School Lunch Day 53: Hot Oatmeal

School Lunch from

The Lunch Idea: 

It's "breakfast for lunch" Wednesday!  But it's been so dark and rainy in Seattle this week, that I felt like a nice hot lunch was needed.  So lunch was a nice hot bowl of oatmeal, with a few extra little snacky things on the side. 

The oatmeal and the egg in these lunches were cooked in my pressure cooker! I'm really getting into using my pressure cookers lately.  They take something that usually takes a long time to cook, and make it super quick.  For detail about how I cooked the egg, read this post here.  

To cook oatmeal in a pressure cooker: I used regular thick rolled oats (not quick oats!), and I follow the same oats to water ratio as you would if cooking on the stove - 1 cup oats to 2 cups water. I add just a dash of salt because I think it brings out nice flavor. Start with hot water if you want to speed up the process and not have to wait very long for it to come up to pressure.  Then cook for 5 minutes on high pressure, quick release, give it a stir and let it sit for just a couple minutes.  You can have hot oatmeal ready to serve in about 10 minutes. I have two pressure cookers and they are both awesome.  This one is more basic and a little less expensive.  And this one has tons of extra cool features (you can even make yogurt in it!).

Once the oatmeal is done, I mix in a little milk or half & half, and sweeten with brown sugar or maple syrup. 

What's in the lunch: 

  • Hot oatmeal
  • cheese
  • chex, with a few chocolate bunny grahams
  • Two have banana
  • Two have apple
  • One has a hard cooked egg
  • One has a slice of turkey

Questions and Tips:

  • I don't send hot lunches very often, mostly because they can't be totally made ahead.  I like to have the lunches packed and ready to go in my fridge the night before, so that all I have to do in the morning is put them in the bags.  But every now and then, I make it in the morning. 
  • To keep the oatmeal warm until lunch time I do two things: first, start with it very hot, much hotter than you would serve it to the kids.  Second, heat the thermos. I do this by filling it with boiling water. If you put hot oatmeal in a hot thermos, it will be perfectly warm by lunch time.