Oatmeal is a breakfast staple around here, for me as well as for my bottomless-tank toddler. I like it (for her and for me) because it’s filling, good for you and you can dress it up just about any way you please. I thought I’d share a few of Vera’s favorite oatmeal combinations if you’re looking for a way to shake up breakfast for your kiddo.
First, the oatmeal.
Around the time Vera was 10 months old, I stopped using baby oatmeal and switched to regular oatmeal. I purchase big tubs of plain, old-fashioned oats (I don’t use instant – the regular old-fashioned ones cook up fast enough – although I am sure they would work).
But I don’t make the oatmeal from scratch every day – what a pain that would be. Instead, I make up big batches at a time, every 2-3 weeks. Here’s what to do:
- Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and then add 3 cups of old-fashioned oats. (Yes, that’s a lot of oatmeal. It’s supposed to make 6 adult servings but I am able to get 12-15 quarter-cup toddler-sized servings out of it.)
- Cook the oatmeal for 5 minutes and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then let it cool slightly.
- Use a quarter-cup measuring cup to scoop out servings into a regular-sized muffin tin. The quarter-cup scoops fit perfectly into each muffin portion. Like I said, I usually end up with more than 12 servings, so I scoop the rest into individual food storage containers.
- Let the oatmeal cool some more and then pop the muffin tin into the freezer and the food storage containers into the fridge. (You’ll use the fridge servings first, obviously.)
- Once the oatmeal in the muffin tin is frozen, take it out of the freezer, pop out the frozen individual servings and store them in a freezer bag back in the freezer. We dip a washcloth in hot water and wipe it around the bottom of the muffin tin to help loosen the frozen oatmeal.
- When it’s time for breakfast, pop the oatmeal in the microwave (mine takes about 1 minute + 10 seconds if completely frozen or more like 45 seconds if I’ve thawed the oatmeal in the fridge overnight). Top as desired and serve. Yum!
And now for some combination ideas….
Just FYI, I don’t measure things out….just use my eye for the right balance of all the ingredients.
The classic: Apple-Peanut Butter Oatmeal
This is my go-to for Vera: applesauce, a scoop of peanut butter and sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon. A little fruit and protein to start the day. Plus everyone know apples and PB are a winning combo! You could use any nut butter here though.
Fall in a bowl: Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Oatmeal
With a scoop of pumpkin puree, a scoop of peanut butter and definitely some cinnamon, this combination has been a hit all week. And to be honest, I’m kind of jealous when I see her eating this 🙂 Again any nut butter or even sunflower butter would work here.
Sweet as pie: Cherry-Apple Oatmeal
No added sugar – just the sweetness of applesauce (by the way, in all cases, I only use natural, unsweetened applesauce…it’s sweet enough that way in my opinion) and the sweet/tart combination of diced cherries.
Go bananas: Banana-Berry Oatmeal
Most toddlers love bananas, so adding them to anything is usually a safe bet. And I have always loved the banana-berry combination so this is a no-brainer. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries work great here, so use what you have (frozen also work well, especially if you thaw them in the fridge overnight with the oatmeal).
Any other combinations to share?