DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets, Healthier And Cheaper Than Store Bought.

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets, Healthier And Cheaper Than Store Bought.

Confession. If your kids love boxed instant oatmeal... it can take a bit to get them to enjoy your homemade  DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets.

Why? Because fake fruity flavors and a pile of sugar can be tough to contend with if that is what your kids are used to.

It has taken patience, but even my Fruit and Cream Instant Oatmeal addicted family, love my DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets now. 

First step: I maintain a "one box at a time" cereal rule. I only bring home one box of cereal/oatmeal/convenience type breakfast per grocery shop, otherwise my kids would eat cereal all day, everyday. Without the 10 boxes of breakfast bars, oatmeals, breakfast shakes, or Chocolate Cheerio O's hanging out, I have a much higher chance of getting them on board with my homemade version. 

Second step:​ Use more sugar in the recipe if you need first.  If your kids are used to overly sweet breakfasts, your first attempts at homemade oatmeal can't compete if it's not sweet enough. I use this Sugar Bait and Switch technique a lot. I over sweeten homemade versions of convenience foods to get them used to the new homemade textures and flavors. Once they accept the new version, I gradually cut back on the amount of sugar I use over time. It's sneaky, and it works. 

How to make your own DIY Oatmeal Packets:

Basic Recipe

1/2 C Instant Oats (not rolled oats)

​1/4 tsp. flavored extract (vanilla, coconut, almond, banana etc.)

​1 TBLS. Brown sugar (you could use any sugar. White, raw, etc.) Remember to taste, and add more sugar if necessary only to hook your kids on your homemade version. 

Pinch of salt 

1/3 C. hot water, when you are ready to serve.​

*Splash of half and half or heavy cream when serving.​ (Optional, but this step makes the oatmeal so much creamier and yummier in my opinion.)


Pour oats into a small mixing bowl.

Sprinkle ​extract on top of oat and stir. Oats naturally absorb liquid, this will not affect their quality or how well they store.

Add in sugar, salt, and any add-ins.

Pour  into individual zip lock storage bags or small mason jars. Label.

Multiply recipe as desired, making sure to mix each packet in an individual bowl so your ingredients stay distributed evenly. 


Pour contents of packet into bowl​

Heat 1/3 C. water to boil or near boil. I microwave water for 30-60 seconds. Stir more or less hot water into oatmeal as desired until desired consistency is reached​.

Stir in about 1 TBLS. of half and half, cream, or whole milk for a creamy texture.​


Because you need these packets to be shelf stable, use only dried or dehydrated add-ins. To boost flavor, I try to use a complimentary extract. If you don't have oodles of extract flavors hanging out, you can totally stick with vanilla. Some flavor varieties you may want to try:

Chocolate Oatmeal

Make basic recipe with vanilla extract add:

  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder 

Toasted Coconut

Make basic recipe add:

  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 TBLS toasted coconut​

Raisin Cinnamon Spice

Make basic recipe with vanilla extract, add:

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg​
  •  1 TBLS raisins

Banana Bread

​Make basic recipe, add:

  • ​1/4 tsp banana (or almond) extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 TBLS chopped banana chips
  • *Sprinkle of chopped nuts (optional)

Cranberry Chocolate Chip

​Make basic recipe with vanilla extract, add:

  • 2 tsp. Craisins
  • 2 tsp. chocolate chips​ (I like the mini chips if you have them)

Want more awesome ideas to stocky your own DIY Pantry?

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