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.