Healthy Twists on the Ice Cream Sandwich

If eating ice cream sandwiches is a summer tradition in your household, turn this popular dessert into a healthy treat with a few modifications. You can make your own ice cream sandwiches at home using low-fat ice cream, fresh fruit, and other diet-friendly toppings for those days when you just need a snack or don't want to bake up a dessert on those hot summer nights.

Here are some ideas for making ice cream sandwiches with a healthy twist this season:

Light Ice Cream Filling

The type of ice cream you choose to fill those ice cream sandwiches with makes this either a diet-friendly treat or a sinful indulgence. Stick with low-fat, slow-churned flavors that taste just like the full-fat varieties to create your ice cream sandwich masterpiece! Try something like Dreyer's/Edy's® Slow Churned Light Ice Cream Caramel Delight flavor which has ribbons of caramel already in it, or creamy French Silk with swirls of chocolate mocha and vanilla mousse. The sky's the limit when it comes to picking out a filling for your sweet treats and you can make batches of different flavors to stock up!

Healthy Toppings

Mix your filling with different add-ins to create something truly unique. Kids can lend a hand to pick out some of their favorite toppings for their signature creations. Just mix one or a few of these toppings into the ice cream filling before you prepare the sandwich for a personalized touch. A few healthy toppings to try: homemade granola; graham cracker pieces; fresh fruit such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple; almond butter; reduced fat peanut butter; low-sugar hot fudge syrup; mini marshmallows; chocolate or rainbow sprinkles; miniature chocolate or peanut butter chips; and sugar-free gummy candies.

Diet-Friendly Coatings

If you want to coat your ice cream sandwiches with some more sweet treats, stick with crunchy, low-calorie snacks that are easy to roll the sandwich in. You can coat the sandwich in miniature dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or some ground-up granola. Some cereals work well for ice cream sandwiches but keep in mind that rice and corn-based cereals will get soggy -- stick with nutty cereals that retain their crunch factor.

Remember that you also need to be mindful about the type of cookie you choose to make your ice cream sandwiches. Snickerdoodles, low-fat chocolate chip cookies, or even gingersnap cookies are some of your best bets when you want to keep this sweet treat healthy. Don't forget you can tweak most cookie recipes to reduce the sugar and fat content with some simple substitutions as well.

Content by Sabah Karimi.