Easy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Made with just a few wholesome ingredients, this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal cooks up fast and easily—which is exactly what you want in a breakfast! (P.S. I love it just as much as my kids do.)

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

In our house, apples are one of those fruits that tends to linger in the fridge long after everyone has eaten the grapes, berries, and citrus. Which means I try to find creative ways to use them that the kids are happy to eat. (A tall order, as you can imagine.)

Thankfully, one apple shredded and cooked into oats can transform them into a delicious breakfast—because the hit of natural sweetness makes this apple oatmeal a bit hit with my kids!

Oatmeal is something that I’ve made an effort to feed to my kids regularly, which means that we literally have it regularly on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This ensures that it’s familiar to them, but the rotation means that they don’t have a chance to get bored of it.

Since all of my kids enjoy raisins, we almost always make it with some in the mix, too.

TIP: We’ve been having a version of this oatmeal since my oldest was a baby—which means that it works whether eaten with little hands or a spoon.

Ingredients You need

To make this healthy oatmeal for a toddler breakfast or family breakfast, you’ll need:

  • Rolled oats: These are also called “old-fashioned oats” at the store.
  • Raisins: You can use regular or golden raisins in this oatmeal. Or another dried fruit like cranberries or cherries.
  • Apple: Any kind of apple works here.
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon: This adds lovely flavor so use it if you have it.
  • Milk: I use whole milk, but any type of milk will work here, including non-dairy options.

TIP: You can make this gluten-free with certified gluten-free rolled oats. And dairy-free if you opt for dairy-free milk.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this simple oatmeal and the process involved. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.

  1. Assemble the ingredients. Grate the apple.
  2. Heat water in a medium pot over high heat. When it’s almost about to boil, lower to medium low and add all ingredients except the optional nut or seed butter and optional toppings.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until the oats are softened and the water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit. Stir in the milk and add optional toppings and serve warm.

TIP: This is easy to reheat, so you can make a bigger batch and serve it throughout the week if you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of apples are best in this oatmeal?

You can use any type of apple that has good flavor and that you have on hand. It works with all types! I usually leave the skin on since it grates up into small pieces.

How can I add more protein?

We often stir in a few tablespoons of hemp seeds (which really don’t have much texture or flavor, but they do have protein, fiber, and healthy fats), chia seeds, or nut or seed butter. You can also serve this with a dollop of Greek yogurt (or chopped nuts for older kids).

Can I make this with instant oats?

Sure, you can swap them in or check out my DIY Instant Oats recipe.

Can I make this Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal in the microwave?

Sure! To make one toddler-size serving in the microwave, add ¼ cup rolled oats, ½ cup water, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons raisins, and about 2 tablespoons grated apple (or applesauce if it’s easier!) to a heat safe bowl or measuring cup.

Cover with waxed paper and cook in 30 second increments, stopping to stir in between, for about 90 seconds or until the water is mostly absorbed and the oats are soft. Add a little milk to serve.

Tips for Toddlers and Oatmeal

The main thing is to make it taste good and to have it around regularly. If they are totally new to it, it may take a few tries to get them to try it. Avoid pressuring them too much, serve very small servings to start, and let them add their own toppings to personalize their bowl.

If my oldest doesn’t want oatmeal, she almost always comes around if we offer peanut butter (or sprinkles!) on top.

And let it be okay for them to eat it with their hands if needed. When my kids are young and still learning to use a spoon, I load up their spoon for them and hand it over so they can put it into their mouths.

How to Store

To store, place into an airtight container in the fridge and then warm individual servings as needed for about 30 seconds in the microwave.

Best Tips for Success

  • Grate the apple with the peel on to add nutrients.
  • Lower the heat and add a little additional liquid if the oatmeal sticks to the pan at any point.
  • Top with protein-rich nut or seed butter.
  • Stir in hemp seeds, flax seeds, or chia seeds to add fiber, protein and healthy fats.
  • An older baby eating finger foods can eat this with their hands. A kiddo learning to use a spoon can be handed preloaded spoons so they can feed themselves with your help.

Related Recipes

Easy Baby Oatmeal

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