You don’t have to buy special store-bought baby oatmeal. You can make your own with this super easy, nutrient dense recipe!
Baby oatmeal is a very popular ‘first bite’ for little ones, but it wasn’t actually our daughter Sage’s first food. We started feeding Sage solids at 6 months and started with wholefoods blended up, like sweet potato, avocado and banana. From there we introduced baby oatmeal, but being the home cook I am, I decided to make it from scratch using flours and ingredients I felt good about.
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food in our house because it’s nutritious, easy to make and you can add so many fun and delicious toppings to change it up. This is no different when it comes to babies! You can play around with flours, mix-ins and veggies/fruit like pumpkin, sweet potato and apple.
Pssst… I have a secret project that’s launching at the end of January all about baby food! I’ve been working so hard on it and I hope it’s going to help a lot of parents who are starting out on their baby food journey. If you want to be the FIRST to hear about it, sign up to be notified when it goes live!
You can use whatever oats you have on hand. Some good options are…
When we first started giving oatmeal to Sage, I liked to mix up a large batch of oat flour and buckwheat flakes, which I keep in an airtight container on the counter. This makes it super convenient to quickly whip up a small batch of baby oatmeal in the mornings. Just 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture with a little water, ground flaxseed and some mashed banana and ‘ta-da!’ Breakfast is served!
You can easily make your own oat flour by grinding up rolled oats in a high speed blender or food processor until it’s a fine powder. Alternatively, you can buy oat flour pre-made. I love this combination because it produces a super creamy baby cereal that’s nutrient-dense, and you can also adjust the level of texture according to your baby’s age and stage. If you’re after more of a quick oats consistency, just pulse in the blender a few times so that the oats are chopped into smaller pieces. And of course, once your baby is ready for more texture, you can use normal rolled oats!
The method for cooking oatmeal for your baby will depend on their age and how much texture you want to offer. Here is a rundown of the basic method according to each stage. Feel free to experiment with mix-ins and toppings to give the oats more flavour and variety when your baby is ready!
Note: To make oat flour at home simply grind up rolled oats in a blender until you have a flour consistency.
Note: To make quick oats at home simply grind up rolled oats in a blender and pulse a few times in short bursts until oats are chopped into finer pieces.
There are lots of different methods for feeding baby, and I’d highly recommend taking a baby food course (Use code SAGEEATS for 15% off!) to help educate you about your different options. You can serve oatmeal on a spoon, or pre-load a spoon and let them self feed, baby led weaning style. As they progress with texture you can serve blobs of thicker oatmeal pieces on a plate for them to pick up. The thing I love about baby oatmeal is that you can add so many different ingredients to switch up the flavour and add extra nutrients. Some of my favourites are…
I’m a huge fan of baby meal prep, and oatmeal is the perfect food to get prepped up and ready to grab when you need it. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Now that Sage is older and has a bigger appetite, I will often just batch cook a large amount of oatmeal, such as an apple pie or pumpkin oatmeal, and transfer into a mold to freeze. It’s then ready to reheat on the stove top in the perfect portions, with a little milk or water to add moisture back in and help thin it down to the desired consistency.
While I love making baby oatmeal myself at home, there is definitely a time and a place for the store bought variety. When it comes to store bought baby cereals I always look at the ingredients to check for hidden additives, preservatives and sugars. I prefer to use fruit to naturally sweeten baby food instead of added sugars and syrups. I also look for organic when possible and whole grains (whether whole or ground) such as barley, millet, oat, buckwheat, etc. The nice thing about store bought baby cereal, and one of the reasons it’s a popular first food, is because they’re often fortified with iron. Babies need extra iron, especially in those first few months with all that growing. Store bought baby cereal can be a great addition to your homemade oatmeal, as well as acting as a mix in for soup or even a duster for slippery foods like avocado or banana slices. Some brands I like are Love Child Organics, Earth’s Best Organic and Holle.
What’s your favourite way to serve baby oatmeal? Let me know in the comments below!