How to Fro-Yo Like a Health Pro

We may all scream for ice cream, but it’s time to start saying yay for yogurt. Yogurt shops are popping up all across the country, and for good reason. Yogurt is a tasty treat that can help you get the nutrients you need every day. When was the last time you could say that about other desserts? And compared to other desserts, frozen yogurt offers a lot less fat and fewer calories – though you still need to watch the sugar content. Use these smart tips to be confident in the frozen yogurt you choose.

Why Fro-Yo?

  • Good Source of Essential Nutrients. Yogurt has five essential nutrients – calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, protein and potassium – all important for good health.
  • Benefits for Your Body. Research shows that live and active cultures, or probiotics, in yogurt prevent gastrointestinal infections, boost the body's immune system, fight certain types of cancer and prevent osteoporosis. Freezing can destroy these cultures, though, so ensure your favorite frozen yogurt carries the seal of approval.
  • Customize It to Your Heart’s Content. With so many different choices, every family member is sure to get just what they want.  Plus, when kids choose their own healthy toppings like fresh fruits and heart-healthy nuts, they feel invested and are more likely to eat.

When Navigating Your Favorite Yogurt Shop

  • DON’T Fill Your Cup to the Top. A half-cup of frozen yogurt contains 150 calories. If sweetened, it can be even more. Plus, most places charge by the ounce. Less yogurt means more savings. So feel free to ask for a smaller cup (they aren’t always displayed) and pay attention as you fill it – it doesn’t need to overflow.
  • DO Focus on Healthy Toppings. Balance out your yogurt by adding taste and nourishment.
    • Choose fresh fruits instead of gummies – they add vitamins, minerals and fiber; all ingredients of a healthy eating pattern. Just make sure it’s fresh fruit, not fruit canned in syrup.
    • Choose dark chocolate chips instead of M&Ms – for the richness without as much sugar.
    • Choose nuts instead of sugary cereal – they’re packed with filling protein and unsaturated fats – healthy for your waistline and your heart.
  • DON’T Force Yourself to Finish. It’s easy to overdo it at a self-serve, and after shelling out cash for the cup full of goodness, you’ll probably feel like you have to eat it all, even when you start to feel full. Instead, ask for a lid – you can save it for later.
  • DO Savor the Flavor. Mindful eating means taking the time to enjoy each bite. It also allows for our body to catch up with our brain when we are full. An easy way to do this is to share the table with family and friends while you enjoy our treat!

With these few simple tricks, you can enjoy that tasty cold treat guilt-free – especially important as those summer temperatures set in.

Looking for more ways to get creative with yogurt? Seek out a few of our favorite recipes with yogurt!

By Katie McKee, MCN, RDN, LD

Katie has always loved teaching others about the power of nutrition. She has a background in journalism as a reporter, writer and editor and has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2015. When she's not working, Katie enjoys cooking and spending time with her young son and family. Learn more about Katie

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