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Healthy oatmeal recipes for kids

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

your kids will love it

As a parent, you strive to feed your kids meals that are healthy – yet fun – to eat. One of the most important meals is breakfast. Kids who start the day with a balanced breakfast are not only more alert and happy in the classroom, they are also more active and less likely to become overweight. Oatmeal is a healthy, quick-to-cook morning meal that, with a little whimsical creativity, can be a real treat for your tykes.

Cherries and Toasted Oats

Serves 4

There is no fun in a plain bowl of oatmeal. However, when you transform this seemingly boring breakfast dish into a dessert-like meal, your kids will look forward to starting the day at the kitchen table. The sweet toasted topping gives way to a nutritious cherry-filled hot cereal that will keep your kids' hunger at bay until noon.

 

Ingredients:

2  cups old-fashioned oats, divided

1/2  cup sliced almonds

1/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

2-1/2  cups low-fat milk

1  cup fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries, coarsely chopped

 

Directions:

1. For the toasted topping, place 1/2 cup oats and the almonds in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, shaking the skillet frequently, until just lightly browned. Quickly remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. When toasted topping is cool, add to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.

3. For oatmeal, bring milk and remaining cinnamon to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in oats and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until most of the milk is absorbed.

4. Stir in cherries and continue cooking until cherries are heated through.

To serve, divide oatmeal into four cereal bowls and sprinkle with toasted topping.

 

Mango Blueberry Oatmeal

Serves 4

A healthy combination of fruit, nuts and seeds that form an edible happy face will make your kids smile when they sit down to breakfast. To keep them intrigued, let them make their own happy faces or do other designs on the mornings you serve oatmeal.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats

4 cups low-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Agave nectar or honey

3 tablespoons ground flax

1/4 banana, sliced crosswise (8 slices)

2 strawberries, halved lengthwise

1 cup fresh blueberries

 

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring oats, milk and ginger to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the milk is absorbed. Stir in chopped pecans and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.

2. Divide oatmeal into 4 cereal bowls. Imagine each bowl as a face. Drizzle agave or honey in zig-zags at the top one-fourth of the face and sprinkle with ground flax to resemble hair. Place 2 banana slices on the face to form eyes. Use a strawberry half to form a nose. Arrange blueberries in a big smile underneath the nose. Serve with a smile of your own.

 

Cocoa Hazelnut Oatmeal

Serves 4

What kid doesn't want chocolate for breakfast? With the growing evidence of the health benefits of dark chocolate, cocoa and cocoa nibs can be kid-friendly oatmeal ingredients you feel good stirring into the already nutritious hot cereal. Adding chopped hazelnuts gives breakfast another heart-healthy boost and makes every spoonful taste reminiscent of Nutella, another kid-approved treat.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats

4 cups low-fat milk

2 to 3 tablespoons cocoa

Brown rice syrup or honey to taste

1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/4 cup cocoa nibs

 

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring oats, milk and cocoa to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the milk is absorbed.

2. Divide oatmeal into 4 cereal bowls and drizzle with brown rice syrup or honey. Sprinkle the top with hazelnuts and cocoa nibs and serve.?

FOR MORE SHEKNOWS RECIPES:

The benefits of breakfast

Fast healthy breakfast recipes for school

How to make microwave jams

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