1st Birthday Cake Recipes: Healthy options

When it comes to celebrating your child's birthday, it might be tempting to serve the most delectable, decadent treat available. But for a growing child who needs lots of nutrients, it might be wise to rethink classic birthday treats. Find out how to create a festive, healthy and delicious birthday menu with these tips:

Better-for-you Cake Ideas

Here are some swap-out ingredients and suggestions that are better for you and your little one. Keep these in mind if you’re creating your own cake for the party.

Ingredient Swap Ideas

  • 1/3 all-purpose flour can be replaced by wholewheat flour

  • Apple butter or strong apple sauce can replace about 1/3 of regular butter

  • Instead of 3 whole eggs, use 2 whole eggs and one egg white

  • Neufchatel cheese or Brie can be used instead of full-fat cream cheese

  • Light sour cream can be used to replace regular sour cream

Full Cake Replacement Ideas

  • Oatmeal cake

  • Banana bread

  • Vegetable breads (carrot, pumpkin and courgette)

  • Cakes including beetroots, potatoes or sweet potatoes

Dips Abound

Dips and sauces are fun for toddlers, but may get a little messy. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as your little one is eating healthily, you’re making progress!

Sweet Dips

  • Apple Sauce

  • Sour cream flavoured with all-fruit spread or puréed fruits

  • Mashed bananas (with or without berries) and ricotta


  • Cream cheese lightened with milk

  • Guacamole

  • Small curd cottage cheese

  • Houmous

  • Creamy salad dressings

  • Cooked and puréed vegetables

Healthy Foods to Dip

  • Cheese

  • Fruit

  • Cooked vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower)

  • Cucumbers

  • Cream Crackers

  • Wholegrain breads

  • Small chunks or rolled-up slices of chicken or turkey

Shake It Up

Smoothies have moved beyond just fruit. Many now include vegetables too. These nutrient-packed drinks are a great way to add veggies to a delicious treat. If your little one loves smoothies, add some of these ingredients for a nutrient boost:

  • Avocado

  • Spinach

  • Cooked carrots

  • Kale

  • Parsley

  • Cucumber

If your toddler is using a child's beaker, smoothies can be thinned out with milk or water. (If the smoothie is very thick it can be served in a bowl with a spoon.)

Food 'Face Time'

Make a face with food! Use food as 'paint' and the plate as your canvas. Make the face as basic or elaborate as you want but just eyes and a mouth can speak volumes. You can even dress it up with noodle hair, veggie earrings or an oatmeal moustache!

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