Baby oat flakes are thinly cut oats with a fine texture. Oat flakes are rolled into a small flake for speedy preparation. They are introduced into babies' diets to ease them into the transition from a milk-only diet to solid food. Baby oats can be found in groceries or you can make your own finely-cut oats by grinding whole rolled oats in a coffee grinder for about 30 seconds.
Benefits of Oats
Unlike most grains, which undergo processing and separation of the germ and bran, oats remain whole grains. This means that all of their nutrients and fiber are kept intact, making them an ideal source of goodness for your baby. Furthermore, oats are high in protein, making them a favorable alternative to rice, which is high is carbohydrates and low in iron. Oats are accepted to be gluten-free, meaning that they are one of the least allergenic grains. This makes them a safe first food, as there is little chance that your baby will have an allergic reaction to them.
Types of Oats
Select whole grain oats that are free of additives such as salt, sugar and flavors. Instant oats are usually subject to some factory manipulation, so read the label before giving anything to your baby. The healthiest option is whole oats or whole rolled oats (steel-cut oats fall into this category).
Cooking Homemade Baby Oats
To make homemade baby oatmeal, begin by grinding 1/4 cup whole oats in a coffee grinder or food processor until the grains reach the consistency of a powder. Heat one cup of water into a pot until boiling. Add the oat powder into the boiling water and stir it for 10 minutes while it cooks. Make sure that the mixture is cooled before serving it to your baby.
When to Give Your Baby Oats
It is important to feed your baby pureed fruits and vegetables before introducing cereal into the diet. However, most babies can begin eating oatmeal after six months of age, though this decision must be discussed with your pediatrician, especially if you want to introduce solid foods before the six-month mark. According to the World Health Organization, before your baby begins to eat solid food, he or she requires breast milk for optimum nutritional development.