Simple Swaps for Healthier Sweet Treats

Each year, Sweetest Day marks a time to give gifts such as greeting cards and candy to your loved ones, not just your love like on Valentine's Day!  Sweetest Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of each October and originated in Ohio.  The Midwest celebrates the Sweetest Day more than the South, West and East coasts. 

This Sweetest Day skip the candy and instead make a homemade treat with our high quality Our Family brand products and recipes from Forest Hills.  Here is one of our favorites!  These cookies are made with whole grain flour and less sugar compared to regular chocolate chip cookies. 


Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour PLUS 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Add to batter along with baking soda and salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Or if you have your own favorite treat to make for your sweet, we wanted to share with you simple ingredient swaps that will allow you to make delicious, yet nutritious sweet treats! 

substitution chart

Another tip is to increase the vanilla extract and/or cinnamon in a recipe.  These both give off a sweet-like flavor that can help make a treat seem sweeter without added sugar.  At most, double the amount of these ingredients. 

To get started, Dannon Greek Yogurt is on sale this week at 10 for $10!  As mentioned above, plain Greek yogurt can be substituted in place of a few ingredients and boosts the protein while reducing overall fat.  

Remember, baking is a science and each ingredient plays an important role in the finished product.  If amounts and ingredients are changed too much, a recipe will not work.  When substituting ingredients to make a healthier treat, always substitute one ingredient per batch until you know what works, and what doesn't.  From there you can combine substitutions to meet your nutrition goals. 

If you prefer to make the recipe as written with rich, indulgent ingredients, that's okay!  Sweets can be part of a balanced diet when consumed only on special occasions, such as Sweetest Day, and in moderation, meaning a small portion. 

If you have a recipe, cooking, or baking question, email [email protected] for helpful solutions. Happy Sweetest Day from the Living Well Team!

"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."

Stephanie Edson Wellness Specialist SpartanNash

Stephanie Edson Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.