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Oatmeal For Babies: When, What, How To Serve

When to serve oatmeal for babies and can babies have regular oatmeal? How to make baby oatmeal porridge and what type of oats to use? Is mixing baby oatmeal with other baby food ok? These are some of the questions we’ll answer in this post, plus we’ll provide a few oatmeal recipes for baby you can choose from.

Baby oatmeal porridge in a small bowl and baby spoon.

Oatmeal For Babies

Oatmeal can be used in so many baby food recipes, like oatmeal porridge, oatmeal cookies, oat pancakes and even added to meals like salmon balls as a binding ingredient.

Are Oats Good For Babies?

In general whole grain oat contains considerable amount of valuable nutrients such as proteins (with good amino acid balance), starch, unsaturated fatty acids and dietary fibre (soluble and insoluble) plus minerals, vitamins and antioxidants [1].

For babies, oats are one of the best cereal for baby food recipes to start with (usually at six months of age) because of their ability to form viscous solutions (due to beta-glucan fibre) that coats and feeds good bacteria in the gut – perfect for a baby’s undeveloped digestive system.

Oat Benefits For Babies

Scientific evidence from different studies indicates that consumption of oats promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria [2] and can change the composition of the gut microbiome within a week. Also oats perform as a natural laxative, can influence stool weight and decrease constipation [3] which in turn optimizes bowel function and digestive health.

What Type Of Oats Are Best For A Baby?

These antioxidants and nutrients present in oats are concentrated in the outer layer of the kernel in the bran fraction of the oat grain. So the less processed the oats are the more nutritious they are.

In general, the whole grain oats go through different processing until they reach the final results: whether is steel-cut oats (the least processed), rolled oats or quick oats (the most processed). They are cleaned cleaned, hulls removed, steamed, cut or rolled and flattened into flakes and then dried to remove moisture so they are shelf-stable.

Related: Baby Oat & Prune Porridge (6 Months +, Toddlers)

Oatmeal for babies 6 and 8 months toddlers and older kids.
Same ingredients, different texture.

Baby Oatmeal Vs Regular Oatmeal

Baby oatmeal is similar to instant oatmeal that has been pre-cooked and ground into a course meal intended to be reconstituted with hot liquid.

Basically regular oatmeal and baby oatmeal have no significant difference in nutritional profile, just the texture. You can get the same fine texture of baby oatmeal by grinding some regular rolled oatmeal.

Steel Cut, Quick or Rolled Oats For Babies

Rolled oats are probably the most convenient and appropriate for making a porridge for your baby. Since the steel cut oats are just whole oat groats simply cut in half, they take longer to cook and are bit harsh for a baby’s digestive system.

On the other hand instant (quickoats are the most highly processed variety (steamed for a longer period and rolled into thinner pieces). While they take the shortest time to cook, they are stripped of most fibre and nutrients usually having added sugar or flavors.

Rolled oats for baby.

Old-fashioned oats (rolled oats) are just steamed and rolled oats pressed into thinner flakes, and they take about 5 minutes to cook. Once cooked they can be served as they are (for babies 8 month+) or blended into a finer paste (for babies 6 months+). So it’s really no need to buy special baby oatmeal.

Organic Oats Or Conventional

According to a study done in 2018, almost 70% of the conventional oat products exceeded EWG’s safety limit for a herbicide that has been linked to cancer. Buying organic oats will decrease the exposure to this herbicide. Also if you suspect your baby has gluten intolerance make sure the oats are also “gluten free certified“, because oats can be contaminated with wheat products during processing.

Oatmeal Porridge For 8-9 Month Old Baby

Once your baby learns to chew and handle chunkier food in the mouth (typically between 7 and 9 months) you can cook regular rolled oats without grinding into baby food. They will turn into a mushy tender oat porridge in just 3 minutes and then you can add any additional liquid after cooking (plant milk, breastmilk), including fruit purees and spices.

Also you can dice some fruits (fresh or dried) and cook together. Cooking the fruit along with the oatmeal will yield a more intense flavor and a softer texture. Some babies may not tolerate fresh fruits well, but once cooked it’s easier on their stomach.

Related: Apple Oatmeal For Babies/ Toddlers

Process shot of cooking rolled oats for baby with water and banana.
Cooking rolled oats with water and banana. Mix with a fork and smash any large chunks while it cooks.
Process shot of cooking rolled oats for baby with added dairy free milk.
To make a thinner consistency, add milk (dairy free milk – I used coconut, or breast milk) after cooking.
Oatmeal for babies 7-9 months old and up.

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Nutritious Add-Ins

Oatmeal Porridge For Toddlers

For toddlers, you can use rolled oats or steel cut oats, cook according to the package instructions. Just keep in mind that steel cut oats will take about 15 minutes longer to cook. As liquid you can use some milk (regular or plant milk) instead of water and also add chopped fresh fruits or dried fruits, nuts, seeds and spices.

How To Make Oatmeal Porridge For 6 Month Old Baby

Babies at 6 months need a finer texture as they don’t know how to chew yet, so you need to make the oatmeal porridge with a smoother texture.

Process shot of cooking rolled oats for 6 month old baby and blended into a smoother consistency.

You have 2 options:

  1. Cook the oatmeal with regular rolled oats and water then blend with a blender. Just like you would make for older kids and then you can adjust the consistency and add more liquid (milk) if needed. For quicker results use a baby blender.
  2. Or grind rolled oats into a finer texture and then cook. Place the oats in a food processor, pulse for a few seconds until finely ground then add 3 times as much water and boil for 3-5 minutes (stir occasionally while it cooks). Then you can add more liquid (breast milk, cow’s milk or plant milk) to thin it out.

How Much Oatmeal Should I Give My 6 Month Old?

Every baby is different but as rule of thumb, 3 to 4 tablespoons of oatmeal every day can provide sufficient fiber and nutrients to an infant. Once your baby is older and seems to want more, you can double or triple the amount.

What To Do With Baby Oatmeal Leftovers

Store in a covered container in the fridge up to 2 days. Or pre-portion and freeze. To reheat: add a splash of water and heat, mix until you get a warm smooth consistency.

Baby Led Weaning Oat Porridge

Babies are usually ready for baby led weaning around 6 months of age and you can let them eat porridge either by giving them a spoon (expect a big mess) or you can store the porridge in the fridge and let it harden for a few hours first, then break apart into smaller pieces and serve as finger food. 

Oatmeal Recipes For Babies

Begin with simple oat recipes like oats porridge. When your baby is comfortable with plain oats porridge, you can add flavors by adding fruits, spices, seeds, veggies or yogurt. Then you can incorporate oats in more complex recipes.

Adding cinnamon in homemade oatmeal cereal for babies.

Recipes with oats for baby/toddlers

Baby Porridge FAQ

At what age do babies start eating porridge?

At 6 months, babies can start eating porridge. You can make baby oatmeal cereal by grinding rolled oats in a food processor or make the regular porridge and then blend it into a smoother texture.

Which porridge is best for 6 month old baby?

Oat porridge is one of the best cereal to feed your weaning baby. Oats once combined with water have the ability to form viscous solutions (due to beta-glucan fibre) that coats and feeds good bacteria in the gut [1] – perfect and gentle for a baby’s undeveloped digestive system. Plus oat porridge is more nutritious than rice porridge and less constipating.

How much porridge should a 6 month old eat?

A 6 month old baby can start with 3-4 tablespoons a day. Once your baby is older and seems to want more, you can double or triple the amount.

Can I make baby porridge with cow’s milk?

Some young infants cannot digest cow’s milk due to intolerance to cow’s milk protein and sugar and the lack of enzymes needed to break down and digest the those. So it can cause pain, gas, cramping, vomiting or diarrhea if ingested.

Can I give baby normal porridge?

Yes. If your baby doesn’t know how to chew yet, you just need to transform it into a smoother soup-like consistency by using a blender.

The best milk for making baby porridge?

Breast milk is clearly the best milk for making baby porridge. Cows milk and nut milks are potential allergens so these are not recommended in the first year. The second best thing would be plant based nut free milks (I’m making hemp milk or tigernut milk) or plant based formula.

Baby oatmeal recipe.

Baby Oatmeal Recipe (Adjust For Toddlers and Older Kids)

ThrivingNest
How to make oatmeal for babies: choose homemade oatmeal cereal, quick oats, rolled oats or steel cut oats to make smooth baby oatmeal for 6 months old babies or coarser porridge for 9 months old babies, toddlers and older kids.
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine Baby Food
Servings 4 servings
Calories 18.8 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (ground for small babies)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Optionally add extra liquid (breast milk, plant milk, water) or purees

Instructions
 

Thin Baby Oat Porridge (6 months)

  • Bring the water to a boil, add the powdered rolled oats. If you want to add anything else like fruits or vegetables, add them now – you can mash, puree or finely dice them and then puree. Cook for 3-5 minutes and mix occasionally until done.
  • Alternatively you can cook the rolled oats first with water and diced fruit (in this case I used 1/3 of banana). Bring to a boil on medium heat, then cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat until smooth and soft.
  • Remove from heat. If the oats are too thick add milk (breast milk or some plant milk), formula or water to thin. As a final step mix with a blender until smooth.
    how to make oatmeal for babies.

Baby Oatmeal Porridge (8 months +) And Toddlers

  • Add rolled oats and water into a pot. Heat over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to boil. Add extras, if any (diced fresh fruits, dried fruits, seeds, vegetables) before it starts to boil, it will infuse more flavor into the porridge. Let it boil for about 1-2 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Stirring the oats several times while cooking will brake down their texture even more making them mushier and creamier.
    how to make oatmeal for babies
  • Remove from heat and let it the oatmeal cool. Then you can add some more liquid of your preference to thin it out.

Notes

Change The Type Of Oats
 
  • Instant Quick Oats – bring the water to a boil then add the instant oats along with any spices you are using. Turn down the heat to low and cook the oats for 1-2 minutes. Let cool. Blend to a smoother consistency if serving to babies younger than 8 months. Add more liquid if needed.
  • Steel Cut Oats – Add the steel cut oats to a food processor and ground into a coarse powder. Bring water to a boil and add the ground oats. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes or until the porridge looks soft and puffed. Let cool. Or you can cook the steel cut oats first and then blend to a smooth consistency if serving to babies younger than 8 months.
 
If you want uncontaminated gluten free oats, look for certified gluten free oats. Also make sure you use organic oats as the conventional ones are usually heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. I’m using this gluten free organic rolled oats in my household.
 
Add -Ins:
  1. Fruit or vegetable purees or finely diced for older babies
  2. Yogurt (look for plant based if allergic do dairy)
  3. Whole seeds or nut butters (for older babies once verified for allergies)
  4. Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, salt).
 

Nutrition

Serving: 4tbspCalories: 18.8kcalCarbohydrates: 3.4gProtein: 0.6gFat: 0.3gSodium: 0.9mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.1gCalcium: 0.1mgIron: 1mg
Have you tried any of these recipes? Your feedback is really helpful, please rate and leave a comment below recipe card!!

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