Oatmeal is such a good food for toddlers, babies, big kids and adults. Filled with heart-healthy fiber and complex carbohydrates, it’s a nourishing source of energy (and can help to prevent constipation in toddlers!). It’s also very filling, which makes it a healthy toddler breakfast to start the day. If your picky toddler needs some help to enjoy oatmeal and if you’re looking for easy ways to use up leftover oatmeal, these 15 Oatmeal Recipe Ideas have you covered.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Instant Oatmeal for Toddlers
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 for Toddlers
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. 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.
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.
What’s the Best Kind of Gluten-Free Oats?
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.
How Can I Get My Picky Eater to Eat Oatmeal?
Like many foods, oatmeal has a texture that your picky toddler may or may not enjoy. Try making it thick or thin by adjusting the amount of water or milk you add, flavor it in different ways to give them opportunities to find one they like, and try instant oats and rolled oats. Or, move on to overnight oats to see if that’s a better fit!
15 Oatmeal Recipe Ideas for Toddlers
1. Applesauce 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.
2. Sweet Potato Oatmeal
Instead of applesauce, try stirring in roasted, mashed sweet potato into prepared old-fashioned oats or instant oats. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon for added flavor. This also works well with roasted butternut squash.
3. Cocoa Oats
Stir 1 teaspoon cocoa powder into a serving of oats for a morning treat. This pairs particularly well with a swirl of nut butter and sliced bananas or strawberries.
What Can I Do With Leftover Oatmeal?
4. 3-Ingredient Oatmeal Pancakes
Stir together 1/4-cup leftover oatmeal, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Cook as pancakes (smaller is better), letting them set almost completely before carefully flipping. Or, simply use leftover oatmeal in place of 1/4-1/2 cup flour in your favorite pancake recipe.
5. Whole Grain Oatmeal Smoothie
Add 2 tablespoons rolled oats or leftover oatmeal per serving when making your next smoothie.
6. Leftover Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies
Stir together 1/2 cup leftover oatmeal, 1 cup almond flour, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup if the oatmeal was unsweetened. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, spoon out batter by 1-tablespoons onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and flatten to about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
7. Buttery Baked Oatmeal
Place 1 cup leftover oatmeal in a greased 8x8 baking dish and smooth with a spatula to an even thickness. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, brush with melted butter, and bake at 350 degrees F for until warm and just starting to turn golden brown. Spoon into bowls and top with yogurt and fruit.
Good Oatmeal Ideas for 1 Year Old and 2 Year Old Toddlers and Babies
8. 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.
9. No-Bake Oatmeal Chia Bites
Stir together 1 cup leftover old-fashioned oatmeal with 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1-2 tablespoons milk. Press into a silicone mold and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Serve chilled or slightly warm.
Kid-Friendly Oatmeal Ideas
10. Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal
Stir a spoonful of peanut butter into a bowl of either instant or rolled oats. Top with some favorite jam for fruity sweetness. If you have a toddler with a nut allergy, use Sunbutter instead.
11. Coconut Cream Baked Oatmeal
This is a delicious make-ahead variation on oats for any morning of the week or weekend family brunch.
12. Overnight Oats with Berries
Make breakfast ahead of time with this easy overnight oats recipe. You can use leftover oatmeal or instant in place of the rolled oats and use whichever kind of berries your kiddo likes.
13. Whole Grain Oats Porridge for Toddlers
Grind whole oats, quinoa, and brown rice in the bowl of a food processor into a coarse flour. Cook until soft in milk, stir in cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, and top with favorite fruit for a multi-grain porridge.
14. Coconut Chia Oatmeal with ApricotsTake your standard bowl of oats to the tropics by using light coconut milk instead of regular, and adding diced dried apricots and a sprinkle of chia seeds. You can also try dried mango or dried pineapple.
15. Oatmeal Banana Muffins
Use 3/4 cup rolled oats in place of the all purpose called for in these Whole Grain Banana Muffins for a version with more fiber and whole grains.