Summer Food: How Fun Food Can Affect your Diet

Summer fun food: we don’t question it; in fact, most of us don’t even consider it as part of our diet.  Before summer fun food creeps up on you, take a look at what you are really getting.

All nutritional information from Calorie King.

Ice Cream

The average 1/2 cup soft serve vanilla ice cream serving has 191 calories, 11.2 grams of fat, and 18.2 g of sugar.  Protein, calcium, and potassium are good components of this dreamy dessert, however, adding any flavor, and components such as chocolate chips, sprinkles, or syrups can sometimes double or triple your intake.  For example, indulging in a Denny’s Banana Split equates to a whopping 894 calories, 43 g of fat, and 95% of your daily saturated fat intake.  One pound 3 oz may be too much for one person to handle and you would have to walk 248 minutes to burn this summer food off.


You don’t have to give up your sweet tooth this summer season.  Skinny Cow brand comes in a variety of bars, sandwiches, and single serving cups to keep you in check.  Their ice cream sandwich, with only 140 calories, only has 2 g of fat so you can be sure to treat yourself.

Popsicles are a great alternative.  One 1.7 fl oz orange, cherry, or grape pop contains 40 calories, 0 fat, and half the sugar of the ice cream predecessor.

Take a look at Calorie King to see what comes with your favorite ice cream.  Then compare better alternatives when you are approached with an ice cream situation you don’t want to get out of control.

What’s a BBQ, baseball game, or even date night without an old-fashioned hamburger or hot dog?  Again, making the right choices is the key here.

Hot Dogs

A 6.4 oz stadium hot dog has 464 calories, 21 g of fat, and not to mention a half a day’s worth of salt.  A regular 4 oz hot dog with ketchup is a little better at 315 calories, and 18.5 g of fat, but still half of your salt intake for the day.


Every restaurant has it’s own take of ‘The Hamburger’ and deluxe, ultimate, and premium styles have come a long way.  There is not enough room to present the information, so take a look at Calorie King for some of your favorites.  It’s being aware of what goes in the making that will help you to consider alternatives.


A turkey hot dog, also called a frankfurter has only 102 calories, 8 g of total fat, and about a third of your daily intake for salt.

Ordering your hamburger plain or with the sauce on the side can be ways to lower calories, fat, and salt counts.


Pizza has to be the ultimate summer fun food and it’s convenience allows for it to become a meal too.

Would you be surprised to find out that Pizza Hut’s personal cheese pizza comes with 590 calories, and half of your daily’s worth of saturated fat and sodium content?


Jenny Craig has a frozen rising crust pizza that offers a great solution to your regular pizza place.  For 5.4 oz pizza, you are getting 280 calories, 5 g of fat, 28% cholesterol, and even 250 mg of calcium.

Why buy when you can make your own healthy version?  Use whole wheat pita bread, low sugar sauce, and tons of your favorite veggies


If you are interested in the limit of fat, cholesterol, or salt in your summer fun food, here’s some tasty side notes:

Rule of Thumb

  • Try to limit your fat content to 30% of your total calories.
  • Salt should be no more than 2300 mg per day
  • Cholesterol should be 300 mg or less per day
  • The higher the fiber the better; 2 g per serving is considered good and 5 g is considered high fiber

Summer is a time to enjoy the fun things in life including the food that comes with it.  Being prepared, doing research a head of time, and an open heart to substitution may be your ticket to having fun food without all the extras.

Is there something you are willing to try a substitute for?

Were you shocked to see how much stuff goes into your Summer favorites?

Leave me a comment, I would love to hear your thoughts…


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cynthia Arndt
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 19:00:20

    We are going to a cub scouts bbq on Sunday. I have been telling myself I need to bring a salad for me to eat with your post above it is now in writing why.
    Thanks for the post!


    • amandaholst
      Jul 01, 2010 @ 15:52:10

      Hi Cynthia,
      It really has to be ‘in your face’ to remind you what actually goes into the making of food. It’s so easy to make excuses or not even think about especially when you are out. It all starts at awareness.
      Thanks for the comment,


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