● An excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fibre, which contribute to a feeling of fullness.
● Oats are easily digestible, helping to regulate bowel movements and can ease constipation.
● A number of nutrients found in oats, such as B vitamins and vitamin E, support healthy brain development in babies.
● Minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc contribute to a healthy diet and support various bodily functions.
We have lots of ideas to help you include oats in your little one's diet. Please scroll down for more information.
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Introducing oats: Oats are versatile and easy to prepare. They can be cooked as oatmeal, blended into a puree, or added to other baby foods for added texture and nutrition.
Find ideas for introducing oats to each age group below.
Introducing oats at 6-9 months
Start your baby on oats with a smooth and creamy texture, cooking them until they are soft and easily mashed with a spoon.
Oats can be a little plain on their own, so add some flavour with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to jazz them up.
Get creative with oatmeal combinations – mix in mashed bananas, blend in pureed sweet potato, or add a dollop of smooth nut butter.
Offer your baby an all-you-can-eat / smush-up-with-tiny-hands buffet! Set up different toppings to accompany their oats, like diced fruits, yoghurt or chopped cooked vegetables.
Introducing oats at 9-12 months
Make oaty muffins, involving your little one in the baking process by letting them help mix the batter or sprinkle in small pieces of fruit.
Hide oats in other foods to boost their nutrition. Blend them into smoothies for added fibre or grind them into a powder to mix into dishes like soups or veggie purees.
Blend cooked oats with mashed bananas to create a pancake batter. Then pour, sizzle and flip!
Encourage messy, munchy time by spreading a thin layer of cooked oatmeal onto your baby’s highchair tray. Provide baby-friendly food paints and watch them swirl, draw and create edible masterpieces with their fingers.
Introducing oats at 12-18 months
Make homemade oatmeal bars by mixing oats with mashed fruits, nut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and take them out and about for a satisfying snack on the go.
Blast some oats in a food processor, then mix with Parmesan and herbs to create a coating for oat-crusted chicken fingers.
Set up a ‘toppings bar’, offering a variety of healthy toppings such as finely chopped nuts, shredded coconut and diced fruit, then let your little one go to town garnishing their bowl of oatmeal.
Layer cooked oats, fresh fruits and yoghurt in a clear cup or bowl to create a sweet oatmeal ‘trifle’.
Oats, especially in their whole form, can be a choking hazard. Ensure they are cooked thoroughly and mashed or pureed to an appropriate texture for your baby’s age and chewing abilities.
While oats are gluten-free, they can sometimes be cross-contaminated with grains that contain gluten during processing. If your baby has gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, choose certified gluten-free oats.
While oats contain dietary fibre, which is helpful for digestion, some babies may have a sensitive digestive system that struggles with high-fibre foods. If your little one experiences excessive gas, bloating or diarrhoea after eating oats, it may be a sign of intolerance.