It has come to this: I’m blogging about oatmeal

Oatmeal directly from the packing.
Image via Wikipedia

No, I haven’t run out of things to write about.  I have over 100 partial drafts and ideas and wish I had time to write more. But this topic is so important it couldn’t wait.

First, I’ve been on an oatmeal kick lately for my 9:00 P.M. feeding.  I learned a trick from my wife, which is to put frozen fruit in with the milk and oats before I heat it in the microwave.  I have a variety of frozen fruit around for my shakes (blueberries, strawberries, mixed berries, cherries, peaches), and it adds some natural sweetness to the cereal.  Super healthy, filling and tasty.  Oh, and very inexpensive.

Then there’s this about McDonald’s new product: How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong.  They managed to mess up something as simple as oatmeal.  I just tried it the other day before I read this article.  I figured they had done something right in offering a healthy alternative, but instead of three ingredients (oats, milk, fruit) they end up with more than 15.

The oatmeal and McDonald’s story broke late last year, when Mickey D’s, in its ongoing effort to tell us that it’s offering “a selection of balanced choices” (and to keep in step with arch-rival Starbucks) began to sell the cereal. Yet in typical McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. . . . “Cream” (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it’s also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including “natural flavor”).

A more accurate description than “100 percent natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

. . .

The aspect one cannot argue is nutrition: Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)

It is so filling that I imagine it would be great for people trying to lose weight.  Eat oatmeal first then you won’t be as hungry for other things.

Finally, it occurred to me that for people on limited budgets – and definitely for people on welfare – oatmeal is one of those perfect foods: Inexpensive, filling, tasty (enough) and nutritious.

15 thoughts on “It has come to this: I’m blogging about oatmeal”

  1. Meh…It’s McDonalds. I didn’t expect it to be that healthy anyways. If the fruit wasn’t on top, it doesn’t even look that good. But it’s probably one of their better options.

    But cream? Why does oatmeal need cream? I generally use water. I know a lot of people use milk. Maybe I’ll try making it with milk more often. And that’s a nice tip with the frozen fruits. I don’t have any around the house, but I might wanna try that one day. I do tend to like things sweet (hence why I’m overweight…^^; ) so sugar’s what goes in the oatmeal.


  2. I like McDonald’s oatmeal. I don’t care if it’s not healthy. I only eat it once in a while anyway.

    BTW, I never eat healthy, I’m almost 60 years old and I’m probably healthier than the majority of your readers.


  3. Weird!! I have been on an oatmeal kick too! Occasionally replacing my grape-nuts, skim milk, and dried cranberries at 9pm feeding, but also for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes even dinner.

    I usually eat instant in the morning at work, but the rest of the time I make it on the stove (though I do use quick oats instead of regular oats). I add some real vanilla extract to the oats while they are cooking (need to do this to cook off the alcohol they put the vanilla in), then after they are done I add a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of cardio safe butter spread, a teaspoon (or 2) of brown sugar, and a little whole milk. SO GOOD.

    As you say Neil, very filling. And even with the additions above only about 250 calories. 300 if I throw in two pieces of whole grain toast. (For bread I used Arnold Extra Fiber or Whole Grain, no HFC!!)


  4. I ❤ oatmeal.

    The other day, I was in Trader Joe's, looking at the selection of frozen fruit, and thinking, "Could I put that it my oatmeal, or would it turn out weird"? Neil, you should have posted this a few days ago. :p

    Of course, I throw some chocolate chips on top of my oatmeal, so……


  5. I would never eat oatmeal at a fast-food restaurant; logic dictates it wouldn’t be the stuff I eat at home as one of my favorite breakfasts. There’s not a whole lot I like about McD except when on the road they are usually a good place for a restroom break.


  6. I like oatmeal fine but I’m never hungry before noon or so, and it seems inappropriate to eat oatmeal for lunch. I couldn’t be bothered going to McDonald’s for oatmeal, and I would have assumed it was loaded with sugar there, anyway. I have an economy-sized canister in my cabinet, but my kids are too stubborn to eat it.


    1. But breakfast is good any time of day. I just finished eating a bowl of cereal and yogurt as part of lunch then came and read your comment!


      1. I recommend smoothies for those who aren’t very hungry. Super nutritious and easier to consume than regular food.


      2. Coffee is food, right? That’s all I really need.

        Of course, I have a 1.5-2 hour commute to work, so somewhere around the I-95 exit I regret those buckets of coffee and have to make a pit stop at McDonalds…but I would never eat there. 🙂


    2. I never eat before noon, either. I never have been accustomed to eating breakfast, though everyone else in my family thought I was crazy. I have heard the arguments for eating a good breakfast, but whenever I force myself to do that, I actually overeat the rest of the day. Some of us don’t fit the “norms.” I like breakfast foods just fine, but eat them for lunch or dinner.


      1. Yep. I just eat when I’m hungry, which fortunately for me isn’t all that often.

        ….unless I’m pregnant. Which is a thing of the past!!


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