1 year old birthday and cake

(46 Posts)
Orissiah Mon 18-May-09 09:15:18

Hello all,

My LO turns 1 in June and we are throwing a small party for her in our garden with family. So far in her short life she has not tasted sugar. I have nothing against sygar - just have not seen the need to give it to her yet. So bearing this in mind I was thinking of making her a muffin-type cake with minimal sugar. Does anyone have any recipes for muffins or cakes sweetened with fruit puree? Or should I simply relax about it all and make her a proper cake with sugar :-)


giantkatestacks Mon 18-May-09 09:17:26

I would make a proper cake and just not let her have any icing...I was like this with my first and was very proud of myself - the second one has sadly been mollified with lots of buns and the like from a very early age...I blame blwgrin

smee Mon 18-May-09 09:22:59

You deserve a cake - you've got through a whole year after all, so make one you want - am serious, honestly you deserve it. Just let her have a try of some. She'll probably be too excited by all the attention to eat much anyway.

geordieminx Mon 18-May-09 09:25:05

You say she as never had sugar.. no fruit? no yoghurts? No bread? Cos most of them have sugar in - albeit natural sugars in fruit.

wilbur Mon 18-May-09 09:28:08

Banana cake is good if you want to put less sugar in it - you can take out about 1/3 to a half of the sugar and add an extra bit of banana - cake will be quite squishy but who cares. Plus, what about doing one of those Italian fruit-style toppings instead of icing if you really want to avoid sugar? You know, they slice up strawberries, peaches etc, lay then in a pattern over the top and then glaze them (glaze has sugar in, but not as much as icing) so they stay in place and looking nice. You definitely need a good cake though, such a special occasion for both of you. smile

ruddynorah Mon 18-May-09 09:31:07

no sugar? so no breastmilk then?

wilbur Mon 18-May-09 09:32:07

Like this fruit-topped cake

It's the icing that gives the pure sugar hit, so if you take that off, you dramatically reduce the sugar levels of any cake. Plus you avoid the charming habit that toddlers have of licking the icing off and then handing you back a fistful of squished cake.

Greensneeze Mon 18-May-09 09:33:08

banana cake? with a bit of honey to celebrate her coming of age?

Kelix Mon 18-May-09 09:41:48

Youve done well to avaoid sugar for a year? what have you been feeding her hmm
I thought EVERYTHING had sugar in these days!

ICANDOTHAT Mon 18-May-09 09:55:20

You can't be sanctimonious on MN, you always get found out grin LET THEM EAT CAKE !!

smugmumofboys Mon 18-May-09 10:06:59

Please do a cake. Any cake.

I once went to the first birthday party of a child who had similarly never had sugar. It was all veg sticks and rice cakes.

There was no cake. No proud parent bearing a cake with a flaming candle atop. There were no dribbly attempts to blow out said candle.

It was a bit sad tbh. I felt somehow cheated. It just wasn't quite partyish and celebratory without a cake.

3littlefrogs Mon 18-May-09 10:11:28

Do a cake. Video the proceedings so you can sit and laugh and cry over it in future years. Everyone else will enjoy eating it, your one year old will squish it everywhere and have a wonderful time. Very little will actually go in her mouth.


ruddynorah Mon 18-May-09 10:18:27

you're going to look back on the photos of the banana cake with no icing and think 'what was i thinking'..

Surfermum Mon 18-May-09 10:19:48

I don't think dd had any cake at her first birthday party. The rest of us ate it. She was blissfully unaware that she was missing out on anything as she was too busy being passed around the rellies.

stealthsquiggle Mon 18-May-09 10:24:00

Make her a proper cake, FGS. Fruit purees, even if they have no added sugar, still have sugar in. Children need some sugar in some form. Cake (and sugar in numerous other forms) is required for parties, if only mainly for the adults. Your DD will be having too much fun with presents wrapping paper to eat much anyway.

HuffwardlyRudge Mon 18-May-09 10:28:35

Ds just turned one and it brought a tear to my eye to see him sitting in his high chair tucking in to a lovely slice of birthday cake. My boy! Feeding himself, getting icing in his hair, more interested in eating the candle than anything else. Old enough to know that - even if he didn;t understand quite what - something exciting and important was going on. Grinning while the three of us sang Happy Birthday...

Oh, make her a proper cake.

squeaver Mon 18-May-09 10:33:25

The first time my dd had cake (she had had sugar, mind you) was at a 1st birthday party. One poor little boy's mother absolutely forbade him from eating any, though.

You should have seen the look on his face as he sat in the corner with his packet of raisins.

3littlefrogs Mon 18-May-09 10:34:46

squeaver, that is so sad.

giantkatestacks Mon 18-May-09 10:34:54

Our dd put her face in her first birthday cake last week and snaffled it off the tray like a pig - you wouldnt want to miss out on that sort of entertainment would you Orissiah?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 18-May-09 10:39:23

Relax about it and make a cake smile

It doesn't mean she'll have to have cake everyday for the rest of her life just because she had some on her 1st birthday.

Enjoy the day, take some photo's and remind her when she's older that her 1st birthday was the 1st time she tasted cake.

LittleMissNorty Mon 18-May-09 10:43:27

Let her have cake.

Children need a balanced diet, and that includes sugar.

norktasticninja Mon 18-May-09 10:49:29

I am was pretty precious about DD having sugar but, after nearly giving in to PFB neurosis and making a reduced sugar carrot cake, I made a proper chocolate cake for her first birthday. I filled it with whipped cream, topped it with chocolate icing, mini smarties and (of course) a candle.

I'm glad I did.

Relax. A bit of sugar, just the once, isn't going to have any long term effects at all.

muffle Mon 18-May-09 10:49:57

We nee LetThemEatCake on this thread!

But anyway, yes proper cake for a 1st birthday, especially with lots of adults there - everyone likes cake! For DS's I made a normal plain sponge cake with whipped cream and chopped up fresh pears in the middle (healthy!) and just a thin layer or normal white icing on top, plus some 100s and 1000s and writing. Everyone loved it - most of the babies had some too - it was fun.

Is this your first? I can promise you that at some of the birthday parties she will be going to, some of the things she will get given to eat will make a plain old victoria sponge look like the healthy option.

You need a proper old cake with writing and a candle for the 1st birthday photos IMO.

norktasticninja Mon 18-May-09 10:51:02

She's 18 months now BTW and I haven't caught her robbing the local bakery yet grin

seeker Mon 18-May-09 10:52:46

Another vote for proper cake, AND for icing and sprinkles. And lots of strawberries and edible glitter.

muffle Mon 18-May-09 10:56:59

Oh and further to that - I've always thought cake isn't really that bad. Sugar is a small proportion of it - there's also flour (carbs), eggs (protein) and butter (children really do need fat) and often dairy and fresh fruit too. It's loads better than sweets or even some fruit in terms of sugar content.

Ds (PFB in the extreme) didn't get a cake until he was three, until then I thought as he didn't know it didn't matter and he too wasn't allowed sugar.

Dd raised aherm slightly differently, and got a huge, frosted, jam filled, chocolate drop spotted, chocolate cake, which we photographed being smeared all over her face and hair.

Later on ds (4) asked to see the photo's of his first birthday cake sad and on the spot I told him the camera had been broken, luckily he didn't ask about his second birthday!

So I vote for cake in any form, just make sure it's got a candle and you take a bloody picture!grin

wastingmyeducation Mon 18-May-09 11:13:31

DS got some fruitcake from his 'naming day' party that I'd saved in his first week of blw. He loved it. grin
His 1st birthday cake (last week! sniff, my boy's all growed up) was covered in butter icing with his name written in flakes. He actually wasn't that bothered, but I enjoyed it!

Have you tasted milk? It is soooooo sweet. They already have a sweet tooth.

Moderation in all things.

ICANDOTHAT Mon 18-May-09 11:30:06

Forgot to mention my ds2 had his entire face in a chocloate sponge on his first birthday .... ate it with his hands by the fistful and it's on video .... LOVELY ! grin

luvoneson Mon 18-May-09 13:24:05

Make life easy for yourself. Marks and Spencer or Waitrose do lovely cakes. Let the poor kid have some sugar it won't hurt.

Sycamoretree Mon 18-May-09 13:32:41
littleducks Mon 18-May-09 13:41:37

My 13 month old can say 'ake' for cake

He had a birthday cake (buttermilk birthday cake from nigella book, turned into a train with carriages, the biggest of which was blue though i think i didnt give him icing

dds first birthday cake was chocolate, and there is a pic of her in the kitchen licking the spatula with cake mix on

HuffwardlyRudge Mon 18-May-09 13:58:57

Is anyone going to come and say that OP is right and that we only give young children cake and chocolate for our own benefit (the fun of seeing them enjoy it) rather than because they need something that doesn't exist?

<trying hard to play devil's advocate>

HuffwardlyRudge Mon 18-May-09 14:01:35

Littleducks - that Nigella buttermilk cake recipe is tops isn't it! I did a plastic barbie in a big cake skirt with it for dd's 3rd birthday last week and it was really great cake. I used yogurt as I didn't have buttermilk. Delicious and robust. Will use again and again I feel.

Horton Mon 18-May-09 15:43:17

I vote for cake, too. I make a lovely cake which is just normal sponge mix, a little dry, with apples (or any fruit that's good cooked) chopped into it. It's quite moist and squidgy so easy for little ones to eat and it's fruit - it's good for them you! I make it as a flattish cake in a square tin so you can just cut it into squares. Using cooking apples or plums cuts down on the sweetness a bit if it really worries you. But honestly, I don't think a bit of cake at a birthday party is going to do any child a scrap of harm, and learning to enjoy sweet things sensibly is part of growing up and learning to eat healthily in general. I wouldn't advocate giving very small children sugar every day but once in a while really won't hurt.

sazzerbear Mon 18-May-09 15:48:01

I made ds a banana loaf for his 1st birthday - lots of natural sweetness and you don't have to use refined sugar. Went down a treat!

Smithagain Mon 18-May-09 19:50:10

"Is anyone going to come and say that OP is right and that we only give young children cake and chocolate for our own benefit (the fun of seeing them enjoy it) rather than because they need something that doesn't exist?"

Not me!

The pictures we have of DD2 grabbing a fistful of icing off her birthday cake, with a look of glee on her face have kept the moment alive. She and DD1 love looking at those pictures. She's nearly four now, and loves to tell everyone the story of how she trashed her first cake. It's part of our family history. I don't think a wholesome, sugar-free concoction would have had the same effect.

Sure, nobody "needs" cake. But it's in our nature to have a sweet treat as part of a celebration and I don't see why a 1yo can't join in with that. Particularly one who clearly has a healthy diet in general.

No cake? That would be just odd and a\lttle bit sad......

Honestly what's the worse that could happen?

If not on their birthday then when?

Tinkjon Tue 19-May-09 20:02:03

<sigh> do we really have to have the "but there's sugar in fruit, you know" point again?! I think it's obvious that the OP was talking about added, refined sugar - it's always obvious that people mean added sugar when they bring these things up, surely?!

There is nothing wrong in keeping your child away from sugar, imo. I did that with DD (her first taste of sugar was her 2nd birthday cake) and I think the OP should be praised for it, not ridiculed! Having said that, I also think there's absolutely no harm in children having some sugar - in fact my son is proof of Second Baby Syndrome because whilst DD had none until she was 2, DS's first 2-word sentence was "again, cake!

Anyway, to answer your question, bananas are really good at sweetening - I'd probably use those rather than fruit puree, as I think the puree would be too runny. Google "sugar-free banana cake" and I'm sure there will be tons of recipes.

Horton Tue 19-May-09 20:10:19

I don't think anyone's ridiculing the OP, but honestly does anyone think a tiny bit of sugar very occasionally will do any harm? It's not like you have to move them on to coke and marshmallows every day at a year old unless you actually want to. And cake is largely composed of egg, butter and flour (with added sugary calories), and egg, butter and flour are essential good things to eat.

Orissiah Sat 23-May-09 00:29:42

Of course I realise fruit and milk etc are full of (natural) sugar; of course I meant refined sugar - thought it was too obvious to specify. I love chocolates & sweets and am always joking with people that one day I will be competing for sweets with my daughter :-) However, so far she has never tasted (refined) sugar so I was wondering if a proper cake would simply be too much for her body. I would love her to have cake but I think I will omit the icing - a Victoria sponge sounds good!

jasper Sat 23-May-09 00:46:38

her body will cope fine!

kickassangel Sat 23-May-09 02:08:27

ok, purely in order to play devil's advocate - dd didn't have a cake for her first birthday. in fact, we didn't do anything much except sit in a traffic jam south of paris. she also never had sugar (she reacted to ALL new foods & was on home cooked everything til about 18 months).

having said that, hte planning of her birthday cake is now a major international affair in our house.

chatname Mon 25-May-09 03:58:04

DS was 1 on Saturday. We made this Victoria sponge. I added 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract and put icing sugar rather than caster sugar on top (just a little and it fell off DS's bit anyway).

Oh, and I used a pure-fruit no-refined-sugar type of jam (also PFB).

DS had a mouthful of DH's plain sponge, homemade birthday cake before, but hadn't had his own slice of cake before.

DS looked very, very happy! We had a tiny birthday party in the garden with his godfather and it was lovely.

For all those who said their DC didn't taste sugar until they were able to identify the fairtrade crop it came from did you never leave your child with the grandparents? I am also interested to know exactly what harm your child would come to having refined sugar once in a while?

chatname Mon 25-May-09 12:07:44

If I may answer this, re grandparents, my parents are both dead. I would imagine they would have stuffed DS full of sugary delights if they had the chance and I would have been trying to stop them. They certainly did me no favours by stuffing me full of sweets as a child.

However, I of course hugely regret the loss of the sheer amount of love that DS would have had from my mum sad

My DS does have refined sugar once in a while and certainly I think a small piece of cake at a birthday party is fine. He doesn't have much refined sugar in everyday food as I cook a lot of our food from scratch and buy yoghurts like Rachel's Organic which don't have any extra sugar added at all, just fruit.

Re the need to give careful thought to one's child's diet, there is a current child obesity epidemic, see here.

"England has seen the fastest growth in obesity in Europe and childhood obesity has tripled in the past 20 years. "


"obese children could become the first generation to die before their parents."

There is a multi-million pound food industry targeting its wares at children.

Also, if one has a history of food related problems such as obesity and diabetes in the family (and we do), all the more reason to be cautious.

It's a question of getting the balance right isn't it?

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