Power Oatmeal for Babies and Toddlers

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I started making a simpler version of this oatmeal for my little one when she was around 8 months old and I slowly changed it to add more flavour and nutrition as she got older. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

3 pears (can be substituted for apples, or a mix of both)
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 cups milk (or 1 1/2 cups water)
15-20 almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
Maple syrup (optional – if your child prefers slightly sweeter oatmeal – not recommended for babies under the age of 1 due to risk of infant botulism)

1. Preheat oven to 350•F.
2. Cut the pears in half, core them and lay them flat in a baking dish. Add an inch of water to the baking dish and put it in the oven. Bake the pears until they are soft, about 20-30 mins depending on how ripe they are (you should be able to easily slide a fork through them).
3. As the pears cool, add the oats and milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook about 10 mins, stirring frequently, until the oats are fully cooked and the consistency is quite thick.
4. Puree the pears in a blender or food processor, using the same water they were baked in. If you prefer your oatmeal to have a thicker consistency then add just enough of the water to puree the pears, if you prefer a runnier consistency then add more water.
5. Grind the almonds in a coffee grinder or food processor into a powder. Add the pear puree, ground almonds and cinnamon to the oatmeal and stir until well blended. If it is too bland for your tot, add some maple syrup (for

Makes 3-4 toddler servings. You can also make a bigger batch minus the ground almonds and freeze extra servings (add the ground almonds in after thawing).

Oats are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, biotin, and vitamin B1. Almonds are high in biotin, vitamin E (an antioxidant) copper, manganese, as well as healthy fats. Pears are high in fiber – the pears in this dish helped my daughter’s constipation tremendously when she was a baby. Cinnamon is anti-microbial so it’s perfect for cold and flu season!

Although baking the pears makes this recipe time consuming, it helps retain more nutrients than other methods of cooking pears. If you simply don’t have the time, you can also peel and slice the pears, place them in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them and cook until soft, then mash them with a potato masher.

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