RSS Feed

Tag Archives: porridge

Baby oat cakes

My regular readers will know by now that I always need inspiration for breakfast. So when I came across Laura’s microwave raspberry oat cakes, I woke up the next morning with a spring in my step, eager to try them.

I’m a big fan of porridge for little ones as there are so many variations you can do, and this is a brilliant different way to use porridge oats. It’s also super quick and open to variations.

These mini oat cakes would be perfect for baby-led weaning, ideal finger food for a toddler snack, and I even made another for my afternoon tea!

Laura makes hers with frozen raspberries. I first tried frozen strawberries and then some raisins I’d soaked in warm water (if giving to a baby, it’s important to first soak any dry fruit to avoid any possible choking hazard). Try to use a banana that’s as ripe as possible as it will be sweeter (actually this is another great recipe for using up overripe bananas).

They were a great success with Nicholas who called them biscuits and dunked them in milk. He said ‘yum’ in English and Italian as well as signing it, interspersed with requests for ‘more!’. I couldn’t have been happier 🙂

Check out more of Laura’s budget-friendly family recipes on her blog Small Wallet Big Appetite.


Prep time: 3 mins
Cook time: 4 mins
Makes 1 oat cake

1/2 medium banana
1/4 cup (20g) raw porridge oats
A pinch of cinnamon
4-5 pieces of chopped frozen strawberry

Mash the banana in a small microwave-safe bowl (I used one that was about 10cm across at the bottom).

Add the cinnamon and oats, mixing well so all the oats are covered in banana.

Gently mix through the frozen pieces of strawberry.

Press the mixture down firmly into the bottom of the bowl and cook in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until it turns into a firm little cake.

Tip the mini cake out. Once cooled, cut it into wedges.


  • use other frozen berries instead of strawberries
  • use dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, etc) instead of strawberry, but soak them beforehand if giving to a baby

World Porridge Day

World Porridge Day was actually yesterday and while we ate porridge, I didn’t get around to posting about it. However, as cupcakes and chocolate get a whole week in the UK, I figured the humble and nutritious porridge’s day needs to be extended, especially thinking about the reason behind it.

World Porridge Day was started to raise awareness of and money for Mary’s Meals, a Scottish charity feeding starving children in Africa. Mary’s Meals provides daily servings of likuni phala, a nutritious, vitamin-enriched maize porridge to more than half a million children in 16 of the poorest countries in the world. But they don’t just give them nourishment. The porridge is served in schools, encouraging children to go and learn. Each child also has the responsibility of looking after their plastic mug which is filled with porridge. By serving one simple meal, Mary’s Meals is doing a lot more than just filling bellies.

Mary’s Meals are also an amazingly efficient charity. How much do you think it costs to feed a child porridge for a whole year? How much do you think you spend on your family breakfasts over a year?

It costs just £6.15 (about €7.20 or $10) to feed a child for a year.
Less than £7 for a whole year!

I’ll let you absorb that fact while I move on to some porridge flavours and variations your munchkins (and you) might like. I’ll leave you to cook your porridge the way you prefer (I like the microwave to avoid having pots to clean) as I’m certainly not a porridge-cooking expert!


While traditionally porridge is made from oats, water and salt, I always use milk for its calcium content and some kind of sweetener, usually fruit or a little bit of honey (for when babies are more than a year old).


To make a smoother porridge, more palatable for babies, either grind up the oats before cooking, or blend your finished porridge until it’s smooth enough.

Another way of softening the oats is to soak them in some of the cooking liquid overnight.

Start with adding one simple flavour your baby is already used to, like banana. Once you think your munchkin is ready for some more complex flavours, add some warm spice like cinnamon or a dash of vanilla for extra sweetness or start combining flavours.

Flavour combinations:
The easiest and healthiest flavour to add to porridge for little ones is fruit, and then there’s no reason to add any sugar. Add it fresh or frozen. Mixing through frozen fruit has the advantage of cooling the porridge down (very important when your toddler is being impatient!). Here are some of our favourites.

  • Banana and cinnamon
    Mash some banana through cooked porridge and add a dash of cinnamon (which helps stimulate your metabolism)
  • Apple, raisin and nutmeg
    You can use raw apple (finely grated) or cooked apple (apple puree or unsweetened applesauce/stewed apple). Add raisins (soak them overnight if you want them to be plumper and less chewy) and a small pinch of nutmeg. You could also add some chopped dried apple.
  • Strawberry and vanilla
    Mix chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen) through cooked porridge and add a dash of vanilla.
  • Stewed fruit
    Any cooked fruit works great swirled through cooked porridge (peaches, plums, apricots, strawberries). I don’t add sugar while stewing the fruit, but check the taste of the porridge adding some vanilla for sweetness or honey. A small pinch of ground ginger also works well.
  • Pears and vanilla
    A lovely ripe uncooked pear mashes very easily into cooked porridge. Add a dash of vanilla.

Porridge in a hurry:

For mornings when you need to get ready fast, what takes even less time than mashing some fruit into cooked yogurt?

  • Fruit yogurt
    Stirring through some fruit yogurt also cools the porridge down (saves you blowing time!).
  • Fruit puree
    Any packaged fruit purees or purees you’ve made yourself mix through quickly.

Adult flavour combinations (or not so healthy additions):
Some mornings you just need a little indulgence to start the day happily.

  • Grated chocolate
    Any chocolate you have on hand grated over cooked porridge.
  • Chocolate spread
    Add some mashed banana as well to feel healthier.
  • Golden syrup and cream
    Maple syrup works just as well.
  • Jam and cream
    Who needs scones.
  • Chocolate-covered Katie’s Coffee Frappuccino Oatmeal
    Haven’t tried it, but it’s your morning coffee and breakfast all-in-one!

Once you’ve added your flavourings, why not also sprinkle or dollop something on top?

  • Seeds
    Pumpkin, sesame, flax/linseed, sunflower seeds, etc. For toddlers, grind up larger seeds and/or soak them overnight.
  • Coconut
    Shredded or desiccated.
  • Yogurt
    Fruit or plain.
  • Dried fruit
    Sultanas, raisins, cherries, apples, pineapple, mango, etc. Chop larger pieces up. Soak overnight for softer fruit.
  • Fresh fruit
    Slices of banana, strawberries, pear or whole blueberries are yummy.


You can use other liquids to soak and/or cook your oats.

  • Juice
    Fresh apple and orange juice add another level of flavour to your porridge.
  • Coconut milk
    Feel like you’re in the tropics!

If you’re sick of the same old flavours, why not add something daring to your oats?

What do you like to add to your or your munchkin’s porridge? What do you do if you have porridge leftovers?

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to vary your bowls of porridge. But also remember how porridge is changing the lives of children in Africa thanks to Mary’s Meals, and how little you would need to donate to feed a child for a whole year.