Oats, along with other whole grain cereals such as barley rice, barley, millet and whole-grain bakery products, provide significant amounts of complex carbohydrates that are extremely beneficial to growing children.
This cereal also provides an increased supply of fiber, protein and essential vitamins. Because it does not contain as much gluten as other grains (protein with potential allergen), oats can be introduced into the baby's diet earlier than wheat, as early as 6 months.
What vitamins and minerals contains?
Oats are a very nutritious food for babies, all forms in which it is consumed being whole grains (including instant oatmeal, for fast cooking). It provides about 3 grams of fiber in a 100 grams serving, also providing about 8% of the recommended daily dose of iron for babies 6-12 months.
The same amount of oats provides 44% of the daily magnesium requirement and 25% of the daily recommended dose of zinc.
Around the age of 6 months, babies need a supplement of these two essential minerals for growth and development.
How do you choose oats for a child's meal?
By the age of 1, pediatricians recommend you choose a special baby oat, fortified with iron, because it is easier to digest. Opt for those who do not contain sugar and other sweeteners, in order not to increase the child's predisposition to overweight or diabetes.
Commercial baby oats can usually be purchased in the form of instant packages, in which this cereal is usually combined with dried fruit or dehydrated vegetables. If you are introducing it for the first time into your baby's diet, be careful to dissolve it very well in breast milk or formula, so that it has a more liquid consistency.
As your child grows up and becomes accustomed to solid nutrition, you can leave a stronger consistency of oats. You find on the market and cereals for babies that do not contain milk and that you could only prepare with water.
When buying oats for your baby's meals, loose or packaged, make sure they do not show traces of storage in a damp place and check that the packaging is tightly sealed. Do not use it if it smells rancid! You can keep it at home for several weeks in a cool, dry place.
At what tables do you introduce it?
You can introduce the oats to the baby's evening meal (cereal meal), along with milk, yogurt or fruit. You can incorporate the cereal in the fruit purees, mixed with other cereals or seeds ground as finely as possible.
How do you prepare and serve oats?
Beginning with the age of 6 months and until the child learns to chew, you can prepare the oats in the form of crackers (porridge), whole-grain oatmeal or ground flakes. In a cup of oatmeal, put a cup of water and leave to boil for a few minutes, until it becomes a mama.
When the baby is growing and can chew well, you can prepare breads, biscuits, greens and oatmeal croutons, as well as pasta to add in milk or soups. Oatmeal is an excellent substitute for wheat flour, especially in biscuits and cakes.
What other foods can you combine?
Oats can be very well associated with other baby cereals, with milk, yogurt, vegetables or fruits (carrot, beet, celery, parsley root, bananas, apples, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, mango, avocados, etc.).
From what age did you give the child the oats? Did you know about all its nutritional benefits? Tell us your suggestions and offer us some delicious preparations in which you slipped the oats, in the comments section below!