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Oatmeal- A heart healthy friend

Why is oatmeal a heart healthy friend?  Oats are rich in soluble fiber which helps with lowering cholesterol levels. Fiber keeps us feeling full which means we probably decrease our overall food intakes, leading to healthier weight!   It warms my heart when the boys ask for oatmeal for breakfast!


How much fiber should we eat?

  • High-fiber foods have 5 grams or more of fiber per serving
  • Good source foods have 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving







How much fiber do oats provide (dry)? *

  • Steel cut ½ cup: 8 grams
  • Old fashioned ½ cup: 4 grams
  • Quick cooking oats ½ cup: 4 grams
  • Instant original 1 packet (1/3 cup): 3 grams
  • Instant hot cereal multigrain ½ cup: 5 grams
  • Instant high fiber cinnamon swirl 1 packet: 10 grams **

Please refer to the nutrition comparison of these top 4 cereals.

*1/2 cup uncooked oats yields 1 cup cooked

**also contains 7 grams sugars compared to the 0-1 grams the others have

What kind of oats to purchase? 

  • Steel cut are the least processed.  They are also bulkier to chew. Rich in fiber!
  • Old fashioned and quick cooking oats have been processed slightly. These may be easier to chew. Almost a “high fiber” choice.
  • Instant oats are the most processed – leaving much of the good nutrition out.  Also, salt and sometimes sugar has been added. A moderate amount of fiber.
  • The high fiber choice of instant oatmeal is a very high calorie choice for oatmeal (added sugar for flavoring)!    Only 2 flavor choices exist right now for this high fiber product.
  • My pick – choose steel cut – with old fashioned or quick cooking oats being a second choice when steel cut are not available. If getting fiber into your child’s diet is indeed a challenge, then, the flavored high fiber cereal would work.

A filling meal:

  1. Cook ½ cup dry steel cut or ½ cup old fashioned oats per the package directions.
  2. Add low fat milk to help cool down the oatmeal. Add a splash or more as desired.  If choosing instant, consider cooking with milk – extra nutrition!
  3. Add-in’s:
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp dried fruit
  • ¼ to ½ cup fresh fruit
  • ½ cup Greek flavored or unflavored yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts


  1. Reply
    Tracey February 26, 2013

    We had pumpkin oatmeal this morning- old fashioned oats cooked with half milk, half water, then canned pumpkin and a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon stirred in.  It is yummy and the kids love it!  I make a big bowl then reheat individual portions throughout the week- it is a 2 minute breakfast!

  2. Reply
    Becky February 26, 2013

    Tracey – What a great idea!  I will have to try this at our house.  We always have canned pumpkin on hand.  Thanks for sharing!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.