Cooking Oats for a Baby
Not only can oatmeal be delicious, it also makes an ideal grain for infants with its beneficial nutritional content. The whole grain of oatmeal, combined with its high fiber and low fat make it a delicious breakfast menu item for your baby and the rest of the family, as well. Prepare oats for your baby according to your little one's age and familiarity with solid foods.
4 to 6 Months
Babies should not eat solids before the age of 4 to 6 months, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics HealthyChildren.org website. At that point, you can start introducing them one food at a time. Most parents begin by introducing baby cereals, such as oats, that are fortified with iron and mixed with liquid -- including breast milk, formula or water -- to make them very watery. You shouldn't give your baby regular oatmeal at this time because he may not get enough iron if he doesn't consume cereals fortified with iron.
7 to 12 Months
Once babies are between 7 months and 12 months old, they can eat thicker foods that have more texture. This could include oatmeal that you prepare at home either on the stove or microwave or by mixing hot water and instant oatmeal. Just make sure that you allow it to cool sufficiently so your infant does not get burned. It is not recommended to give infants added salt or sugar, as these are acquired tastes and do not add to the nutritional value of the food.
Making it More Nutritious
Because babies have small stomachs, they cannot eat large amounts of food at one time. To maximize the amount of nutrition your baby gets when you feed her oatmeal, consider mixing it with other foods she has tried, such as yogurt and pureed or mashed fruit. This makes it a bit more nutrient-dense and more likely to appeal to the baby's taste buds.
Giving your baby solid foods like oatmeal too soon could make it more likely that he will get too much to eat or that he will have allergies in the future, notes the Colorado State University Extension program. Check with your doctor to see if your baby is ready before introducing solids. He should be able to hold up his head and close his mouth around a spoon.