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I’m not entirely sure how I blinked and all of a sudden, my two kiddos have a real opinion on what they want to eat in the morning. It used to be that I could make the two of them the same breakfast, or lunch for that matter, and they would be completely fine with it. Well, apparently, somewhere between the end of baby food and now, all of this has changed. If the Buddy wants toast, then you can be sure that the Baby wants an egg. It never fails.
Things changed about 6 months ago when both of my kiddos discovered a love of oatmeal. I’m not kidding, they can’t get enough. And what mom is going to argue with their kids liking oatmeal, am I right? The fact that my husband and I are also huge oatmeal eaters makes this a very good thing.
Recently, I came across a new offering from my trusty Quaker Oats called Perfect Portions. Cute name, I was intrigued. It turns out, that Quaker Perfect Portions has the speed of instant oatmeal, but comes in one large package that allows you to make a little or a lot, depending on how much you need.
Little people=little servings. Bigger people=bigger servings. I am pretty sure my favorite part, though, is the fact that it comes unsweetened, allowing you to customize your own sweetness. Speed? Check. Custom toppings and sweetness? Check. Heart healthy, and nutritious breakfast? Check.
It gives me great pleasure anytime my kids genuinely love a healthy food, and the fact that the soluble fiber in Quaker Oats can help reduce cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol* is a total win win. The earlier in life that my kiddos form healthy eating habits, the better.
The morning that Quaker Perfect Portions debuted in our kitchen was a morning to remember, that’s for sure. I made one large bowl of Quaker Perfect Portions (Maple Flavored, yum!) and set out a toppings bar so that everyone could dish out and fix their own bowls.
Allowing the kiddos to ‘make’ their own oatmeal was a bigger hit than I could have imagined. Plus, they are much more likely to gobble up a meal that they put together themselves.
The Baby picked brown sugar and dried cranberries (red raisins, as she calls them). She even practiced her counting as she picked the cranberries for her bowl. She’s getting pretty good at that, too, although after 14 things get a little interesting.
The Buddy, chose brown sugar and regular raisins (brown raisins, as he calls them) and a splash of milk. He was quite pleased with himself. As he should have been, it’s a classic choice.
I myself, am also a lover of brown sugar in my oats, and topped my bowl with a tablespoon of brown sugar, some dried cranberries, a splash of milk and a few praline pecans, because, well…they’re delicious. Plus, they added a bit of sweet crunch that’s irresistible.
My husband loves honey in his oatmeal, which is a close second for me. A few cashews and a drizzle of honey for him – simple and scrumptious.
This oatmeal and toppings bar has become one of our favorite and speedy breakfasts, no matter what the day. As the weather is warming up, we’re even experimenting with fresh fruits in our bowls, too. My favorite? Strawberries. You can’t go wrong with those.