Oatmeal For Babies (6 months+) Ways To Prepare
Wondering if you can serve oatmeal for babies when starting solids, or how to make baby oatmeal porridge and what type of oats to use? No worries, you’ll find the answers to these questions bellow. Plus I’ll provide some tips for how to prepare oats for babies starting with 6 months and a few oatmeal recipes you can choose from according to age.
Generally preparing oats for babies is pretty easy, all you need to figure out is the quality of oats you want, what other ingredients you can add, the texture of porridge and the amount.
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.
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)
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 (quick) oats 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.
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.
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.
You have 2 options:
- 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.
- 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.
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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
- Seed butters (hemp seed butter, pumpkin seed butter or sunflower seed butter) these are full of healthy fats like omega-3 and vitamins and they are less allergic than nut butters – you can try those later.
- Spices (cinnamon or nutmeg).
- Fruit or vegetables purees:
- Strawberry Puree
- Mango Puree
- Carrot Puree
- Pear Puree
- Banana Puree
- Peach Puree
- Probiotic powder (extremely beneficial for colicky babies and gas).
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.
Recipes with oats for baby/toddlers
- Oat & Prune Porridge For Babies And Toddlers
- Apple Oatmeal For Babies/ Toddlers
- Oatmeal Cookies + Variations (9 months +)
- Healthy Oat Carrot Cookies With Applesauce
- Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
- Banana Oat Pancakes
- Apple and Oat Pancakes
- Blueberry Peach Oatmeal Cookies (12 months+)
- Oatmeal Bars With Dried Fruit (12 month+)
Oatmeal For Babies FAQ
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 . For babies, oats are one of the best cereal for making baby food recipes (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.
Scientific evidence from different studies indicates that consumption of oats promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria  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  which in turn optimizes bowel function and digestive health.
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.
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  – perfect and gentle for a baby’s undeveloped digestive system. Plus oat porridge is more nutritious than rice porridge and less constipating.
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.
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.
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.
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 (Adjust For Toddlers and Older Kids)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats (ground for small babies)
- 3/4 cup water
- Optionally add extra liquid (breast milk, plant milk, water) or purees
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.
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.
- Remove from heat and let it the oatmeal cool. Then you can add some more liquid of your preference to thin it out.
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.
- Fruit or vegetable purees or finely diced for older babies
- Yogurt (look for plant based if allergic do dairy)
- Whole seeds or nut butters (for older babies once verified for allergies)
- Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, salt).
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