe is one that our family turns to whether we are camping, celebrating a fall harvest, or looking for a fruity surprise. Full of fresh apples, raw nuts, and coconut — not too sweet and a delicious cold-weather treat.
These Coconut Macaroons from Chocolate Covered Katie have been a keeper in our home! Our whole family loves macaroons and this simple recipe is one my boys can make on their own — even drizzling a little melted chocolate over the top for added pizzazz.
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Bites
No-bake Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Bites are a beautiful combination of flavors — both sweet and spicy. They easily qualify as a healthy treat AND a healthy after school snack. Roll up a batch and keep them in the fridge or freezer for little (or big) hands to grab at will.
Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
A Chocolate Chip Cookie CAKE that lets the slow cooker do the work, and contains real ingredients? That’s right! Thanks to Fed & Fit for this delicious dessert. We love to top with vanilla sweetened real whipped cream.
Healthy Banana Boats
Healthy Banana Boats sail into the nourishing snack category, but I’m including them on this dessert list because my kids turn to them after dinner all the time. They are satisfying, fun, and still provide the touch of sweet they are looking for — especially if you swap the cacao nibs for a few mini chocolate chips!
Chocolate Dipped Bananas
Chocolate Dipped Bananas are not only EASY to make, but they are engaging for kids of all ages, super tasty, and fun to keep in the freezer. Danielle Walker from Against All Grain makes this recipe simple and adjustable based on your tastes and topping ingredients you have on hand.
Cucumber Melon Pops
Cucumber Melon Pops were born from a desire for a refreshing electrolyte replenisher, and continue to be a go-to “treat” for my active kids. Completely guilt free, with a salty sweet flavor, these easy to make popsicles will go fast.
Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Remember those old-fashioned donut holes from your childhood? These Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes from Wellness Mama remind me of those tasty morsels as a kid. With clean ingredients and alternative flours, I feel good about making these for our family every now and then.
Berries and Cream
It doesn’t get much easier than Berries and Cream for dessert, and it doesn’t get much healthier either. Antioxidant-rich berries with pure cream (you can also substitute coconut cream), sweetened only with vanilla, is a no-nonsense treat we frequently share. Highlighting nature’s candy, as we should!
Creamy decadence! This Pumpkin Custard recipe is like pumpkin pie in a jar with a twist of cocoa. This one always gets the approval of the neighborhood kids at our house — the true test of taste.
Almond Joy Truffles
Soft velvety chocolate ganache, coated in almond butter, and topped with toasted coconut! These melt in your mouth Almond Joy Truffles will replace anyone’s craving for the classic candy bar.
Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats
Rice crispy treats can quickly turn into a sugar-bomb! But, I like that this recipe from Fed & Fit encourages the use of marshmallows without high-fructose corn-syrup, and naturally gluten-free brown rice cereal.
These Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats have such a fun and unique flavor, and I typically replace white chocolate chips with dark chocolate.
Homemade popsicles are so easy and yet so rewarding! Every kid loves a good frozen pop, but store bought treats are usually full of processed ingredients. This Patriotic Popsicle recipe is packed with clean eating for kids and plenty of deliciousness.
These Watermelon Slushies from Paleomg are beyond simple and beyond delicious! They’ll put smiles on the neighbors’ faces when they come to play, and are a refreshing surprise when everyone ventures inside from a day in the sun.
Cookie Dough Bites
This Cookie Dough Bite recipe is no-bake, uses clean ingredients, and is safe to eat raw. It’s the best, healthy version of your favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and always puts a smile on my kids’ faces.
Almond Butter Blossoms
You know that traditional peanut butter cookie with a chocolate kiss in the center? This Almond Butter Blossom recipe is a flourless, healthier version that will not disappoint!
These chewy, nutty treats are super simple to throw together. They bake quickly, are fun for the kids to help with, and are ready to satisfy your family’s sweet tooth in no time!
Your turn to make healthy desserts for kids!
Now it’s your turn! Which of these healthier desserts for kids you are going to try first! You really can’t go wrong. Gather your family and choose one or two to make this week — we all could use a sweet and healthy treat from time to time.