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 parents!

chia seed oatmeal in bowls

Chia Seed Oatmeal

I love oatmeal of all kinds—with fruit, with mashed banana, with carrots—and I really love adding in extra nutrition so it’s both filling and yummy. Chia seeds are awesome in oatmeal because add fiber and healthy fats and soften up nicely.

They can also help the oatmeal hold together so older babies and 1-year-olds can enjoy it easily as a finger food.

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.

ingredients in chia seed oatmeal

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you will need:

  • Rolled oats (often called “old-fashioned oatmeal”)
  • Cinnamon
  • Pure vanilla extract: This is optional but recommended for flavor.
  • Chia seeds: You can use the more typical black chia seeds or white ones (which may visually blend in a little more).
  • Milk: You can use whole dairy milk or any nondairy milk you prefer.
  • Add-ins: Fresh or frozen berries, raisins, or banana are all great additions to this oatmeal.

TIP: I love this topped with extra fruit and granola, so you have a lot of options here to build on the base recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use a different type of oats, including instant or steel-cut and you can even make this one serving at a time in the microwave if you prefer. Look in the Notes at the very bottom of the recipe for all of those options.

how to make chia seed oatmeal step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s the process for making this recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

  1. Add the water, oats, cinnamon, and vanilla to a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until the oats are just soft.
  3. Add the milk and chia seeds.
  4. Add the fruit and cook for just a few more minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

TIP: I like to cook the oats in water to start, then add a little milk to make them extra creamy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put chia seeds in oatmeal?

Yes, you can put chia seeds in oatmeal to add a little texture and also fiber and healthy fats.

What are the benefits of chia seeds in oatmeal?

Chia seeds can add fiber and healthy fats to oatmeal, even in small doses.

Should I soak chia seeds before adding to oatmeal?

You don’t have to soak chia seeds before adding them to oatmeal since they will plump up as they absorb some of the liquid in the pot.

What’s the difference between chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds?

Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are all from different plants and have slightly different nutritional profiles. Chia and flax seeds have healthy fats and fiber, while hemp seeds have healthy fats, fiber, and also protein. Of the three, chia seeds are the only ones that plump up and gel a little bit when they come into contact with liquids. (Which is why they are often used as an egg replacer.)

chia seed oatmeal with berries in white bowl

How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve, adding milk as desired if the oatmeal thickens in storage.

Best Tips for Success

  • Divide the recipe in half to make a smaller amount.
  • Make the base recipe, then stir in your desired fruit when you reheat the portions to change things up throughout the week.
  • To Make One Serving in the Microwave: Add ½ cup rolled oats, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup water to heat-safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons dried fruit or ½ cup fresh fruit, 2 teaspoons chia seeds, and cook for an additional minute. Serve with milk.
  • To make with Steel-Cut Oats: Use 1 cup steel-cut oats and 4 cups water. Simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in milk and chia seeds as directed above.
  • To Make with Instant Oats: Use 2 cups quick or instant oats and 4 cups water. Simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Dairy-free: Use your favorite nondairy milk.
  • You may also like Banana Bread Oatmeal, How to Make Oatmeal with Fruit, Baby Oatmeal, Quinoa Cereal, and Instant Oatmeal.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment and rate the recipe below!

chia-seed-oatmeal-with-blueberries

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!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 199kcal
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats (often called "old-fashioned oatmeal")
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract optional
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk
  • additional milk for serving

Fruit Add-In (choose one, optional)

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup mashed banana

Instructions

  • Heat 4 cups water in a medium pot over high heat.
  • When about to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and add the oats, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the oats are softened and the water is absorbed, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Stir in the chia seeds, milk, and fruit of choice, if using.
  • Cook for an additional 4-6 minutes or until the fruit is soft and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm with any additional toppings and additional milk.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve, adding milk as desired.
  • Divide the recipe in half to make a smaller amount.
  • Make the base recipe, then stir in your desired fruit of choice when you reheat the portions to change things up throughout the week.
  • To Make One Serving in the Microwave: Add ½ cup rolled oats, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup water to heat-safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons dried fruit or ½ cup fresh fruit, 2 teaspoons chia seeds, and cook for an additional minute. Serve with milk.
  • To make with Steel-Cut Oats: Use 1 cup steel-cut oats and 4 cups water. Simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in milk and chia seeds as directed above.
  • To Make with Instant Oats: Use 2 cups quick or instant oats and 4 cups water. Simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Dairy-free: Use your favorite nondairy milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 199kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 207mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 42IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. Could you use ground flax? I’ve used it for vegan recipes as an egg since it plumps up like chia seeds. Also, whenever I use rolled oats they don’t end up mushy/creamy enough and still have some chew to them. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Is it possible your rolled oats are “thick cut”, which would mean they take longer to cook? Usually you can just add more water and simmer longer to cook them further. You can use ground flax, but it has a somewhat slimier texture that you may or may not mind. I don’t love adding it to oatmeal but that could just be me.

  2. I eat oat GROATS most mornings. Cook a batch roughly every 5 or 6 days in my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. I like the texture and lower glycemic index better than other oats. Any way to include chia Seeds in that? I soak a 1/4 cup of chia Seeds in water 24 hours and drink them separately, but it takes a bit of time for all that, it would be nice to include them with the oats.

    1. I think you could likely just stir some in right at the end of cooking, let it sit for a few minutes, and adjust the milk/liquid a little if they thicken up. They don’t take much time at all to plump so that should be fairly easy!