Ditch the box! And try this easy Oatmeal for Babies recipe instead. Made with simple nutrient-dense ingredients in less than 10 minutes, it’s perfect for your baby’s first bite or added into their favorite fruit or veggie puree. I’ll also show you how to serve oatmeal as a finger food for baby-led weaning. There is nothing this baby oatmeal won’t do, and it tastes so much better than the store-bought boxed version! Baby food for 4-6+ months – stage 1 baby food!

Graphic for post - oatmeal for babies - 4+ months - stage one - homemade. Image is of a gray baby bowl filled with a smooth oatmeal puree for baby.

Medically reviewed by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

Oatmeal for Babies

A smooth and creamy oat cereal for baby doesn’t have to come from a box!

This easy oatmeal baby cereal is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, protein, calcium and manganese and takes only 10 minutes to make!

That’s right! In 10 minutes you can have a stash of freezer-friendly oatmeal for baby.

Yes, it can be that easy!

First time making homemade baby food? Then, I would suggest that you start by reading my very in-depth Guide on how to Make Homemade Baby Food – which goes over all the important information such as the best cooking tools to have on handsafe storagehow to know when baby is ready for solidshow to introduce pureesthe best first foods for baby, and more! You can also check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes!

Oatmeal for Babies Video

Watch this video to see how easy this Oatmeal Cereal recipe for your baby actually is to make!

Reasons to Love this Baby Oatmeal

  • baby food for 4-6 months and up
  • stage 1 baby food
  • can also be served for baby-led weaning
  • 1 main ingredient, plus 2 easy add-ins
  • budget-friendly – less than 2 cents per ounce
  • easy to make – less than 10 minutes
  • can serve alone or with baby’s favorite puree
  • creamy and smooth
  • homemade
  • freezer-friendly
  • healthy – full of essential nutrients for a growing baby
  • easy to flavor – 6 great combos below
Ingredients for oatmeal for babies spread on a cutting board.

Ingredients

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredient list and instructions!

  • Oats: are a great source of two different types of fiber, which help keep your little ones’ digestive tract going strong. Oats are also packed with antioxidants, manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and vitamin B1. They also help stabilize blood sugar as well as support baby’s cardiovascular health.
  • Chia Seeds: are high in antioxidants, omega 3-fatty acids, fiber, and magnesium and are a good source of protein and calcium. They are great for digestive health, building healthy and strong bones as well as overall heart health. We are going to add in a big pinch to this recipe, but you can leave them out if you prefer.
  • Hemp Seeds: are a good source of protein and fiber and are also high in GLAs, manganese and vitamin E. Hemp seeds are great for aiding digestive health and promoting a healthy heart. You can leave these out if you prefer or add in ground flax seeds instead.
Small white bowl filled with oatmeal for baby.

Health Benefits of this Oatmeal Recipe

This homemade oatmeal cereal is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals for a growing baby.

  • packed with two different types of fiber
  • great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain, eyes and organ development
  • has antioxidants that are essential for eliminating the hazards of free-radicals

Types of Oats

The only difference between the 3 main types of oats – steel-cut, rolled and instant, is how much the oat grout is processed. The result of this process is different textures of oats with varying cooking times.

  • Steel-Cut Oats: are the least processed of the oats, and they retain about the same amount of fiber as rolled or instant. Steel-cut oats are a great option if you are going to blend your oats into a smooth puree for baby. Since it is thicker and chewier oat, it is best to serve to babies 11 months and older if not blending.
  • Rolled or Old-Fashioned Oats: Also known as old-fashioned or whole oats, rolled oats are flat, pre-cooked and dried. While they have a similar amount of fiber as steel-cut oats, they are more versatile and take less time to cook. Rolled oats are extremely easy to blend into a smooth puree, served cold as a finger food, and they can easily be served to toddlers.
  • Instant Oats: are the more processed of the three oats and cook very quickly. While you can certainly use instant oats to make a baby cereal, since they tend to be slightly lower in fiber, I recommend the other two oat varieties first.

Gluten-Free Oats: all oats are naturally gluten-free, but they may be processed on machinery that also processes wheat. If you are looking to introduce baby to gluten-free oats, then make sure you look for a brand that is labeled as Gluten-Free. This is my favorite brand of Gluten-Free Oats.

How to Make Baby Oatmeal

There are several different ways to cook oats depending on which type of oat you are using.

Old-Fashioned Oats

  1. Boil: bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add Oats: add in 1 cup of old-fashioned oats along with a pinch of chia seeds, hemp seeds and any spices you are using.
  3. Cook: turn down the heat to medium-low and cook the oats for 5 minutes or until all of the water is gone and the oats are soft. Let cool slightly.
  4. Blend: transfer the oats to a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding water in 1/4 cup increments if needed, until completely smooth.
  5. Eat: serve to baby or freeze for later.

Steel-Cut Oats

  1. Boil: bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add Oats: add in 1 cup of steel-cut oats along with a pinch of chia seeds, hemp seeds and any spices you are using.
  3. Cook: turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for 25-30 minutes or until all of the water is gone and the oats are soft. Let cool slightly.
  4. Blend: transfer the oats to a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding water in 1/4 cup increments if needed, until completely smooth.
  5. Eat: serve to baby or freeze for later.

Instant Oats

  • Boil: bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
  • Add Oats: add in 1/2 cup of instant oats along with a pinch of chia seeds, hemp seeds and any spices you are using to a boil.
  • Cook: turn down the heat to medium-low and cook the oats for 1-2 minutes or until all of the water is gone and the oats are soft. Let cool slightly.
  • Blend: transfer the oats to a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding water in 1/4 cup increments if needed, until completely smooth.
  • Eat: serve to baby or freeze for later.

Other Cooking Methods

I have found that cooking the oats first and then blending them, creates the smoothest oatmeal for your baby. But there are a couple of other ways to make oatmeal for your baby.

BEABA Babycook

Love the idea of fresh oatmeal for your baby, but are short on time? Then let me introduce to you the BEABA Babycook.. aka your new best friend! With a touch of a button, the Babycook will cook the oats and puree them into whatever consistency you prefer. It’s definitely kitchen magic!

Place 1 cup of old-fashioned oats and 1 cup of water inside of the grain insert basket, and place the basket into the glass container, closing the lid. Fill the reservoir tank to a level 3, close and lock the lid. Press the steam button, and let the Babycook do all the work! Once steamed, transfer the cooked oats to the glass container, leaving the water that is already in there and adding in an additional 1/4 cup of fresh breast milk, formula or water. Close the lid, and hit the blend button for 1 minute or until the puree is smooth. You may need to add more liquid to the puree if needed in 2 tablespoon increments.

Full Review: read my full, in-depth and honest review of the BEABA Babycook Neo here, including a list of pros and cons! Make sure to grab 15% off your Babycook with code (BabyFoode15)!

Oat Powder

  1. Grind Oats: Place 1 cup of old-fashioned oats in a coffee grinder or blender. Grind for 1-2 minutes or until you have a very fine oat powder.
  2. Add Hot Water: In a microwave-safe bowl, add in roughly 1 tablespoon oat powder and 1-2 tablespoons hot or boiling water. Stir until smooth adding more water if needed. Let sit until warm enough to eat.
Gray baby bowl filled with pureed oatmeal cereal.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can baby eat oatmeal?

Baby can have oats as one of their first foods. When a baby can start on solids is determined by their own rate of development, which generally comes between 4-6 months of age. Some of the developmental milestones babies need to reach in order to start solids include: if baby has solid control of their head and neck, if baby has doubled in weight, and if baby is reaching for or opening their mouth when you eat (see my guide here). Before you start baby on purees, you should consult with your pediatrician to make sure your child is developmentally ready.

Can you add spices/herbs to this recipe?

n this recipe, we are adding in a pinch of chia seeds and hemp seeds, but feel free to add in a pinch of spices if you want. Some great options are: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice blend, allspice, cloves or fresh ginger.
Tip on Spices: I usually add in spices to my baby food purees, but you can add or leave out spices in all of your baby food. You do you! Either way, this puree will taste amazing. 

Freezer tray filled with cooked baby oatmeal ready to be frozen.

Feeding Tips for Purees

  • Throwing spoons – is a common phase that all babies go through at one point or another. One of the best ways to handle spoon throwing is to ignore it and keep feeding baby as usual (with an extra spoon you already have at the table). If baby ends up also throwing back up spoons #2 AND #3, simply encourage your baby to eat with their hands until they appear to be finished with the meal. Give baby plenty of opportunities to practice putting items in and taking items out of containers outside of meal times.
  • Follow your baby’s lead – when feeding purees from a spoon, sometimes there’s a tendency to keep offering bites past the point of your baby being full. Always follow baby’s cues for when they are done eating. Turning away from the spoon, closing her mouth, or pushing food away are all signs that baby is finished with the meal.
  • Purees are great to keep in your baby’s regular rotation of foods – but if you start feeding with traditional weaning using purees, make sure to progress beyond eating ONLY purees. Once baby can safely and comfortably swallow purees (usually by 7 or 8 months) it’s time to introduce other textures, such as teething biscuits and soft cooked finger foods. Moving onto additional textures in a timely manner may help prevent feeding difficulties at a later age.

How to Store Oatmeal for Baby

REFRIGERATOR

You can store the oatmeal cereal in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. 

FREEZER 

This oatmeal puree can be frozen for up to 3 months.

  • Spoon pureed oatmeal into a freezer storage container (this is my favorite freezer storage container) – do not overfill. 
  • Place the lid on the storage container or cover with a piece of saran wrap and label with date and recipe name. 
  • Place the tray into the freezer and let freeze completely – preferably overnight. 
  • Pop-out the baby food cubes and place in a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag – don’t forget to re-label the baggie or stager bag for future reference. 

Label Tip: Don’t forget to label your purees before you place them in the fridge or freezer with the name of the puree and date you made it. Take it from me, you will completely forget when and what is in your freezer by the end of the week;).

Oatmeal Combination Purees

While Oatmeal is great by itself, it’s also super easy to mix and match with other nutrient-dense baby food purees. Give these fun flavor combos a try! Stage 2 Baby Food.

Chunks of oatmeal for baby-led weaning.

How to serve Oatmeal for Baby-Led Weaning

Oats can be hard food for your baby to pick up and feed themselves (oh the mess!). A great way to serve oats as a finger food is by simply spooning a couple of strips or round shapes of cooked oats on a plate and then letting them cool off on the counter or in the fridge. Once cold, the oats will harden enough for your baby to be able to pick them up by themselves. I’m not saying there won’t be a mess.. but it will be less of a mess and definitely easier for your baby to self-feed. Babies are usually ready for baby-led weaning around 6+ months of age. 

6 Ways to Flavor Oatmeal

Once you get the basics of oatmeal down for baby, you can have some fun and serve them some flavorful combinations. Here are some great options that baby, toddler, kids and even you will love!

  • Apples + Cinnamon: add in a couple of heaping spoonfuls of grated apple and a big pinch of cinnamon to oats right before serving. Can add a touch of maple syrup or brown sugar into toddlers or kid’s bowls.
  • Spinach + Pineapple: cook the oats with a handful of frozen pineapple. Add to a blender along with a handful of spinach, pulse or puree until spinach is incorporated.
  • Blueberries, Cinnamon and Vanilla: add in a handful of frozen blueberries, a pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of vanilla extract while cooking the oats. Serve whole or blend for baby.
  • Banana + Peanut Butter: add in slices of a very ripe (lots of brown spots) banana to the oats while they are cooking. Mash the banana while it is cooking into small pieces. Spoon oats with banana into a bowl and add a swirl of peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter you prefer) right before serving. Serve whole or blend for baby.
  • Carrots + Flax: add in a handful of grated carrots to the oats while they are cooking. Serve whole or blend for baby. Spoon the oats and carrots into a bowl and top with a sprinkle of ground flax seeds. You can also add finely chopped walnuts and raisins to toddlers and kid’s bowls.
  • Mango with Coconut Milk: cook the oats in canned coconut milk (instead of the water) and then add in a handful of fresh or frozen cubed mango. While cooking, mash the mango with the back of a spoon. Serve whole or blend for baby.
Gray baby bowl filled with pureed oatmeal cereal.

Helpful Tools

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Gray baby bowl filled with oatmeal for babies with green spoon resting on top.

Get the recipe: Oatmeal for Babies (Stage One)

5 stars (8 ratings)
This Oatmeal Recipe for Baby is made with simple nutrient-dense ingredients in less than 10 minutes, and it's perfect for baby's first bite or added into their favorite fruit or veggie puree. Great for 4+ months and up. 

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Boil: In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add Oats: add in 1 cup of old-fashioned oats along with the chia seeds, hemp seeds and any spices you are using.
  • Cook: turn down the heat to medium-low and cook the oats for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until all of the water is gone and the oats are soft. Let cool slightly. 
    Small saucepan with cooked oats.
  • Blend: transfer the oats to a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding water in 1/4 cup increments if needed, until completely smooth. I had to add 1/2 cup of water to my oatmeal. You will want the oat cereal to be on the thinner side so it doesn't become sticky. The oats will continue to absorb liquid as they cool, so add more water, breast milk or formula as needed.
  • Eat: serve to baby or freeze for later. 
    Bowl of oatmeal for baby with spoon resting on top of gray bowl.

Notes

Age: 4+ months
Yield: Makes roughly 20 ounces
Type of Oats: This recipe is for old-fashioned oats. For steel-cut or instant oats, read the full post. 
Adding Spices: you can add a big pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice mix, or a smaller pinch of nutmeg or cloves to these oats before blending. 
Chia and Hemp Seeds: are added for a nutritional boost, but you can add or omit if you prefer. You can get both of these at any health food store or online here (chia / hemp).
Storage: Fridge – store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thawing: Once thawed the oats can become pretty thick. To thin the oatmeal out again, just add water, breast milk, formula or another fruit or veggie to the oatmeal 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
 
 

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