Breastfeeding a baby is one of the most lovable, memorable and close to the heart experience for any new mother. But once your child starts to grow, the nutritional needs change and babies need to start solids and semi-solids. Eventually, they wean off breast milk and are entirely on solid foods, just like adults are. One of the safest and healthiest food options is oats for babies. For the first year, parents do not prefer giving babies salt and sugar or keeping them to a minimum. Thus, oats for babies, which as their own fantastic taste and can be prepared in many ways, come in handy for all parents. So, this article will talk about the health benefits of oats for babies, how you can use them and some quick recipes too!
Are Oats Just For Eating?
When it comes to babies, oats are used in many different ways in skincare too! Babies with dry, eczema-prone or sensitive skin can benefit significantly from oatmeal in their skincare routine. Besides buying products with oatmeal, many parents also bathe their kids with a slurry made with oatmeal and milk. Adding a spoon of oatmeal to warm bathing water also soothes a child's sensitive skin, keeps it moist, and prevents skin breaking. Thus, oats for babies are not just a food option but also a part of their skincare routine.
Is Oats In Food A Good Option For Babies?
Oats are rich in vitamins, fibres, antioxidants and minerals. Light on the tummy, oats are easy to digest for people of all ages, including babies who have just started the journey of solid food. Once the baby's paediatrician has given the go-ahead on starting wheat and oats, there is so much you can do with this one simple ingredient and create a variety of sweet and savoury dishes for your baby. But please ensure that you start giving oats to your baby only after the paediatrician has given the go-ahead for the same. While some parents and doctors recommend starting oats with other solids, around 6 – 7 months, depending on your baby's readiness, some prefer to wait till 9 months to check out any allergies and slowly introduce new food groups. Once you start all grains for your baby, you can also try this Homemade Multigrain Porridge For Babies
Health Benefits Of Oats For Babies
Oats are a favourite go-to ingredient for all parents and are recommended by all paediatricians because of their health benefits. So let us look at the health benefits of oats for babies.
- ▪ Helps In Bone Development – Rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium, sodium and magnesium, oats help in the developing bone density of your child. (1)
- ▪ Easy To Digest – Your baby's digestive system is still developing. Loading it with something that is not easy to digest can put an extra load, and your baby can have stomach issues. Oats are easy to digest for a developing digestive system without putting any strain on it, and thus is excellent food.
- ▪ Burst Of Energy – At this stage, toddlers and babies need extra energy for a growth spurt, learning new skills and touching new milestones. One hundred grams of oats are loaded with 400 kcal and can provide an instant boost of energy your baby needs.
- ▪ Aids Growth & Development – Packed with all essential nutrients like folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, and much more, oats are an excellent supplement for your child's growing body and systems.
- ▪ Prevents Constipation – One issue many kids who start solid foods suffer from is constipation. Unfortunately, medication is not always a solution; thus, parents look for foods that can help prevent constipation. Oats for babies are one such superfood that helps keep the gut strong and constipation away.
Some Easy Oats For Babies Recipe
Coming to the highlight of this article – the recipes! Here are 3 easy recipes your child would love to eat daily!
▪ Applesauce & Oats Porridge
Applesauce is one of the most basic recipes all parents start with. Easy to prepare, easy to digest, and tasty for your baby's food pallet – the applesauce is a no-brainer. Just steam an apple, remove the pulp, mash it with a fork, and it is ready to consume. Add a little extra nutritional value to the applesauce by adding the benefits of oats to it.
Grind the oats in a blender. Add a few spoons of oatmeal to one cup of boiling water and keep constantly stirring to avoid lump formation. Once the oatmeal is ready, add it to the applesauce and mix well. And your applesauce & oats porridge is ready!
▪ Banana & Oats Porridge
Again, one of the more uncomplicated and tasty recipes needs just two ingredients. Follow the same recipe for making oatmeal as mentioned above, and instead of adding applesauce, add a mashed ripe banana to make a different variation of the oats porridge. You can make more variations of oats porridge by adding date syrup, figs puree, raisins puree, etc., to the porridge.
▪ Oats Vegetable Upma
A recipe for little grown-up toddlers who have been introduced to vegetables and a pallet of spices as well. In a pan, add a little oil and sauté all vegetables you want to add to the upma. You can add carrots, peas, capsicum, beans etc., to it. Once cooked, add water to it and let the vegetables cook a little more in water to soften them. Add oats to the pan and mix all ingredients well. Add water, and keep stirring so that no lumps are formed or upma doesn't stick at the bottom of the pan. Add the spices you have introduced your baby to – you may add cumin powder, dry mango powder, salt, black pepper etc.
Try these recipes and alter them as per your child's preference and taste! Happy parenting!