With the festive season approaching, there’s no doubt that shops and stalls will see an influx of rich, sugary treats that we typically associate with the Christmas period; from mince pies and puddings to cinnamon buns and chocolate sherry trifles.

Of course, these desserts are delicious, but they certainly won’t work wonders on your health. While the key is to eat them in moderation, as part of a healthy balanced diet, there are ways to indulge in sweet treats without all the added calories.

Here are a few ideas for healthy sweet treats to tuck into this season, and all year round:

Chocolate-dipped strawberries

The natural sweetness in strawberries makes them a perfect sweet snack, but what’s better than strawberries? Strawberries dipped in chocolate, of course!

Simply melt some chocolate squares – dark chocolate is best – and dip the ends of your strawberries into the melted chocolate and lay them out on a metal or plastic tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place the tray in your fridge and leave them until the chocolate sets.

Yoghurt parfait

Yoghurt is a great dessert option and all the more exciting when made into a delicious parfait.

Take one cup of Greek or natural yoghurt and crumble some granola, nuts and fruit on top. If you wish, grate some dark chocolate and add that to the mix too.

As well as a dessert, you could even make yoghurt parfait for breakfast – a tasty and healthy alternative to toast.

Fruit sorbet

We all know how nice ice-cream is, but also how unhealthy it is. While it is okay to indulge in a scoop or two every so often, switching to fruit sorbet is the perfect, healthier solution.

All you need to do is blend together your favourite fruits – raspberries, blueberries and mangoes work well – and add some fruit juice. Then pop the mixture into a container and place into the freezer until it has set. Once frozen, serve up and enjoy!

Raspberry and coconut rice pudding

Rather than tucking into a selection of pastries, which are high in sugar, carbs and fats, swap them for some tasty rice pudding. You can use almond, soya or skimmed milk to boost its nutritional value, and top it with fruits such as raspberries and coconut. Another scrumptious topping is dates and a scoop of peanut butter, but you can choose whatever fruit or nut combination you like!