National Ice Cream Month from a Dietitian Mom’s Perspective!

This post was written by staff dietitian Heidi Harkopf, MS, RD. She works in Connecticut as the director of nutrition programs.

There aren’t too many foods that start as favorites in childhood and still make the top favorite food list as an adult. But ice cream is sure to be one of them! And while it tastes great all year, there is something about summer that makes this cool, creamy treat extra special! Did you know that July National Ice Cream Month began with Ronald Reagan in 1984? As a matter of fact, ice cream has a rich history in the United States!
 
Food Science for Your Kids
Because ice cream and frozen yogurt are easy to make, it is a great way to introduce your children to basic kitchen skills. And it’s a fun way to teach science with a tasty outcome! For example, your children will learn why salt is critical to the freezing process and why agitation makes it smooth and not a popsicle like.
 
The Basic Recipe
With just cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt you can have this delicious vanilla ice cream on the table in 30 minutes! Topped with berries, it will be a treat your entire family will enjoy. And by experimenting with different fat levels of milk and altering the sugar and you can have a dessert custom made for you and your dietary goals. If you want to capture all the health benefits of the probiotics in yogurt, you are just three ingredients away from enjoying frozen yogurt.

Ingredients
Five simple ingredients.

Do I Need an Ice Cream Maker?
No. Most recipes will instruct to use an ice cream maker, which assures an optimum temperature for freezing and consistent churning for smoothness.

But if you don’t have an ice cream maker consider making ice cream in a bag or in a mason jar–both call for a fun family activity. Even your handheld mixer can be used to make this cool treat!

Bowl of ice cream with berries.
The finished product!

No matter the method, making ice cream and frozen yogurt allows you to customize a frozen summertime dessert that fits into your dietary goals and brings your children into the kitchen.

July 13, 2017