Made with just a few wholesome ingredients, this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal cooks up fast and easily—which is exactly what you want in a toddler breakfast! (Though P.S., I love it just as much for myself.)
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
I’ve been finding bags of freshly picked apples at our farmer’s market for crazy cheap lately—and even when it’s not apple season, apples are one of those fruits that tends to linger in the fridge long after everyone has eaten the grapes, berries, and citrus. I love to use one apple to transform plain oats into a more special tasting breakfast—because the hit of natural sweetness makes this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal a bit hit with my kids!
Oatmeal for Toddlers
Oatmeal is something that I’ve made an effort to feed to my kids regularly, which means that we literally have it regularly on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This ensures that it’s familiar to them, but the rotation means that they don’t have a chance to get bored of it. Since both of my girls love raisins, we almost always make it with some in the mix.
TIP: We’ve been having a version of this oatmeal since my oldest was a baby—which means that it works whether eaten with little hands or a spoon.
Ingredients in Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
To make this healthy oatmeal for a toddler breakfast or family breakfast, you’ll need regular rolled oats, raisins, 1 apple (any kind works!), vanilla extract, cinnamon, and milk. You can make this gluten-free with certified gluten-free rolled oats. And dairy-free if you opt for dairy-free milk.
What type of apples are best in this oatmeal?
You can use any type of apple that has good flavor and that you have on hand. It works with all types!
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at how to make this simple oatmeal and the process involved.
- Assemble the ingredients. Grate the apple.
- Heat water in a medium pot over high heat. When it’s almost about to boil, lower to medium low and add all ingredients except the optional nut or seed butter and optional toppings.
- Cook, stirring often, until the oats are softened and the water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit. Stir in the milk and add optional toppings and serve warm.
What if I want to add more protein to this oatmeal?
We often stir in a few tablespoons of hemp seeds (which really don’t have much texture or flavor, but they do have protein, fiber, and healthy fats), chia seeds, or nut or seed butter. You can also serve this with a dollop of Greek yogurt (or chopped nuts for older kids).
Are there any tricks to getting my toddler to eat oatmeal?
The main thing is to make it taste good and to have it around regularly. If they are totally new to it, it may take a few tries to get them to try it. Avoid pressuring them too much, serve very small servings to start, and let them add their own toppings to personalize their bowl. If my oldest doesn’t want oatmeal, she almost always comes around if we offer peanut butter (or sprinkles!) on top.
What’s the best way to store leftovers?
Simply place them into an airtight container in the fridge and then warm individual servings as needed for about 30 seconds in the microwave.
Can I make this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal in the microwave?
Sure! To make one toddler-size serving in the microwave, add 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup water, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons raisins, and about 2 tablespoons grated apple (or applesauce if it’s easier!) to a heat safe bowl or measuring cup. Cover with waxed paper and cook in 30 second increments, stopping to stir in between, for about 90 seconds or until the water is mostly absorbed and the oats are soft. Add a little milk to serve.
Tips for Making the Best Apple Oatmeal
- Grate the apple with the peel on to add nutrients.
- Lower the heat and add a little additional liquid if the oatmeal sticks to the pan at any point.
- Top with protein-rich nut or seed butter.
- Stir in hemp seeds, flax seeds, or chia seeds to add fiber, protein and healthy fats.
I’d love to know what your family thinks of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below!Print
If you need to cook gluten-free, simply choose gluten-free rolled oats.
- Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a medium pot over high heat.
- When it’s almost about to boil, lower to medium low and add all ingredients except the milk and optional toppings. Cook, stirring often, until the oats are softened and the water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes.
- Put the lid on, remove from heat, and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and add optional toppings and serve warm.
If you have leftovers, try storing them in an airtight container overnight, then mixing them with plain whole milk yogurt the next day for a quick take on overnight oats.
Grate the apple with the peel on to add nutrients.
Any variety of apple will work well in this recipe.
Lower the heat and add a little additional liquid if the oatmeal sticks to the pan at any point.
Top with protein-rich nut or seed butter.