Do you want to start feeding your baby oatmeal but don’t know where to get started? If yes, then look no further as you have landed on the right page.
Is oatmeal good for babies? Yes, oatmeal is completely safe for babies to eat. It is recommended to start feeding your infant oatmeal once they have turned six months old.
Oatmeal has fat, fiber and protein that will provide nutrition that babies need for growth. In addition, oats contain essential vitamins and minerals that are great for bone development and neurological functioning of your baby
In this article, we will be discussing details around oatmeal for babies, how to make oatmeal for babies and potential side effects to be aware of.
Should I Feed Oatmeal To Babies
Oatmeals contain vitamins, minerals, and protein that offer a strong nutritional profile to help support the growth and development of your baby. To be more precise, oats comprise of essentials like phosphorous, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium that are great for the bone development and neurological functioning of your baby.
Additionally, oats contain healthy fats, dietary fiber and plant based protein. The grain is wholesome, hearty and fulfilling, which makes it a valuable food item with a number of health benefits that support a healthy diet.
When oats are combined with a nutritionally rich diet, your babies can get a balance of nutrients as they grow up. That’s why you are recommended to offer homemade oatmeal recipes for optimal health benefits.
So, is it ok for babies to eat oatmeal? Yes, it’s absolutely safe for most babies to eat oatmeal. Oatmeal is a gluten-free single grain food with a softer and tender texture that promote fullness and is gentle on your baby’s digestive system.
Aside from allergy, there are very few side-effects to be concerned about. Feed your babies 100% organic, plain, homemade oatmeal recipes that contain no extra artificial colors, flavorings or additives.
When can you start feed oatmeal to babies? Once your baby turns six months old, you can slowly start introducing simple oatmeal recipes. Once they have become habituated with plain oatmeal, slowly begin to explore more complex oatmeal recipes and include new ingredients one at a time.
Until they turn six months, you should stick to breastfeeding and formula for your baby. As they continue growing, their bodies will demand more nutrients, vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development.
Difference between baby oatmeal and regular oatmeal?
Baby oatmeals is a ground version of regular oatmeal. Your child may be ready for baby oatmeal when she or he sits easily with full head control, pushes up from tummy onto arms with straight elbows and leans toward spoon with an open mouth.
Regular oatmeal and baby oatmeal do not have any significant difference in terms of their health and nutritional profile. The difference lies in their overall texture, which is safer for a baby to swallow and easier on the digestive system.
What is baby oatmeal? Baby oatmeal is a course ground variant of whole grain oats. The texture and consistency resemble Scottish oats, however the oats are fully cooked, similar to instant oats, and only need to be hydrated to prepare for serving.
Since they are ground into a course meal and fully cooked, they meal prep is much easier to serve. However, you don’t have to have a pantry loaded up with baby oatmeal in order to feed oats to your infant.
Can you make baby oatmeal from regular oatmeal?
Yes, the process is quite simple to make baby oatmeal from regular oatmeal.
Occasionally it may become difficult to find baby oatmeal at the market, or you may consider it redundant to have old fashioned rolled oats and baby oatmeal in the pantry.
Is it ok to feed Quaker Oats to my baby? Until your baby learns develops teeth and learns to chew, stick to serving baby oatmeal that is easier to swallow and digest. Quaker oats are safe for your baby to eat, however it is recommended to take the steps to make oatmeal powder.
If you don’t mind takin the extra steps, then making baby oatmeal from rolled oats may be the best option for you.
Here is the steps to make baby oatmeal from regular oatmeal:
- Measure one cup of regular oats.
- Place the oats in a blender or food processor.
- Pulse for around 15 to 30 seconds to make a granular and powdery texture.
- Store the oat powder in an airtight container.
If stored properly, it will last up to three months. You can keep the baby oatmeal in the refrigerator, freezer, or a dark place in the pantry.
To prepare a simple porridge recipe with this oat powder, you can use any liquid such as breastmilk, cow’s milk, formula, juice or water to create a fine mixture.
Be mindful that homemade baby oatmeal must be cooked, unlike manufactured baby oatmeal which is fully cooked and only needs to be hydrated.
What is the best oatmeal for babies?
Now that you know it is possible to make baby oatmeal from regular oatmeal, the possibilities become a bit broader when discussing what is the best oatmeal brands for babies. Personal opinion such as organic, non-GMO and brand names largely influence the final decision.
When it comes to quality and convenience, we love Gerber Baby Cereal, Organic Oatmeal because its a #1 pediatrician recommended brand with no artificial colors or flavorings added.
When preparing manufactured baby oatmeal, you simply add liquid and serve as the oats have already been fully cooked. In contrast, when you use regular oats to make baby oatmeal, you will have to cook the oatmeal for 5 minutes before serving.
How To Prepare Oatmeal For Babies
Oatmeal is a staple dry food that must be properly prepared before it is safe for your baby to eat. Oats are commonly soaked or cooked in plain water before mixing in other ingredients.
Baby oatmeal is finely flaked or ground into a coarse meal and fully cooked. Preparation is simple as it only requires adding water to fully hydrate the mixture.
In contrast, homemade oat powder needs to be cooked before serving to your infant.
Here are liquids to use for preparing oatmeal for babies:
- Water: Water is the best liquid to use for preparing baby oatmeal as it is plain and easily digestible. Boiled or filtered water is recommended instead of plain tap water because this removes bacteria and pathogens that make it safer for your baby’s stomach. Water is a perfect liquid for preparing plain oatmeal cereal preparations.
- Breastmilk: Breastmilk is a healthy option to prepare oatmeal for babies. Breastmilk is a rich source of minerals and nutrients that are absolutely important for the growth and development of a baby. Just like water, breastmilk will also keep your baby hydrated, however it is not recommended to cook the breastmilk as this can degrade the nutritional value. Cook the infant oatmeal with water, and then stir in breastmilk to maintain the bioactive benefits.
- Formula: Baby oatmeal prepared with formula is extremely simple. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of oatmeal cereal with half a cup of heated formula. The consistency of the mixture should be somewhat fluid and neither be too thick nor too thin.
- Juice: Juice is another way to vary the oatmeal preparation for your baby. A splash of apple juice prepared in the oatmeal will give it a sweet taste that will be attractive to your baby’s developing tastebuds.
- Milk: Prepare a batch of oats using warmed milk. The mixture should be thick enough to smoothly flow through the nipple of the baby bottle.
How To Cook Oatmeal For Babies
Baby oatmeal is precooked and only requires mixing with liquid to serve, however ground up rolled oats have not been cooked. Oats can be prepared by baking, cooking or soaking the whole grain oats.
There are four common ways to cook oatmeal for babies:
- Overnight oats: Leave the no cook oatmeal to soak overnight. The smooth and creamy consistency of the oats will be digestible for your baby.
- Baked: Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit, put the oatmeal mixture in an oven proof bakeware and bake for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked. Let the hot oatmeal cool to room temperature, and then the baked oatmeal will be safe to serve.
- Microwave: Cooking oatmeal cereal in the microwave is one of the quickest methods. Place the oatmeal mixture in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for about 2 minutes. Stop the timer every 30 seconds and stir the oatmeal, microwave until fully cooked. Allow the oatmeal to cool to room temperature before serving an infant.
- Stovetop: Boil water in a pot on the stovetop, then add the oats. Stir continuously so that the oats don’t burn on the bottom. Simmer the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes and then allow the cooked oatmeal to cool down before serving.
Cooking is only required for regular oats that are pulverized to make baby food. Most baby oatmeal manufacturers package precooked oatmeal that is ready to serve when mixed with liquid.
Cooked oatmeal can become too thick, but the problem is easily rectified by thinning out the mixture with your preferred liquid.
How To Feed Oatmeal To Babies
If your baby is older than six months, then you may be able to introduce oatmeal the her or his diet. The transition from a liquid diet to eating solid food should be gradual, so pureed oatmeal cereal makes sense for a logical passage.
How do I start feeding oatmeal to my baby? When you first start feeding oatmeal to a baby, begin with plain oatmeal prepared with water. Observe for any allergies or side effects, and gradually increase consumption until your baby becomes comfortable with digesting it.
As your baby begins to broaden their diet, then you can slowly introduce one ingredient at a time such as seasonal fruit and veggie toppings.
Can you put oatmeal cereal in a baby bottle?
So, you have decided to prepare oatmeal for your baby. Baby oatmeal can be served in a consistency that varies from spoonable to fluid.
Yes, you can serve oatmeal cereal in a baby bottle. Your babies must be comfortable with this feeding method, and the consistency should not be thick or spoonable.
Start with a small amount of oatmeal, and fill just one-third of the baby bottle with the oatmeal. Carefully offer it to your infant so that they can swallow it without any problems.
The nipple size of the feeding bottle is important to allow fluidity.
If the nipple size is too small, then the oatmeal granules will not flow smoothly, and if the nipple opening is too large then the steady stream can cause your baby to choke.
What nipple size is best for feeding oatmeal cereal in a baby bottle? The baby bottle nipple size will allow a smooth and seamless flow of the oatmeal cereal. Your baby should be able to enjoy a comfortable meal without struggling, choking or causing a large mess.
A bottle with a cross-cut hole in the nipple is optimal for a consistent flow of the oatmeal preparation.
Does oatmeal in baby bottle cause a chocking hazard? If your baby is adapted to bottle feeding, then feeding oatmeal cereal in a bottle should be no different. Your baby should be used to sucking a liquid through the nipple, so make sure that the porridge is a similar runny consistency and not too thick.
Yes, a baby associates a baby bottle with liquid, so even if the oatmeal is thin then there is still a potential risk. Watch for any signs of choking, especially when first introducing oatmeal to your infant.
Choking hazards can be reduced by following a few basic tips:
- Serve in a baby bottle with a cross cut nipple opening that provides even flow.
- Test the flow of the oatmeal through the nipple hole by flipping the bottle upside down. If the cereal can perfectly flow through it without any hindrance, then you are all set.
- Bottle feed while your baby is sitting in an appropriate position with the head slightly tilted upright. This factor plays a vital role in easing the the feeding process.
- If your baby begins to gulp, then the flow is too strong.
- If you notice any choking, then take a break from feeding and allow the infant to clear the liquid from their throat.
- Do not leave your baby with a baby bottle while unattended.
Reduce the risk of a chocking hazard by using an appropriate sized nipple while your baby sitting in a position with their head tilted upright. The consistency of the oatmeal should be fluid, so that it can flow freely through the nipple of the bottle.
Follow safety precautions and proceed with the feeding process that you and your child feel most comfortable with. Stick with spoon-feeding oatmeal for a hearty and wholesome meal that watered down oatmeal in a baby bottle will not be able to compare with.
Can I feed oats to my baby at night?
Yes, you can certainly feed your baby oatmeal at nighttime. Oatmeal is a nutritious meal which contains dietary fiber that will help your infant feel full.
Additionally, oats are a source of melatonin, which is a natural hormone that triggers insulin production and regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Happy belly will make your baby sleep with ease. However, this may cause the baby to poop while sleeping, which might not be noticed right away.
Plain oatmeal is relatively light and easy to digest. The nutritional value of oats are hard to ignore, so comfortably proceed with feeding your baby oatmeal before bed.
Baby Oatmeal Side Effects
Oatmeal is a healthy and nutritious food that is recommended by pediatricians for babies to eat. When your child is ready to start transitioning away from a liquid only diet, oatmeal is typically one of the first foods that are introduced.
The single grain provides healthy fat, dietary fiber and plant based protein. The wholesome nutrition is compounded by the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are abundant in the whole grain food staple.
However, there are some circumstance where a baby experiences oatmeal side effects. This should not be taken lightly, and the undesirable effects should be observed with caution and treated by a medical professional.
Can oats help babies gain weight?
When fed in reasonable proportions, then feeding oatmeal to your baby will help them gain healthy weight. A well balanced diet is required to provide adequate nutrition for neurological growth and bone development.
Oatmeal will not be the direct cause of gaining too much weight, most likely it is due to overfeeding. Overfeeding is correlated with gaining too much weight, therefore excessive weight gain is most likely not only a result of eating oatmeal.
Does oatmeal upset a baby’s stomach?
Oatmeal is a gluten free single grain that should aid the digestive system, however there are circumstance where it upsets a baby’s stomach. Allergy, dehydration, intestinal inflammation and cross contamination from other foods could upset a baby’s stomach.
The child could be allergic to oatmeal, or a contaminant that accidentally entered into the food and any part of the harvesting, processing, packaging or cooking procedure. Allergies to peanuts, soy and wheat are common contaminants that could jeopardize the single grain.
An oat allergy can lead to FPIES, or food-protein induced enterocolitis syndrome, which causes side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
Especially in the beginning when first introducing a baby to oatmeal, a baby’s stomach and digestive system may not yet be prepared to handle the grain which can lead to gas or a tummy ache.
Baby Poop After Eating Oatmeal
Oatmeal is densely packed with protein and fiber. The rich fiber content includes both soluble and insoluble fiber, which are fantastic for the digestive system.
Does oatmeal cause constipation in babies? Oatmeal is easy to digest and gentle on a baby’s digestive tract. The fiber-rich food acts as a natural laxative and even prevents constipation.
- Insoluble fiber in oatmeal helps the bowel movement process of food between the stomach and intestines.
- Soluble fiber in oatmeal gets dissolved in water and forms a gel-like consistency that makes the process gentler and smoother.
Constipation is a common problem faced by babies just beginning to consume solid food, and oatmeal may be a solution to solve this process and help to pass the stool.
Rice cereal may cause constipation, while oatmeal may help to increase the frequency of their poops. The stool may be more solid than when on a strict liquid diet, but it will most likely have a soft consistency.
Baby Allergy to Oatmeal
An oat allergy is generally caused by a compound in oats called Averin. The allergy typically manifests in the for of stomach or digestive issues, however blotchy or itchy skin, red rashes and irritated spots on or inside the baby’s mouth, runny nose and itchy, irritated eyes can all be signs of an allergic reaction.
If you observe any of these signs after feeding oatmeal to your baby, then you should stop immediately and consult a pediatrician. A medical professional will be able to help you identify the cause and give the correct diagnosis.
Occasionally, the root of the problem could be found in cross-contamination. Oats are harvested and processed with the same equipment as wheat, therefore gluten can be a major culprit of the symptoms presented.
Even though oats are gluten free, it is recommended to purchase certified wheat-free oats to prevent the risk of cross contamination. Especially in the early phases of introducing new foods to your child, it is important to stick with single foods to identify the primary allergies.
Oatmeal For Babies: Final Thoughts
Oatmeal is good for babies and is considered one of the best cereals for babies that are just starting to eat solid food. At six months of age it is recommended to start transitioning away from a liquid only diet, this is the perfect time to begin feeding oatmeal to babies.
Pediatricians often recommend oatmeal for being easy to digest and its ability to mitigate acid reflux. Start with plain oatmeal with water, and then slowly add milk, juice and formula.
Babies need to consume a variety of foods to balance their diet including fat, protein, vitamins and minerals that are essential for growth. Oatmeal provides adequate nutrition to help foster bone development as well as the neurological functioning of your baby.
However, there are few potential side effects for babies when eating oatmeal. So, keep an eye out for signs of an allergy in your baby.