The sugar laden spreads at birthday parties are difficult to avoid and don’t get me wrong as a child I loved nothing more than eating cake (still do!) and rummaging through party bags.
My motto is everything in moderation! Instead I focus on establishing a culture of wholesome food at home. By training your child’s taste buds, over time they will make healthier choices and won’t be as interested in the unhealthy food on offer.
I also think it’s important NOT to make treats “forbidden” as inadvertently I believe they then become highly desirable. Letting your kids enjoy treats occasionally in my opinion is more than ok!
My best advice for parents is to feed their child a nutrient dense snack before heading to a birthday party, that way they can still enjoy something sweet, but won’t be as hungry so are unlikely to devour the entire spread.
When we have a party I make the cake the hero, that’s what all the kids are hanging out for! Then the rest of the food on offer are more sustaining options like fruit skewers, sandwiches, bliss balls, mini hummus pots with veggie sticks and sushi.
The cake pictured was for my daughter’s 1st birthday, it is a recipe by one of my whole food idols Jude Blereau. Recipe below and on Jude’s website.
Chocolate and Beetroot Cake
3 medium beetroot (to equal 2 cups puree)
375 g white spelt flour
1 cup dutched cocoa
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 – 2 cups (measured at 150g per cup) rapadura sugar
375 ml macadamia oil
125ml / 1/2 cup milk (any is fine)
1 1/2 tablespoons / 30ml natural vanilla extract
Try to use smaller, rather than larger and old beetroot. I have used macadamia oil, but a really good, fruity and sweet olive oil would work also (you will have to taste it). Ghee would work also, but make sure it is a liquid (but not hot).
Wash the unpeeled beets, then steam for 30 minutes or until tender. Leave to cool, then remove the skins and puree in a food processor – you should have 2 cups of puree.
Pre heat the oven to 170c, or 150c fan forced (I needed to drop it to 145 in my fan forced). Lightly grease 3 x 20cm sandwich cake tins, and line the base with baking paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and whisk gently to combine. In a separate bowl, blend the oil, milk, beetroot puree, vanilla and eggs together well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined. Divide between the 3 tins, and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the centre is cooked and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you have made this as one 20cm cake, it will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook.
Leave to cool before removing from the tin.
The recipe for Jude’s better butter cream is on her website (link above). I made a traditional chocolate and raspberry butter cream as I had those ingredients on hand at the time. I put chocolate buttercream between each layer and all over, then piped raspberry buttercream on top and decorated with fresh raspberries.