How to Get Kids to Eat Oatmeal

When you have a house full of guests, half the fun is serving them breakfast. I think breakfast is the way you line your day with optimism and warmth. Waking up to a homemade breakfast in someone else’s home is like being wrapped in a Snuggie and kissed on the eyelashes. It’s just darn nice.

We were up late last night with our Merrill friends. The boys talked us into a viewing of Cowboys & Aliens with a tub of buttered popcorn and retractable armrests. There was snuggling. It was dandy for about two seconds. Then, the show got started and I remembered thirteen minutes into it how crawly I start to feel when I have to dedicate two entire hours of my life to a movie. I can’t possibly be expected to sit still that long when there are, like, forty eight cooler things to do. I could have mastered the harmonica by movie’s end. Instead, I learned that aliens have hidden arms in their chest and cowboys are apparently capable of utilizing technologically advanced armbands.

I’m going somewhere with this, promise.

So the movie lasts for half a century of my life, and we get home late.  We’re all exhausted and could sleep until noon next day, but we’ve got nine children (yes, there are nine beautiful children in my house right now. Adore.) who will be up at the crack of Tron. And I want those children to wake up and know they will be fed a hearty breakfast. But I also know I won’t be up to hand-browning waffles one at a time. A minute before midnight, I toss a bunch of Coach’s Oats into the slowcooker then claw my way upstairs and into bed.

When the children wake us at 7 a.m. Sunday morning, I shuffle into the kitchen and pull together a Make-Your-Own-Oatmeal Bar, just a few small bowls filled with:

  • Frozen Rasperries
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Nutella
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Peanut Butter
  • Milk
  • Vanilla Soymilk

Just a little of this and that, stuff we already had in the cupboards. We laid out a handful of plastic spoons and a bunch of mismatched bowls from the blogging area, then called the kids to the kitchen. They were delighted to build their own bowls of oatmeal, spoon into them, and lick the bowls.

I see what you’re thinking right now. Your kids HATE oatmeal right?

Guess what? Mine do too. They won’t eat it. They will NOT touch the stuff, no matter how many splendid things I mix in, mash up, and mound on top. But the combination of the custardy texture of Slowcooked Oatmeal, and a make your own bowl of the stuff worked like some sort of voodoo magic. Every one of those nine tots ate every bite from their bowls. And I was glad to let them.

Today’s recipe was inspired by one of our littlest guests. He came to the table with his oatmeal piled high with Nutella and banana and I couldn’t resist the combo. I whipped up a bowl for myself.

So maybe, having a Make-Your-Own-Oatmeal bar isn’t just a great trick for getting kids to eat oatmeal. I works on grown-ups, too.


Banana Nutella Oatmeal


1 batch Cheeky Kitchen Overnight Slow-Cooked oatmeal
Several tablespoons of Nutella
2-3 bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup soymilk


Top the cooked oatmeal with a spoonful of Nutella. Mound sliced bananas on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Pour soymilk around the edges of your oatmeal. Serve immediately and enjoy!