Want to make baby oatmeal? Made with just oats, water and a little cinnamon, this homemade oat cereal for babies is ready in 15 minutes and is cheaper than store-bought!
Today I wanted to share how to make baby oatmeal. When my oldest was little, we used a mixed approach that involves some baby-led weaning and some spoon fed things like oatmeal. Baby oat cereal was definitely one of his favorites but I got tired of paying so much for oat cereal marketed specifically at babies so I decided to figure out my own baby oatmeal recipe. It’s not really a recipe since it’s basically just oats…and water…and a little cinnamon but I think it’s worth sharing because it’s SO easy.
How To Make Baby Oatmeal
Since oat cereal is basically made out of just oats, I figured it would be easy enough to make my own. Since I food prep every weekend anyway, why not add this to the mix and save a little money by avoiding pre-packaged baby cereal. I calculated it out and if I buy a 10-pound box of oats at Costco and make this myself it costs something like $0.08/serving vs. $0.55/serving for a packaged brand!
A Note About Oatmeal For Babies
One thing that’s important to remember is that a lot of parents use homemade baby oatmeal (or storebought) as a source of iron for babies. One of the best things you can do to help your babe absorb the iron in oats is pair their baby oat cereal with a source of vitamin C. This helps them absorb the iron, which is a critical nutrient. You can easily add vitamin C to baby oatmeal by topping it with fresh berries like berries like strawberries, mixing it with pureed or mashed sweet potatoes or serving with a side of kiwi!
Ready to make your own? Here’s how you make it:
Homemade Oat Cereal For BabiesPrint
Homemade Oat Cereal For Babies
A super simple recipe for homemade oat cereal for babies.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup ground oats (place rolled oats in food processor and process until finely ground, then measure)
- 1 cup water
- cinnamon, optional
- Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Add ground oats.
- Reduce heat to simmer and let cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
- Stir in cinnamon
- Store in the fridge.
- *Note, mixture will thicken as it cools. Feel free to add formula or breast milk to thin it out before serving if desired
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make a bigger batch.
Like I mentioned in the recipe, this will firm up into a semi-gelatinous mass once it cools and is stored in the fridge. I serve them thick to my kiddos but if you want to thin them out, feel free to add a little formula or breast milk.
I love exposing him to spices at such a young age so I add cinnamon when I make them. I also often mix in some fruit or veggies before serving. He loves them mixed with pears, applesauce or avocado!
One nutritional note: Store-bought infant cereal is typically fortified with iron, which is an important part of a baby’s diet. Formula is also typically fortified with iron and since my oldest was formula fed, I wasn’t concerned that he would be missing out on iron in his cereal. However, if your baby is exclusively breastfed and is 6 months of age or older, it’s important to make sure they are getting iron from other sources if you are giving them homemade cereal. The good news is there are plenty of other ways to add iron to your baby’s diet as they delve into the world of solid foods! If you’d like to alternate between homemade oat cereal for babies and storebought, one brand I really like is the Happy Family Organic Oats and Quinoa Baby Cereal. It comes fortified with iron as well as vitamin C to help absorption!
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Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition says
I made all of Joey’s food but oatmeal was the one thing I didn’t! Definitely doing this with Anthony. Thanks for the easy how-to!
Linz @ Itz Linz says
great idea! i always complain that baby cereal is like 4 bucks for a tiny box! and william does eat oatmeal everyday!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
For babies!? Ha! I’ll eat a bowl myself 😉
Elizabeth @ Enjoy Every Bite says
Awesome! So simple but something I never thought of doing with my first. I’ll definitely be doing more homemade baby food with my next one!
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
This is an awesome idea, Lindsay. I’ll have to keep it in mind for when I have children of my own some day.
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat says
Oh yeah, I’m totally making this for the babes! SO much cheaper. Great idea!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
That’s a big price difference! If I had kids, I would totally do this. Too easy!
I would make my son’s own oatmeal too! I would also add wheat germ to help with digestion. Once he was a little older I would add some applesauce and peanut butter too and he loved it – still does at almost 4 years old 🙂
oooh wheatgerm! good one!
Karli @ Peas of Cake says
Im going to have to try this for my next little one! I got a new food processor for Christmas so I think it will work great and be super easy!! Thnx 🙂
Lauren @ Eating with a Purpose says
This will be a great reference for my patients 🙂 Thanks for making the note about the importance of iron rich foods for breast fed babies- it’s an important one!
thanks for sharing!
Laura @FitMamaLove says
This is so simple, it’s almost a no-brainer not to buy it. I only ever gave my kids regular oatmeal like I made for myself–it’s so small already! I probably did it when they were older than 6 months, I think.
Just a heads up, I’m pretty sure that the idea that breastfed babies are iron deficient is outdated:
Latrice Mays says
Hi I have a question about the homemade oats. Is quaker considered homemade. that’s what I give my 22 month old with cinnamon added.
But is wheat germ safe for his age and smaller babies? he deals with constipation and I am looking for a better source other than Miralax. Right now im about to start some gluten free foods.
I used quaker to make the oatmeal i gave him!
How do you warm it up after refrigerating it?
i usually just add a little breast milk or formula to help thin it out and microwave it
Does it also work with the quick oats?
I’ve only tried it using rolled oats!
Thank you for the recipe. I was wondering if there is a way to use this homemade ground oatmeal to make simple teething biscuits? I found several recipes but have not found anything using homemade ground oatmeal.
i don’t have a recipe for those but i’m sure you could make them.
I have a recipe that calls for infant oatmeal cereal (dry). Do you think I could use this in place? I am only asking because I just found out that store bought infant oatmeal is pre cooked and then dehydrated.
would be a worth a shot…but you might have to alter the amount of other liquids
This is great! Thank you! How long will this keep in the fridge?
about a week!
hi , thank you for sharing this recipe. Is this recipe suitable for my 4m+ infants? or only for 6m+ and older? thank you
i would check with your pediatrician to determine if your 4 month old is ready for solid foods. thanks!
Can this be pre-made and frozen? We’re about a month away from my daughter starting food and I wanna get a head start
i haven’t tried it myself but you can definitely freeze oatmeal so it’s worth a shot. Cook, portion into mini muffin tins, freeze and transfer to ziploc bag. Thaw a few at a time in the fridge or microwave from frozen. You may need to add a bit more liquid when you reheat.
This is exactly what I do…I was worried about extra sugar or salt that might go into regular baby cereal so decided to make it myself 🙂 I make a big batch and freeze ice cube portions of the already made oats. Sometimes I stew apples and raisins and then add the whole oatmeal (I don’t have a food processor) and puree it all together when it’s nice and soft 🙂