When my oldest turned 1 (she is 12 now) I was so cautious about what I fed her. Like seriously, people thought I was crazy. Homemade everything. Other than what family likely snuck her behind my back at parties, she hadn't had anything overly sweet or artificial by the time she was turning 1.
Side tracking a little here...but fast forward to my second and third child, they had anything and everything, and nowadays...I guarantee my kids eat stale fries off the car floor on a semi-regular basis...so I can appreciate all sides of the spectrum!!
Back on track...my first 1 year old. Her first birthday cake? Homemade, of course...but I couldn't make it easy with a simple cake, I wanted a pink and purple princess cake (ask her if she remembers any of this). So, the pink and purple? No dye here...beet juice and frozen blueberry juice. And ya know what...it came out pretty good! It didn't take much to color the icing, so there was no flavor from the juices. I didn't dare tell anyone, and no one knew the difference!
Now, the cake wasn't super healthy, but I have found one online which limits sugars. I've been eyeing the recipe wondering if I could recommend it without having seen it in person or seeing how it 'smashes'. But lucky me, I had a client come in who was very conscious of what foods she introduced her child to and made this cake!
The nice thing about making a low sugar healthier cake is that chances are, it tastes more like things that our kids are used to eating. Mostly, 1 year olds haven't had a lot of overly sweetened foods, fruit likely being the sweetest thing their palette has experienced. The first time they try a traditional cake they typically don't like the first couple of bites. More adventurous 1 year olds will keep trying it and eventually will realize its pretty darn good but some are happy to take a taste test and quit there. We are often able to get them a little more interested by cutting into the cake so they can eat the cake without the super sweet icing.
This healthier cake uses a homemade whipped cream for the icing. I think what made the cake at my recent cake smash session a success is that she left the whipped cream in a container in a cooler bag and then iced it at the studio right before we were ready for it. I don't think the whipped cream would hold it's shape like buttercream icing. This momma left the whipped cream white, but you could experiment with natural food coloring.
Here are some pictures from this healthy cake smash!