6 Alternatives to a Traditional First Birthday Cake

August 29th, 2013 by admin

A child diving into her first birthday cake is an iconic childhood image, but it’s also one that many of today’s parents would rather avoid. The introduction of sugars, processed foods and chemical additives is a situation that many parents would like to put off for as long as possible, but the idea of depriving their child of a first birthday cake seems unreasonably cruel. In fact, there are a host of alternatives to a traditional cake that will not only be healthier for your little one and her guests, but will also put a fun and inventive twist on an old tradition.

  • Fruit Tortes – Instead of a towering confection made of refined flour, processed sugar and chemical dyes, why not make your own fresh fruit torte for Baby’s first birthday treat? Using locally grown, organic produce is the healthiest and most ecologically conscious choice. Just be sure that you’re not introducing strawberries or kiwi into her diet for the first time at her party, as these are common food allergens.
  • Angel Food Cake – Spongy, light and delicious, angel food cakes have been the go-to for dieters for years. With a bit of creative topping and a customized recipe, they can also be a healthier alternative to a traditional cake slathered in thick, sugary icing full of dyes and preservatives. Look for recipes that use honey or agave nectar for sweetening, as well as vegan options that will exclude animal products.
  • Watermelon Cake – In addition to being delicious and refreshing, a watermelon is also a great canvas for stylized desserts. Carve a slab of watermelon into a cake-like shape, decorate with flowers made of grapes and blueberries and celebrate Baby’s first big day with no preservatives, additives or refined sugars. Creative parents can even churn out a tiered affair by stacking several slabs in graduated sizes and experimenting with edible, all-natural garnishes.
  • Vegan Cupcakes – The vegan ingredients allow your baby and her guests to chow down on treats free of animal products and excessive calories, while the small size of a cupcake may prove to be the perfect portion size. No more slabs of sugary, egg-filled cake smothered in chemical-laced icing; just reach for a pre-portioned, beautifully decorated and vegan-friendly confection.
  • Mini Tarts – Miniature fruit tarts are an ideal cake alternative, especially if you make the crusts yourself in order to have more control over the ingredients. There are even recipes for vegan, gluten-free crust options. Choose delectable, fresh fruits for the filling and skip the sugary glazes. Sweet fruits can stand alone and don’t need the thick paste of sticky, sugary goo.
  • Cake Pops – Like cupcakes, only smaller, cake pops allow for greater portion control and can also be made to suit a gluten-free, vegan diet. Choose your icing options carefully and you may be able to eliminate the addition of refined sugar altogether. Just be sure to remove the sticks from Baby’s pop and cut it into manageable bites to avoid presenting a choking hazard.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to your child’s first birthday cake. Not only will you be staving off the introduction of questionable chemicals and additives, but you can also soothe any pangs of guilt by realizing that, at a year old, she’s not likely to remember that her cake wasn’t a traditional one. Start your own traditions, and celebrate her first birthday knowing that you’re giving your child the gift of a strong, healthy body.

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