Entering into the world of childrens’ birthdays and parties with a small toddler is such a fun phase. It’s so cute to see your little human start to interact with other little humans. The discovery of toys and games and learning from each other begins and it seems that without actual dialogue there is this communication between kids that’s somewhat of a pact; a we-get-each-other-and-stick-together bond (even when they then take each others toys and yell!). Our little dude loves watching slightly bigger kids. He would stare at them running around and map out their every move it seemed, sorting out how to master the art of walking in his head before attempting it on his own. You could see the wonder in his eyes and I swore he must be saying to himself “I know I’m like you but a little smaller.”
It’s great to be with other moms and their babes to allow your kids to become friends, or at the very least enjoy some adult conversation while your children play around each other. So naturally it’s also fun to be invited to birthday parties. We love birthday parties! But then comes the question of cake and treats (…and man I didn’t imagine this part starting so soon!)
When you have a one year old how much do you allow them to eat the sugary-stuff at parties?
Million dollar question right.
I know many people who are happy to fold into the “it’s a party and a treat and it’s okay mode” and that’s okay if that’s you. But I want to try and encourage and give permission to those moms who think, even for a second, “they are still so little and really don’t need to be exposed to all that sweet stuff just yet!”.
I am amazed at the willingness to give babies sugary treats and colourful icing. While I think there is absolutely room for special occasions and not being a crazy-mama controlling everything, I also think that at this age, what our kids are exposed to is literally within our control. They don’t know the difference between the sweet of a banana and the sweet of butter-cream icing… until you give it to them. And it’s one of those things where you just can’t go back once they know. So for as long as possible, I’m going to keep bananas the awesome sweet dessert!
At one year it’s likely toddlers aren’t fully aware of the symbol of the cake and wanting to be part of the chowing down on pretty cupcakes, so you have some time to guide the decisions still and not make it a big thing. As they get older I imagine it gets harder and we’ll navigate that then. (Stay tuned!)
For the time being, I have been making these cupcakes (which are only sweetened with bananas) and bringing them to parties for our little-one to enjoy while the big kids eat cake. Let me tell you, they are special and fun and sweet to him. He’s happy. We’re happy. He’s eating real food. Fruit is still the sweetest thing in his world. All is well. Sometimes I ice them with whipped cashew banana icing, but really with the berries they don’t really need anything.
For an adult friendly breakfast I would add 2 tablespoons of ground flax and it would be the perfect fibre-rich breakfast-muffin for the whole family!
2 ripe bananas
1/2 c. almond milk
3 T oil (I used avocado oil)
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 egg (optional. You can omit if you don’t want to use eggs or there is an allergy in your family. They just won’t rise quite as well. Add another 2 T almond milk or other liquid to the recipe if omitting the egg.)
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c light spelt flour
1/4 c quinoa flakes
2/3 c berries (we used a mix of cut strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
Mash the banana and mix it with wet ingredients in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix. Our into lined or oiled muffin tins. Bake a 350 for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy warm or cool. Freezes well for easy grab-and-go snacks or pre-prepared party treats.