Skip to main content

First Birthday Cake Smash

Inviting your one-year-old to smash and demolish a cake is the new way to celebrate his or her first birthday. Because what’s cuter than a little one covered in cake? And it’s the perfect photo opportunity for priceless memories.

When Maya turned one, I made a beautiful, healthy, sugar-free, fruit-based cake for her to “smash” during an outdoor photo shoot. Everything was perfect... until she refuses to touch the cake! (But we did get some cute photos, at least!)

So the second time around, I decided to change my tactics. Now that I have three kids, making an organic, sugar-free, cake from scratch was no longer realistic, so I bought a cute present-shaped one from Big Y. Also I didn’t give Maya any baked goods or treats whatsoever before her first birthday. That didn’t work out the same for little brother, either, who outright grabbed a slice of cake off of his Papi’s plate when he was just 9-months-old, and has been double-fisting Dunkin’ munchkins since the quarantine began. So instead of offering him cake for the first time on his first birthday, we also practiced beforehand with some cupcakes (which his little sister helped make and made with love). You can check that video out on our TikTok page here:

When we set Mateo in front of his smash cake, he was a little confused at first. But with a bit of coercing from Mami, he began to dip his fingers in the frosting.

Then after a few minutes of play, I sent his big sister to join him and show him how it’s done! Maya loved eating chunks of cake with her hands, and it was so cute because Mateo was eating right of her hands, too!

Finally, his big foster sister and older cousin, Sofia, could no longer contain herself on the sidelines of fun, and she joined in, too.

At the end, Francisco and I had to make sure no cake went to waste, and helped them finish what was left. While the majority of this blog is about helping to keep my children’s Latino and Guatemalan culture alive, raising emerging bilinguals also necessitates that we share with them the finer parts of American culture, too! Especially during this quarantine time, smashing the cake was our birthday party and Mateo, Maya, and Sofia had so much fun, I don’t think they really felt a difference at all.

And since we couldn’t have a big birthday bash for the kids due to mandatory social distance quarantine, we live-streamed the cake smash on our Facebook page. You can check it out here:


Popular posts from this blog

Is 5 Little Monkeys Racist?

I’ve seen a lot of Tik Toks debunking children’s nursery rhymes lately. I have two toddlers, so now whenever I hear one of those rhymes, I think about their unsavory origins. But my son loves, loves Five Little Monkeys. He’s just learning to talk, and can almost say it by himself. I’ve thought about telling him to stop singing it since I learned in the original lyrics it’s not monkeys jumping on the bed, but he just gets so much joy from singing it as he jumps up and falls down, I thought... no harm, no foul, right? As long as he thinks the song is about monkeys, it’s ok.  Until my niece came over one day, and the three toddlers were playing on an old mattress we have on the living room floor for them to jump around on. My son asked me to sing 5 Little Monkeys. At first it was cute, because they literally were jumping on the bed, but then I took a good look at the three of them.  My kids are half-Guatemalan but very fair, like I am. Whereas my niece is half-black, and her skin happens

Storytime Bilingüe featuring “Buenas Noches Luna”

This week's Storytime Bilingue features Buenas Noches Luna , the Spanish translation of the beloved children's book Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. We love the vivid language and images, and the black and white contrast pages are particularly compelling for the little ones whose eyesight is still developing. You'll see how much Mateo interacts with the book during this reading! This is a story I have nearly memorized, because I read it to Maya consistently before bed during our bedtime routine. We've read it so much, she practically has it memorized, too. Sometimes she likes me to read it aloud, and sometimes she likes to "read" the book by describing the images. I actually wrote about her as an emerging bilingual reader in my earlier blog post,  Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader , but the highlight of that post is that research shows repeated readings of the same book really benefit early literacy and vocabulary acquisition. For that reason I

Why You Should Travel with Little Kids

I took my first cross-country road trip when I was six-weeks-old. My parents loaded me up in an old Ford Wagoneer and drove me home from my dad's hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, to my hometown of Ojai, CA. After that, we traveled back and forth between the East Coast and the West Coast every summer of my life. A few times we flew, but most years we loaded up the car with the suitcases, the dogs, and the children and drove 3,000 miles across the country. This early exposure to travel instilled within me a joy of seeing the world, and since that first trip I have visited 34 states and 14 countries. And I hope to share that same joy with my own little ones. Traveling with children can be hard--it disrupts their nap schedules, may involve crossing timelines, and definitely pushes everyone beyond their comfort zones. But seeing different countries and different parts of our country as children gives them a greater appreciation for cultural and regional differences, and it widens their exper