13 October 2011

Let them eat cake!

I am fairly strict when it comes to Layla's diet. With a family history of diabetes and my sweet tooth, I try everything I can to avoid giving Layla sugar. Over the past four months, we have had serious night waking problems. Upon a change in her diet (exclusion of cows milk at night and no fresh fruit after lunch), we now have a toddler who is sleeping through the night. I am always looking for new and exciting snack ideas to keep Layla happy as the afternoons draw on. We have a steady stack of savory muffins in the freezer that most days are either loved or hated by Layla depending in the direction of the wind . I came across a recipe the other day that looks like becoming a new favourite.

Thanks to some well meaning family members, Layla has developed a taste for honey cake. She calls it Goo-Goo and walks around the house in the afternoons asking for it. Tonight my husband asked me how I knew it was cake that she was asking for considering she had only tasted it a few times in recent weeks. I explained that when I ask her whether she wants a sandwich, she says Goo-Goo. When I ask if she wants some fruit, she says Goo-Goo. When I ask if she wants cake, she displays a massive long lasting smile as a clear direction as to her desires.

So here is a new recipe that should satisfy Layla's desires for Goo-Goo and my plans to maintain a healthy toddler diet.

This recipe is adapted from Citrus and Candy

Apple and Zucchini Bread
195g plain flour, sifted (I used half plain and half wholemeal flour)
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
120ml canola or vegetable oil
190g light brown sugar (I used 150g of Xylitol)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, grated (to make about 1 to 1.5 cups)
1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated (to make about 1/2 cup)
50g chopped roasted walnuts (optional)(I excluded the nuts)


Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a large loaf tin (about 22 x 13 x 8cm).
Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.
With an electric mixer, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract for a couple of minutes until well blended.
With a wooden spoon, stir through the grated zucchini and apple then add the sifted flour mixture and nuts and gently stir until just combined (do not over mix).
Scrape into the loaf tin and bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread has risen and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack then remove bread from tin. Can be served plain at room temperature.
Bread can be frozen or kept for a few days if well-wrapped or in an airtight container.

So the Goo-Goo is sliced and frozen for the next afternoon snack. It tastes like a combination of carrot cake and banana bread and I am sure will become a family favourite.


  1. I have seen the goo-goo love first hand! Great post Jas and that photo is cookbook worthy!

  2. Why would you even be giving your toddler cow's milk when she is not yet 2 years old? The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for the first two years and beyond.(http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/documents/WHO_FCH_CAH_09.01/en/index.html). If you really wanted to do the best for your daughter in terms of diabetes and obesity etc (not to mention emotional security and future mental health), you would continue to breastfeed your toddler. That way you don't need to cook complicated recipes with expensive ingredients to satify your child's nutritional needs and enjoyment of something sweet. Perhaps her craving for goo-goo is because she no longer has the breast?

  3. Thanks for your comment!
    Despite three serious bouts of mastitis, I breastfed Layla until she self weaned at 12 months. Despite the challenges I faced with breastfeeding, I allowed Layla to decide when she was ready to wean. Layla has a healthy and balanced diet that I am proud of. She longs for the sweetness of fruit and and other healthy delights. While I understand the recommendation of the WHO, I left the decision on breastfeeding to my child. I learnt very early on never to judge a mothers choice as to breastfeeding until you have walked a mile in her shoes. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Great post and comment Jas. There are so many places on the internet where people criticise each other for their parenting choices, especially about food. Its fantastic that this isn't one of those places! Each parent knows what is best for their child, and I have never seen a child as happy and healthy as Layla :)