Looking for delicious and healthy breakfast ideas for your kids? Here are some easy oatmeal recipes that are not only tasty but are also packed with nutrition.
From fruity and sweet to savory and hearty, these are sure to become favorites with your little ones (and you!)
Health Benefits of Oatmeal
There are so many reasons to incorporate oatmeal into your child's diet! It is:
- Incredibly nutritious! Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals, including iron and zinc, which are important for baby and toddlers' growth and development.
- Energy-boosting - Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that can provide sustained energy throughout the day. This can be especially awesome for active toddlers who need lots of energy to play and explore.
- Great for digestion - Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which can help promote digestion and prevent constipation.
- Super versatile - customize your oatmeal to suit your child's taste preferences by adding different fruits, nuts, and all kinds of toppings. This can also make it more appealing to picky eaters.
- Convenient- oatmeal is quick and easy to prepare, making it a great breakfast option for busy mornings.
Best Type of Oats for Babies and Kids
With so many different types of oats available in the market, it can be difficult to choose the right type of oat that suits your needs and preferences.
Therefore, here's a handy breakdown to help you make the best decision. Note that these are all great options. One isn't necessarily better than the others, so I encourage you to rotate through them for variety.
This is a popular option for introducing oats to babies, as it is specifically formulated for infants and be found in most baby food aisles. Baby oatmeal is finely ground and and fortified with iron.
To prepare, mix baby oatmeal with liquid, such as breast milk, formula, or water, to create a smooth consistency. This is an especially great option if you are starting with purees only.
Quick or Instant Oats
Instant or quick oats are the most processed variety. These are rolled oats that have been pre-cooked and then chopped into tiny pieces. As a result, they have the quickest cooking time and the softest texture.
Also commonly referred to as old-fashioned oats, this type is made by steaming the oat groats then flattening them with rollers to create flakes. It's quicker to cook, softer, and milder in flavor compared to the steel-cut oats.
Thus, it's the most versatile type and are great for baking.
Steel cut oats
Also known as Scottish or Irish oats, steel cut oats are the least processed type of oats. They are made by chopping whole oat groats into smaller pieces using a steel blade.
And because of this, steel-cut oats take the longest time to cook and have a chewy texture and nutty flavor.
Healthy Oatmeal Recipes
Here are some EASY ways to make oatmeal for your child's breakfast that you can prepare the morning of or ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week!
And because I am guilty of this, I want to remind you as well as myself to not reserve everything for your child, but instead sit down and enjoy this hearty breakfast with them.
If you are looking for more breakfast ideas, check out:
Stovetop or Microwave Oatmeal
Whether you're in a hurry or have some time to spare, you can create a tasty and nutritious bowl of oatmeal in just a few minutes! Simply switch up the add-ins and toppings to invite fun and variety throughout the week.
While you can leave out the eggs, I highly recommend trying it at least once! It's a great way to boost nutrition and create a creamier texture.
Healthy Steel Cut Oatmeal for Toddlers
Here are 4 ways to cook steel cut oats to suit your needs! I've provided tips and tricks for preparing the perfect creamy and comforting bowl.
Overnight Oats Recipes
You can "cook" your oatmeal overnight while you sleep! It's true. And there are endless ways to customize.
No heating required, all you have to do is take out of the refrigerator and eat. But you can also warm it up, if you prefer!
Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipes for Kids
If you're looking for a new way to enjoy your oatmeal, try baking it! Not only is it easy to make, but it can also be prepared in advance for a quick and convenient breakfast option throughout the week.
Your future self will thank you :).
Oat Snacks for Toddlers
I'm so excited for you to try these oat snack ideas that are perfect for little ones.
From homemade cookies and muffins to energy bites and bars, these are delicious and nutritious snacks for home, school, or outings.
Frequently Asked Questions
While you may have heard that steel cut oats are better for you, the truth is ALL types of oats are healthy with very similar nutritional profiles. They are all 100% whole grain, great sources of fiber (beta-glucan), vitamins B and E, and protein.
Oats themselves are naturally gluten-free, but they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and other gluten-containing grains.
Therefore, if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, be sure to choose oats that are certified gluten-free.
The benefit of organic oats is that they are grown without the use of pesticides like glyphosate. Having said that, it's still possible for them to contain trace amounts due to factors such as pesticide drift from neighboring conventional farms or contaminated water sources.
Organic oats are also more expensive so if they don't fit your budget, conventional oats still provide the same nutritional value. What I always encourage is to aim for variety. Instead of eating oats every morning, switch it up with different breakfast items.