Whole Food 1st Birthday Party Menu

After a month of planning, our son’s first birthday party arrived last weekend.  We wanted to make this a special day for Austin, even if he won’t remember it.  Turning 1 is a big milestone; a momentous occasion to honor and celebrate all of his growing and learning done over the past 12 months!

We celebrated at a local park and invited Austin’s closest friends.  The day was filled with extra bright sunshine!  We had a few guests with certain food allergies and some who were strictly eating the Advanced Plan, so I wanted to tailor the recipes to their nutritional needs as much as possible.  (I also wanted to design a new birthday party menu, different from my Kids Menu Planner e-book, to give you all some different options.)  I had many parents who were at the park with their children come up to me and compliment on how fresh and healthy everything looked, and one mom passing by even said she couldn’t believe all the kids were eating the healthy food!  It was quite humbling to hear compliments from strangers, but also a sobering reminded me that Standard America does not associate fresh whole foods with birthday parties.  I hope some parents realized you don’t have to overload kids with sugar and sweets to have a fun celebration.

We celebrated with a healthy spread of Core & Advanced Plan whole food dishes.  {Plus, a new cupcake recipe that I am in love with!}  A special thanks to our skilled photographer and friend Marissa Nixon for taking many of the photos shared today.  Her photography portfolio can be found here.

First Birthday Party Invite  |  Healing Cuisine

Use my invite template here.


The party planning started with the theme.  Since he was just a few months old, Austin has loved balloons.  And while Dave might have fought for a Green Bay Packers theme for a day or two, we both agreed that Austin would love a balloon party.  The invitation design was the foundation for the rest of the party decor.  I love bold colors, and picked grass green, medium blue, and sky blue as the color scheme.  I laid out a simple but cute invite layout in inDesign using the balloon as the main focus.  I also found sheets of 100 balloon stickers at the Dollar Tree, perfect to use as embellishments on the envelopes.  (The stickers were my Plan B after ordering the wrong size blue envelopes from a company online.  Oops.)  You can now customize and print the invitation template I designed at Zazzle.com


Once the invites were sent out, I had about 3 weeks to design the table scape.  Decor items I made or purchased: polka-dot glassine cupcake wrappers from Bake It Pretty, polka-dot nut cups from Bake It Pretty, polka-dot straws from Bake It Pretty, 5 oz clear cups from Party City for white bean dip, 3-tier plate stand from Target, I spray painted the bottoms of clear plates from Dollar Tree with green & blue, spray painted cake boards green for the cupcakes, punched 2-inch circles from scrapbook paper and taped to skewers to make balloon decorations for cupcakes, 30 helium balloons from Party City, balloon napkins and banner from Dollar Tree.   The table scape also included the food!  I wanted lots of green on the tables to play against blue table cloths.  The recipes also had to be kid friendly.  Here is what I came up with:




first birthday menu  |  Healing Cuisine

Bean Dip with fresh veggies
Makes 6 Servings
(multiplied by 4 for 30 guests)
Advanced Plan

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
Sea salt & fresh black pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to food processor.  Pulse until the mixture is as smooth as you’d like it (I puree to hummus consistency, but some people like their bean dip coarse). Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chickpea Pesto Salad  (YES, the kids ate this, even the babies loved it!)
Makes 6 Servings
(multiplied by 4 for 30 guests)
Advanced Plan

1 garlic clove
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 15-oz cans organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 organic English cucumbers, sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Add garlic clove, almonds, and basil leaves to food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  With machine running, drizzle in olive oil.  Add Parmesan and pulse to combine.  In a large bowl, toss together together garbanzo beans, cucumber, celery, lemon juice and pesto. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  [This salad is also delicious with shredded chicken.  I often have this for lunch, replacing one can of chickpeas with roasted chicken.]

Photos courtesy of Marissa Nixon Photography


Kale-Carrot Salad  (Kiddos love this marinated kale!)
Makes 8 Servings
(multiplied by 3 for 30 guests)
Core Plan

2 bunches organic kale, destemed, rinsed, and dried
1/2 cup shredded organic carrot
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

Stack two or three kale leaves and slice into strips.  Then, chop the kale strips in half.  Add all ingredients, including the chopped kale, to a large bowl and cover with a tight fitting lid.  Shake the bowl, then turn upside down and shake some more.  Kale should be completely covered in dressing.  Let sit in fridge 24-72 hours to marinate.  Serve cold or room temperature.

Fresh Fruit with Coconut Cream Sauce  (A healthier alternative to a cool whip jello salad)
Makes 6 servings
(Multiplied by 4 for 30 guests)
Core Plan

3 organic bananas, sliced
3 organic granny smith apples, chopped
1 organic pineapple, chopped
8oz organic cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut cream, chilled (the thick white fatty cream from the top half of a can of coconut milk)
1 cup powdered xylitol (pulse xylitol in a spice grinder)

In a stand mixer, whip together the cream cheese and coconut cream until smooth.  Add powdered xylitol and whip smooth.  Stir chopped fruit together in a large bowl.  Toss with whipped coconut cream.  Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve, up to 48 hours.

Healing Cuisine Chicken Salad  (A classic for outdoor parties!)

Lime-Mint Infused Stevia Water
Makes 3 Gallons

3 gallons filtered water
4 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
2 limes, sliced
2 Tbsp lime Stevita stevia powder

Stir together all ingredients in a drink dispenser or pitcher.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes
Makes 36 Standard Size Cupcakes
Core Plan

1 cup organic butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup organic sugar (or xylitol)
5 free range eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups fine ground blanched almond flour, sifted
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

With a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.  Beat in the vanilla.  In a small bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.  With the mixer on low, add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating to combine.  Beat in the buttermilk, then the remaining flour mixture until just combined.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.   Pour into lined cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 mins then remove from pan to a cooling rack.

I cheated on the frosting for the cupcakes.  I ordered 4 pounds of butter cream frosting from Whole Foods, 2 pounds each of green and blue.  They make their frosting with all natural food dyes from fruits and veggies, so this was the least expensive route to go for colored healthier frosting.  And, since we were having a lot of babies at the party, I didn’t want to make my usual xylitol sweetened frosting as babies can’t digest xylitol.  I was fine with giving my baby just a little bit of sugar on his special day.  Whole Foods also uses organic rBGH-free butter and milk in their frosting, so that put my mind at ease enough to go ahead and order it.  The only thing I was bummed about is that when we went to pick up the frosting, the blue color was more purple.  It’s understandable because you can’t get a true blue color using natural dyes, but I was still bummed by how purple it came out.  Instead, we took home white and green frosting, and I was very pleased with how it looked on the table with the cupcakes and embellishments.

Alternatively, you can make sugar-free frosting many different ways.  I shared my 4 favorite cake and cookie frostings in my Season’s Eatings holiday e-cookbook.  You can also use bananas, cashews, or avocado as the base for you frosting.  We made a bright green frosting using avocados for Austin’s actual birthday at home.


Avocado Frosting


The cupcakes, the food, the colors, the details…it all came together just as I had hoped.  It was such a fun 1st birthday party filled with happy memories we will cherish forever.

Photo courtesy of Marissa Nixon Photography
Photo courtesy of Marissa Nixon Photography


See more professional photos from our celebration here.

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Written by Elise Schwartz
Elise Schwartz

Elise has been living a sugar-free natural lifestyle since 2008, after discovering her PCOS, infertility, and inability to lose weight were caused by toxicity in her food and daily life. She became a certified nutrition and body detox coach, and provides consultations to clients across the world. By living the principles she teaches, Elise proudly welcomed her son, Austin, into the world in 2011. She and her husband, Dr. Dave, own and operate a natural health clinic, Triad Health Center, in Greensboro, NC.


  1. For the “white bean dip with fresh veggies”, I notice on the photo you have “+ pita chips”. Have you got a recipe for pita chips that doesn’t involve wheat? And (wishful thinking, I know)… is it advanced plan?



  2. Hi Josh, Sorry… we used organic whole wheat pita chips. There were a couple kids on the guest list who are still picky eaters…families are new to Maximized Living, so we included the chips for them. :)

    Check out my Almond Flour Tortilla recipe: http://www.healingcuisinebyelise.com/2010/10/questions-answered-grain-free-almond.html LOTS of people have told me that if you cook/fry the tortillas extra long in the skillet, they turn extra crispy and you can break them up into pita chips. Hope that works well for you!

    Also, I think I saw a quinoa pita chip at Whole Foods when searching for a bag for the party. I did not read the ingredients closely though, so not sure if it contained wheat. Worth it to check if you have a Whole Foods near you!


  3. Elise, you put me to shame! Where do you find the time? Everything looks beautiful and sounds delicious!

  4. What wonderful family memories to cherish on Baby Austin’s birthday and he is so fortunate to have a mommy who cooks such healthy and delicious recipes.

  5. Thank you! We had a blast spending the day with Austin and our family friends. We will cherish these memories and look back on the beautiful pictures every year!

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