Feeding Quaker Oatmeal to Babies | Full Oatmeal Guide (+ Recipes)

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

It is typically advised that infants begin consuming Quaker Oatmeal between the ages of 6 and 8 months, when they are usually ready to incorporate solid foods into their diet. If you are unable to rewrite this statement, please reply with: Unable to process the request due to encountered difficulties.

For babies new to solids, coarse and textured oats like Quaker must be blended to a finer consistency first to promote easier swallowing.

According to Ready. Set. Food!:

“Oatmeal is a healthy powerhouse food for babies. It’s packed with several nutrients needed for baby’s growth and development.

And once baby’s ready to start solids, they can start eating oatmeal!”

Quaker oatmeal was one of my babies’ favorites when they first started baby-led weaning.

In the beginning, I ground it before preparing and added a little cinnamon or some pureed fruit.

Once they got the hang of chewing, I prepared it according to the package directions.

Quaker Oatmeal for Babies

In general, plain and well-cooked oatmeal can be a safe and nutritious food for babies when introduced at the appropriate age (typically 6 months). 

Quaker oatmeal, specifically, is a popular brand of oats, and their plain, regular oats or old-fashioned oats can be suitable for babies.

How To Prepare Quaker Oats for Babies

  1. Simply place ½ cup of Quaker Oats in a food processor, and grind into a fine flour-like consistency.
  2. Gently heat 1 cup of water in a pan, and then mix it with the blended oats in a heat-proof baby bowl.
  3. Stir the mix well to remove any clumps, and add in a little breast milk or formula.
  4. You can also prepare Quakers Oats for your baby in the microwave by placing the oat and water mixture in a microwave-safe bowl/container for 2 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.
  5. Once your baby is comfortable with chunkier textures, you can skip the grinding step.

Benefits of Oats for Babies

Oats are loaded with fiber and nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, which all contribute to healthy bone development, brain functioning, and overall growth.

Its soft consistency makes oatmeal a great transition to solid foods too since it can be combined with mashable solids like bananas and other soft fruits and veggies.

As a single-grain food, oats are also gentle on your baby’s digestion and help promote fullness.

Side Effects of Oats for Babies

Some common side effects of babies consuming oats are things like bloating or a tummy ache due to excess gas, excitability, increased energy, and mild allergic reactions.

If your little one cries or spits up after being fed oatmeal, there’s a chance they may be allergic to oats.

To be sure, keep a look out for the following symptoms, and consult your pediatrician if any of these signs are persistent around oatmeal feeds:

  • Blotchy/itchy areas of skin
  • Red, irritated spots on skin
  • A rash in or around baby’s mouth
  • A consistently runny/congested nose
  • Itchy or irritated eyes
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

Precautions

When introducing oatmeal to a baby for the first time, it’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure a positive and safe experience.

Here are some precautions to consider:

  • Wait Until the Right Age: Introduce solid foods, including oatmeal, when your baby is developmentally ready, typically around 6 months of age. Before this age, most babies are not physiologically ready for solid foods.
  • Start With Single-Ingredient Oatmeal: Begin with plain, single-ingredient oatmeal. This helps you identify any potential allergies or sensitivities. Avoid flavored or sweetened varieties, especially those with added sugars.
  • Check for Allergies: Introduce new foods one at a time, and wait a few days before introducing another new food. This helps you identify any potential allergic reactions. Watch for signs such as rashes, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in behavior.
  • Maintain a Smooth Texture: Initially, make the oatmeal with a smooth and runny consistency by mixing it with breast milk, formula, or water. As your baby gets used to the texture, you can gradually thicken it.
  • Avoid Added Sugar and Salt: Do not add sugar or salt to your baby’s oatmeal. Babies don’t need added sugars, and it’s best to allow them to develop a taste for the natural flavors of foods.
  • Monitor for Choking Hazards: Pay attention to the size and consistency of the oatmeal to prevent choking hazards. Make sure the oatmeal is finely ground and not too thick. Always supervise your baby while they are eating.
  • Consider Fortified Options: Choose oatmeal that is fortified with iron and other essential nutrients, especially if your baby is exclusively breastfed, as iron needs increase around 6 months of age.
  • Use Age-Appropriate Utensils: As your baby starts eating solids, use age-appropriate spoons and utensils. Soft-tipped spoons are gentle on the baby’s gums and emerging teeth.
  • Be Patient: It may take some time for your baby to adjust to the new taste and texture of oatmeal. Be patient, and offer it in small amounts, gradually increasing as your baby becomes more accustomed to solid foods.
  • Consult With a Pediatrician: If you have any concerns or questions about introducing oatmeal or solid foods to your baby, consult with your pediatrician.

Oatmeal and Constipation in Babies

As your baby’s digestive system is still in development, any cereal can cause constipation.

Fiber-rich oatmeal is generally good for constipation as the release of good gut bacteria from the oats acts as a laxative, influencing the consistency of stools to make movements easier to pass.

A toddler with big blue eyes being fed oatmeal by his mother.

Baby Oatmeal vs. Regular Oatmeal

Baby oatmeal is essentially a finely textured, smooth oatmeal.

The nutritional value remains the same, just with a thinner, more manageable consistency for developing mouths and digestive tracts.

When Can Baby Have Oatmeal Cereal?

Your baby can be introduced to oatmeal cereal around 6 months old as this is typically when they’re ready to move on to solids.

All babies develop differently though, so regardless of age, check if they are showing signs of being ready for solid foods.

How To Make Baby Oatmeal Cereal

  1. Using regular store-bought baby oatmeal cereal, measure 1 tablespoon of the cereal, and mix with 4-5 tablespoons of either breast milk or formula.
  2. Stir in optional flavorings like banana puree or apple sauce. Serve up!

Homemade Baby Oatmeal Cereal

  1. Heat breast milk or liquid formula over medium heat on the stove.
  2. While waiting for the milk to heat, add some old-fashioned rolled oats to a food processor, and grind them to a flour-like consistency before stirring them into the heated milk.
  3. Stir the oats well, and add in any extra ingredients like pureed fruit or vegetables.
  4. Remove from the heat, and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Store-bought oats are usually fortified with iron, but adding in extra toppings like mashed cooked sweet potato or finely grated raw zucchini is a great way to get in more nutrients.

These toppings are recommended for babies 9 months and older as they’re practiced in solids and different textures.

When To Stop Feeding Baby Cereal

Oat cereal is good for your baby, so the consensus among moms is to continue feeding baby cereal until babies no longer have a taste for it. 

However, once your baby can handle textures that are thicker and chunkier than baby cereal, you can make the switch to regular oatmeal.

When Babies Can Have Regular Oatmeal

Once your baby can chew and cope with chunkier textures (normally between 9 and 12 months), then regular rolled oats oatmeal can be served safely to them without needing to grind the flakes in a food processor.

Just take care to choose regular oatmeal products with no added sweeteners.

Best Oats for Baby

Many experts name steel-cut oatmeal as the best kind for babies as these are whole grain oats with all of the nutritional value but cut into smaller bits than regular oatmeal so they’ll cook faster.

Look for steel-cut oats with no added salt, sugar, or flavoring.

Organic Oatmeal for Babies

There are many great brands of organic oatmeal to try, or you can easily make organic oatmeal for your little one at home.

Use certified organic rolled oats, and grind them to a powdery consistency before stirring in hot water/breast milk.

Instant Oatmeal for Babies

  • Place ½ cup of dry instant oats into a heat-proof baby bowl.
  • Boil some water, and pour it into the bowl of oats to reach the desired consistency, stirring well to combine.
  • Allow the oatmeal to sit for 10 minutes before stirring in about 2 tablespoons of breast milk or formula.
  • Pre-load your baby’s spoon to encourage self-feeding. Place the spoon either in the bowl or next to it.

You can keep this instant oatmeal mix in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the coldest part of the fridge.

Is Oatmeal Cereal Better Than Rice Cereal?

Both cereals carry many benefits. However, due to concerns over rice cereal containing higher levels of arsenic, oatmeal is considered a safer choice.

Oatmeal also has a higher nutritional content than rice cereal, which is comparatively bland, and the former is made without wheat, making it suitable for babies with gluten allergies and stomach sensitivities.

A cute blue-eyed baby being fed oat cereal with a spoon.

Oatmeal Recipes for Babies

Now that you know how to make a basic hearty bowl of oatmeal for your munchkin, why not try out one of these delicious and super-healthy recipes?

Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small apple (grated)
  • ¼ cup breast milk or formula
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Bring the rolled oats and water to a boil.
  2. Add apple gratings to the boiling oatmeal.
  3. Add the cinnamon, and cook for 3-5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat, and allow the oatmeal to cool before blending for a thinner consistency.

Oat & Prune Porridge

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup organic rolled oats
  • ¾ cup filtered water
  • 3-4 pitted dried prunes (diced)

Directions:

  1. Place the rolled oats, water, and diced prunes into a saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to low heat, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, and cover with a lid for 5-10 minutes to cool.
  4. After cooling, serve to babies 8 months and older, or for babies 6-8 months, blend the cooled mixture into a soup-like consistency.

Healthy Oatmeal Toppings

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Pear
  • Apricot
  • Peach
  • Prune
  • Coconut flakes
  • Honey
  • Chia seeds
  • Nectarine
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Finely chopped walnut/cashews
  • Kiwi
  • Berries
  • Peanut butter
  • Chopped sunflower/flax seeds