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
Oatmeal isn’t always an easy sell with our little eaters. And whether that’s from texture, flavor, or just the difficulty that the food can present—spoons can be hard to use and oatmeal can be slippery to eat with little fingers—it’s not often clear. But using simple ingredients to turn regular rolled oats into a toddler finger food is a great strategy. And these baked oatmeal cups are a great packed lunch or snack option too!
I use this silicone mold to shape these baked oatmeal bites, but you can also bake them in a mini muffin tin.
Oatmeal for Babies and Toddlers
These baked oatmeal cups are made from ground rolled oats, though you can start with store bought quick oats. (I grind mine in my blender.) This means that they have a finer texture than if you made oatmeal with whole rolled oats. The ingredients are simply stirred together, put into molds or a muffin tin, and baked for 10 minutes. The result is a finger-friendly oatmeal recipe that is super easy to eat.
The bites boast all of the same nutrition in oatmeal—fiber, healthy whole grains, and long-lasting energy—but they have a texture more similar to a moist muffin, which some toddlers may prefer.
TIP: If your toddler doesn’t like the consistency of regular oatmeal when served in a bowl, try grinding it first so it’s smoother.
Ingredients in Baked Oatmeal Cups
To make this easy kids breakfast idea, you’ll need:
- rolled oats
- milk or water
- chia seeds
- vanilla extract
- raisins or other dried fruit
- maple syrup or honey, optional
TIP: If making these for a baby who’s not yet ready for cow’s milk, use unsweetened plain nondairy milk.
Baked Oatmeal Cups Step-by-Step
To make this recipe, here’s what you do:
- Preheat the oven and grease a silicone mold or mini muffin tin.
- Grind the oats in a blender or food processor or gather instant oats.
- Place the oats and chia seeds in a medium bowl and stir in the hot milk or water.
- Add the cinnamon, vanilla, dried fruit, and honey, and stir well. Let sit.
- Press about 1 tablespoon batter into each mold or mini muffin cup.
- Serve slightly warm or chilled.
TIP: These store well in the fridge, so you can plan to serve the batch throughout the week.
Can toddlers have chia seeds?
Yes! The chia seeds plump up and gel as they absorb the liquid, which is so handy for helping to hold the batter together. And since the seeds also add a dose of healthy fats and fiber, it’s a simple way to pack this meal with a little extra nutrition. The texture of the chia seeds is more subtle than in a dish like, say, chia pudding, so your toddler might be inclined to try these even if they haven’t liked them in the past.
Vegan Baked Oatmeal Cups
By adding chia seeds to oats and water, you can bind everything together into little bites without needing to use eggs. This is great for kids who have an egg-allergy and just because it’s one less ingredient! (The chia seeds and milk add some protein, so we’re not missing out on nutrition here.)
TIP: To make these egg-free and dairy-free, choose your favorite nondairy milk.
Make-Ahead Toddler Breakfast
I like to make a quick batch of this baked oatmeal and have it on hand for busy mornings. I also pack the bites in lunches and serve them as snacks. You can dice them for older babies and younger toddlers to make them a little easier to eat—and limit too much food being stuffed into a little mouth!
TIP: We even sometimes have them with a smear of nut butter on top!
Tips for Making the Best Baked Oatmeal Cups
- You can use dairy or nondairy milk in this recipe according to your preferences. Both work just the same. If you use nondairy milk, check to see if it’s flavored or sweetened before adding the vanilla or optional sweetener. You may not need either.
- Use unsweetened nondairy milk for kids under 1.
- Avoid honey for babies under 1.
- Grind the oats in a food processor or blender, or use instant oats.
- You can use leftover cooked oatmeal in this recipe too, though it works best with cooked oatmeal that’s thick. Simply stir 1 tablespoon and 1-3 tablespoons milk into cooked oatmeal and proceed with Step 3 of the recipe.
- You can use raisins or other dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, and the like) or chopped fresh blueberries or raspberries. You may want to cut bigger pieces of fruit with scissors or a knife.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipes, so please comment below to share!
Transform plain oats into a yummy and easy to eat finger food with this baked oatmeal recipe. You can double the recipe to make more if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the silicone molds or mini muffin tin.
- Place the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, and maple syrup or honey, if using, into a medium bowl.
- Add the warm milk and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Press about 1 tablespoon batter into each molds or mini muffin cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or chilled.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days.
You can use dairy or nondairy milk in this recipe according to your preferences. Both work just the same. If you use nondairy milk, check to see if it’s flavored or sweetened before adding the vanilla or optional sweetener. You may not need either.
Use unsweetened nondairy milk for kids under 1.
Avoid honey for babies under 1.
You can use raisins or other dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, and the like) or chopped fresh blueberries or raspberries. You may want to cut bigger pieces of fruit with scissors or a knife.
You can use leftover cooked oatmeal in this recipe too, though it works best with cooked oatmeal that’s thick. Simply stir 1 tablespoon and 1-3 tablespoons milk into cooked oatmeal and proceed with Step 3 of the recipe.
Serve with fruit or a smoothie or a drink as breakfast or even lunch. They work for snack too!