Baby Feeding

How to Make Baby Oatmeal – Recipes, Ideas, Tips & Tricks

Oatmeal is very nutritious and it’s very good for your child. Baby porridge or oatmeal is pretty similar to the one made for adults. The only difference is breast milk or infant formula that’s added in this oatmeal version. This meal is great for small children who’re just starting to consume solid baby-friendly foods. It’s also an effective and safe way to monitor any potential allergies or negative reactions to single-grain cereals.

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How to Make Oatmeal for Your Baby – Recipe Ideas & Tips

You can cook oatmeal by using a rice cooker, a crockpot, or simply a regular pot in which you add water. If you want to achieve a smoother texture, you’ll need to skip the crockpot as well as the rice cooker because you’ll have to puree the oatmeal after you cook it. Still, this comes with a risk and the final result might be way too pasty. When making homemade baby cereal, make sure to add between ¼ and 1/3 cup of oat powder for each 1-2 cups of water you use. Feel free to adjust these amounts a bit anyway you see fit. The important thing is to whisk the mixture in order to avoid clumping.

Oatmeal Baby Cereal

Ingredients

  • Water – at least ¾ cup but not more than one full cup;
  • Ground oats – ¼ cup; you can either use steel cut or regular oats.

Directions

  • Use a blender or any other food processor to ground the oats;
  • Boil the water in a saucepan. Add the ground oatmeal while also stirring the mixture constantly;
  • Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so while whisking. Now it’s time to add either breast milk or baby formula. You can also complete the texture and taste of the oatmeal with some fruits if you want. Serve it warm but try it first because small children are more sensitive to warm foods.

Oatmeal Scramble

This recipe is suitable for babies who’re at least 8 months old.

Ingredients

  • One cup of oatmeal – cook it first;
  • One teaspoon of olive oil – extra virgin if possible;
  • 2 egg yolks;
  • One banana – small or medium-sized;
  • Veggies or fruits – cooked and no more than ¼ cup.

Directions

  • Use a small frying pan to heat the oil;
  • Peel the banana;
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks;
  • Add the fruits or vegetables together with the oatmeal in the frying pan and then pour the whisked yolks;
  • Scramble and fry the mixture until it’s completely cooked;
  • Make sure to cut the oatmeal scramble is tiny pieces so that your little one will be able to chew them safely.

Baed Oatmeal Apple Cereal

oatmeal apple

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of ground oats;
  • One small apple;
  • ¾ cup of water.

Directions

  • Prepare the fruit – remove the apple’s peel, take out the middle part that contains the seeds, and cut it into small dices;
  • Place both the water and the oats in a pan and bring them to a slow boil;
  • Simmer the entire thing while keeping the pan covered. Stir and mash the mixture while cooking;
  • When the apple gets soft and the oatmeal looks cooked, then you can add breast milk, baby formula, or even natural juice to achieve a thinner consistency that resembles a puree.

Selecting and Storing Oats

Some say organic oats are better than regular oats but that’s also a personal choice. Whole grains can be kept in a cool and dry place for several months. If the temperature in your home becomes too warm, you should consider storing the cereal in the fridge. Other types of grains such as rice flour, oat flour, and whole wheat flour must be kept in the fridge, in airtight containers. This is also the case of milled grains because the oils contained by the cereals come out and can become rancid. Another way to go is by purchasing only small quantities and consuming them in a short period.

When choosing the best oats for your infant, you should opt for those that are free from sugar, added preservatives, artificial flavorings, and salt. Once you purchase them and open the container, you must store them in dry and cool places for safety reasons. One thing you should be aware of is that fact that, like any other grain, these ones are also prone to pest infestation. So, put them in clean areas only and, when necessary, use child-friendly anti-pest measures.

Main Types of Oats

There are several different varieties of oats you’ll find on the market.

Rolled Oats

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These are oat flakes sourced from whole oat grain. They’re produced from those oat grains that are without skin and the manufacturer puts them in a roller machine before drying them. There are two types of rolled oats: fast-cooking and slow-cooking ones.

Instant Oats

These oats are highly processed because the oat grain goes through several processing steps: boil, roll, etc. They are even dried before they’re placed into separate packages. So, we’re talking about semi-cooked oats included in ready-to-eat cereals. All you have to do to prepare them is adding hot water.

Coarse Oat Flour

Unlike other types of oats, this one is made from unrefined grain and the final pounded flour is rich in fiber. Most oat cereal mixes dedicated to babies will most likely contain oat flour because it combines well and dissolves easily in hot water, without creating clumps.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

These are whole oat grains that come in the form of small bits because they’re cut this way by powerful steel blades, hence the name. Although they are as nutritious as whole oat grains, steel-cut oats cook a lot quicker due to their smaller size.

Dehulled Whole Oat Grain

These grains are the opposite of instant oats. What I mean is that dehulled oats are the least processed type of oats. They also go by the name of whole oat groat. These grains are raw and pure which means they come with an intact nutritional value.

The Reasons Why You Should Give Your Baby Oatmeal

You’re probably wondering why oats are so good for small children. For starters, they are rich in fiber, protein, vitamin B, and calcium. In other words, oats are highly nutritious. When it comes to choosing between the several different types of oats, the steel cute ones are a little bit healthier compared to instant, rolled, or quick cook oats. The reason behind that fact is the nutritional value of steel cut oats which is better because these cereals aren’t processed too much.

Nutritional Values – Oatmeal (regular cooked oats, one serving/one cup)

Protein5.94 g
Calcium21 mg
Iron2.11 mg
Vitamin C0 mg
Magnesium84 mg
Vitamin B10.17 mg
Vitamin B20.04 mg
Vitamin A0 IU
Potassium164 mg
Sodium9 mg

Oatmeal for Babies – Health Benefits

  • It’s a great nourishing food that’s also great for infants who suffer from gluten allergies – babies who’re allergic to gluten mustn’t eat grains such as rye, barley, and wheat but these are all essential part of a child’s diet. Oats can successfully replace all these cereals;
  • Oats ease constipation – this cereal is rich in fiber so it tackles constipation;
  • Boosts your baby’s immune system – beta-glucans, which is a sugar contained by oats, promotes the production of immunity cells;
  • Lowers body inflammation – this cereal contains avenanthramides which are a compound that lowers inflammation caused by wounds or infections. All babies will benefit from oats’ anti-inflammatory properties, especially those who have auto-immune diseases;
  • Improves insulin sensitivity – babies who can truly benefit from consuming oats are those who were born with type-1 diabetes. This grain lowers the body’s resistance to insulin which will further reduce the effects of this health disease;
  • It’s a great food choice for infants born with GERD which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Additional Benefits

  • Your infant will have lower chances of developing certain health issues such as Type 2 diabetes;
  • Alleviates asthma symptoms;
  • Improves the organism’s immunity and makes it stronger;
  • Protects the body against cancer;
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and prevents heart conditions.

When Can a Baby Eat Oatmeal?

It’s ok and even recommended to introduce both porridge and homemade oatmeal in your baby’s diet from the age of 5-6 month old which is right about the time an infant starts to eat solid foods as well. In fact, many specialists believe that oats are way better and healthier than rice or other cereals for that matter due to the fact that it has lower risks of getting your child constipated. Another advantage is the taste of oats which is significantly more pleasant than rice cereal.

Potential Side Effects

Oatmeal is usually safe and healthy. Still, there are issues for babies who’re allergic to these grains. In those situations, your child might experience symptoms such as itchiness, rashes, diarrhea, runny nose, etc. On the other hand, oatmeal is a hypoallergenic meal so the risk of a negative reaction is low.

Other potential problems might be represented by gassiness resulted from oat bran consumption which boosts stool bulks as well as the frequency of defecation.

Tips on How to Help Your Infant to Get the Most Out of Eating Oatmeal

oatmeal

  • If you finely ground the oats, you will have a great base for purees, soups, and sauces, all of which are healthy and nutritious for your baby;
  • You can also use raw oats as they are. Simply add the powder to purees or baby-friendly smoothies;
  • You can save a lot of precious time if you cook the oats one night before you actually want to use them. Then, in the morning, you can simply warm them up before breakfast time. Some of your already-prepared oatmeal can be kept in the freezer without problems;
  • Always add milk or water or both when you cook oats because even toddlers will like them better this way in terms of taste and texture;
  • Soaking the oats is a great idea because not only will save you a lot of cooking time but it will also offer some extra health benefits as well.

Oats for Babies – How to Process Them

Cooking Steel-Cut Oats

  • They require longer cooking time. You need to boil them for about 10 minutes. Then, you must soak them in boiled water and let them sit overnight for approximately 12 hours;
  • Next morning, you’ll have to boil the grains one more time, for about 15 to 20 minutes. The boil should be slower, so it’s best to keep the stove at medium heat;
  • Stir the oats the entire time they’re cooking to make sure they’re done evenly;
  • Let them cool and then put them in the blender to prepare the porridge;
  • You can add water or milk to adjust the oatmeal’s consistency. Also, for an extra flavor, you could add other foods as well such as fruits and veggies.

Cooking Rolled Oats

  • Put them in water and let them soak for a minute or so;
  • Cook them for up to 15 minutes or follow the guidelines written on the package;
  • Adjust its consistency by adding milk or water;
  • Take the oats off the cooking stove and let them cool before blending them.

The Perfect Oats Food Combinations for Babies

Oatmeal has a better taste when you combine it with certain food items like the ones listed below:

  • Milk – this is the most common go-to ingredient that many parents add to oatmeal. Cooking oats with milk leads to a tasty porridge;
  • Fruits – almost all fruits have the role of improving the taste of oats. Moreover, those fruits that have a sweet pulp, like bananas, work great with these grains;
  • Vegetables – if you want to obtain a savory porridge, you should try adding finely-chopped veggies and cook them together with the grains;
  • Meat – just like in the case of vegetables, meat can also be cooked with oatmeal. Beef or chicken are excellent choices for delicious oat porridge.

How to Make Baby Oatmeal – Final Thoughts

Oats are rich in fiber and nutrients, so they are a great meal option for your baby. Also, there are lower risks of allergies when eating oats, compared to other cereals. Simply put, oatmeal should be your first choice when you start feeding your little one with solid foods. Finally, this type of porridge supports your infant’s growth and development.

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