Parfait might sound like a decadent dessert, but with a few small tweaks you can serve this treat for a nutritious breakfast or an after-school snack. Scroll to learn all the tips and tricks, plus the best ingredients for the most delectable yogurt parfait.
Why We Love Yogurt Parfait
Parfait has a secret. No: two secrets. The first is that this special-looking French dessert takes all of five minutes to throw together. (You’ll probably spend more time locating a clear glass than you will actually filling it.)
The second secret is that you can make decadent parfait super-healthy with nutritious, probiotic-rich yogurt, whole grain granola, and colorful fresh fruits. So you feel great about what’s going into your kids’ bodies. And your kids will think you’re just the best when you serve it to them for breakfast on a random Tuesday morning. So who’s in?
Before we get to our delectable recipe and the ways you can customize it, here’s the (not all that obvious) answer to your burning question about yogurt parfait:
Are Yogurt Parfaits Healthy?
Each parfait is different.
But what we can say is this: if nutrition is your goal, be wary of store-bought, pre-made parfaits. When you make a yogurt parfait at home, you have complete control over the ingredients you put inside this fruity treat. That leads to better nutrition all around (and no sacrifice in flavor.)
Our recipe features whole milk yogurt gently-sweetened with pure maple syrup, and a lower-sugar brand of granola (Bear Naked granola is a solid choice, and you can find it at most supermarkets.)
We also pack in the fresh fruits for vitamins, fiber, and flavor. The takeaway here is that a yogurt parfait CAN be healthy, when you make it with good quality, nutritious ingredients.
What Do You Put in a Yogurt Parfait?
The basic architecture of a great parfait goes like this: yogurt, granola, fruit, repeat. You can use any flavor of yogurt you like. We prefer to use plain yogurt with a touch of maple syrup. But if you prefer to use a flavored yogurt, vanilla pairs well with the fruit and granola.
You can use any granola, but read the labels to find one that won’t load up your kids with added sugars. We actually like a simpler-flavored granola for this recipe, because the many layered ingredients in the parfait already bring the flavor party. (In other words, no need to buy some raspberry-almond-maple-choco-bomb flavor. Vanilla or maple does the job here.)
We make homemade granola on a regular basis around here, so that is what we usually use in our yogurt parfait. If you are looking for a sugar-free granola, this Healthy Sugar Free Granola is delicious.
Our parfait features fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mango, but PLEASE don’t feel limited to this when you’re selecting fruits for your own masterpiece. Here’s a list of some of the fruits (fresh or frozen) you can mix and match in your parfait:
- Apples (diced, tossed with cinnamon and microwaved until softened)
How to Make Yogurt Parfait
One of the fun things about yogurt parfait is how darn pretty it looks. Kids feel so special to have a colorful, layered sweet treat, and they’ll have no idea it took you just five minutes to make. (Bask in it, moms and dads. You don’t have to say a thing.)
To create the special visual effect of a parfait, you will, of course, need a clear container. But if you don’t have a classic glass ice cream dish like this one, don’t sweat it. A a glass jar or sturdy clear drinking glass works just as well. In fact, we think they look pretty darn cute in these mason jars! We used 8 oz jars, which were the perfect size for kiddos.
Multiple layers of yogurt, fruit, and granola not only looks more appealing, but ensures that you get a good ratio of all those yummy components in every bite!
More Recipes You’ll Love:
- Granola Bar Bowls – these are just like hand-held parfaits!
- Pumpkin Chia Coconut Granola
- How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot
- Chewy Homemade Granola Bars
- Frozen Yogurt Bark
- 2 cup yogurt, plain
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup, pure
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1 mango
- 1 cup granola
- Add the yogurt and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl; stir to combine.
- Wash the berries. Slice the strawberries and dice the mango.
- Layer the yogurt, granola, and fruit in each serving dish.
- Serve immediately.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Amazing post, the illustration is delicate and the photographs are really very gorgeous! Loving everything about this recipe.
I love your recipes!!!!!!!
Thank you Victoria!
Is maple syrup “healthier” than honey to use as a sweetener? Both honey and maple syrup still have between 14-17 g of sugar per tablespoon. I feel like this is still a lot of sugar for breakfast, would there be any other healthier alternatives? Thanks 🙂
Hi Lindsay! You’re right that both honey and maple syrup both contain added sugars. Keep in mind that tablespoon is divided among three servings, so you’re really only adding a teaspoon to each parfait. (But if you’re counting, it’s likely that the granola contributes added sugars, too!) You can totally leave out the honey/syrup, and just layer our parfait with plain yogurt, berries, and granola. That’s what I do and I find it plenty sweet.
my sis is not letting me make it 🙁