Oats/Oatmeal is ideal for babies as it is rich in fiber, proteins, and vitamins. It's a satisfying meal for babies and toddlers. Also, oats are versatile as they can easily fit into sweet or savory recipes such as porridge, pancakes, cookies, khichdi, smoothies, and so much more!! There is no doubt that oats are suitable for babies, but you may have some other questions, like 'when can I introduce oats to my baby,' 'what are the health benefits of oats' and 'how do I select oats for baby food' etc. Here is a post that answers all your questions about oats for babies with delicious oats recipes!!!
When can I introduce Oats to my baby?
Oats can be introduced to a baby's diet from 8 months as it has some gluten; introducing them early may produce intolerance in some babies. However, some experts say oats can be included for 6 months. Consult with your baby‘s pediatrician and include oats in the baby’s diet (This is especially important when your family has a gluten allergy).
When you introduce Oats to your baby, start with plain oats porridge. Once the baby is doing good with it, you can combine it with other foods or fruit purees and introduce other oats recipes listed in the post.
Nutrients in Oats
Here is the nutrition information for ½ cup of cooked instant oats.
* Source - USDA
Health Benefits of Oats for Babies
- Oats contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps & prevents constipation in babies.
- Rich in protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and essential B vitamins. Hence it's a balanced food for growing babies.
- Eating antioxidants-rich whole grains like oats reduces inflammation and reduce heart problems in babies and kids.
- It promotes sound sleep in babies as it contains melatonin that can help your baby sleep. Give a bowl of oatmeal in the evening to get your baby sleepy!
- It helps to boost the immune system as it has a unique fiber called beta-glucan, which prevents your baby from getting sick.
- Oats are an energy food for babies as they are full of good carbs that energize your baby throughout the day.
What are the types of oats available?
Thick oats take around 50 minutes to cook. It is chewy after cooking, and babies are less likely to enjoy these oats because of their texture. Hence it's not that suitable for babies.
Steel Cut Oats
When oats groats are cut into pieces, they become steel-cut oats, also called Irish or Scottish oats. Steel-cut oats have a robust structure and are available in various thicknesses; generally, it takes around 30 minutes to cook. It is ideal for making porridge and can be given to babies if available in your area.
When oats groats are steamed through rollers, it's referred to as rolled oats, also called old-fashioned or whole oats. It is available in various sizes and thicknesses and is highly recommended for babies. In generally rolled oats takes around 15 minutes to cook. But some thinner rolled oats are also available in the market, which may take less time. Rolled oats can be used in porridge, pancakes, granola bars, cookies, muffins, and cakes.
Also referred to as Instant oats, they are processed to cut fine and cook faster than other varieties. Quick-cooking oats have less nutrition among oats types. Hence prefer these oats type for babies during travel or for emergency purposes.
How to select and store Oats for Baby Food
- Water amount and cooking time vary on the type of oats. Check package instructions for the cooking time before buying.
- Read the ingredients given in the package before buying oats. Avoid flavored or added sugar/salt oats for baby food as they are less in nutrition.
- Buying organic oats is preferable for babies, if available.
- Store in a cool and dry place.
Oats Baby Food Recipes
1. Oats Porridge
A healthy porridge recipe with homemade oatmeal cereal. This can be given to babies from 8 months. It tastes good, even plain, without adding additional sweetener or salt. But you can add any fruit puree, dates syrup, or raisin paste to enhance the taste
2. Oats Khichdi:
Easy, quick, one-pot wholesome meal for babies and toddlers made with a pressure cooker. Oats khichdi is the best alternative for dal khichdi when your baby is bored of it
3. Curd Oats :
Easy, healthy Indian-style recipe made with oats, curd/yogurt that can be served as lunch for kids
4. Oats Egg omelet
Easy omelet recipe with oats, vegetables, and eggs
5. Oats Moong dal Dosa
Easy, quick, no fermentation oats moong dal dosa. Fix for breakfast/dinner.
6. Oats Banana Smoothie
Easy, healthy smoothie recipe for kids with oats, bananas, and milk as the main ingredients.
8. Oats pancakes:
Oats, aka oatmeal pancakes recipe with oats, whole wheat flour & eggs. Easy and super tasty pancakes for toddlers & kids.
9. Oats custard
A delicious dessert made with oats, egg yolk, and milk. It's an easy and delicious recipe that can be done within 15 minutes.
10. Oats Chocolate Chip Cookies
No-fuss eggless cookie recipe with oats and chocolate chips, healthy cookie recipe made with oats/oats flour, wheat flour, and chocolate chips!
11. Oats Apple Porridge
A healthy porridge recipe made of oats and apples. I have already posted a plain oats porridge recipe with homemade oatmeal cereal. This oats apple porridge is a nice variation with the healthy addition of apples. It's light on the stomach, so it's perfect for breakfast or dinner. I made this oats porridge with plain water, but cows milk can be used as well for toddlers
13. Vegetable Oats Porridge
An easy, quick, one-pot savory porridge for babies and toddlers made with a pressure cooker. This vegetable oats porridge is the best alternative for fruits oats porridge when your baby is bored. It is effortless to make. Only chopping the veggies takes time; if that's ready, this porridge can be done in a jiffy.
14. Homemade Oats Banana Porridge
Easy and tasty oats porridge for babies with quick-cooking oats, bananas, and cow's milk.
With their health benefits and delicious recipes, oats will keep your baby healthy and happy!