Category Archives: quinoa

Oatmeal Bites (or Quinoa Bites): the most convenient toddler breakfast!

This is the easiest and most convenient breakfast I have found for Little Z. Who knew that oatmeal congeals and can be cut into bite-sized pieces? This is perfect because little Z can feed himself (which he INSISTS he must) and not get it all over, like he does if it is freshly prepared oatmeal/quinoa. What the heck is quinoa, you wonder? See my post What the heck is quinoa?! in my blog archive.

I discovered oatmeal bites by accident several months ago when I realized I had no fruit or homemade baby food to feed Z for breakfast, but I did have oatmeal in the fridge left over from the previous morning. I make a double batch of oatmeal or quinoa the night before, and it usually feeds Little Z for 2-3 mornings.

A double batch of quinoa mixed with sulfite-free organic raisins is shown in the pictures here.

Prepare the gluten-free oatmeal or quinoa as directed by the packaging, except use ¼ cup LESS water than called for per serving (i.e. if you are making a double batch of oatmeal/quinoa, then use ½ cup less water than called for on the directions).

Mix in fruit if desired, spread in container, and chill. Cut up into bite sized pieces and microwave for 15 to 40 seconds. Top with cinnamon and sugar if desired.

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What the heck in quinoa!?

I made quinoa flakes (pronounced “keen wah”) for the first time the other day for Z (I wanted to make him GF oatmeal, but I couldn’t find it at the store, and thought this might be a good alternative). According to the the Quinoa Corporation’s Web site (, it is an ancient food that was cultivated by the ancient Incas, and was called the “mother grain.” It is a seed that looks like a cross between millet and a mustard seed.

Quinoa flakes prepare more quickly than oatmeal, and when it is cooked, looks a lot like yellow squash ground in a baby food hand grinder (those of you moms who prepared your own baby food will know what I am talking about!). It has a mild flavor, and tastes a little bit like yellow squash and cream of rice with a slightly bitter after taste. It doesn’t sound all that appealing, but when I mixed it with sugar, it isn’t… terrible. Z actually seems to like it.

Photo “Hand in Quinoa” curtesy of