While I’m hardly the first person to write a recipe on how to prepare steel-cut oatmeal, the way I prepare it has evolved over the years to fit my son’s sensory aversions to certain food textures. Like him, many children with ADHD and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) have difficulty with certain tastes, texture and smells. Because eating is such a multi-sensorial experience, one of the ways I try to minimize nutritional deficiencies is to include whole foods with various textures and flavors as much as possible.
One of the best ways to jumpstart a child'd ADHD brain is having a nutritious breakfast. Steel-cut oats are a delicious, complex-carbohydrate grain if your kid isn't grain-sensitive because it releases energy slowly. Moreover, they are less processed than rolled or quick oats, and more filling. But there's nothing wrong with sticking with other kinds of oats if that's what your child will eat.
The evolution of oatmeal taste and texture
When my son was younger he liked fast-cooking oatmeal but not the other varieties. That was okay with me. However, I used to doctor it up with a little flax seed meal, cinnamon, real maple syrup, and a dash of wheat germ and then roll it into “oatmeal balls”. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty fun to eat. Then I either became lazier or I kept messing up how long the oatmeal had to stay on the stovetop for the liquid to evaporate. Come to think of it, I think I became lazier but I began to notice that my kid was accepting of the porridge texture as opposed to the misshapen oatmeal balls. Then one day I was making steel-cut oatmeal and I issued a clarion call: “let’s do a taste test!”. Like most taste tests of mine, this child always needs a little nudging at first or, last resort, outright bribery. It always works out for the best but since I live in a world of low expectations, I was ready for the infamous spit in the sink. To my surprise he opened his eyes wide and declared “I love it, mom!”. Um…Say, what? I was shocked.
Side note: Keep your expectations low and you’re never disappointed. :-)
Now steel-cut oatmeal is part of our meal routine and I can make enough for a week or two and save boatloads of time by freezing it in small glass/freezer containers. Then, all I have to do is pull one out, microwave it for a couple of minutes with a silicone cover, add in my “extras”, and put it in the thermos for breakfast at school. Out the door we go!
Steel-cut Oatmeal: ADHD Power Breakfast
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6 small cups or 4 full cups
Additions before serving, all optional:
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I'm a single mom, graphic designer, crunchy mama, trekkie geek, life warrior. It's embarrassing how excited I get about food. I'm an expert in barefoot Lego fire walk.
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