OH-Blog Logo
Variety of desserts sitting on a black background

Dietitians Dish: Desserts

There’s nothing quite like biting into a rich, chocolatey brownie, or a chewy, icing-smothered cookie. Or maybe you’re drawn to the sweet combination of fruit preserves and flaky pastry, cooled by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Whatever confection tickles your taste buds, you’ve probably hesitated once or twice before treating yourself to a sugary indulgence, for fear of upsetting your diet. We wanted to know if OhioHealth dietitians share our lust for lusciousness, and what they recommend for those of us trying to watch our weight.

What dessert hits your spot?

Bowl with scoops of ice cream with chocolate syrup on top

“I love to make a banana ice cream at home with frozen banana, cinnamon and almond milk. When I get real ice cream, it’s a special outing. It’s not something I keep in my freezer.” – Susie Schneider, RD

Stack of chocolate chip cookies

“I typically go for homemade cookies or some type of ice cream product. I believe if you’re going to indulge in something like a dessert, it should be exactly what you are looking for in flavor and texture. I would rather eat a smaller portion of a homemade cookie and really savor it versus eating store-bought cookies every night” – Emily Monfiletto, RD, LD, CCMS

Top view of an apple pie with scoops of vanilla ice cream on top

“Pie and ice cream. I like to make banana ice cream: frozen bananas, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 cup skim milk. Blend it up and it’ll have the consistency of a frosty.” – Jenalee Richner, RD, LDN

Cut up bar of chocolate

“Dark chocolate with or without nuts.” – Marlys Slone, RDN, LD

Apple pie in baking dish

“Apple pie.” – Ashya Walden, RD

Fruit pie sitting on cake stand

“Fruit pie! Especially if it’s my aunt’s homemade pie.” – Brittany Smith, RD, LD


What is your advice for someone trying to eat healthy?

  • “Moderation is key. And don’t waste your calories on something you don’t really care about.” – Susie Schneider, RD
  • “Try eating a small serving of something that is decadent, like a small brownie, and add a lot of fruit to balance out the portion. It will still provide the sweetness you desire.” – Emily Monfiletto, RD, LD, CCMS
  • “Every once in a while, it’s OK to have an unaltered dessert. One dessert will not cause weight gain. It’s the frequency and patterns of what we eat that really impact weight. So, if you want to enjoy a piece of pie and it’s been awhile, take a small piece, savor the taste and choose a healthy option the next time you eat dessert. If you crave dessert frequently, try healthy options that are sweet, like peaches with cottage cheese, raspberries with ricotta cheese, or blueberries and low-sugar yogurt.” – Jenalee Richner, RD, LDN
  • “I focus on portion and sensory satisfaction. It also helps to remember that the first three bites are the most enjoyable. If you can limit portions, then you can enjoy dessert more often.” – Marlys Slone, MS, RDN, LD
  • “Occasionally, I will use less sugar when making a pie. For the most part, though, I enjoy desserts the way they are. If it’s not an everyday event, it’s OK to indulge. Choose healthy dessert options four or five days during the week, like baked fruit, sorbet, frozen yogurts, or all-fruit popsicles. The other days, you can have full-calorie desserts, just pay attention to portion sizes.” – Ashya Walden, RD
  • “I try to control my portion. If I am making pie, I typically cut down on the sugar. Fruits are sweet naturally. Research healthier versions of your favorite desserts. There are so many ingredient swaps that you can make to reduce the fat and sugar in a recipe. There is Greek yogurt cheesecake, black bean brownies, banana bread made with applesauce instead of oil or butter, and many more. If you are going to eat the real thing, enjoy a smaller portion.” – Brittany Smith, RD, LD


related articles