When can i feed my baby oatmeal

Oats for Babies - Can Babies Eat Oats? - First Food for Baby

When can babies eat oatmeal?

Oats may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Oats are commonly cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains, rendering them no longer gluten-free, so those with celiac disease should take care and buy certified gluten-free oats. Granola, which often contains oats, is a choking hazard and may contain honey, which is unsafe for babies under 12 months.

Need more first food ideas? Our First Foods Essentials bundle has everything you need to get started.

Oatmeal vs. rice cereal

In general, oat cereal has an edge over rice cereal: rice and rice products tend to be higher in arsenic. While arsenic can be found in many grains and other foods due to contamination of the soil, oats are among the grains lower in arsenic.1 2 To reduce a child’s exposure to heavy metals, focus on products that use multiple grains, including oats. 3 Generally speaking, amaranth seed, barley, bulgur (wheat), corn, farro (wheat), or millet as main ingredients have been shown to contain the lowest levels of heavy metals compared to other grains.4 For more information on heavy metals in foods, read our post here.

Recommended Guide: 50 Fantastic First Foods for Babies

Where do oats come from?

Oats are a family of cereal grasses that are widely cultivated for the edible seeds that we call grains. Humans have been consuming oats since ancient times, and while the exact origin of the plant is unknown, historians believe that wild oat grasses may have originated in the fertile lands of North Africa and Southwest Asia. Today, the plant thrives worldwide wherever the weather is wet and cool—from the South American plains where oats are called avena, to the Northern European flatlands where the grain is known as coirce and havre. Whether it’s made of chewy groats, steel-cut oats, or instant oatmeal, oatmeal and other grain porridges have been served to babies since the days before refrigeration.

Are oats and oatmeal healthy for babies?

Yes. Oats and oatmeal are packed with healthy carbohydrates and contain a special form of fiber called beta-glucan, which is particularly beneficial for gut and immune health. They are a great source of zinc, which supports baby’s immune system, taste, and smell, with smaller amounts of other nutrients, including folate, choline, iron, magnesium, and selenium, to name a few. Oats are incredibly dense in phytonutrients— plant compounds that have a host of benefits in the human body—such as quercetin, rutin, phytosterols, alkaloids, and more.5 6 7 Many infant oatmeal products also contain added nutrients, such as iron, zinc, and sometimes vitamin C to aid in iron absorption.

★Tip: When buying instant oatmeal, products marketed for infants aren’t your only option. Regular instant oatmeal is also fine for babies and can expose them to more varied texture than infant cereals. Just take care to read labels closely and opt for products with no added sweeteners.

Does infant cereal have to be baby's first food?

No. Infant cereal, oat-based or otherwise, does not have to be a baby’s first food. Baby cereals were historically recommended as a first food because they are often fortified with iron, an essential nutrient that tends to be low in babies consuming primarily breast/human milk starting around 4-6 months of age. However, other iron-rich foods can be offered instead of or in addition to infant cereals. For a list of foods high in bioavailable iron, check out our Top 25 Iron-Rich Foods for Babies & Toddlers.

Are oats gluten free?

It depends on the specific product. Even though oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains (such as wheat, barley, rye, and triticale), rendering them no longer gluten-free. 8 9 If a baby or toddler has celiac disease, be sure to read labels and opt for certified gluten-free oats.

Can babies drink oat milk?

No. Prior to 12 months, the only liquids an infant should receive are breast (human) milk, infant formula, and if the baby is older than 6 months of age, water in small amounts (about 2-4 ounces / 60-120 milliliters a day) in an open cup.10 11 If oat milk is used as an ingredient in solid food, then it is acceptable to serve before 12 months of age.

If, after the first birthday, you’d like to introduce unsweetened oat milk as a beverage, it’s fine to do so, but know that oat milk is not the most nutritious plant-based milk for toddlers; typically, fortified soy or pea milk contain more key nutrients.12 While oat milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, it’s often very low in protein, which is important for a growing child.13 See our Milk FAQs to learn more.

Can babies have raw oats?

It depends on the type. Most rolled oats or instant oats are typically heat-treated to kill harmful germs, so they’re technically not raw.14 15 On the other hand, steel-cut oats may not be as extensively heat-treated, so there is an increased risk of foodborne illness if this type is not cooked before offering to baby.16 In addition, uncooked oats of any kind can be harder for baby to eat and digest. If offering uncooked oats, then plain rolled or instant oats offer a better choice from a food safety perspective. As always, make sure to store oats in an airtight container in a cool, clean, dry area.17

Can babies have granola?

Yes, as long as the granola is free of honey and finely ground up. If granola contains any common food allergens (such as tree nuts and sesame), make sure that the foods have been safely introduced before grinding up the granola to sprinkle on baby’s food.

Traditionally, granola is dense in texture, requiring advanced chewing skills, and contains nuts and dried fruit which are common choking hazards. In addition, it may contain potentially allergenic foods, such as tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, and wheat. Granola can also often be high in added sugar and possibly contain honey, which is unsafe for babies under 12 months due to the risk of infant botulism. That said, when these issues are addressed, finely ground granola can be a fun topping for yogurt, cooked fruits, and more. For breakfast inspiration, see our strawberry granola or coconut granola recipes.

Can babies have oatmeal made with milk?

Yes. Once dairy has been safely introduced and ruled out as an allergen, cow’s milk can be used to make oatmeal and other solid foods. However, babies should not consume cow’s milk as a drink until closer to 12 months of age because it lacks the nutrition that breast (human) milk and formula offer and can displace the desire for breast (human) milk or formula. For more information on introducing milk and dairy to babies, see our Milk FAQs.

Can oats help baby poop?

Yes. Oats offer good amounts of fiber—beta-glucan in particular—as well as resistant starches, in addition to other qualities, which in combination with a balanced and varied diet, can help support overall digestive health and bowel regularity.18 19 20 Resistant starches “resist” typical digestion and instead travel to the large intestines, where they feed beneficial gut bacteria.21 22 23 Note that pooping patterns can vary significantly from child to child. Be sure to talk to your pediatric healthcare provider if you have concerns about baby’s pooping and digestive function.

Are oats a common choking hazard for babies?

No, cooked oats and oatmeal do not pose a particular risk of choking, although in theory, an individual could choke on any food. Forms of baked oatmeal, baked goods made with oats, and granola certainly can pose a risk. To minimize the risk, offer baked goods cut into age-appropriate sizes and finely grind granola. As always, make sure you create a safe eating environment and stay within an arm’s reach of baby during mealtimes. For more information on choking, visit our sections on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.

Are oats a common allergen?

No, oats are not a common cause of IgE-mediated allergies, although reactions to oats have been reported, particularly when the grains are applied to the skin of sensitive individuals.24 Keep in mind that many foods that are prepared using oats, such as cereals, breads, and other baked goods, may contain common allergens such as dairy, eggs, tree nuts, and wheat.

Oats and other oat products are a common trigger of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, also known as FPIES. FPIES is a rare and delayed allergy to food protein which causes the sudden onset of repetitive vomiting and diarrhea to begin a few hours after ingestion of the food trigger. Left untreated, the reaction can result in significant dehydration. 25 26 Fortunately, most cases resolve completely by early childhood. To learn more about FPIES, read our post on Food Allergens and Babies.

If baby has celiac disease, be sure to read product labels and opt for certified gluten-free oats. Despite oats being naturally gluten-free, many oats and oat products can be cross contaminated with gluten-containing grains (such as wheat, barley, and rye), rendering them no longer gluten-free.27 28 Celiac disease requires a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet and lifestyle.29 A gluten “allergy” is typically a misnomer, often in reference to celiac disease.30

As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity for the first few servings and watch closely for any signs of an allergic reaction. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the amount over future servings.

Recommended Guide: Introducing Allergens

How do you prepare oats and oatmeal for babies with baby-led weaning?

Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.

6 to 9 months old: Prepare oatmeal with water, breast (human) milk, formula—or with whole cow’s milk once it has been safely introduced. Read more about cooking with breast milk. Remember, no honey until after age one due to the risk of infant botulism. To encourage self-feeding, preload a spoon with oatmeal and pass it in the air for baby to grab it. Cooking oatmeal a bit longer and uncovered helps it reach a consistency that clings to spoons more easily or can be rolled into balls, which tend to be easier for young babies to self-feed.

9 to 12 months old: Continue to offer oats as oatmeal and try serving it two ways: as a ball for baby to hold and as a porridge that baby can scoop up with hands. You can also experiment with oats in other finger foods for baby: blueberry buttermilk pancakes, grain balls, lamb meatballs, or muffins.

12 to 24 months old: By this age, toddlers may be growing tired of warm cereals if it’s been a regular meal, so don’t worry about taking a break from oatmeal in favor of finger foods like pancakes, energy balls, or meatballs. You can also get creative by offering different types of oats: for example, try using steel-cut oats in place of rice to make butternut squash risotto. When you do serve oatmeal at this age, try sprucing up the dish by adding fruits, pulverized nuts, nut butters, or even a dollop of mascarpone cheese.

Cook oatmeal with the lid off until stiff, let cool, then form into balls. Oatmeal in this form is easier for babies 6 months+ to self-feed.

Mix up your mornings with ideas from our guide, 50 Breakfasts for Babies & Toddlers.

What are recipe ideas for cooking with oats?

Oatmeal is a simple way to introduce the grain to baby, and an excellent vehicle with new ingredients and textures. Experiment with alternative cooking liquids like buttermilk or coconut milk. Stir in a pinch of spice like cinnamon or walnut that has been finely ground into powder. Mix in mashed fruit to add bright color, or use oatmeal as a base to make energy balls. Or use rolled oats to make a batch of strawberry granola or coconut granola. Oatmeal is often sweetened, but it tastes delicious with savory flavors, too: try adding squash puree and warm spices like cardamom, garam masala, or mace. Or take a cue from the Scots and make skirlie, a savory oatmeal made with onions, butter, spices, and drippings from cooked meats.

Recipe: Baby’s First Oatmeal

Yield: 1 cup (240 milliliters)
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Age: 6 months+


  • ½ cup (40 grams) dry instant oats
  • ¾ cup (180 milliliters) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) breast milk or formula (optional)
  • 1 pinch pre-soaked chia seeds (optional)

This recipe contains oatmeal, which may include wheat (a common allergen) Be sure to check the ingredient list on the label and only serve to a child after any allergens have been safely introduced. Avoid oatmeal with honey, which should not be given to babies under 12 months of age.


  1. Place the instant oats in a baby bowl.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then pour into the bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Let the oatmeal sit until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the breast milk or formula if desired.
  5. If you like, add pre-soaked chia seeds on top.
  6. Serve the oatmeal and let baby try to self-feed. If baby needs help, preload a spoon and rest it next to the bowl for baby to try to pick up. Alternatively, pass the preloaded spoon in the air for baby to grab from you.

To Store: Baby’s First Oatmeal keeps in a sterile air-tight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Learn more about cooking and storing foods made with breast milk.

Flavor Pairings

Oats pair well with blueberry, cherry, coconut, ghee, pear, and strawberry.

Reviewed by

J. Truppi, MSN, CNS

V. Kalami, MNSP, RD, CSP

K. Tatiana Maldonado, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS, CLEC

K. Grenawitzke, OTD, OTR/L, SCFES, IBCLC, CNT

Dr. S. Bajowala, MD, FAAAAI. Board-Certified Allergist & Immunologist (allergy section)

Dr. R. Ruiz, MD, FAAP. Board-Certified General Pediatrician & Pediatric Gastroenterologist

  1. Consumer Reports. (2012). Arsenic in your food. Retrieved March 30, 2022
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  3. Rothenberg SE, Jackson BP, Carly McCalla G, Donohue A, Emmons AM. (2017). Co-exposure to methylmercury and inorganic arsenic in baby rice cereals and rice-containing teething biscuits. Environ Res. 159:639-647. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.08.046. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  4. Consumer Reports. (2012). Arsenic in your food. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  5. Ciecierska A, Drywień ME, Hamulka J, Sadkowski T. (2019). Nutraceutical functions of beta-glucans in human nutrition. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 70(4):315-324. doi: 10.32394/rpzh.2019.0082. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  6. Joyce SA, Kamil A, Fleige L, Gahan CGM. (2019). The Cholesterol-Lowering Effect of Oats and Oat Beta Glucan: Modes of Action and Potential Role of Bile Acids and the Microbiome. Front Nutr. 6:171. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00171. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  7. Raguindin PF, Adam Itodo O, Stoyanov J, Dejanovic GM, Gamba M, Asllanaj E, Minder B, Bussler W, Metzger B, Muka T, Glisic M, Kern H. (2021). A systematic review of phytochemicals in oat and buckwheat. Food Chem. 15;338:127982. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127982. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  8. Ciecierska A, Drywień ME, Hamulka J, Sadkowski T. (2019). Nutraceutical functions of beta-glucans in human nutrition. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 70(4):315-324. doi: 10.32394/rpzh.2019.0082. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  9. Pinto-Sánchez MI, Causada-Calo N, Bercik P, Ford AC, Murray JA, Armstrong D, Semrad C, Kupfer SS, Alaedini A, Moayyedi P, Leffler DA, Verdú EF, Green P. (2017). Safety of Adding Oats to a Gluten-Free Diet for Patients With Celiac Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Clinical and Observational Studies. Gastroenterology. 153(2):395-409.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.04.009. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  10. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2021). Healthy active living for families. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  11. National Health Service (UK). (2021). Guide to bottle feeding: How to prepare infant formula and sterilize bottles. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  12. Verduci, E., D’Elios, S., Cerrato, L., Comberiati, P., Calvani, M., et al. (2019). Cow’s Milk Substitutes for Children: Nutritional Aspects of Milk from Different Mammalian Species, Special Formula and Plant-Based Beverages. Nutrients, 11(8), 1739. DOI: 10.3390/nu11081739. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  13. Verduci, E., D’Elios, S., Cerrato, L., Comberiati, P., Calvani, M., et al. (2019). Cow’s Milk Substitutes for Children: Nutritional Aspects of Milk from Different Mammalian Species, Special Formula and Plant-Based Beverages. Nutrients, 11(8), 1739. DOI: 10.3390/nu11081739. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  14. Hingham, B. (2019). The safety of raw oatmeal. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  15. Decker, E., Rose, D., Stewart, D. (2014). Processing of oats and the impact of processing operations on nutrition and health benefits. Nutrition and Health Sciences – Faculty Publications. 31. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  16. Decker, E., Rose, D., Stewart, D. (2014). Processing of oats and the impact of processing operations on nutrition and health benefits. Nutrition and Health Sciences – Faculty Publications. 31. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  17. Nichols, J. (2017). Dry oatmeal needs careful handling. Michigan State University Extension. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  18. U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019). Cereals, oats, regular and quick, unenriched, cooked with water (includes boiling and microwaving), without salt. FoodData Central. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  19. Rasane, P. , Jha, A., Sabikhi, L., Kumar, A., & Unnikrishnan, V. S. (2015). Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods – a review. Journal of food science and technology, 52(2), 662–675. DOI: 10.1007/s13197-013-1072-1. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  20. Rebello, C. J., O’Neil, C. E., & Greenway, F. L. (2016). Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety. Nutrition reviews, 74(2), 131–147. DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv063. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  21. Rasane, P., Jha, A., Sabikhi, L., Kumar, A., & Unnikrishnan, V. S. (2015). Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods – a review. Journal of food science and technology, 52(2), 662–675. DOI: 10.1007/s13197-013-1072-1. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  22. Higgins J. A. (2004). Resistant starch: metabolic effects and potential health benefits. Journal of AOAC International, 87(3), 761–768. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  23. Topping, D. L., & Clifton, P. M. (2001). Short-chain fatty acids and human colonic function: roles of resistant starch and nonstarch polysaccharides. Physiological reviews, 81(3), 1031–1064. DOI: 10.1152/physrev.2001.81.3.1031. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  24. Boussault, P., Léauté-Labrèze, C., Saubusse, E., Maurice-Tison, S., Perromat, M., Roul, S., Sarrat, A., Taïeb, A., & Boralevi, F. (2007). Oat sensitization in children with atopic dermatitis: prevalence, risks and associated factors. Allergy, 62(11), 1251–1256. DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2007.01527.x. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  25. Blackman, A. C., Anvari, S., Davis, C. M., & Anagnostou, A. (2019). Emerging triggers of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome: Lessons from a pediatric cohort of 74 children in the United States. Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, 122(4), 407–411. DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2019.01.022. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  26. Mehr, S., & Campbell, D. E. (2019). Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome: guidelines summary and practice recommendations. The Medical journal of Australia, 210(2), 94–99. DOI: 10.5694/mja2.12071. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  27. Ciecierska A, Drywień ME, Hamulka J, Sadkowski T. (2019). Nutraceutical functions of beta-glucans in human nutrition. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 70(4):315-324. doi: 10.32394/rpzh.2019.0082. Retrieved March 30, 2022
  28. Pinto-Sánchez MI, Causada-Calo N, Bercik P, Ford AC, Murray JA, Armstrong D, Semrad C, Kupfer SS, Alaedini A, Moayyedi P, Leffler DA, Verdú EF, Green P. (2017). Safety of Adding Oats to a Gluten-Free Diet for Patients With Celiac Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Clinical and Observational Studies. Gastroenterology. 153(2):395-409.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.04.009. Retrieved March 30, 2022
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When Can My Baby Have Oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a great early food for baby, but when can you start feeding baby oatmeal? Learn the answer here, plus ways to introduce oatmeal to baby.

When can baby start eating oatmeal?

Baby oatmeal is a healthy and safe first food --- baby can start eating it as soon as they're ready for solids. But when is baby ready to start their solid food journey, and munch on oatmeal for the first time?

Typically, a baby is ready to start solids between 4 and 6 months of age. 

But baby won't automatically be ready for solids at a certain age or weight. 

Rather, readiness for solids is a developmental milestone. This means baby will be ready to eat oatmeal once they show certain development cues or signs.

What types of cues do you need to look out for?

A baby is ready for solids when they:

  • Have good control of the head and neck
  • Can hold the head and neck steady for longer amounts of time 
  • Sit upright on their own, with minimal to no support
  • Opens their mouth or leans forward when you hold food in front of them
  • Show an interest in the family's foods during family mealtimes
    • They may look longingly at food, open their mouth, or even reach for the food and try to grasp at it
  • Have a tongue reflex that no longer pushes food out of the mouth.
    • Instead, the tongue reflex brings food to the back of their mouth and swallows.

Watch this video with Nurse Dani to learn how you can tell when your baby is ready to eat solid food: 


Baby Oatmeal vs. Regular Oatmeal

What makes baby oatmeal different from regular oatmeal? 

And do you need to choose an oatmeal that’s specially designed for babies?  Or can you feed baby regular oatmeal (steel-cut or rolled oats)?

While some babies can handle the texture of regular oatmeal, many babies benefit from baby oatmeal, especially when they are first starting solids.

Baby oatmeal is finely blended, so it’s thinner and smoother than regular oatmeal. This is easier for babies to handle while they’re still learning to munch and chew.

If you decide to use baby oatmeal, you have a few options. 

  • You can choose a prepared baby oatmeal --- one that’s already specially made for babies’ early food needs. 
  • You could also blend steel-cut or rolled oats in a food processor before cooking them.
  • Or, you can puree cooked steel-cut oats or rolled oats in a food processor with water, to make them smoother. 

However you decide to serve baby oatmeal, be sure to choose oats with no sugar added! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines,  babies under two years of age shouldn’t consume foods with added sugar.

And remember --- as baby gets more experience with solids, they need exposure to a variety of textures and flavors. 

  • So, as baby builds munching and chewing skills,  consider adding some regular oatmeal into baby’s diet.
  • You can also add small pieces of chopped baby-safe fruits into oatmeal.  (Keep reading for more suggestions on how to serve baby oatmeal!)
  • And be sure to feed baby a variety of other healthy foods with many other textures and flavors. After all, a diverse, healthy diet helps them build lifelong nutritious eating habits, and learn crucial munching and chewing skills.

Why is baby oatmeal such a beneficial first food?

Oats are packed with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fibers. They also contain more proteins and healthy fats than most other grains. 

Some key nutrients in oatmeal include:

  • Multiple B vitamins 
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorous

As baby grows and starts to eat more solids (and consumes less breastmilk or formula), eating foods with a healthy balance of nutrients becomes even more crucial.

Introducing baby to oatmeal early will help baby choose and enjoy a food with all these healthy benefits, throughout the rest of their life.

Plus, the fibers in oatmeal help keep baby from getting constipated, and the structure of oatmeal means it's easy for baby to digest.

Remember, though: When you start solids like oatmeal, breastmilk or formula should remain baby’s primary nutrition source until they turn one year of age. Even with all its nutritional benefits, oatmeal is no substitute for breastmilk or formula.

How to prepare baby oatmeal?

You can easily prepare baby oatmeal using breast milk or formula. Giving baby oatmeal prepared this way means that baby will enjoy a familiar taste along with the oats' new flavor and texture. So, it's a great introductory food for even the pickiest babies. 

And with baby oatmeal, the possibilities are endless, especially as baby continues to try more solid foods. 

  • Baby oatmeal prepared with breastmilk, formula or cow's milk is a healthy, yummy option on its own. 
  • But you can also top or mix oatmeal with practically any softened, chopped fruit. 
    • Try oatmeal with chopped peaches, chopped mango, mashed  banana pieces, cooked and chopped apples, chopped strawberries, mashed raspberries, or mashed blueberries.
  • Mix oatmeal with plain yogurt, chia seeds, or both. 
  • Spice things up with a bit of cinnamon, or another spice.
  • You can even get adventurous and mix oatmeal with veggies, like avocado, pureed carrots, or chopped butternut squash!

If you’re mixing oatmeal with breastmilk or formula, you’ll need to do this in a bowl. 

Follow the instructions on the oatmeal, or try this common recipe: 1 to 2 Tbsp. baby oatmeal mixed with about 4 to 5 Tbsp. breast milk or formula.

Do NOT mix and feed oatmeal in baby’s bottle of breastmilk or formula. This can pose a choking hazard. 

What if I’m doing baby-led weaning?

Even though baby oatmeal is a smoother first food, it can still fit into solids introduction if you’re doing baby-led weaning.

  • You can preload oatmeal on a spoon, then let baby grab the spoon and self-feed when they are ready. 
  • Or, you can prepare oatmeal so it gets thicker, and present it to baby in clumps for them to pick up with their hands. 


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.

from how many months to introduce oatmeal to a child

Published: 09.12.2019

Reading time: 4 min.

Number of reads: 44982

Oatmeal is the most popular breakfast among residents of many countries. The excellent taste of this dish and the energy boost of slow-digesting carbohydrates make for a good start to the day for all family members. The word "oats" comes from the Latin avere, which means "to be healthy". Oatmeal is also known under the name "oatmeal" - after the name of the ancient Greek mythological hero, endowed with great physical strength and endurance. Oatmeal is included in the mandatory diet of not only Olympic champions, this product appears one of the first on the baby's menu in the first year of life. Let's look at why oatmeal occupies an honorable place in the pyramid of healthy eating and when to introduce this healthy product into the child's diet.

Content: Hide

  1. Oat carbohydrates
  2. Oat proteins and fats
  3. Biologically active substances of oats
  4. Timing of the introduction of cereal complementary foods
  5. Oatmeal Safety
  6. Choice of porridge
  7. Oatmeal Bebi Premium

Oat carbohydrates

All cereals are a source of carbohydrates, primarily starch, which determines a burst of energy and a long-lasting feeling of fullness after eating porridge. This is due to the slow digestion and gradual assimilation of the product. Oatmeal is rich in starch, but compared to other cereals, its proportion is less. However, starch grains are very small, which determines its almost complete assimilation. The rest of the slowly digestible carbohydrates are dietary fiber, and oatmeal surpasses many cereals in the content of this component. Vegetable fiber is very important for the normal process of digestion and also serves as a natural food for the gut microbiome. Maintaining the numerical composition and diversity of one's own intestinal microflora is an indisputable factor in human health. Oatmeal contains unique soluble dietary fiber, which has an enveloping effect, protecting the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. In addition, oat fiber helps to eliminate toxins and has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Products based on oatmeal are used not only in the diet of a healthy person, but also in therapeutic nutrition schemes.

Proteins and fats of oats

Oat groats in terms of vegetable protein content can only compete with buckwheat and are significantly superior to other cultivated grains in this characteristic. In addition to the quantitative content, the qualitative composition of the protein is very important: oatmeal contains almost all essential amino acids in a balanced ratio. These substances are not synthesized in the human body, but are absolutely necessary for life, especially during periods of intensive growth. Among them, the content of lysine, methionine and tryptophan is especially important. These amino acids are very important for the development of the immune and nervous systems. Oat protein is easily digestible, therefore products based on this cereal are widely recommended in dietary and baby food. Oatmeal contains a fairly large amount of vegetable fats, which also determines the high nutritional value of the product. They are easy to digest, almost completely absorbed and stable to oxidation. The qualitative composition of oat oils is also important, which is characterized by the content of essential fatty acids (oleic, linoleic and linolenic) in the most favorable ratio.

Biologically active substances of oats

Useful properties of oat groats are connected not only with the content of essential nutrients. The restorative effect and a positive effect on the work of almost all organs and systems of the body are also determined by the micronutrients included in the composition. The high content of B vitamins (especially B 1 and biotin) has a beneficial effect on metabolism and ensures high performance. In combination with a sufficient intake of magnesium, and oats are also rich in this mineral, a person’s mental activity improves, sleep and mood normalize. Oatmeal is rich in vitamin E, which is necessary for the functioning of the immune and reproductive systems, has a positive effect on the condition of the skin and hair. The high content of silicon and phosphorus has a beneficial effect on physical development, musculoskeletal system and linear growth. In terms of the content of trace elements such as copper and manganese, oats absolutely surpass other cereals. Copper is part of numerous enzymes that provide cellular respiration, as well as liver cells that neutralize toxins. Manganese is very important for hematopoiesis and energy metabolism. Oat grains are a natural source of flavonoids that protect cells from destruction and premature aging.

Timing of the introduction of cereals

At what age can this healthy and nutritious product be introduced into the baby's diet? For the first four months of life, the baby's body can only absorb mother's milk or an adapted mixture, since the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys are still functionally immature. The process of maturation is individual, but for most infants, by the 4-6th month of life, it is already possible to introduce complementary foods. Moreover, by this age, the nutritional value of breast milk or formula is no longer enough to ensure intensive growth and development of the baby. There is a need to expand the diet. Cereal products are the most preferred choice of first complementary foods. They are distinguished by high nutritional and energy value, the content of almost all essential nutrients, as well as good compatibility with breast milk. As the first complementary food product, a baby can be offered dairy-free porridge or cooked on the basis of mother's milk. The familiar taste will allow the child to quickly adapt to changes in nutrition, which will facilitate the introduction of complementary foods in the future.

Oatmeal safety

At what age can I start complementary foods with oatmeal? The introduction of cereals in the first 6 months of life has limitations associated with the possible toxic effect on intestinal cells of vegetable gluten protein. Early mucosal contact with this protein can cause serious disease. Therefore, the list of cereals that can be used for the first feeding includes rice, corn and buckwheat. The question of the toxicity of oats for the immature mucosa of the baby still remains completely unresolved. According to most experts, oatmeal is a safe protein, but oatmeal can be contaminated with impurities from other cereals. Therefore, this product is introduced into the child's diet after 5 months of life.

Choice of porridge

How to prepare oatmeal for baby food? This is a simple but at the same time very important practical question. Despite the apparent simplicity of home-made cereals, specialized baby food products are the preferred choice. The modern level of industrial production determines the high quality standard of finished products so that every child can get the best for healthy growth and development. Bebi Premium baby food cereals are a well-thought-out recipe that meets the needs of a child in every age period, and guaranteed quality of raw materials, at all stages of production in accordance with international safety standards.

Bebi Premium oatmeal

All Bebi Premium oatmeal porridges are made on the basis of cereals, not flakes, which allows you to preserve the beneficial properties of the grain shell as much as possible. In their production, a special technology of grain processing and subsequent drying is used, which makes it possible to produce cereals based on cereals, but no heat treatment is required during cooking. At the same time, a delicate taste and the necessary degree of grinding of the finished product are preserved. A great choice to start your oatmeal introduction to babies over 5 months old is Bebi Premium Oatmeal Without Dairy. In addition to the beneficial properties of oatmeal, the composition of the product is enriched with the natural prebiotic inulin, as well as a unique vitamin and mineral complex. Then the baby can be offered another tasty and nutritious product of the Bebi Premium line - “Oatmeal porridge with milk”. All Bebi Premium milk porridges contain special baby milk, which is allowed from 4 months of age. To further enrich the diet with pectins, sugars and organic acids, the menu can be expanded with cereals with fruit and vegetable components. "Oatmeal porridge with peach and milk" Bebi Premium contains 100% natural peach puree, which gives the product natural sweetness, expands the range of taste sensations and gradually prepares the baby for the introduction of fruit and berry complementary foods. In children of the second half of life, multi-cereal products can be safely included in the menu. Oatmeal is a part of multi-component dairy and dairy-free cereals of the Bebi Premium line, which allows you to use the benefits of different cereals to improve your baby's health.

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When to introduce oatmeal into complementary foods for babies

— Ekaterina Borisovna, is it possible to give oatmeal for the first complementary foods and how useful is it for a child?

— Oatmeal belongs to gluten cereals, so it is not suitable for the first feeding . But in the second half of life - depending on when you started cereal complementary foods - the baby can try this wonderful product in all respects.

Benefits of oatmeal for children

  • Rich in protein, vegetable fats, is an excellent source of slow carbohydrates, energizes the baby for a long time, creates a feeling of satiety.
  • The amino acids that make up this porridge are involved in protein synthesis, building muscle fibers and the formation of protective antibodies.
  • Useful fiber has a protective effect on the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract, and also stimulates the bowels.

Oatmeal naturally combines a variety of B, E, PP vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iodine, zinc and other micronutrients.

  • B vitamins are involved in metabolic processes, including those in nerve cells.
  • Calcium and phosphorus help strengthen bones and teeth.
  • Iodine is essential for normal thyroid function.
  • Potassium normalizes the functioning of the cardiovascular system.

— Pediatricians do not recommend ordinary oatmeal for complementary foods. What is the reason for this?

- Adult oatmeal is made from whole oatmeal that has undergone minimal mechanical processing. Such grain contains more useful substances, but absolutely is not suitable for baby food . The emerging enzyme system of the baby is not yet ready to break down the coarse structure of oatmeal. And the use of porridge from it, most likely, will cause disturbances in the work of the immature gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, oatmeal from an adult diet is not suitable for feeding children under one year old.

Oatmeal in complementary foods: what and how much to give

- What should be oatmeal for a child under one year old?

— For baby food, fragrant oatmeal is used, obtained by grinding oat kernels, which have undergone a special heat treatment. It retains the maximum amount of useful substances, and its delicate structure has a protective effect on the mucous membrane of the digestive tract.

Types of baby oatmeal

— Dairy-free mono porridge is suitable for the first feeding with oatmeal and feeding babies with allergies. Toddlers who are not allergic to cow's milk proteins can try milk oatmeal with goat's or cow's milk. Do not forget that goat's milk is closer in structure to breast milk and is easier to digest, because when it is curdled in the stomach, a tender loose clot is formed, which is well broken down by enzymes. It is also less allergenic, so goat's milk cereals are suitable for children at risk of developing an allergy to cow's milk protein .

Fruits, vitamin-mineral complexes, probiotics can be added to porridge to improve taste, as well as to enrich it with fiber and useful micronutrients. This normalizes digestion and helps the baby better adapt to a new type of product. In addition, nutritional supplements provide a complete diet.

— When to introduce oatmeal into baby food?

- Oatmeal - complementary foods for a child over 6 months of age, it is introduced only after acquaintance with gluten-free cereals - rice, corn, buckwheat. If complementary foods are not started before six months, this does not mean that you can give oatmeal for the first complementary foods. First of all, you still need gluten-free cereals, you can’t use gluten-containing oatmeal. Let me remind you that gluten is a protein that is difficult to digest, and its introduction too early can provoke disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract.

Read also
  • about gluten-free cereals for the first meal

— How much oatmeal should a child be given?

- Oatmeal is given in accordance with age norms. The first complementary food is a few teaspoons, gradually the amount of porridge is brought to the desired volume.

Medium serving size of oatmeal:

  • 6-7 months 100-150g;
  • 7-8 months - 180 g;
  • 9-12 months - 200 g;

All figures are arbitrary: the baby can eat a little less, a little more, it's not critical. But we must remember that oatmeal contains a lot of phytic acid, which is able to form insoluble compounds with calcium and remove it from the body. Therefore, you can offer oatmeal to your baby no more than two or three times a week and only once a day.

Allergy to porridge

— Ekaterina Borisovna, why do some children refuse oatmeal?

- Toddlers usually enjoy eating oatmeal. But there are exceptions to all rules. If there is a refusal of oatmeal, first of all it is worth evaluating the reaction of the child to this type of complementary foods. Perhaps he is worried about digestive problems after eating it, which means that the body is not yet ready to break down gluten.

If everything is in order with the tummy, the child may simply not like the taste of porridge . What you can try to do, provided that oatmeal is well tolerated:

  • change porridge from dairy-free to dairy;
  • replace cow's milk porridge with more tender and tasty goat's milk porridge;
  • offer porridge with fruit and berry additives.

From such a variety, the baby will surely be able to choose a dish that will suit his taste. If this does not help, never force-feed a child . You should postpone the introduction of oatmeal for a couple of weeks or a month. After a while, the baby will be able to re-evaluate the taste of this wonderful food.

— Food allergies are not uncommon. Can a child be allergic to oatmeal?

- Allergy to oats is extremely rare. Skin rashes and stool disorders with the introduction of oatmeal are most likely associated with gluten intolerance. In this case, the following are possible:

  • a transient state - it is caused by age-related immaturity of the enzyme system;
  • true allergy is a congenital condition called celiac disease.

If signs of allergy appear, you should pause for two to three weeks and again offer oatmeal complementary foods to the baby. If the symptoms return and occur when eating other foods containing gluten (wheat, barley porridge), it is important to contact a pediatrician to clarify the diagnosis.

But not always when eating oatmeal, the child reacts to gluten. The cause of the allergy may be the milk in its composition. This happens in pediatric practice. Let's say the baby has never tried porridge or mixtures based on cow's milk before, and the mother followed a dairy-free diet. In this case, he already has a certain probability of developing an allergy to milk protein. And as soon as the baby's diet is supplemented with a highly allergenic cow's milk protein, he begins to react with skin rashes and stool changes.

Buy oatmeal for complementary foods or make your own

- It has already been noted that regular oatmeal is undesirable for an infant . But some parents turn a blind eye to this. Continuing the conversation, we will once again touch on home-made cereals and cereals of industrial production. What's better?

— For children of the first year of life, it is preferable to use ready-made baby cereals of industrial production. There are several reasons for this.

— How to cook oatmeal for complementary foods: what should parents remember?

— For homemade porridge, high quality flakes are used, previously ground in a blender to the state of flour. Consumption - 5 g (approximately 1 tsp) per 100 ml of water. Oatmeal is poured into boiling water and boiled, stirring constantly, for 7-10 minutes.

To improve the palatability of porridge , you can add a little breast milk or the usual milk formula, butter. Fruit or fruit and berry puree, fresh fruits and berries can be tasted after a year. Honey, due to its highly allergenic properties, should not be given to babies.

— Consider instant cereal for kids. Which oatmeal should you choose?

- First of all, you should pay attention to the manufacturer. Choose large manufacturers that have proven themselves in the baby food market.

Next, we study the packaging. It should look neat, be free of dents and damage. High-quality applied paint will not wear off at the slightest friction.

Information about the composition of porridge must be clearly written in an understandable language. In addition to oatmeal, in the list of components you can find cow or goat milk, fruit and vegetable or fruit and berry supplements, vitamins with minerals, probiotic flora.

Baby food porridge may not contain:

  • salt;
  • modified starch;
  • artificial colors;
  • genetically modified foods;
  • fragrances;
  • flavor enhancers.

— How does MAMAKO ® baby cereal help digestion?

— The manufacturer's line includes children's oatmeal with goat's milk in two varieties — milk oatmeal and milky oatmeal with prunes, which perfectly diversify the diet with new taste sensations.

Both cereals contain 32% healthy goat's milk, which is perfectly digestible and has a positive effect on digestion. In the stomach, it curdles into a soft clot, and its small fat globules and fatty acids are easily broken down in the baby's body.

Also, these cereals are enriched with the best helpers of the child's body:

  • Ca+Fe+I - an indispensable complex for the prevention of rickets, iron and iodine deficiency;
  • fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K - are involved in cell metabolism, enzyme systems, redox processes;
  • vitamins of group B - responsible for the formation of the nervous system, take part in energy metabolism, muscle work;
  • vitamin C - the main antioxidant;
  • niacin, folic and pantothenic acids, biotin and other useful substances.

Of all the variety of baby food, I recommend my patients to opt for cereals with goat milk from MAMAKO ® . These oatmeal porridges have a delicate taste, an optimally balanced composition, are well tolerated and cause allergic reactions to a lesser extent in babies predisposed to them.

Oatmeal is an indispensable product in the nutrition of a young child. It is an excellent source of fiber and complex carbohydrates and contains the most important nutrients for your baby. Oatmeal not only normalizes bowel function, but also has a mild enveloping effect on the stomach and facilitates digestion.

For the first feeding, it is better to use ready-made cereals. Healthy babies can buy cereals both in cow's and goat's milk. To feed babies prone to functional disorders of the digestive tract, as well as those at risk of developing allergic conditions, it is preferable to use oatmeal with goat's milk. They cause digestive disorders to a lesser extent and are less allergenic.

* Breast milk is the best food for babies. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a child's life and continued breastfeeding after complementary foods are introduced until the age of 2 years. Before introducing new products into the baby's diet, you should consult with a specialist. The material is for informational purposes and cannot replace the advice of a healthcare professional. For nutrition of children from 6+ months. The product is certified.

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