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July is National Ice Cream Month

Cool off with ice cream healthfully.

Trying to beat the heat often involves looking for cool beverages but frozen treats like popsicles, ice cream cones and sundaes can also provide a cool taste and a bit of variety for Watsonville residents.

In fact, July is National Ice Cream Month.

President Ronald Reagan made the sweet dedication in 1984. The third Sunday of the month (that was last weekend) is National Ice Cream Day, but you can celebrate all month long.

the U.S. ice cream industry generated total revenues of $10 billion in 2010 alone.

If you’re choosing frozen treats just remember to monitor the portions you choose. 

Ice cream cones, single serve cups and frozen treats that come on bars are good ways to know how many calories you are consuming and to make it easier to limit portions but sundaes, especially with several toppings can often lead to large portions and a larger number of calories. If you enjoy sundaes consider a few of these ideas to help you “have your ice cream and eat it to.”

First, decide if you want full fat ice cream or yogurt or if you can enjoy a lower fat or fat free variety. The difference in calories can range from 100 calories in a scoop of fat free frozen yogurt to up to 300 calories in a scoop of a premium brand ice cream. Once you decide what you will start with remember that the calories are based on a scoop so if you choose more than one scoop the numbers will add up.

No sundae is complete without the toppings and this is where we sometimes get carried away. A simple drizzle of chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup can add 100 calories for two tablespoons but if you need a “drizzle” of all three or if you need sprinkles, coconut, chocolate chips – well you get the point.

If you’re looking for the best toppings the obvious would be fresh fruit, and this time of year the choices and flavors are wonderful, but if you prefer more traditional toppings consider the following.

Topping Calories

Chocolate Chips 132 Coconut 142 Gummy Bears 112 M&Ms 142 Oreos, crushed 134 Reese's Pieces 121 Sprinkles 28 Whipped Cream 98

*Calorie data from USDA and CalorieKing.com

No matter what you choose make sure you take time to slowly enjoy your ice cream or frozen yogurt sundae since savoring food makes it easier to consume portions that are more appropriate for the calories we need to consume.

Pick up a cone or sundae in Watsonville at the following locations:

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