Mila’s First Birthday Party

A One-Year-Old's Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free Valentines Party

Mila’s First Birthday Party

Ah… the birthday parties! I must say, this is one reason (perhaps the only one) that I am grateful I only have one child. You see, I get kind of crazy and OTT about them… We usually choose the theme 2 months before Mila’s birthday and then I spend the next 2 months making gifts, testing recipes, designing stationary… and just generally getting a bit obsessive about it all! I do enjoy it though – having been a marketing manager responsible for corporate events in my ‘previous life’, I enjoy coming up with a concept and seeing it through. And I really like my once a year dedicated crafting time. But, making all the food myself (as it must be gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free) does add a whole other dimension of time and stress to the event. I am getting better at it though… doing less, and starting earlier means I am generally I happier person on the actual day 🙂


I am also happy to say (as are Mila and all her friends I am sure) that I am a far better free-from cook than I was on her first birthday! Here’s a look back at Mila’s first birthday….

Mila’s Valentines Day Party

Being a Valentines Day baby, the ‘theme’ was a no-brainer! Although the theme only went as far as the invitation!

Not much else to show you from that first birthday party! We had it on the beach, the wind blew like crazy, I was exhausted and stressed from all the food preparation… to be honest, I was glad when it was over!

Mila’s actual birthday was during the week (the party was on the weekend), so on her birthday we had the grannies and aunties over for tea – this was a far more enjoyable occasion… just one plate of barely edible cupcakes to make!

These recipes DO NOT appear in my book (Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics) because, let’s be honest… who wants to eat food that looks like this?! Which led me to…

Mila’s First Birthday Party – Take 2 (!)

5 months later it was Mila’s dad’s birthday, and by this stage I was committed to writing a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free recipe book. So I set about creating the edible no, delicious ‘free-from’ food that I wished I had had at Mila’s first birthday party. (Mila was delighted to have a ‘pretend’ party and to taste test the food!)

Mila’s One-And-A-Half Birthday Party!


On the menu:

  • Sticky Chocolate Layer Cake
  • Cake Balls
  • Chickpea Fudge
  • Choc Nut Fudge
  • Ice Lollies
  • Grain-Free Biscuits (they didn’t pass the taste test!)
Recipe in my book.
Recipe in my book – but you can use any cake recipe for this.
Recipe in my book – but you can use any cake recipe for this.
Recipe in my book.
Recipe in my book.
Recipe in my book – but really just freeze any smoothie or fresh fruit & veggie juice (pineapple and beetroot juice tastes like sherbet!)

Mila was very impressed with her Birthday 1.5 food! (except the biscuits – they were dry and flavourless!)


Since I was so busy trying to get the food right for her first birthday, that there wasn’t time (or energy) to follow through on a theme and all that goes with it. This upset me a little bit, so come the second birthday party I went all out

What was your little one’s first birthday party like?

‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ (Second Edition) now available!
Catherine Barnhoorn

Mom to Mila, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of 'Mila's Meals: The Beginning & The Basics'.

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