Oatmeal and I go a long way back. I grew up on a steady breakfast diet of mush which consisted of whole wheat flour and water with a little bit of honey. So basically boiled paste. It wasn't our favorite, so whenever we got oatmeal it was a huge treat. Then I went to college and got married, and I kind of went off oatmeal for a while. I was doing couponing for a while and managed to get a years worth of cold cereal for free so we ate that a lot. After that, I decided that I didn't want my kids to grow up eating fruit loops and frosted flakes so I made them oatmeal. You can imagine that they were less than thrilled after eating sugary colorful cereal for a year.
As I was thinking of ways to make oatmeal appetizing for kids I remembered back to my nanny days when I saw an instant oatmeal that had dinosaur eggs in it. The eggs were an egg coated sugar candy that dissolved in the hot water to reveal a dinosaur sprinkle. It was super cool, and the little girl I watched loved it. Back in my kitchen I realized that I had some left over bunny sprinkles from Easter so I sprinkled some on top of the oatmeal to see if it made any difference to my kids. It was magical. The oatmeal had transformed from nasty cereal to a cool treat because it was covered in colorful bunnies.
It's been about 5 years since we started putting sprinkles on our oatmeal, and it is one of my children's favorite breakfasts. If we are using colored sugar sprinkles I tend to put less sweetener in the oatmeal while I am cooking it so it is still healthy. Sometimes we use just colored sugar, and often we use the generic rainbow sprinkles from the store. Occasionally though we do something special and make the sprinkles match a certain shape or holiday. Some of our recent favorites were the Little Miss Muffit or Halloween Spider oatmeal and the Patriotic oatmeal. My kids loved the flag on their cereal and have requested that for our 4th of July breakfast. I'm loving that something so simple and inexpensive has made our breakfasts a more fun and healthy meal.
Labels: fun things to do with my kids, healthy eating for kids, holidays, kids menus, menus, recipes