The healthiest and unhealthiest items from the ice cream truck
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The healthiest and unhealthiest items from the ice cream truck

Obviously ice cream and other frozen desserts aren’t the healthiest things you could be eating, but that doesn’t mean you should skip them entirely on those hot summer days. Instead, you should simply be aware of exactly what you’re eating in terms of fat, calories, carbs, and other nutritional info. After all, beach season and ice cream season are one and the same. With that in mind, we’ll help make your decision a little easier with this list of the healthiest and unhealthiest items from the ice cream truck, ranked from healthiest to unhealthiest.

 
1 of 25

Snow Cones

Snow Cones
Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Snow cones can vary from company to company, but the tri-colored Popsicle variety is the one you’re most likely to see. If you do, and you’re on a diet, be sure to grab one. These things are mostly ice, and thus only contain 30 calories, 8 carbs, and 5 grams of sugar. And at 172 grams in weight, these fat-free treats are also twice as filling as most other menu items.

 
2 of 25

Firecrackers

Firecrackers
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Aside from the single-color, single-flavor pops offered by Popsicle, Firecrackers are probably the most popular variety. These red-white-and-blue treats are a summer staple, but few people know they’re actually not too bad for you either. Firecrackers have just 35 calories, 9 carbs, 6 grams of sugar, and no fat. 

 
3 of 25

Jolly Ranchers Popsicles

Jolly Ranchers Popsicles
Popsicle

The extra sweetness of Popsicle’s Jolly Rancher ice pops doesn’t show too much in its nutritional content, as this variety still has just 40 calories, 10 carbs, 7 grams of sugar, and no fat. Sure, they’re slightly worse than the Firecrackers, but at least they have four flavors instead of three!

 
4 of 25

Scribblers

Scribblers
Popsicle

Two Popsicle Scribblers come in each pouch, but this doesn’t mean double trouble. The two pops still only contain a total of 60 calories, 14 carbs, 10 grams of sugar, and no fat. So if it makes you feel like you’re eating more because each purchase includes a pair of pops, we say go for it!

 
5 of 25

Outshine Fruit Bars

Outshine Fruit Bars
Nestle

Nestle’s Outshine Fruit Bars are marketed as a healthier alternative to popsicles because they’re fat-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, and are made with real fruit and no high-fructose corn syrup, but what about the nutritional numbers? The exact figures vary from flavor to flavor but expect 60-80 calories, 16 carbs, and about 15 grams of sugar each. This is on-par with most other popsicles, but Outshine’s versions are slightly bigger and come with a bit more peace of mind - plus 20 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

 
6 of 25

Pop-Ups/Push-Ups

Pop-Ups/Push-Ups
Nestle

Numerous companies make push-up style ice pops, including both Popsicle and Nestle (who make the famous Flintstones variety). Regardless of which you pick, they’re about the same nutritionally, with 70 calories, 16 carbs, 12 grams of sugar, and one gram of fat each. The biggest difference between the two? Popsicle’s variety has 1 gram of saturated fat, while Nestle’s has none. The Flintstones pops also have 20 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, compared with Popsicle’s 10 percent. Yabba Dabba do!

 
7 of 25

Minute Maid Soft Frozen Lemonade Tubes

Minute Maid Soft Frozen Lemonade Tubes
Minute Maid

Wouldn’t you think Minute Maid frozen lemonade would be healthier than a kid’s pop like Nestle’s Push-ups? Nope, but not by much. These two treats are roughly the same size and each has 70 calories, but the Minute Maid tubes have 19 carbs and 13 grams of sugar, a slight uptick. They don’t, however, have any fat, and are made with 11 percent fruit juice.

 
8 of 25

Face Pops

Face Pops
Popsicle

While we had Tweety and Bugs Bunny as the Popsicle Face Pop options when we were kids, children today are more likely to see Iron Man, SpiderMan, Dora the Explorer, or SpongeBob SquarePants. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, as all of them weigh about the same (95g), and possess around 100 calories, 25 carbs, 13 grams of sugar, and no fat. This makes Face Pops one the largest items on the menu, while also being one of the healthier options. What a great excuse to pretend you’re a kid again!

 
9 of 25

Fudgsicle/Creamsicle

Fudgsicle/Creamsicle
Creamsicle

Whether you opt for orange and cream or straight-up chocolate, they’re roughly the same in terms of nutritional value. Each has about 105 calories, 20 carbs, and 14 grams of sugar. As opposed to their Face Pops, Popsicle’s Fudgsicles and Creamsicles contain some fat; about 2 grams total, 1 gram saturated.

 
10 of 25

Chocolate Eclair, Strawberry Shortcake, & Toasted Almond

Chocolate Eclair, Strawberry Shortcake, & Toasted Almond
Good Humor

We hesitate to call this trio of Good Humor bars healthy, but as far as non-popsicle options go, they’re one of your best bets. Each 55-gram bar contains around 150 calories, 20 carbs, and 11 grams of sugar, with 8 grams of fat (3 grams saturated). Ounce for ounce, they’re not much better than the other ice-cream-based treats on this list, but the slightly smaller portion size definitely helps keep things in check.

 
11 of 25

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches
Maureen Sullivan/Contributor/Getty Images

As far as ice-cream-based treats go, you could do a lot worse than Nestle’s classic ice cream sandwiches. The vanilla interior is made with skim milk, the chocolate wafers are thin, and the whole thing only contains 160 calories. We’re not fans of the 29 carbs, 15 grams of sugar, 3.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat – but, as you’ll soon see, this treat and its modest portion size still end up falling somewhere between healthy and unhealthy on our scale.

 
12 of 25

Snickers Ice Cream Bars

Snickers Ice Cream Bars
Snickers

If it makes you feel any better, Snickers Ice Cream Bars are actually slightly healthier than the original candy bars. Both weigh in at about 50 grams, but the Snickers Ice Cream version has about 180 calories, 11 grams of fat (6 grams saturated), 18 carbs, and 15 grams of sugar. The candy bar has 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 33 carbs, and a whopping 27 grams of sugar. Thankfully, Snickers later released a 90-calorie mini version of their ice cream bars.

 
13 of 25

Crunch Bars

Crunch Bars
Nestle

The classic ice cream Crunch Bar from Nestle is basically interchangeable with the previous entry, the Snickers Ice Cream Bar. They both have 180 calories and 11 grams of fat, but the Crunch Bar’s saturated fat content is a tick higher (8 grams), as is its amount of carbs (19 grams). On the plus side, the Crunch Bar’s 13 grams of sugar is slightly lower.

 
14 of 25

Soft Serve Vanilla Cone

Soft Serve Vanilla Cone
Natalie Chappin/Getty Images

Obviously, it’s difficult to precisely pinpoint the number of calories in vanilla soft serve ice cream, as there’s a very large number of companies that make this particular product. However, you can expect a half-cup serving and a cone to total about 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (6 grams saturated), 19 carbs, and 18 grams of sugar. If you go with a waffle cone instead, you’ll be closer to 300 calories! The good news? There’s not much of a health difference between vanilla and chocolate.

 
15 of 25

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich
Klondike

Oreos are so tiny yet so bad for you, but the Klondike Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches aren’t nearly as unhealthy as you might think. Each sammie contains 210 calories, 35 carbs, 17 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated). That still ranks them pretty low on our list, but, as you’ll soon see, it gets a lot worse.

 
16 of 25

Choco Tacos

Choco Tacos
Klondike

In case you didn’t know, Choco Tacos, the old standby treat from our childhood, are still around today. And all things considered, the 73-gram treats aren’t as unhealthy as you might expect, albeit still not healthy. One Choco Taco has 230 calories, 11 grams of fat (8 grams saturated), 31 carbs, and 20 grams of sugar - which is fewer calories than a regular taco, but obviously much more sugary.

 
17 of 25

Ice Cream on a Stick

Ice Cream on a Stick
hartcreations/Getty Images

You’d think that the Crunch Bar version of the classic ice cream on a stick would be the unhealthier option, but it’s actually Good Humor’s standard version that ranks worse, even though they use light vanilla ice cream. This one clocks in at 240 calories, 27 carbs, 11 grams of fat (8 grams saturated), and 22 grams of sugar. 

 
18 of 25

Klondike Bars

Klondike Bars
Smneedham / Getty Images

 Klondike Bars don’t look that big, but they pack 23 grams of sugar, 28 carbs, 14 grams of fat (including an unacceptable 11 grams of saturated fat), and 250 calories. Somehow the square design is deceptive, as these desserts actually weigh 85 grams, making them one of the largest and unhealthiest options available. And this is to say nothing of Klondike’s newer varieties, like Reese’s, Rocky Road, Double Chocolate, and Brownie Fudge Swirl.

 
19 of 25

Reese’s Peanut Butter Dessert Cup

Reese’s Peanut Butter Dessert Cup
Good Humor

 If you think the Klondike Bars were bad, check out Reese’s version made by Good Humor. These peanut-butter-packed treats have 280 calories, 19 grams of fat (10 grams saturated), 22 carbs, and 18 grams of sugar. Nutritionists say the fat in peanut butter is “good fat,” but we’re not so sure this extends to the ice cream bars.

 
20 of 25

Drumsticks

Drumsticks
Nestle

One of the least healthy options on the truck, Nestle’s classic chocolate-coated, nut-covered Drumstick cones pack a surprisingly high 290 calories, 34 carbs, 22 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of fat – including 8 grams of saturated fat. But hey, at least there’s no trans fat, artificial flavors, or artificial colors!

 
21 of 25

Almond Magnum Ice Cream Bars

Almond Magnum Ice Cream Bars
AlesVeluscek/Getty Images

If your ice cream man (or woman) is classy enough to carry Magnum Bars, you might be wondering how healthy these fancy treats are. There are about a dozen varieties out there (including our personal favorite, Double Caramel), but we’ll give you the details on the classic Almond version. This bad boy boasts 270 calories, 18 grams of fat (10 grams saturated), 25 carbs, and 23 grams of sugar. For the taste and quality, we’d say it’s still worth it.

 
22 of 25

Nestle Crunch Dibs (Vanilla)

Nestle Crunch Dibs (Vanilla)
Nestle

These little bite-sized vanilla ice cream droplets covered in a Nestle Crunch coating seem innocent enough, but they pack a caloric punch. 340 calories to be exact. Add to that 24 grams of fat (including a startling 17 grams saturated), 30 carbs, and 20 grams of sugar, and you have one of the worst offenders on this list.

 
23 of 25

Candy Center Crunch

Candy Center Crunch
Veronique Leplat/Getty Images

The Candy Center Crunch was one of our absolute favorite ice cream truck treats growing up. Little did we know that these Blue Bunny bars contain an astounding 340 calories, 28 carbs, 25 grams of fat (21 grams saturated), and 20 grams of sugar. Hey, I never said we were skinny kids.

 
24 of 25

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich
Saturated/Getty Images

We thought this one would be a doozy calorie-wise, mostly due to the imposing serving size, and we were right. Nestle’s Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich contains 380 calories, 15 grams of fat (6 grams saturated), and a shocking 57 carbs and 34 grams of sugar! And this version doesn’t even have the mini chocolate chips around the outside. But it’s still not the unhealthiest entry on this list...

 
25 of 25

King Cones

King Cones
Good Humor

Good Humor’s classic King Cones are similar to Nestle Drumsticks, but with less chocolate coating and fewer nuts. So you’d think they’d also have fewer calories, right? Wrong. The King Cone somehow boasts a whopping 390 calories each, with 22 grams of fat (15 grams saturated!), 44 carbs, and 27 grams of sugar. Suddenly that Drumstick doesn’t seem nearly as unhealthy.

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