Many parents will agree, a child's first birthday is a significant milestone. And along with the location, decorations and entertainment, the cake — and the ceremony around the cake — is one of the most memorable moments of the party.
Over the past few years, all the rage at first birthday celebrations are smash cakes — a smaller cake for the birthday boy or girl to smash, explore and enjoy. Babies are encouraged to destroy the cake: The more mess, the better the photo.
Pictured above is my daughter, Maggie, at her first birthday party earlier this year. She dug into her cake and couldn't eat enough of it. It was for me, the best part of the party.
And, I'm not alone.
According to BabyCenter.com, this messy face photo op has turned into a trend.
Conversations about smash cakes increased by 21 percent from 2011 to 2012 (from 3,000 to close to 4,000 conversations) on the site's message boards.
Families usually have a smash cake for the baby and a full-size cake for the adults, often matching in theme. Moms who make their own sometimes seek out healthier ingredients for the smash cake (using applesauce or watermelon, for example).
Here's a smash cake photo gallery from Long Island parents. Submit your own here.