It’s that time of year to get out your rolling pins, icing sugar and cookie cutters! Christmas baking is a tradition, not just for the delicious end result that we can lean back in our chairs and devour guilt-free, but for the process of being together as a family and the joy of creating these cherished memories.

In my house, the tradition is to make shortbread Christmas pigs. Don’t ask me why, it was something I started before children and have carried on ever since. The kids love it and look forward to helping shape the dough and decorate the finished cookies every year.

Shortbread Christmas Pigs

Shortbread though, like many of our holiday treats, isn’t the best choice for babies and toddlers because of the high sugar content. If you are a new mom or looking for suitable Christmas baking ideas that your baby can enjoy too, here are 5 recipes to try:

1) Cranberry and Orange Mini Muffins
I made many a mini muffin in my day for my babies. These are great little treats for baby-led weaning and so versatile for different flavours (modify the recipe with apple, some pumpkin puree, etc.) Only banana is used to sweeten these muffins and it is quite fun to watch baby’s face pucker from the tart cranberries.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

2) Healthy Christmas Gingerbread
My ultimate favourite Christmas treat; gingerbread loaves, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread muffins, anything gingerbread with a hot chai latte to accompany it and Christmas is complete. Therefore having a gingerbread recipe suitable to eat with my babies was important to me. This is a great one to try because the only sweetener comes from the blackstrap molasses and with 8 eggs it is high in protein and comes out light and spongy.
Healthy Gingerbread

3) Baby's Apple Pie
This is a simple, easy recipe to make for babies who have just started eating solid foods or are still on purees. Serve it warm with a dollop of plain, high fat yogurt if you’d like and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.

- Create an applesauce by peeling and cutting two sweet apples into slices and simmering in a little water until tender. Mash or puree the apples.
- Mix the applesauce with some of your baby’s cereal (rice, wheat, whatever you are using at the time) until thick.
- Bake in an ovenproof dish for 10 min at 350 degrees F.

Note: for older babies you can make a little ‘pie crust’ on top with crushed Cheerios or wheat germ.

Baby's Apple Pie

4) Chocolate Avocado Mousse
This is a great recipe for babies and toddlers because it has a rich, creamy texture, is high-calorie and contains healthy sugars. As an adult I also enjoy eating this mousse (you can add chia seeds for extra nutrients) but I know some people who don’t understand the allure. My mother thinks I’m nuts for liking this. Give it a go and let me know what your family thinks!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

5) Santa Brownies
I never made a recipe like this for my babies and toddlers, but if I had seen it back then I would have! This looks like a great treat to start as a Christmas tradition because not only are they fun and healthy for babies, but I know my older kids would still love them today and can get involved with the baking and decorating. Who wouldn’t love chocolate, cream cheese and strawberry?

Note: for babies that are finger-feeding softer chunks of food, just cut the strawberry in half or quarters before presenting the treat.

Santa Brownies

For more menu ideas this holiday, check out my past blog post “Planning Baby’s First Christmas Dinner”. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!