Birthdays are such a special occasion and should be celebrated each and every year! With that being said I also believe that they can be celebrated without a ton of processed junk food and excessive, unhealthy amounts of sugar. The recommended daily allowance of sugar for Lily’s age(3) to age 8 is 3-4 teaspoons a day. Re-read that one more time and notice I said the daily recommended allowance, meaning that is the highest amount that should be consumed. So with that being said, around 1-2 teaspoons is an okay, fair amount. Just to put it in perspective I am going to look at the popular ‘breakfast’ item Pop-Tarts and show you exactly how much sugar is in these things. Just one frosted strawberry pastry Pop-Tart contains 16g(a little over 4 tsp) of sugar, and if you eat both that are packaged together that equals 32g(8+ tsp) of sugar total. That is even exceeding the amount of sugar recommended for adults! Other startling facts I discovered about the popular processed Pop-Tarts are the tiny amount of actual real fruit they contain, artificial colors, and preservatives(that are known to be linked to hyperactivity in children), high fructose corn syrup(that is highly processed and directly affects the heart and kidneys), no actual whole grains, and lastly caramel coloring(which is made industrially by mixing sugars with ammonia).
You can find the rest of the nutritional information on Pop-Tarts linked below from fooducate.com. Fooducate also has an app you can download on your smartphone to scan products at the grocery store so you have the nutritional information right at your fingertips! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and fuels children’s bodies for the rest of the day. Natural sugar from whole milk and yogurts, fruits, honey and pure maple syrups are your healthiest forms of sugar intake.

Breakfast : Pancakes shapes with organic blueberries and banana

This year for Lily’s birthday I let her pick her favorite real food approved meals for her special day. She was so excited to pick and choose her very favorites. First, we started out with breakfast that consisted of Bobs Red Mill organic 7 grain pancake and waffle mix, topped with organic blueberries, half of a banana, and yogurt topped with hemp seeds & raw honey. We have been using Bob’s pancake mix for a few years now and it is my go-to when in a hurry. On the weekends when I have a little more leisure time to make breakfast I will make different variations such as cinnamon oat pancakes, applesauce oat pancakes, or just regular whole wheat flour pancakes! Bob’s is a great clean option for busy mornings -just add milk, egg, and organic olive oil(or coconut oil), mix and cook! Lily special requested to make shapes using our cookie cutters(linked below). We also use cookie cutters for sandwiches, homemade lunch-ables, and of course cookies. 

 

Mini egg quiches from 100 days cookbook

That afternoon we whipped up these cute little mini quiches (instead of having a big sit down dinner). Another great way to use those silicone muffin liners(linked below)! They were the perfect size for our the party guests and hit the spot! The crust was made with just whole wheat flour, milk, and butter. The egg mixture had eggs, heavy cream, cheddar cheese, and a little garlic powder and salt. Next time I am going to try adding some spinach and ham. This is a great basic recipe and can adjust easily to your family’s preferences.

    Betty Crocker Hershey’s Hot Fudge Cake Mix            Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin and Cake Mix 

Baking cakes from scratch is not everyone’s gig so here is some information on clean store-bought alternatives. Above to the left is the ingredient label for the Betty Crocker boxed cake mix. As you can see there are hardly any actual real food ingredients and I definitely don’t have most of them laying around in my pantry. They contain harmful, super processed ingredients discussed above. To the right is a super clean option from Simple Mills for boxed cake mix and I have every one of those items accessible in my pantry(which is a sign they are made from real ingredients). They also have organic frostings to complete the cake!
Lastly, we ended the day with her birthday cake!  She asked me earlier in the week if I would make her birthday cake in my mixer(it melted my heart). Homemaking my children’s birthday cakes is something that is so very special to me as a mom and also to my kids. I get that it is not for everyone and I totally understand(see above) but for our family that is part of the memories. I showed her the whole wheat chocolate cake from 100daysofrealfood and she agreed that was her choice. I was so excited too because I have been wanting to make that cake for about three years now, ha! The only adjustments I made was subbing the organic sugar for organic coconut sugar. I have started replacing organic sugars with organic coconut sugars in recipes now, as coconut sugar is a tad healthier alternative and doesn’t alter the taste(in my opinion). If still using regular sugar, I do recommend an organic version because they are not bleached like non-organic versions. A little trick- if you hold them side by side at the store you will notice the organic version isn’t a bright white color like the non-organic version that is bleached. 

Two Ingredient ‘Cool Whip’ Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  1. Before making cool whip in mixer(or by hand), place mixing bowl in fridge and the whisk attachment in freezer to chill for 3o minutes. *This is an important step in making the cool whip fluff up extra fast.
  2. When ready pour the heavy cream into mixing bowl while whisk attachment is going fast, pour in the maple syrup as cream is whisking.
  3. It is done when it reaches a fluffy consistency and looks like typical cool whip. You can store any extra in glass container in fridge and use for hot chocolate drink or latte!

 

*I used dye-free sprinkles made from vegetable extracts (linked below) and now there are dye-free options at common grocery stores! Everyone enjoyed the cake and thankfully it did not leave them in a sugar coma. And most importantly, the birthday girl loved it!

Whole wheat chocolate cake recipe here.

 

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Credible sources for sugar facts: