Instant oatmeal, often known as quick oats or porridge, is a popular breakfast meal known for its nutritional profile and convenient preparation. Therefore, you may wonder if it’s safe for your baby.
Overall, babies can safely have instant oatmeal when they are ten months old. However, it is best to avoid giving younger babies instant oatmeal because it is typically thick and lumpy.
In this article, we will discuss more about the safety of serving porridge and instant oatmeal to babies, how to best serve it, nutritional benefits, and more. Read on!
Is Instant Oatmeal Safe for Babies?
Instant oatmeal is safe for babies as long as they are at least ten months of age. This type of oatmeal, also called quick oats, porridge, or intake porridge oats is typically made from fine oat flakes, giving it a smoother texture than oatmeal made from steel-cut oats, for example.
However, even with the finer types of oats, instant oatmeal still does have a thick and lumpy texture overall.
When your baby is six to nine months old, it is recommended that they only consume smooth purees (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). Therefore, avoid giving your baby oatmeal during this period of time. However, once your baby is at least ten months old, they can tolerate more advanced textures, like the lumpier oatmeal.
When choosing an instant oatmeal that is commercially made, it is best to choose plain oatmeal or lower sugar varieties to avoid too much added sugars and flavorings.
An example would be the Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute oats. If you would like, you could add small and bite-sized pieces of soft fresh fruit to the oatmeal. Also, you could add in milk, whether breast milk or infant formula.
Some oatmeals are prepared with cow’s milk. While cow’s milk is not appropriate for babies to drink until they are at least 12 months old, it can be used as an ingredient (source: Cleveland Clinic). However, breast milk and infant formula are more nutritious for them.
Be sure to avoid adding any form of honey to your baby’s instant oatmeal until they are at least one year old because of the risk of infant botulism (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine).
Is Instant Oatmeal Good for Babies?
Instant oatmeal is a very nutritious food for babies because it is rich in dietary fiber content, potassium, and iron (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA]). Dietary fiber is important to help control blood sugar levels and promote regular bowel movements, reducing the prevalence of constipation in babies (source: University of California).
Potassium is important for infants because it helps support normal body growth, promotes muscle-building, nervous system health, and more (source: University of Rochester Medical Center).
Finally, iron is important because it helps red blood cells in the blood carry oxygen throughout the body. In infants, iron supports your baby’s ability to learn while also helping to prevent iron deficiency and anemia (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).
How to Prepare Instant Oatmeal for Babies
As mentioned above, you can safely add small pieces of soft fruit and milk of choice, such as infant formula or breast milk, to your baby’s instant oatmeal. Make sure the oatmeal is not too hot since it is typically made with boiling water.
For added fat and protein, you could also add a layer of nut butter, such as peanut or almond butter, to your baby’s instant oatmeal.
In conclusion, I hope this article helped you determine how to safely and healthfully prepare instant oatmeal or porridge for your baby.