Want to add more vegetables to your baby or toddler’s breakfast? If so, you’re going to love these super quick and healthy savory baby oatmeals or porridges!
Perhaps you saw “baby oatmeal” and were expecting to see purees or something with a smoother consistency. As a big proponent of baby led weaning, I hope this post encourages you to give these thicker oatmeals a try!
- Benefits of oatmeal for babies
- Vegetables for baby oatmeal
- How to cook oatmeal
- Cooking with breastmilk
- Serving Tips
- 4 oatmeals with vegetables
- Other baby-friendly recipes with oats
Benefits of oatmeal for babies
It’s a great source of iron, zinc, fiber, and magnesium.
It’s easy to digest.
Variety is the name of the game when it comes to increasing food acceptance and minimizing picky eating down the road. And oatmeal is SO versatile! You can mix in eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, yogurt, cheese…endless possibilities!
Oats – Rolled oats will work best for this but you can use quick-cooking. Here’s how you can adjust the cooking time.
Breastmilk or Full-fat canned coconut milk – You can use water, but I don’t recommend it. It won’t be as creamy and flavorful.
If serving to toddlers and older kids, feel free to use any milk you prefer. Here’s a list of the best milk.
Chia seeds – here are health benefits for babies.
Egg – be sure to whisk it before mixing it in with other ingredients. You can leave it out if there’s an allergy.
Veggies – feel free to add in whatever you have on hand!
Spices – Such an easy way to expose your baby to more FLAVOR!!
Vegetables for baby oatmeal
If you want to raise a veggie-lover, it’s important to start early and expose them to a wide variety with different flavors and textures.
Common vegetables for oatmeals include carrots, zucchini, and sweet potato, but you truly can add anything! So don’t be afraid to experiment.
Tips on using cooked vegetables
Here are 3 different ways to cook vegetables for your baby. Easy and flavorful. I suggest making a large batch to enjoy throughout the week. For these oatmeals, simply chop and stir the veggies into cooked oatmeal.
A note about size and texture of vegetables:
For beginner eaters, you can chop very finely and either add prior to cooking (to make them even softer) or after.
You can also mash cooked sweet potatoes or winter squash like butternut squash and kabocha. Sharing a recipe below.
It’s very important to introduce babies to textured foods from early on, so once you and your baby feel ready, start experimenting and try reducing the cooking time so the vegetables are firmer.
Learn more in this post – how to serve the right food size and texture.
Using raw vegetables
You can finely grate using a lemon zester or shred using a box grater with big holes. Add them PRIOR To cooking along with the base ingredients.
How to cook oatmeal
While I love stove top oats, it is more time-consuming. During the week when the husband goes to work and I’m running solo with two littles who demand all my attention as soon as they wake up, I need something quick and nutritious.
Enter these microwave egg oatmeals. Here are some more tips on how to make them perfectly along with four recipes, like carrot cake and zucchini bread oatmeal.
You can certainly cook the oats over the stovetop:
Heat milk or water on the stove and once it simmers, pour the oats in. Slowly add in one well-whisked egg a little bit at a time, stirring well. Add in the extra ingredients as suggested in these recipes. Once all of the egg is incorporated, continuing stirring the oatmeal until light and fluffy.
Cooking with breastmilk
Heat does affect the quality and nutrient profile of breast milk. Research shows that it can break down various enzymes that aid in digestion and boost the immune system.
However, breast milk sill provides incredible nutritional value. So if you have extra milk, you can certainly use it to cook with. But if you’re able to stir it into food once it’s cooked and cooled, it’s even better.
First consider how you like your oatmeal. You probably like it with spices and all kinds of add-ins. Chances are your baby is the same way! Oatmeal with just water is so…boring.
You can absolutely prepare oatmeal for your baby the same way you would for yourself, so don’t hold back ;). You just have to be mindful of modifying the size and texture of add-ins according to your child’s eating skills.
If you’re desiring a more pudding-like consistency, make oatmeal the way you’d eat it and then simply blend.
Offer a spoon but chances are your baby will just dive in with their hands and that’s ok! Resist the urge to interfere and continuously wiping them.
Alternatively, you can shape into balls or fingers to make the oatmeal easier to eat. If you happen to plan ahead, refrigerate for 30 minutes or so after shaping. This will make the balls firmer.
Be sure to pair with a source of vitamin C to baby oatmeal to help absorb the iron in oats.
4 oatmeals with vegetables
Beets + spinach + ricotta + curry powder + coconut milk. Yup. It’s as good as it sounds! You MUST try this recipe.
Zucchini and Bell Pepper
You truly can use whatever vegetables you have on hand for this one!
You can use any variety of sweet potatoes – jewel, garnet, Japanese sweet potatoes…. My son’s favorite food when he was a baby was purple sweet potatoes so they definitely have a special place in my heart. Compared to the orange ones, they are starchier but not as sweet.
I highly recommend you to give them a try! Isn’t the color so gorgeous?! Simply cook and mash with a fork before combining with the rest of the ingredients.
Broccoli + lemon + tahini. Remember this combination!! SOO good!
Other baby-friendly recipes with oats
- Overnight oats
- Spinach Baby Pancakes
- Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
- Southwestern oat muffins
- 3 ingredient banana cookies
- Baby Muffins
- Carrot cake oatmeal smoothie bowl
Vegetable Baby Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats
- 1/2 cup breastmilk or canned full fat coconut milk
- 1 medium egg, whisked
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds (or flax or hemp seeds)
Zucchini and Bell pepper Oatmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1-2 tablespoons shredded cheese (can omit, add less or more)
- stir-in: cooked zucchini and bell pepper, chopped
Sweet potato oatmeal
- 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- stir-in: fresh parsley, finely chopped
Tahini Broccoli oatmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- stir-ins cooked broccoli, chopped; more tahini if desired
- In a microwave-safe bowl or mug, mix all the base ingredients along with the additional once (minus the stir-ins) from the oatmeal you're making
- Microwave on high for 1 1/2 min, stir, and microwave for another 30-45 seconds, until desired consistency is achieved.
- Once cooked, add the stir-ins. Wait until completely cooled before serving to baby