Frozen fruit popsicles are easy to find nowadays and short of making them yourself, there are some popsicle brands you can feel good about right in the grocery store.
Scroll through the freezer section of your supermarket and you’ll see the booming class of popsicles. Since I originally wrote this post in 2011, the frozen fruit popsicle category has exploded. From paletas to classic popsicles and flavor combinations that will blow your mind, frozen fruit bars offer a range of interesting and creative options.
Sure, you can make your own popsicles and control the ingredients, especially added sugar. But, do you have to make homemade versions to get what you’re looking for?
What constitutes a healthy popsicle, anyways? If you’re thinking it needs to be sugar-free, then you better get in the kitchen and fire up the blender.
Popsicle are a treat. In fact, they fall into the “sweets and treats” category in my mind. [Read: The Easiest Rule for Managing Sweets & Treats].
Just like ice cream, candy or cookies, my philosophy is they can fit into a balanced eating pattern. Most importantly, when you allow this frozen dessert, let your child (or yourself!) enjoy it fully.
Now let’s get on.
I’ve updated my popular post from 2011 and reviewed the popular popsicles you can find in most grocery stores.
Similar to my original post, this popsicle list excludes products with artificial sweeteners.
What are the Best Popsicles from the Supermarket?
I looked at calories, total carbohydrate, and added sugar, as well as overall nutrient content.
This came down to fruit popsicles, mostly. However, all popsicles in this review contained added sugar. Now that we have the new Nutrition Facts Panel, it’s easy to see exactly how much added sugar is in these products. In my previous writing, this was not possible.
Scroll to the bottom for a summary chart of 10 popsicle brands and their calorie, carbohydrate and added sugar.
Drum roll, please…
365 Everyday Value Strawberry Frozen Fruit Bars
It’s hard to beat these all-star pops. With real strawberries and a bit of cane sugar (yes, this is added sugar), these bars are tasty. You’ll find these at Whole Foods.
Calories: 120 | Total Carbohydrate: 30 g | Added Sugar: 20g
Whole Fruit Fruit Bars: Strawberry
Strawberries are the second ingredient listed in this pick that contains 70 calories, 17 grams of added sugar, and no fat. Added bonus: 1 gram of fiber! And, this pick covers 25% Daily Value for vitamin C.
Easy to find in the supermarket…and in my freezer!
Calories: 70 | Total Carbohydrate: 18 g | Added Sugar: 17 g
Good Pop: Strawberry Pops
The simple ingredient list earns these bars a nod. Since my first writing, this brand has exploded with a variety of new flavors.
You can also find these in freezable sticks.
Calories: 60 | Total Carbohydrate: 15 g | Added Sugar: 12g
Outshine Strawberry Popsicles
Outshine offers a wide variety of flavored popsicles. I chose strawberry for the comparison to the other brands listed here.
The variety of flavors is what I like most about this brand.
You’ll find these are made with real, whole fruit. As such, they are chock full of vitamin C. Plus, they’re easy to find in just about every supermarket.
Calories: 60 | Total Carbohydrate: 15 g | Added Sugar: 12 g
Annie’s Cheerful Cherry Popsicle
Made with real fruit juice and no artificial anything, Annie’s stands out as one of the lowest sugar options available.
Calories: 45 | Total Carbohydrate: 10 g | Added Sugar: 5 g
Jonny Pops Summer Strawberry Popsicle
Made with five simple ingredients, including cream, these popsicles are sure to capture the classic flavor of strawberries in the summertime.
Calories: 90 | Total Carbohydrate: 12 g | Added Sugar: 11 g
Helados Mexico Strawberry Fresas Paletas
Now you can buy paletas at the store! I remember when I lived in Nashville, we used to make a special trip to get paletas. The ladies who operated the shop were only open a few days a week and you had to arrive early because they often sold out.
Calories: 80 | Total Carbohydrate: 20 g | Added Sugar: 18 g
Which Ones are Low Calorie Popsicles?
I reviewed 10 different brands and focused on similar flavors. In my review, Popsicle, Annie’s, and Favorite Day were the lowest in calories.
However, calories are dependent upon portion size and many of the lower calorie popsicles are a small, stick size rather than a full “bar.”
Which are Real Fruit Popsicles?
According to my review, Whole Fruit, Outshine, Good Pop, Jonny Pops, Helados Mexico, and 365 Everyday have fruit as their main ingredient.
Fruit Popsicle Comparison Chart, 2021
I’ve summarized popular frozen fruit popsicles you can purchase in the supermarket here. A couple of things to note:
Every brand has added sugar. If you want a commercial popsicle without added sugar, purchase brands that state NO ADDED SUGAR. This trade-off may include artificial sweeteners, however. Read the label.
Since the selection here is mostly all fruit pops, there is little to no fat. The exception to this are the popsicles from Halo Top and Helados Mexico, which are made with dairy.
Make Your Own Frozen Fruit Bars!
Feeling adventurous? It’s so so easy to make your own fruit-based pops at home! And it’s an easy recipe to include little hands in the making.
I love this homemade peach nectar popsicle myself!
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 leek, white and light green part, sliced
- 1-1 1/2 # ground lamb
- 2 potatoes, cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, sliced into thick coins
- 1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1, 12-ounce bottle of dark beer (ie, Guinness or Bass ale)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or more to taste)
- Kosher salt and pepper
Over medium-high heat, place the onions, garlic, leeks and lamb in a large Dutch oven and saute until lamb is cooked through.
Add potatoes, carrots, canned tomatoes and cook, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over the meat and vegetables and stir, allowing the flour to cook and brown.
Pour beer into the pan and deglaze the pan, scraping the bits and pieces off the bottom of the pan.
Add broth and herbs, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
Bring to a boil, uncovered. Turn the heat down low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
The stew is done when the potatoes are fork-tender.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 860mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
This is an estimation of nutritional content.
Do you have a favorite flavor or popsicle your family likes to eat?
Disclaimer: The Nourished Child provides an objective and independent review of these products; no affiliations or support was obtained from any grocer or food marketer.
Originally published in 2011 | Updated June 2021