Oatmeal with Kid Appeal
Mix-ins and Toppings Make Oatmeal Great
Let the kids mix in fruits, nuts, yogurt or granola!
Image by Cindy Silver, MS, RDN, LDN
When my son asked me how to make oatmeal last week, I was a little surprised. Surprised, yet super happy to tell him my recipe. OK, measure out the oats, add the water, and add a big handful of frozen blueberries. Then, mix it up and microwave for 5-1/2 minutes at half power. Done. He added a spoonful of brown sugar to sweeten up my recipe, but I was OK with that. The blueberries — which we grow ourselves and freeze in generous amount during July — were the good nutrition magnet for him. For another kid, it might be the banana, the apples, the strawberries, or the dried figs. You get it. Kids are all about making it ‘their way.’ So, give them permission to choose mix-ins and/or toppings for a steamy bowl of healthy oatmeal!
Quick Tips for Oatmeal Mix-Ins and Toppings — Parents suggest, then let the kid(s) choose:
- Suggest fruit for flavor and color: Berries, cut up apples, dried raisins or craisins, banana, cut up plums or pears, cut up cantaloupe or watermelon, canned in juice fruit cocktail or diced peaches
- Explore nuts for protein and fiber: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans or mixed up nuts
- Explore seeds for crunch and healthy fat: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Stir in nut and seed butter for protein and fiber: Peanut butter, sunflower butter (for peanut allergic kids), soy nut butter, cashew butter
- Sprinkle granola or colorful sprinkles for pure fun: Yes, kids love to sprinkle, so give them a teaspoon to measure their favorite kind
Getting kids on-board with oatmeal is a nice victory for every parent. Oats are a whole grain with great nutrient richness. Also, they are filling and fun with mix-ins and/or toppings. But, don’t just encourage the kid(s) to embrace oatmeal, get out a nice steamy bowl for yourself, too. What a perfect way to model healthy eating behavior for the kid(s) and fun to design your toppings, too.