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How to Eat Oatmeal

Submitted by: butterbean on February 16, 2012
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How to Eat Oatmeal

Mama fixed oatmeal on cold mornings when I was a child. As I got older, oatmeal became “gross”. One morning Mama sat the bowl in front of me and I told her that I wasn’t real hungry. Daddy asked why and I told him that oatmeal was gross.




Mama fixed oatmeal on cold mornings when I was a child. As I got older, oatmeal became “gross”. One morning Mama sat the bowl in front of me and I told her that I wasn’t real hungry. Daddy asked why and I told him that oatmeal was gross.


Daddy said, “Of course it is not good. You haven’t made it taste good yet. I wouldn’t eat that either”.

In the land of ten-year-old girls, this made me very happy. My Daddy had agreed with me. Oatmeal was really not good. Daddy had the knowledge that grownups lack. Oatmeal is gross! This was very important in my world. A parental figure had agreed on an obviously life-altering subject. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Maybe I could have something good for breakfast now. You know, like kid food, the important things, cookies maybe.

Daddy handed me the butter knife and told me to put some butter in the bowl, and I did.


He told me to put two teaspoons of sugar in the bowl, and I did.


Then he told me to mix it all up real good.


This is the important part–he told me to pour a little milk around the edge of the bowl, so I did.


Daddy looked at my bowl, and pronounced it good enough to eat.


Daddy was right again. My ten-year-old dignity was saved, and my mama was happy because I left the house with a warm breakfast in my tummy. The day came that I was a mama, and had a daughter of my own and wanted to send her to school on cold mornings with a warm breakfast in her tummy. Dutifully, I prepared a pot of oatmeal at least once a week. One fateful morning, I set the bowl in front of her.

This precious offspring of mine pushed the bowl away and declared that oatmeal was gross! There it was, the declaration that I dreaded. Oatmeal had now been declared gross. Trying to think fast, I told her that I wouldn’t eat it like that either. Besides, that is gruel, not oatmeal, and you have to fix it up right to make it taste good.

Following what my own daddy had told me to do, I instructed my daughter to do the same. She did as I told her (for once, trust me this did not happen often) and ended the “How To Prepare a Proper Bowl of Gruel” course with one difference. I handed my offspring the cinnamon, explaining to her that this was an extremely important step and should not be neglected.

Those big brown eyes grew wide. She now had a grownup secret and had prepared her own bowl of oatmeal/gruel. Her dignity was intact, she had a warm bowl of cereal in her tummy, and the mommy inside of me was happy!

This is the way that I eat oatmeal as an adult. Of course, I smile thinking about Daddy convincing me to eat oatmeal.


Yes, my daughter has figured out that she was eating oatmeal. She is grown and gone now. It is my hope that she smiles when she sits down to eat her oatmeal, and remembers this story.

Butterbean blogs at Adventures In Country Living.

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4 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 2-16

    Butterbean, thanks for the memory. As a child, I never pronounced oatmeal ‘gross,’ I just wouldn’t eat it from time to time. Mother would take it away…and serve it again, cold, for dinner…and again for breakfast,,,until I ate it.
    She never really shared the secret of eating oatmeal, but one day she sat down and ate breakfast with me. She put butter on her oatmeal, then a bit of sugar. And yes, the poured some milk around the edge of the bowl. I copied what she did. Amazing!

  2. 2-16

    The only way I like oatmeal is with the butter all melted and then put brown sugar in the bowl and stir. it is delicious.

  3. 2-16

    I tried again this morning to get my picky eaters to eat oatmeal. This time, instead of getting it ready for them, I let them pick the ingredients and help ‘make’ it. To my surprise, they both ate every last bit and declared it yummy! I have made it the exact same way only to set it in front of them to a chorus of ‘yuck’. My dd decided we needed to write down the recipe, it was so good!

    Sometimes it just needs to be the kids idea. We just have to get creative on how to get it to be their idea!

  4. 2-16

    We have stopped buying any cereal in the market the last couple years. My hubby was diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol problems. He was an avid cereal eater. I hated the ingredients and high salt/sugar in them, no matter what you buy you tackle ingredients. Our doctor suggested eating “oatmeal”. He’d eat and eat it, but disliked it much. I would find him loading it down with ALOT of brown sugar and found it to be a penance to eat. I kicked his morning breakfast up a few notches dried cranberries, broken walnuts, a touch of milk and cinnamon and a nice drizzling of pure maple syrup. He now is a avid eater of oatmeal for breakfast..the cholesterol has dropped tremendously and he looks forward to his oatmeal now. He’s my big kid… 🙂

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