I rounded up my favorite healthy oatmeal recipes that are packed with kid-friendly flavor to making that morning meal a little easier on you. With instant, overnight, baked, stovetop, and oatmeal muffin recipes to choose from, these are delicious options for the kids…and you!

healthy oatmeal recipes in grid of 6.

Healthy Oatmeal Recipes

Filled with heart-healthy fiber and complex carbohydrates, oatmeal is a nourishing source of energy—and it’s budget-friendly, easy to customize with all sorts of flavors, and it can keep our hearts (and our digestive systems, ahem toddler constipation) in good shape. It’s also very filling, which makes it a healthy toddler breakfast to start the day.

These healthy oatmeal recipes are kid-friendly, come in a variety of textures, and are easy to make. I have ideas for baby oatmeal, instant oatmeal, baked oatmeal, oatmeal muffins, and all variety of stovetop oatmeal. (I also have Bliss Balls which use oats, too!)

And if you want make-ahead options, look for apple overnight oats and Oatmeal Cups. These are designed to be eaten by little kids and adults, so you can prepare one recipe to share with the entire family. And since oatmeal is a great source of whole grains, B vitamins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, these are wonderful breakfast ideas to have in the mix.

To start, let’s take a look at types of oatmeal just to make sure to avoid any confusion.

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oat-flour-in-jar

Baby Oatmeal

Baby oatmeal is very, very fine oatmeal that resembles a powder. From the store, it’s typically fortified with iron and you simply need to stir in warm water, formula, breastmilk, or nondairy milk to prepare it. You can also easily make homemade baby oatmeal.

Instant Oatmeal

Instant oatmeal can be a healthy option for toddlers. It’s convenient and cooks up super fast. I would recommend reaching for plain packets so that you can add your own flavorings and control the added sugars. And consider adding some fat or protein from nut/seed butter, healthy oils, coconut milk, flax milk, or whole milk to balance out the quick releasing carbohydrates.

Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Rolled oats, which take just a little bit longer than instant oats to cook, are one of the best breakfasts for toddlers. They digest slowly, which means they provide long-lasting energy, but they still cook up soft without much time. The whole grains are also a source of B vitamins and they are very versatile—you can add almost any fruit to them to customize them for your toddler! Quaker Oats is a brand you will see, and you can of course reach for store brands to save a little money on groceries.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are the whole oat groat or grain and take the longest to cook and use the most liquid in the cooking process. Just keep that in mind when cooking with steel cut oats.

Instant Steel Cut Oats

These seem to be more and more widely available and I know they are available at Trader Joe’s. Be sure to read the cooking instructions to make sure you use the right amount of liquid, but these will cook faster (and have similar nutrition) to regular steel cut oats.

Oatmeal Recipes to Share with the Kids

Here’s a look at my favorite healthy oatmeal recipes to share with the whole family. They are all appropriate for little kids and can be further customized to suit preferences and ingredient availability.

baby-oatmeal-on-baby-spoon

Baby Oatmeal

Make healthy baby oatmeal (or toddler oatmeal!) for kids that features whole grains, fiber, and veggies. Plus, you can make this quick breakfast recipe in just 5 minutes and it tastes sort of like pie!

Easiest Baby Oatmeal
Make healthy baby oatmeal at home in less than 5 minutes and learn how to add flavor and nutrition easily with this super simple method.
Easiest Baby Oatmeal
apple-oatmeal-in-white-bowls

 Apple Raisin Oatmeal

Stir a few spoonfuls of applesauce into old-fashioned oats or instant oats for a low-sugar way to add sweetness. You’ll also add some Vitamin C to your toddler’s oatmeal. You can also grate in fresh apple and/or add raisins. We love this idea for babies learning to eat oatmeal.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Raisins
You can double this recipe to make a larger batch to warm up and serve throughout the week.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Raisins
apple-oatmeal-in-white-bowls
oatmeal-with-fruit-in-kids-bowls

Oatmeal with Fruit

It’s easy to make oatmeal with any sort of fruit you like—fresh, dried, canned frozen. This base recipe has all sorts of easy options!

How to Make Oatmeal with Fruit
The base recipe makes a large amount so you can use it throughout the week. Feel free to cut it in half to make less, or just make one serving at a time using the instructions in the NOTES section below.
How to Make Oatmeal with Fruit
oatmeal-with-fruit-in-kids-bowls
chia-seed-oatmeal-with-blueberries

Chia Seed Oatmeal

This recipe is straightforward and involves cooking the oats, adding milk and chia seeds, and choosing a fruit for flavor (and more vitamins) if you’d like. You can use fresh fruit, dried, or frozen depending on what you have.

Favorite Chia Seed Oatmeal
With an easy method and the option to flavor with a range of fruit, Chia Seed Oatmeal is a delicious, nutritious breakfast for kids…and us parents!
Favorite Chia Seed Oatmeal
chia-seed-oatmeal-with-blueberries

Banana Bread Oatmeal

With simple ingredients, an easy cooking technique (that’s mostly hands off!), and the most delicious flavor, this Banana Bread Oatmeal is one of my very favorite cozy family breakfasts.

Banana Bread Oatmeal (to Share with the Kids)
When you use a really ripe (or over ripe) banana in this recipe, it tastes so much like banana bread—but is much faster! See the options for which toppings make this even more delish.
Banana Bread Oatmeal (to Share with the Kids)
banana-oatmeal-in-three-bowls
apple-steel-cut-oatmeal

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples

Stir together a few healthy ingredients in the crockpot, set it to cook overnight, and wake up to this nutritious Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe to share with the whole family—babies and toddlers included!

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
You can make this overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal and enjoy it for breakfast the following day, or make a whole batch ahead and eat it throughout the week. (*To do this overnight, choose the LOW heat option and cook time.)
Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
overnight steel cut oats with apples
carrot-cake-oatmeal-in-teal-bowls

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Make the easiest Carrot Cake Oatmeal and serve up a dose of veggies for breakfast in a kid-friendly form everyone will love. This is such a great way to start the day with a nutritious breakfast that’s packed with favorite flavors from carrot cake.

Easy Carrot Cake Oatmeal
With the flavors of carrot cake, this Carrot Cake Oatmeal is a favorite breakfast to share with the kids. It's a good source of whole grains, fiber, and yummy flavor.
Easy Carrot Cake Oatmeal
carrot-oatmeal-in-blue-bowls
baked-oatmeal-in-baking-pan

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Stir together this wholesome Baked Oatmeal recipe before bed, pop it into the oven when you wake up, and you can sit down to a hearty bowl of oatmeal with the family without any standing by the stove and stirring!

Overnight Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Stir together this wholesome Blueberry Baked Oatmeal before bed, pop it into the oven when you wake up, and enjoy a hearty bowl of oatmeal with the family without any standing by the stove and stirring. Plus: It reheats so well. Adapted from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars.
Overnight Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
baked oatmeal recipe
banana-oatmeal-pancakes-on-gray-plate

Oatmeal Pancakes

Serve up a balanced mix of complex carbs and protein with these delicious Banana Oatmeal Pancakes. Bonus: The leftovers reheat so well and they’re delish with or without maple syrup.

Favorite Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Very ripe (with brown spots) bananas will give these Banana Oatmeal Pancakes the best flavor. Dice them up or serve whole, according to how the kids prefer to eat them.
Favorite Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Oatmeal banana pancakes on plate with banana slices.
overnight-oats-with-yogurt-in-containers

Overnight Oats with Berries

Overnight oats are a perfect make-ahead breakfast. They have yogurt, milk, oats, and some fruit and you make the mixture the night before and the pudding-like mixture is ready for breakfast the next day. We love this blueberry version!

Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
This overnight oats recipe makes two toddler-size breakfast portions (or 1 mama-size serving). Double it to make additional servings. 
Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
overnight-oats-with-yogurt-in-containers
banana-oatmeal-muffins-on-blue-plate

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

This easy muffin recipe comes together in a blender and is a GREAT way to offer oats if the kids aren’t into regular oatmeal.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins (SO Good!)
With just a handful of nutritious ingredients, you can bake up super easy Banana Oatmeal Muffins to share with the kids. For the best flavor and sweetness, use bananas with a lot of brown spots. Bonus: These store so well in the fridge for days!
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (SO Good!)
banana oatmeal muffins
baked-oatmeal-cups-on-plate

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Cinnamon and Raisins

These baked oatmeal cups are an ideal way to serve oatmeal to babies, baby-led weaning style, and to toddlers who like to feed themselves. Oatmeal as finger food? Yes!

Baked Oatmeal Cups
Transform plain oats into a yummy and easy-to-eat finger food with this baked oatmeal cups recipe. You can double the recipe to make more if desired.
Baked Oatmeal Cups
baked-oatmeal-cups-on-plate
blueberry oatmeal with coconut and almonds in two bowls and toddler hand

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my toddler need organic oatmeal?

Organic oatmeal is certified to be grown without pesticides, so it may be a good choice for your toddler. Availability can vary widely depending on where you live and where you shop. Prices can also be twice to three times as much as conventionally grown oats, so keep that in mind if budget is a concern.

What about the potentially harmful chemicals found in oats?

There have been a lot of news stories lately about unsafe levels of certain chemicals in oat products. I’d encourage you not to worry excessively about these stories—which often just make us all freak out and bury the actual science!—because if oats are included in a diet along with a lot of other foods, the exposure is likely quite low. You can buy organic versions if you’d like to not worry as much about this issue.

What kind of gluten-free oats are best?

If your toddler needs certified gluten-free oats for an allergy or an intolerance, they are fairly widely available. Bob’s Red Mill is in almost every supermarket and is a reliable brand.

Oatmeal Tips for Picky Eaters

Like many foods, many healthy oatmeal recipes have a texture that your picky toddler may or may not enjoy. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Making it thick or thin by adjusting the amount of water or milk you add.
  • Different flavors to give them opportunities to find one they like.
  • Try instant oats and rolled oats. Or, move on to steel cut oats or overnight oats to see if they like the texture of one or the other better.
  • Add toppings like small seeds, diced soft fruit, a drizzle of nut butter or even yogurt.
  • Serve a smaller portion than usual to avoid overwhelming them with too much.

Best Tips for Success


This post was first published January 2018.

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  1. Good day

    I have a 1 yaer old son that has lost weight.

    please advise what kind of porridge can boost his weight and strength.

    thank you

    1. Here you go: Leftover Oatmeal Rounds
      Stir one lightly beaten egg into 1/2 cup leftover oatmeal. Add cinnamon and a touch of vanilla if the oatmeal was unflavored. Grease a mini muffin tin and add a small amount of batter to the bottom of each cup, about 1/4-1/3 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set at 350 degrees F for a cross between a muffin and a cookie.