November 8, 2011

Birthday cakes... and a trip down memory lane

Birthdays are special times.

It's the one time of year you get to be spoilt rotten with your loved ones around you, and chances are you'll celebrate with a birthday cake. Recently back home I was reminiscing about my own birthdays and how much I used to love having a birthday cake. Mum used to make a special cake for me each year from the Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book (and I've been told a new edition has just been released!). There are a few favourite cakes that spring to mind... but my ultimate favourite would have to be the ballerina cake my mum made for me on my 3rd birthday.

Yep, that's me :)
Mum also made me a humpty dumpty cake on my 2nd birthday - with a wall and everything, and she even stitched up for me my very own humpty dumpty toy!


Can you have your cake and eat it too

Now when we put the words cake and nutrition in the same sentence, it usually means that to eat a nutritious diet we shouldn't be eating cake. And on one hand, if I were to put my dietitian hat on, I would remind you that too much cake could leave you ending up looking like humpty dumpty yourself. And if you work in an office where there's birthday cakes brought in nearly every week, you might need to look at some strategies to manage these social situations without feeling obliged to have a piece every time. Check out my tips here.

On the other hand, but still keeping my dietitian hat on, it’s important to remember that no one ever has the perfect diet, and treating yourself to a small slither of cake on your birthday is not going to be the end of the world (or the end of your diet!) On special occasions like your birthday it’s ok to have a little treat so you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself, and believe it or not this can actually help you to stay on track with your health and wellness goals in the long term!

But  if you're the type of person that knows that you'll just feel too guilty if you decide to indulge, you might prefer to go with a cake that’s lower in fat or one that's based on fruit (a lighter choice). I thought it was very cute when I recently asked my partner what sort of cake he’d like for his birthday. His response was that he wasn’t too interested in a big chocolate cake with icing or anything like that, but one of his favourite desserts is the classic apple crumble, and that’s what he said he would like. I guess I’ve trained him well :)

Here are a couple more photos I managed to dig up... (now no laughing please!) and you'll find more on my facebook page. Oh and I have a confession to make... I had a birthday party at McDonald's! :S


So over to you now. What cakes did you have as a child? Did you have the ballerina cake like me or did you have a different favourite? Maybe you're a mum or dad that loves to make birthday cakes for your kids. Do you agree with McDonald's hosting birthday parties for children? Would love to hear your thoughts.