My mom made ds's first cake from Cathe Olson's (Simply Natural) cook book. Dh and I did not see any reason he would need a traditional cake full of sugar, dyes and such. We put it in front of him and he had a blast.
We got alot of flak from family, saying we denied him the experience. I challenge anyone to look at pictures from the party and say he was denied! MIL even wrote in his birthday book that she would let him practice on real cake this year while "mommy's not around"!!!! Little does she know comments like that mean she doesn't get to baby sit!
The reality is if your child has not yet experience "real cake" he/she has no idea and just enjoys the fun of swimming in what ever you give him/her. They won't remember what you denied them and you will know your babe is still happy and healthy!
Feb2003, I think the cheese idea is great, I mean really - It's his favorite, so why not? Maybe it will become a new tradition for your family