Health Benefits Of Oats For Babies

8 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Health Benefits Of Oats For Babies

Are you weaning your little one off milk and starting them on solids? As a parent, you will look for options that are easy to digest for your baby. The foods you introduce at this stage must not only be easy to digest, but also packed with nutrients necessary at this stage of growth. Your little one is ready to experiment with new foods post the six-month mark and their taste buds are quickly developing. This is the stage at which you can start introducing your baby to a variety of new textures and flavors. In this article, we tell you all about oats for babies.

When starting solids, you as a parent, are on the constant lookout for foods that you can easily introduce to your little ones, foods that are easy to chew (babies don’t have teeth yet!) and easy to digest (their digestive system is still immature and developing). Your options may be limited to purees, soft-boiled vegetables, soups, mashed rice, etc. But when you want to introduce variety, oats are a good choice. They have the necessary nutrients that help with the growth of babies. We detail everything there is to know about oats for babies.

In This Article

Nutritional Value of Oats

A standard 40 gm serving of oats contains

  • Calories 150
  • Protein 5 gm
  • Fat 2.5 gm
  • Carbs 27 gm
  • Fiber 4 gm
  • Iron 1.7 mg
  • Potassium 140 mg

Can Babies Eat Oats?

According to the World Health Organization, oats are a perfect cereal to give your baby as a first food after breastfeeding. In fact, it is believed that oats are better than rice. Oats are easy to digest and have high nutritional values. So, the answer is Yes, you can give oats to your babies as it is packed with Vitamins, Calcium, protein, and minerals. Find out the food chart for 6-month olds here.

What is Baby Oats?

Baby oats are thin-cut flakes with a fine texture. These small flakes of oats are easy to prepare to eat for a baby. You can prepare it with water or breast milk or formula milk. But do you really know the difference between Baby oats, rolled oats, and steel-cut oats? Actually, the nutritional value of all the three is almost the same, the difference is only in their processing method.

  • Steel cuts are less processed and chopped into thick flakes.
  • Rolled oats are steamed and flaked to flatten.
  • Baby oats are steamed too, and flaked into small and thinner pieces.

So, overall steel-cut oats are less processed and good for babies. However, as they are thick, you may need to grind them into small flakes to make them perfect for a baby.

Types Of Oats Your Baby Can Eat

If you have access to baby oats, they are the best for your baby, as they are steamed and processed to be easily digestible for your little one. These oats take lesser time to cook too, and an excellent when you are introducing oats to your baby for the first time.

If you want to avoid processed foods for your infant, you can opt for steel-cut oats. They are minimally processed. On the flip side though, they are slightly thicker. You can always grind them and cook them before feeding your little one. Grinding will make it easier to chew and also reduce the cooking time.

When Can Babies Eat Oats?

when to give oats for infants

A baby can eat oats once they start on solids. Since oats are easy to digest, you can give them to your little one at any time of the day. Being a nutritious and easily digestible food, oats can be an ideal food for babies who are going to initiate their first meal. Oats are high in soluble fiber, which means your baby can easily digest them and gain the much-needed energy for their quick growth and high activity levels. Oats is an excellent complement food when you are transitioning your little one from liquids to solid foods.

Is it Good to Give Oats and Oatmeal to Infants and Toddlers?

Yes, it is absolutely a good idea to give your infant a diet of oats and oatmeal. They are an excellent source of fiber, riboflavin, Vitamin B and B6, protein, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, and selenium. Oats provide high energy and enhance the immune system. Giving oats to your child from an early age will have health benefits later in life.

How to Introduce Oats to Your Baby?

When introducing oats to your baby, keep the following pointers in mind.

  • Choose the correct type of oats for babies i.e. semi-processed steel-cut oats are ideal for babies.
  • The method of cooking is another major point to follow. Boil the oats thoroughly so that it turns into a puree and is easy to swallow.
  • When introducing oatmeal for the first time, avoid adding toppings such as fruits. Introduce plain oats mixed with water, formula, or breast milk. This gives you the chance to observe if your baby is reacting right to oats or showing any allergies.

Once your little one is comfortable with plain oats, you can introduce other toppings. You can gradually introduce recipes such as Banana Oat Smoothie, Baked Oatmeal Apple-Cereal, Oatmeal Scramble, Oats Porridge, Apple oats Porridge, etc.

Health Benefits of Oats for Babies

benefits of oats for babies

A bowl of oats is not just a stomach-filling dish, it is a bowl full of nutrients.

Highly Nutritious

Oats are one of the most nutritious foods for babies, as they contain minerals like calcium and phosphorous – good for the bones, iron for hemoglobin, and potassium and sodium for the brain, muscles, and spinal cord. They also contain vitamins for the suitable growth of the little one’s body.

Boost Immunity:

Oats contain a component called beta-glucans that boosts the production of immunity cells. The intake of oats, thus, helps boost the immune system of your little one at a tender age when they need it the most.

Easily Digestible

Oats are rich in dietary fiber, which makes them easy to digest. Babies have a still-developing digestive system and foods like oats are a great help at this stage.

Ease Constipation

Infants who are just transitioning to solids often suffer from constipation and colic as their system needs time to adjust to the new foods. The high fiber levels in oats regulate the functioning of the digestive system and ease indigestion and constipation.

Relieves GERD

Some babies are prone to GERD or Gastrointestinal Reflux disease which makes it difficult for them to digest food. In such cases, doctors recommend purees till the condition is resolved. Oats are excellent food in such conditions.

Reduces Inflammations

The presence of a component avenanthramides makes oats an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Due to this, oats are beneficial when your little one has wounds or infections. They are also a vital food option for babies diagnosed with autoimmune conditions.

Great for Baby Skin

Oats make baby skin soft and smooth. It helps in reducing itching, eczema, rashes, and inflammation.

Selecting Oats for Babies

Organic oats are the best as they have minimal levels of pesticides and are safe for infants. Always opt for branded oats as such companies follow high standards during manufacturing, processing, and packing. You can start with baby oats and baby oatmeal. Once your child is comfortable and gets used to it, you can shift to steel-cut oats.

Things To Remember While Feeding Oats To Your Baby

Always pick branded oats for your little one, organic type if you have access to them. Introduce plain oats cooked in water or mixed with breast milk or formula. Here are a few things to remember while feeding oats to your baby:

  • Observe your child for any reactions or side effects. If they seem comfortable and well-adjusted, you can add toppings such as fruit.
  • Always start with baby oats and oatmeal. You can later graduate them to ground steel-cut oats.
  • Do not introduce oats before the six-month milestone to your little one. Their digestive system won’t be ready to handle the oats.
  • Cook the oats well till they are soft to avoid choking and indigestion.
  • Never add salt or sugar when cooking oats for infants

Oats Recipes For Baby

Oats Recipes For Baby

The best part about oats is that they are extremely versatile and you can make anything with them.

Oats porridge:

This is the very basic recipe and the best first food for your little one. You can bring water to boil in a saucepan, add oats and cook well till the oats turn soft and mushy. You can now add some breastmilk or prepared formula milk to thin the consistency further. If using steel-cut oats, always remember to dry roast and powder the oats before feeding your little one.

Oats Apple Pudding:

Boil baby oats or oat powder in the water till the oats turn into a smooth consistency. Boil and apple and blend well into a puree. Add this puree to the oat mush and cook further. Thin with water or breast milk or formula milk as per necessity.

Oats-Vegetable Porridge:

For older kids who are nearing their first birthday, you can introduce oats and vegetables together as a porridge. For this, you can choose a medley of vegetables of your choice- such as carrots, cauliflower, green peas, broccoli, etc. You can use tomatoes, onions, and garlic too. To prepare the porridge, heat very little oil in a pan, add onions, garlic, and tomato, and cook together till well-cooked. You can now add finely chopped vegetables of your choice and allow them to cook further till mushy. Add oats and water as needed and cook well. Cool completely and serve. This dish is an excellent way of introducing vegetables to babies.

Oats are a healthy and versatile ingredient to add to your baby’s menu. Since they are easy to digest, oats form an excellent transition meal for infants. If your child is suffering from constipation oatmeal and oats porridge will be extremely helpful. Always check with your doctor or pediatrician before including oats in your baby’s diet. Therefore, next time you go grocery shopping, grab a packet of oatmeal and give it to your little one.

Keep reading Being the Parent for more interesting articles.

FAQ’s

1. Can I Give Oats to my 7 Month Old?

Yes, you can. Babies are ready to start the journey of their solid food around 6 months of age. Oats can be introduced slowly at this stage itself.

2. Can Giving Oats to Babies Cause Indigestion?

Babies are very sensitive. Especially to new foods. They might struggle at first to digest and improve with time.

3. Are Oats Easy to Digest for Babies?

Yes, they are. They are rich in fiber. Fiber helps bowel movements and relieves constipation too.

4. Can I Give Regular Oats to my 8 Month Old?

Yes, you can. If your baby is used to eating oats, you can try different varieties of oats. Always ensure they are thoroughly cooked to avoid constipation.

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