My oldest son goes through streaks where all he wants is one thing for breakfast and he'll eat that SAME. THING. OVER. AND. OVER. AGAIN. until the new thing. For a while, he wanted omelets every morning. Now we're off omelets and onto oatmeal. I had some packets of instant oatmeal in the cupboard. My hubby brings them home from the hotels he stays at sometimes (he grabs them at breakfast time intending to make them later) or I'll see some that look good while I'm in the store. In any case, we had quite a few of them here. Rugby's been making them for a couple weeks and now we're completely out and the kid eats 3 packets at a meal, so HOLY EXPENSIVE, BATMAN! There's got to be a better way!
I keep quick cooking oats in the house to bake with, so yesterday I opened them up, fired up Google and found a recipe for our own. I have a large glass container that I used to keep our popping corn in, but that was nearly empty, so I poured the popping corn into another container that was already empty and VOILA! Oatmeal storage. :) I wrote the instructions on a piece of card stock, cut it out to the size of the lid and glued it on with a little Elmer's school glue that was handy. Then I printed out a list of "variations" so that there were ideas right there for him to jazz up his oatmeal and I had some of the things in the house already. There were some things on the variations list that will be special request and some for special occasion (Dude, we're NOT having Pop Rocks in our oatmeal every day!) Anyway, here's the recipe and a list of the variations. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Spice Instant Oatmeal
6 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups quick cooking oats flour (pulse in a blender in 1/2 cup batches or run through the food processor. This helps thicken the oatmeal)
1 cup dry milk powder (optional...I didn't include just because I didn't have any on hand)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Pour into a large storage container or separate out into snack bags. Most packets you buy in the store are 1/3 cup and that will fit lovely into a snack size baggie.
To use: Add 1/3 cup mix to 2/3 cup milk (or water if you prefer). Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.
Now the fun part....MIX INS! The boys all had oatmeal this morning because they got to add sprinkles. It wasn't much, but it was enough to get them excited about oatmeal and for my little two, that NEVER happens! :) Here's a few more options:
Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal- 2 Tbsp. chopped dried apples.
Oatmeal w/Raisins & Brown Sugar - 1 Tbsp. raisins.
Health Nut Oatmeal - 2 Tbsp. any kind of wheat germ
Fruit & Cream Oatmeal - 1 Tbsp. non-dairy coffee creamer and 2 Tbsp. dried fruit
Fun Fruit Oatmeal - 6 or 7 pieces of 'fruit snack' type dehydrated fruit
Confetti Oatmeal - 1 tsp. decorative cake/cookie sprinkles.
S'More Oatmeal - add 6 miniature marshmallows and 1 Tbsp. Milk Chocolate Chips to each packet.
Cookies n Cream Oatmeal - add 1 crushed Oreo cookie and 1 Tbsp. non-dairy coffee creamer
Exploding Oatmeal - 1/2 tsp. 'Pop Rocks' candy
to each packet. This one is fun for celebration days, such as birthdays.
Bart-man Oatmeal - add 2 Tbsp. 'Butterfinger B.B's' candies to each packet.
And don't forget about plain old fresh fruit, too. Raspberries or blueberries would be awesome!