Learn how to cook oatmeal with ANY fruit you have on hand, whether fresh, dried, frozen or canned. Plus: This recipe is so easy to make and reheat for easy breakfasts, which is a perfect way to ensure you never waste any leftovers you may have.

oatmeal with fruit in three kid bowls

Oatmeal with Fruit

We have a regular breakfast rotation in our house to simplify morning meals and Tuesdays and Thursdays are oatmeal days. We often have raisin oatmeal, but sometimes we go for strawberry, blueberry or banana—and since the method is so simple and versatile with all kinds of fruit, I wanted to share it.

Oatmeal is an incredibly affordable breakfast option, it’s easy to keep on hand in the pantry, and it’s simple to customize it for everyone in your family.

There are a lot of options for flavors and fruits in this recipe, so it can be fun to experiment and try a few out to see which your kids (and you!) love best.

I love that I can make this even when I may be low on fresh fruit. Swapping in dried fruit, canned fruit, frozen fruit, and fresh fruit really helps make this one of our favorite breakfast recipes.

ingredients-in-banana-bread-oatmeal

Ingredients You Need

All you need to make this simple toddler breakfast idea is rolled oats and cinnamon.

From there, you have options as to which type of fruit you use, additional add-ins and flavorings, and milk.

I have options for using fresh fruit, frozen fruit, canned fruit, and dried fruit so you can vary this idea according to what you have on hand—and to suit the seasons and cravings.

TIP: Oatmeal is a great finger food. Simply let cool and serve a small amount at a time directly on a highchair tray and let the baby or toddler feed themselves with their hands.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the super simple process involved in making this easy oatmeal recipe using the example of bananas.. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for all of the info.

how-to-make-banana-oatmeal-step-by-step
  1. Gather your oatmeal and cinnamon.
  2. Decide which fruit to use. Bring the water to a simmer and cook the oatmeal about halfway.
  3. Add the fruit.
  4. Cook until the water is absorbed and the oats are soft.

TIP: We prefer our oatmeal less mushy, but still soft. If you like your oats more cooked than what you see here, simply add 1/2-1 cup additional water and cook a little longer.

banana oatmeal in yellow bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this with steel cut oats?

Yes and it’s a delicious option. You’ll need to use less oats and more water. See the information in the Notes section of the recipe at the bottom of the post.

Can I make this with instant oats?

Absolutely and it’s very quick and easy that way. See the information in the Notes section of the recipe at the bottom of the post.

Can I make just one serving of this at a time?

Sure thing and you can do it on the stovetop or In the microwave, according to what you prefer. See the information in the Notes section of the recipe by scrolling down.

Can I serve this to a baby?

Sure! For a baby eating finger foods, you can serve this as is. For a younger baby eating more purees, you can cook the oatmeal longer so it becomes softer and/or mash the fruit more or puree it all smooth. It’s very versatile!

Use an unsweetened nondairy milk and avoid adding any honey. You may also like my Baby Oatmeal.

What kind of milk is best for making oatmeal?

I make my oatmeal with water (because you’d otherwise have to use so much milk!) and then serve it with milk. We usually use regular whole milk, but you can use any type you prefer—dairy or nondairy.

instant-oatmeal-in-two-bowls

How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve, adding milk as desired. You can also freeze leftover oatmeal in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or in short increments on the defrost setting in the microwave.

oatmeal-with-fruit-in-small-bowls

Best Tips for Success

  • 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 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.
  • To Make with Instant Oats: Use 3 cups quick or instant oats and 5 cups water. Simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Flavor Tips: Mango is particularly good with coconut milk. Shredded apple, applesauce, and banana works well with a dollop of peanut butter. Almond butter is delicious with blueberries and raspberries.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Dairy-free: Use your favorite nondairy milk.
  • You can try Baby Oatmeal for your little one, too.

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I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe. Please leave a comment below to share what your family thought!

oatmeal-with-fruit-in-kids-bowls

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.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 199kcal
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats (often called "old-fashioned oatmeal")
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract optional
  • milk for serving
  • sliced nuts chia seeds, hemp seeds, nut butter (optional for serving)

Fruit Add-In (choose one)

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, peaches or mango
  • 1 cup raisins, dried cherries, chopped dried apples, or dried cranberries
  • 1 cup applesauce, mashed banana
  • 1 cup shredded apple

Instructions

  • Heat 4 cups water in a medium pot over high heat.
  • When almost 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 minutes. Stir in your fruit of choice. Cook for an additional 4-6 minutes or until the fruit is soft and the water is absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm with any additional toppings and milk.

Notes

  • 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.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve, adding milk as desired.
  • 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 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.
  • To Make with Instant Oats: Use 3 cups quick or instant oats and 5 cups water. Simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Flavor Tips: Mango is particularly good with coconut milk. Shredded apple, applesauce, and banana works well with a dollop of peanut butter. Almond butter is delicious with blueberries and raspberries.
  • 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!

This post was first published May 2019.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe for easy tasty oatmeal! We made it with shredded apple and peanut butter. Kids loved it and so did I.

  2. Very new at making oatmeal here. If I shred an apple , should I leave the skin on? I don’t want there to be weird bits that might put off my kiddo, but if I can avoid peeling I want to!

    1. Usually if you shred it with the skin on, the majority of it will be in very fine pieces that you can’t see or taste when you eat the end result. There is sometimes a larger piece that is harder to shred at the end of a piece, but you can discard that if you want. I never shred it!