The day has finally arrived and your sweet little baby is having her first birthday! Of course, you want to celebrate with all the traditions that come along with birthdays: presents, family, and friends, and of course, cake.
However, if you’ve been trying to get your baby off to a good healthy start with her first foods, you may be hesitant to get a sugary sweet cake from your local bakery or use a store bought cake mix.
Baking from scratch is a lot easier than you may think and there are many choices for healthier first birthday cake ideas that you, your guests, and most importantly your baby will love.
Popular Types of First Birthday Cakes
Before deciding on a type of birthday cake for your baby’s first birthday consider any dietary restrictions that she may have.
For instance, if you have kept your baby gluten-free until now you may not want her first experience with gluten to be a birthday cake.
An upset tummy for the rest of her birthday is no fun for anyone. Also, most cakes contain dairy in the form of butter and/or milk as well as eggs.
If there are several different types of ingredients that your baby may not have tried, and she has an allergic reaction, it can be very difficult to determine which food caused the reaction.
One of the most popular types of first birthday cakes is carrot cake. Carrot cake is a great choice since, even though it is a sweetened cake, it does have some healthy aspects to it.
Look for recipes that call for a considerable amount of grated carrots. You can also look for recipes that call for sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar instead of refined sugar.
Be wary of making substitutions in the recipe yourself. One cup of sugar is not at all the same as one cup of honey.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re having your baby’s cake before their first birthday it is recommended to avoid honey until she’s one-year-old because of the risk of infant botulism.
Make sure to discuss this with your doctor to avoid any issues.
Another great choice for a healthier first birthday cake is chocolate zucchini cake. Again, consider which of the ingredients your baby has tried before now.
Many parents avoid chocolate until their baby is at least one-year-old, so if there are other ingredients that your baby hasn’t tried you may want to go for something simpler.
You might also want to avoid recipes that contain raisins. Many zucchini cake recipes call for raisins but some new eaters may have issues with smaller pieces of food.
If you are concerned about your baby’s ability to eat large chunks of food you can always cut up their birthday cake into smaller pieces.
Reduced Sugar Options
Many parents want to avoid sugar for their wee baby altogether. But this doesn’t mean that your baby can’t enjoy their first birthday cake.
There are many recipes that call for fruit as the main source of sugar in a cake. Apples are a popular ingredient in these types of cakes, using freshly diced apples as well as apple sauce.
Pureed prunes are another ingredient to look for that can add sweetness without using refined sugars.
What about the Guests?
For most first birthday parties there are plenty of family and friends there to help celebrate. If you do decide to go with an ultra-healthy cake recipe for your little one you may find that other guests, older children specifically, will be quite disappointed not to find a frosted sweet cake for them to enjoy.
A good solution is to simply have two cakes. A one-year-old baby is highly unlikely to notice that everyone else seems to be eating a colorful frosting laden cake while they are eating something else.
What about the Frosting?
Many parents who are looking for healthy options still want to let their child enjoy the fun of frosting on their first birthday. You will likely need to use some sugar for the frosting but you can reduce how much you use.
If your baby has had dairy products before now a cream cheese based frosting is a better choice than a butter based frosting.
You can also use yogurt or even plain cream cheese if you really want to stay away from confectioner’s sugar.
The main thing to remember when trying to find a cake recipe for baby’s first birthday is to have fun! A little extra bit of sweets on their special day won’t do them any harm in the long run.
As long as you try to include some health factor in your cake you can feel good about what you’re giving your baby and she can enjoy her special treat on this most important day.