Saturday, 27 March 2010

What's Wrong with Oats?!

I often get asked the following when it comes to topics of Ben's solids:
* So he's eating rice porridge now?
* Why didn't you give him rice porridge?!
* He's Asian! He must eat RICE!
* Err... don't eat rice, can ar? (for those of you who are not familiar with Manglish aka Malaysian English, this actually means "How can he eat without rice?")
* When are you going to let him eat rice?

Like ermm... what is wrong with me giving Ben oats?

If he likes it, so be it.

Why is it a must to feed him rice when oats is so much better than rice?! I have lost count of how many times I had to tell these well-meaning people that oats has much more benefits than plain old carbo rice...

And the funniest thing is these questions mostly come from younger generations! I would've thought that we are now more educated compared to the old folks but yet... even my hubby's mother and his grandma said "Good! If he likes oat, let him eat! Don't need to bother to feed him rice." Good ol' MIL and grandma! :D

I would normally cook oats for Ben's dinner. My typical oat porridge recipe for Ben is:
* About 12-13 teaspoon of baby rolled oats
* Add a piece of steamed fish which I will further mashed into smaller bits using my fingers (so that I can be sure there's no bones) - will skip this ingredient if there's no more fish.
* Add in carrots which I had previously steamed and grated thinly or mashed pumpkin or pureed green peas (depending on what vege I had made and stock up earlier)...
* And if there are any bananas or apples or whatever fruits I can find, I'd mashed it up and mixed into the oats as well.

Maybe for western countries it is common that you guys cook oat porridge but for us Asian, (especially CHINESE people) rice is a MUST in our daily meals.

But I don't believe that just because everyone says we must cook and feed our baby with rice porridge then we have to follow blindly!

According to Home Made Baby Food Recipe website:
Oats - usually known as oatmeal or porridge once prepared - are one of the most nutritious grain cereals you can buy. Unlike many other grains, which undergo extensive and damaging processing before they reach store shelves, oats are always whole, irrespective of whether they are steel cut, rolled, quick cooking or instant. This means they retain all the goodness contained in the germ, endosperm and bran... and that's a lot of goodness!

Oats are an excellent source of soluble fibre, protein and the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and B6. They also provide iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and phosphorus. It's a good idea to get your children to enjoy oats from an early age, as they play a very important role in good health throughout adulthood too.

Regularly eating oats...
* Lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
* Helps guard against cancer
* Reduces the symptoms of asthma
* Lowers cholesterol and aids in the prevention of heart disease
* Boosts the body's immune system

Now do you get it? We did tried once, feeding Ben with rice porridge (cooked rice boiled until soft and mushy with anchovy soup base with a pinch of carrot slices)... but it's a failure. After a few spoons of it, Ben turned away and that's it... Maybe you think I should try rice porridge again but why do that when he can take and love oats?

Anyway, I would just like to share my opinion on oats and I hope new parents (especially those from Asian countries) will also consider oats as well...


mel said...

i love oats! good for you for putting your child's health before convention.
happy sits saturday too :)

cheekymama said...

Lol this made me smile as an African mama with a whole host of 'well-meaning' relatives and even friends who believe we should be feeding our kids certain African foods or generally have opinions about child-rearing. Do what works for you!

Stopping from SITS, find me at

WhisperingWriter said...

My daughter ate oats a few times when she was younger and enjoyed them.

Jessica said...

It is amazing how many people will have something to say on every. single. parenting decision you make. If you were giving him rice, somebody would be talking to you about oats. Everyone is an expert. *eye roll*

I don't give my babies cereal or baby food, we wait until they are ready for solids before starting them on solids. It drives my mother crazy. I hear it constantly from her and pretty much everyone else! My kids are healthy though, I promise, eventually the critics will shut-up or at least, move on. ;)

Jessica said...

I am visiting from SITS btw!

Merry said...

As the mommy of a picky eater, I say "Feed them whatever healthy thing they'll eat!" It's funny how opinionated are about how we raise our children even when it doesn't affect them at all. Oh well....we're the mommies so we get to do what we want! ;)

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest (a little late b/c it's Sunday)!

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Hi mel!
Happy SITS Saturday to you too! :)

Hi cheekymama!
Oh wow... what sort of African foods that you had to hear about from your end?

Hello WhisperingWriter!
Glad to hear your daughter enjoyed oats too! :)

Hi Jessica!
Thanks for visiting from SITS and yeah... people will talk about anything regardless what you are doing!

Hi Merry!
I agree with you! Feed them whatever healthy things they want to eat! And yeah, I'm the mummy, I can do what I want! ;) Happy SITS Saturday to you as well!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love oats and porridge :D

Visiting from SITS, i was fascinated by your post title and had to come to find out what is wrong with oats! This was very interesting reading, I never would have guessed at this controversy.

mama of 4 said...

Stopping by from SITS!
I have to say it is interesting to see how it is alike almost everywhere (unwanted input from others about raising children!). It is also very interesting to see how others feed children :) I never would have thought to add fish or carrots to it. I am from the US and we generally eat oatmeal as a sweetened breakfast. (my children enjoy brown sugar and a splash of milk). But Oatmeal is usually my babies first food, even though they recommend the yuck baby rice cereal!

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Hi Rachel!
Thanks for dropping by and glad you enjoyed the post! :)

Hey mama of 4!
Thanks for following my blog! Actually I added fish and vege into the oatmeal so that Ben can have protein and vege as well. You should try that too cos my Ben loves it when there is fish added inside!

MieVee @ said...

I love oat and eat it for breakfast almost every day! My boy loves it too and have it for breakfast sometimes. His lunch is usually brown rice porridge (cooked with vegetable stock to make it tasty) or brown rice pasta. He loves these too. :)

Brown rice with peas / beans offers complete protein, so that makes fish optional for him (only for half the week).

I just tried multi-grains (oat, barley, millet, brown rice), which is very delicious and nutritious. Going to introduce it to my boy too.

My son is very easy-going with food, so I let him try different tastes and texture. Have fun experimenting. ;)

pt1225 said...

Thanks for this post. Baby is a picky eater. He didn't porridge, will only take a few spoons before totally refused to eat it. Luckily, since I started to give him oatmeal, he been finishing his portion of oatmeal. So, I guess I can safely said that he loves oatmeal .. :D .. which makes me a very happy mum.


warning: my blog is a fairly new blog ..

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Hi MieVee!
Gee! How could I missed the latest comments on this post?! :( I tried looking for multi-grains but cannot find :( The brown rice porridge/pasta you made, do you add anything else?

Hi Pauline!
Nice blog! Good way to start! :D Oats are way better than rice :)

MieVee @ said...

You may find multi-grains at Woods Maccrobitics, Bangsar.
If the pre-packed ones are not available, ask the staff to give you the proportionate packs of different types of grains to mix at home.

For brown rice porridge: cooked with vege stock (sweetcorn, carrots, celery / Jap onions / potatoes).

Brown rice pasta: just cook with water

For lunch: + 1 vege and 1 fruit.
For dinner: + 1 vege and 1 fruit and sometimes fish

Janice said...

Thanks for your sharing! My baby is 4 and half month and I'm already thinking of what to give her when she's going to be 6 months very soon. I didn't know oat can be a good choice. May I know what brand you're buying for your boy?

Would he rejects having rice in future? I mean, after all he'll need to take proper meals after growing up and I don't wanna having hard time for my baby to take rice in future.

This is a very very old post I know.. I'm new to your blog and am reading back your old posts. ;-)

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Hi Janice!
My girl is going to be 6 months old tomorrow and I haven't thought of what to start her off with hahahah...

As for oats, we used country farm organic instant baby oats - they are smaller and not as coarse/rough. Even now as Ben approaches 3 years old, he still prefers oats to rice!


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