This Smash Cake is made with less sugar and more whole grains for a healthier celebration on your little one’s first birthday.
I have been dreaming of a healthy Smash Cake recipe for Lil Man’s first birthday since he was born. In case you didn’t notice, I have a HUGE sweet tooth (I know what you must be thinking given I am a Registered Dietitian). In view of my sweet tooth, I am making all efforts to cautiously introduce sweets to my son, and a sugar-filled first birthday cake is not part of my plan.
Do I plan on ever offering him a sweet treat? Absolutely! Complete avoidance or restriction does not help build a healthy relationship with food. But I do hope to familiarize him with many other more nutrient dense foods before I go overboard on the sugar introduction.
A few weeks prior to Lil Man’s First birthday party I started experimenting in the kitchen on a healthy (and edible) smash cake. My goal was to keep the sugar amount minimal, add whole grains, and skip the sugar-sweetened icing. I was able to meet all of my baking goals! Only a small amount of maple syrup + 2 tablespoon sugar was used as a sweetener. Greek yogurt served as the icing. The flour source was a whole wheat flour for added fiber.
So how did Lil Man like the Healthy Smash Cake?
I actually made the cake twice. Once for pictures a week prior to his birthday, and the second time for his birthday party. The initial introduction (at the pictures) to the smash cake was disappointing. He screamed the minute I put the cake in front of him and never let up. And shoving a piece in his mouth did not help! As for the second attempt, we still had some screaming, but perhaps its was a bit less. He again ate NONE of the cake. Another good smash left for mommy to eat (and that I did).
Ironically after my effort of creating and baking a healthier smash cake, on his birthday Lil Man was offered a cupcake at school. One of the other moms brought in cupcakes for the little ones (her son has the same birthday). Yes, I had a bit of a “dietitian mom” moment when I walked into the school and saw the cupcakes sitting on the counter. I debated a few minutes on how to handle the situation and decided the compromise was to ask the teachers to remove the icing on my son’s cupcake. Was I to deprive my son of a cupcake on his birthday when all of his friends were getting one too? I guess this is just the beginning of my battle with sweet treats at school. In case you missed it on Instagram I purchased puzzles and crackers for the Halloween Party at school.
Stay tuned for the complete details on Lil Man’s first birthday party! We had an absolute blast planning his “Up, Up, and Away Party”!
What are your thoughts on offering toddlers sweets?
Your family’s dietitian,
- 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp low sodium baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 c whole milk, room temperature
- 1-2 5 oz containers of Greek yogurt (Full fat vanilla or plain)
Tip: A full fat Greek yogurt is more desirable for sides of cake (I used a vanilla flavored for top and a plain full fat for sides)