Oatmeal Makeover: Fresh Toppings and Mix-Ins


by kori mann.

A bowlful of oatmeal is a powerhouse food and is the perfect meal for kids to begin their day with!  Not only does it have vitamins and minerals, but it is also loaded with fiber which will keep your little one feeling fuller for longer.  Oatmeal is a whole grain, which means that this is a breakfast that will work to keep the blood sugar stabilized so there is no unscheduled crash in between fun activities!

The trick to getting your little ones to eat such a commonly underutilized dish is to really dress it up with some fun flavors and colors!  Throw away those just-add-water packets and start fresh.  While the oats are cooking, invite the kids into the kitchen to help pick out some of their favorite toppings.  Try fresh blueberries, sliced bananas, peaches, or even classic maple syrup.  Adding a little something sweet is completely fine as long as you keep those portions in check!

If basic fruit won’t cut it, try mixing the oatmeal with some cocoa powder and a little vanilla extract…chocolate oatmeal anyone?  Another crowd pleaser is to cook half a chopped apple in a saucepan with a little brown sugar until softened and then mix it into the oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon.  Pair any of those with some chopped pecans or even some nut butter (nut butter+banana slices=YUM!), and you will be the champion of breakfast!

The Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal recipe below is a staple in our house during the fall months, but is asked for year round. Give it a try with your charges!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup skim milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin pie spice


  1. Stir the first three ingredients in a small pot over medium high heat for about five minutes, adding a touch of cinnamon.
  2. Once thickened, turn down the heat and add in the canned pumpkin with a dash or two of the pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Top with a few blueberries or toasted pecans, and enjoy!