Color is pretty important to me when it comes to eating. It's not like I plan it out, but I strive to make sure every time we sit down to eat our plates are bright with a variety of color.
By now most of us have probably heard that the North American diet is overrun with white, colorless starchy foods. But some of those foods, like oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice, are still really good for us. Keeping color in mind can help balance these white foods with fruits and vegetables that make your meal both beautiful and full of a variety of nutrients.
Oatmeal has been Oliver's favorite breakfast every since he first ate it, and I've learned a few ways to not only make our oatmeal different colors, but also to make fruit such as berries easier to digest for baby tummies. (Now he can process whole blueberries but until he was about 14 months old, they would come out whole in his diaper. What a waste of nutrients!) Although I no longer need to blend the berries before mixing them into our oatmeal, I will do so again if we have another babe, and I still do it every once in awhile for fun, because... purple oatmeal is awesome.
Nowadays I usually rely on papaya to add color and nutrition to our oatmeal because it is a local food for us and blueberries are not. The point is to add color and nutrition at the same time. In fact, we are wired to eat colorful foods because of the nutrition they provide! Kids are born with instincts to eat bright colorful foods. (Read more on how color impacts our palette here.)
Share pics of your babes with their purple oatmeal in the comments section!
Recipe: Purple Oatmeal for Baby and Family
- rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats)
- 1 small banana per serving
- 1/4 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) per serving
- cinnamon to taste
1. Make oatmeal following the directions on the package. I make oatmeal to last us up to 3 days at a time for the 3 of us, so 9 servings.
2. While oatmeal is cooking, mash the bananas to an even consistency.
3. Blend blueberries in a blender. You can leave some blueberries intact for texture and to show your kiddos the whole version of the fruit they're eating.
4. When oatmeal is done, mix in the smashed banana and the blended berries. Add cinnamon.
5. Serve, with a few whole blueberries as a garnish!
If you detest washing an oatmeal pot, however, look for my no-cook overnight chia oatmeal recipe, coming soon :)