Hurray! Your baby is a year old now. I am sure, you are busy planning something special for your baby’s very first birthday. Decorations, outfit, theme and a cake with her favorite character (Or is it yours?). The first birthday party is an expression of your love, your understanding of what the baby likes and you want celebrate that special day in your unique way.

Well, planning the party comes with its own set of worries too. Is it healthy for your baby to actually eat the party food? And the yummy cake slice? The answer is: You need to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that works for you.

As regards the cake, a baby is not unfamiliar with sweet taste. Try tasting milk powder or breastmilk, you’ll find that they are sweet to taste. Natural sugar from breastmilk, top feed and fruits are healthy for your child, however, doctors recommend that it is better that you avoid giving your baby processed sugar for the first one year. This means cakes made with refined flour, sugar and other additives are not really very friendly for a 1-year-old.

However, a baby’s first birthday is meant to be a special occasion and not feeding them a small piece of cake may take away something from the joy. However, please remember that this day is an exception and should not be the official start date of introducing your

baby to a sugar heavy diet comprising of packaged and junk food. Excess sugar can lead to obesity and other complications. But as long as you limit the quantity, giving her a tiny piece of cake on her birthday and restricting it for a few special occasions henceforth, would not ruin her health.

Also, as an alternative you can always get a healthy smash cake with no sugar for your baby’s first birthday as well. Babies usually smash up their first cake and dig their fingers into it. It not only makes for a wonderful photo opportunity; it makes a healthy start to a healthy year. Look up online for smash cake options- they can be gluten free, made of interesting ingredients and allergen free.

So, mom and dad, please decide what works for you. Babies don’t eat a lot of cake. So, a tiny piece may be ok and go with the flow. Don’t overthink. Plus, it’s always better not to restrict your child from the pleasures of food. Lead by examples. Keep your table laden with healthy home cooked food. Educate them about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet from a young age and enjoy yourselves once in a while.

Bon Appetit!

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