#78: Sugar or Sugar-Free Baby Smash Cake for a First Birthday?

Baby enjoying their first birthday smash cake.

In this episode, we’re talking all about first birthdays because it’s BIRTHDAY WEEK here at My Little Eater™! We’re celebrating four years as MLE, and I wanted to weigh in on this really popular topic for your sweet baby’s first birthday milestone… sugar or sugar-free smash cake, what’s better? Typically, I see opinions fall either very strongly on the sugar-free side, or very strongly on the sugar-filled side – so where do I fall on the spectrum? I’m a little more in-between!

Listen in to hear what the actual nutritional recommendations are when it comes to offering sugar at 1 year old, why it’s really ok if you opt not to go the sugar-free route, what I decided for my own boys, and whether or not I would change my mind if doing it all over again today. Here’s the thing, at MLE we never judge or criticize your decisions as parents – you know what’s best for your family – so you won’t catch any of that here. But you will be able to hear both sides of this argument, and better be able to assess what exactly will work for your family. Plus, as an added bonus, you can download my favourite added sugar-free smash cake recipe below – because I’ll be honest, a lot of them are kinda gross. 

As always, if you get value from this episode, please leave a rating and review at Apple Podcasts! And, I’d love for you to share some pictures of your baby enjoying their first birthday cake (and if you use my smash cake recipe, let me know your thoughts!) by tagging me on Instagram – these pictures are always so sweet! Enjoy this milestone with your baby – no matter what you choose!

Additional Resources:

Now that your baby will be entering the toddler stage, it’s time to learn how to handle the changes that happen in toddlerhood, and be prepared to prevent or manage picky eating. Check out my Feeding Toddlers online course for all the steps you need to enjoy happier mealtimes with your toddler!

FEEDING TODDLERS ONLINE COURSE: https://mylittleeater.com/feeding-toddlers/

FREE SMASH CAKE RECIPE: https://courses.mylittleeater.com/episode-78-ultimate-smash-cake-recipe

MORE ON OFFERING SUGAR/SWEETS: https://mylittleeater.com/healthyrelationshipwithsugar/

Skip To…

The nutritional recommendation (4:30)

Why it’s ok to offer a sugar-filled smash cake (7:10)

What I decided for my own kids (8:32)

Would I choose sugar or sugar free now? (9:29)

My favourite smash cake recipe (13:07)


meet edwena

Registered pediatric dietitian, mom of two and lover of all things related to baby and toddler feeding!


4 Ways to 
Overcome Your Fear of Gagging in BLW

4 Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Gagging

7 Day Toddler Meal Plan

mle podcast

Catch up on the latest podcast episode

scared to transition to finger foods?

Join the FREE workshop

Baby led weaning...but make it purees!

How to move your baby from purees to finger foods while overcoming your fear of gagging/choking! Stop holding back and start advancing their eating skills & preventing picky eating!

Join the waitlist to be notified of the next session!

(spots are limited so get on the list to be notified first!)

Live attendees get a free copy of the Texture Timeline™ starter guide!

Black Friday Sale

25% off the baby & toddler feeding courses

Use code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout

(until 11/28/22)