The 8 Best Instant Oatmeals in 2021

When people tend to think of oatmeal, they usually think of something that is eaten for breakfast and maybe even as a snack. But, perhaps what they may remember more is just how long it took to make it. It wouldn’t be uncommon for moms to finish making oatmeal in 30 minutes or more and by the time it was ready, maybe you just weren’t hungry anymore.

Now, those problems can be permanently erased with the best instant oatmeal. What usually took tens of minutes to make can now be done in less than five. As an added bonus, this instant oatmeal often tastes the same as regular oatmeal and, in some cases, even better!

Instant oatmeal is now a thing and many people are flocking to it instead of the real thing. Instant oatmeal is quick and easy for people to make and there are plenty of brands out there that offer terrific flavors as well to make it that much more palatable.


Best Pick

Natures Path Organic Instant Oatmeal

One of the premier, healthy foods maker Nature’s Path also produces the best instant oatmeal with their Organic Instant Oatmeal. Full of great oatmeal that is ready in just a few minutes, it’s hard to find one that offers better ingredients and health benefits than this one.

Budget Pick

Quaker Instant Oatmeal

Our top budget pick is a brand many people are likely very familiar with. The Quaker Instant Oatmeal is a terrific instant oatmeal option for people that are looking for the best price possible. What’s even better is that this instant oatmeal is very accessible and can be bought virtually anywhere online or in your local grocery store.



1. Nature's Path Organic Instant Oatmeal

When it comes to the best instant oatmeal, it’s hard to overlook one of the biggest organic food makers, Nature’s Path. They have maintained their high reputation with the Nature's Path Organic Instant Oatmeal. It’s hard to find one that is better than this Organic Instant Oatmeal because it is full of excellent nutrients, takes hardly no time to make, and most importantly, it tastes just like the real thing!

Nature’s Path is one of the premier healthy food brands and they take it to the next level with their Organic Instant Oatmeal. They realize that people live very busy lives and sometimes it just takes too long to make regular oatmeal. With their Organic Instant Oatmeal, they have refined this process down to cooking their Instant Oatmeal in just five minutes.

People that have purchased this Nature’s Path Organic Instant Oatmeal have said this instant oatmeal is the one that most resembles the taste of regular oatmeal with a rich organic whole grain taste. They rave that the texture is both creamy and chewy and the organic ingredients are simply top notch. The ingredients are non-GMO and doesn’t contain any artificial flavoring or preservatives. This instant oatmeal also offers plenty of great nutritional value, including eight grams of protein and 50 grams of whole grains in each serving.

This Nature’s Path Organic Instant Oatmeal comes in a box which contains eight packets of this instant oatmeal. Each packet is good for one serving and should be enough to fill you up in the morning. Don’t forget that this Nature’s Path Instant Oatmeal comes with six total boxes so in total, you’re getting 48 packets of this delicious Instant Oatmeal.

What we liked: we really liked the overall quality of this instant oatmeal. It produced the same taste and texture as regular oatmeal and the fact that we could make a serving of this scrumptious oatmeal in five minutes was such a big boost for us in the morning when we are strapped for time.

What we didn’t like: it’s really hard to find anything we didn’t like about this instant oatmeal. We can’t complain about its taste or the serving size but if there was one small thing to nitpick about it was we wish it contained a pinch more sugar in each serving.


2. Quaker Instant Oatmeal

Everyone who has ever eaten a breakfast cereal, granola bar, or any other healthy snack knows and is very familiar with the Quaker brand. They are known for these breakfast treats and are known for their high-quality products. Their take on instant oatmeal is no different and because of the Quaker Instant Oatmeal, people are now able to create and eat it in a jiffy.

On top of being a well-known household product, this Quaker Instant Oatmeal also is incredibly affordable and offers consumers with a terrific budget-friendly option. That’s because a package or box of this Quaker Instant Oatmeal comes with a whopping 48 packets of instant oatmeal ready to be made and eaten in a matter of minutes.

Did we also mention that this Quaker Instant Oatmeal box comes with an assortment of flavors as well? Coming with four, very tasty flavors, a box of this instant oatmeal will ensure that you and your kids never got bored of having just one flavor over and over again. The four flavors you’ll get in this box include apples & cinnamon, maple & brown sugar, cinnamon & spice, and original. All four flavors are absolutely terrific and is a big hit with young families.

If you’re a parent who is particularly worried with how much sugar your children consume, well, you’ll be happy to know that this Quaker Instant Oatmeal contains 35% less sugar than the regular Quaker oatmeal flavor. This is excellent news for parents as it will help to minimize a child’s sugar intake while also providing excellent nutritional value for them.

In terms of nutrition, this Quaker Instant Oatmeal will be an excellent source of fiber, which is especially important for growing kids. Fiber helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and having a proper intake of fiber, through the whole grains and low concentration of fats and cholesterol, will definitely help accomplish this.

What we liked: we absolutely loved the variety of flavors that came with this box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal. It can get pretty mundane boring have the same flavor each day but with four different flavors, it helped us get excited for instant oatmeal in the morning since we knew we could pick any flavor we wanted.

What we didn’t like: while this product advertises 35% less sugar, what is somewhat misleading is that Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal does contain quite a bit of artificial sweeteners which, in some cases, can be just as unhealthy as sugar itself.

3. think! (thinkThin) Instant Oatmeal Packets

For those who are unfamiliar with the think! brand, they used to be known as thinkThin but have now rebranded themselves to just think! We definitely think this think! Instant Oatmeal Packets are some of the best ones around thanks to its distinct and unique flavor and the great nutritional value you’ll get from these oatmeal packets.

Let’s start with its flavor. think! offers, perhaps one of the more interesting combination of flavors with their Madagascar Vanilla with Almonds and Pecans. When combined, these ingredients help to give their instant oatmeal one of the better tasting oatmeals today and we definitely think this flavor sure beats any regular or original flavored oatmeal.

This flavor offers plenty in the way of nutrition as you’ll get a healthy dosage of fiber and protein in a way that will help kickstart your morning and help power you throughout the day. Each packet of this instant oatmeal comes with 10 grams of protein and five grams of fiber. For each packet, you’ll get a healthy amount of 29 grams of whole grains.

In terms of texture, many people say it is one that resembles regular oatmeal the most. It has a thicker and more dense texture, one that is rich in flavors but yet, perfectly balanced in terms of its taste and texture. In total, you’ll get 36 packets of this think! Oatmeal with each packet containing roughly 50 grams. It is vegan friendly in that it doesn’t contain any dairy or soy, and it is also Kosher friendly since it excludes the inclusion of artificial coloring or flavoring.

What we liked: we absolutely enjoyed the flavor of this instant oatmeal and would honestly say, it is among the best ones we have tried. It’s not too often you get to have vanilla as the standout ingredient in an oatmeal but think! pulled it off flawlessly.

What we didn’t like: one of the things we were fairly disappointed by was the calorie count for each packet of this oatmeal. For every packet, you’ll be consuming a whopping 190 calories which is fairly high when you compare it with other instant oatmeal brands.

4. GERBS Instant Oats

Alright, we get it. We understand that kids these days can be difficult, especially when it comes to what to eat. However, if you’ve tried countless instant oatmeal options with them before and none of them worked, you need to try this GERBS Instant Oats instant oatmeal with them before quitting.

GERBS Instant Oats offers parents a quick and easy way to create oatmeal in the morning for their kids to eat some breakfast. On top of being really easy to eat and great in oats-rich flavor, it also has amazing health benefits for your children. The biggest benefit is that it will help promote the growth of bones in children thanks to its high concentration of healthy minerals such as calcium, selenium, and magnesium.

On top of these healthy minerals, a bowl of this oatmeal will boost your child’s vitamin intake and will also help to promote a much healthier digestive system and immune system. For particularly younger children, three years and below in age, a bowl of this instant oatmeal will boost their fiber intake while also keeping their cholesterol low.

We should also point out that it’s not just kids who can consume this oatmeal as their parents can too! This GERBS Instant Oats is a very nutritious meal that provides children and adults alike with four grams of fiber.

In terms of packaging, we realize that this GERBS Instant Oats is unlike any other one around. It comes in a transparent bag with just their logo and the nutritional content slapped right on the front. This bag of instant oatmeal does contain two pounds and each serving comes out to approximately 28 grams. You’ll get roughly 32 servings for each bag of this GERBS Instant Oats and each serving will net you about 110 calories.

What we liked: we love how quick and easy it is to make this instant oatmeal. It says on the packaging it takes about three minutes but we found that it took roughly two minutes and sometimes even less than that for each serving. It is one of the better instant oatmeal for instant gratification.

What we didn’t like: the packaging plain and simple is just not conducive for a food product. It was really easy to rip a hole through this plastic bag containing the oats and it really needs to be in a more secure bag or in a box where it’s harder to puncture through it.

5. McCann’s Apples & Cinnamon Instant Irish Oatmeal

There is something so insanely pleasing when apple and cinnamon flavors are combined. Whether you enjoy putting cinnamon on your apple wedges or enjoy an apple pie with sprinkles of cinnamon on it, the combination of these flavors are just so very pleasing and satisfying. McCann’s has realized this medley of great ingredients and offers it in their instant oatmeal with their Apples & Cinnamon Instant Irish Oatmeal.

McCann’s Irish Oatmeal is obviously from Ireland and they’ve been producing nothing but delicious oatmeal snacks for 150 years! McCann’s Oatmeal is true to their brand as the ingredients, and more specifically their oats, are grown and produced in Ireland and exported all over the world.  Their belief is that they have wanted to support local farmers in Ireland while producing the most authentic Irish product as possible.

The result of sourcing their ingredients from their home country is an excellent instant oatmeal product, produced with those aforementioned superb combination of apple and cinnamon flavors. The flavor of the apple is completely natural and is complemented by a hint of cinnamon. These flavors will make any oatmeal more palatable and this one definitely hits the spot.

A box of this McCann’s Apples & Cinnamon Instant Irish Oatmeal comes with 10 packets with each packet being the equivalent of one serving. For each packet, you’ll get 8% of dietary fiber to go along with 18% of total sugars. This rather high sugar content is directly correlated with its 130 calories being contained in each serving so be mindful of that if you’re monitoring your sugar and caloric intake, respectively.

What we liked: the stellar combination of apple and cinnamon is, by far, the highlight of this instant oatmeal. Sometimes, oatmeal can be not the best thing to eat first thing in the morning, especially if it has little flavor, but this one definitely packs plenty of tasty and sweet flavor.

What we didn’t like: as great as the apple and cinnamon flavors were, we did find this instant oatmeal to be very sweet when compared with other flavored oatmeals. We found ourselves adding a bit more water to try and offset the sweetness of this oatmeal.


6. WW Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

Another terrific instant oatmeal that uses that oh so sweet combination of apple and cinnamon flavors is the Weight Watchers Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal. These two flavors, when combined, can make anything as mundane and boring, like oatmeal, taste interesting and something you can look forward to.

Whether you’re looking for a breakfast food for your kids before they head off to school or even for parents as a mid-afternoon snack, this Weight Watchers Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal is simply for everyone. With the sweet taste of apple and that hint of spice coming from the cinnamon, this instant oatmeal offers a fun and fresh take on oatmeal.

Many people and kids enjoy this instant oatmeal because it offers great taste and plenty of folks have even experimented and tinkered with how to optimally eat this instant oatmeal. For example, you can enjoy this instant oatmeal on its own or, if you have the time and ingredients, sprinkle over a dash of powdered sugar, or a handful of nuts and granola, or add more fresh fruit to it. Simply put, this instant oatmeal tastes great on its own but you can definitely elevate its flavors and texture by adding more stuff to it.

This package of Weight Watchers Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal comes in a pack of four boxes. Each box contains four packets of instant oatmeal for a total of 16 packets in this one package. Since it is a Weight Watchers product, this instant oatmeal tends to skew towards the healthier side of nutritional value. For instance, each serving or packet of this instant oatmeal comes with 13% of protein and 10% of fiber. It doesn’t use any artificial flavoring or coloring in its oatmeal and also excludes the use of any sweeteners as well.

A serving of this instant oatmeal is slightly bigger than a single serving from other instant oatmeals and because of this, the calorie count is higher. Each serving contains 120 calories, which, if you’re watching how many calories you intake, might want to reduce the serving size.

What we liked: you’ll definitely get some great bang for your buck with this instant oatmeal choice. Each packet is much bigger than a normal instant oatmeal packet and you’ll end up with 16 of them in this package. On top of its great value, this apple cinnamon flavor is one of our favorite among instant oatmeal flavors and this one tastes delicious as well.

What we didn’t like: a single serving portion size of this instant oatmeal is simply just too much. We felt that consuming one packet of this instant oatmeal felt more like a meal than a snack itself and we probably would have preferred if there was less oatmeal per serving.

7. Better Oats Original Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax

There’s a good chance you’ve probably heard of flax before but never had a chance to try it. After all, it is one of those superfoods that many people are eating with their everyday foods in the hopes of harnessing all of its nutritional value to better their everyday lives. Now, you will be able to see what all the hype is about with the Better Oats Original Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax.

For those that haven’t tried flax before, the most relatable food we can compare it to are nuts since it has a bit of a nutty flavor to them. They’re very light in texture and mild in taste and can be added on to sweet and savory foods. For this purpose, however, it’s added to instant oatmeal to provide an overly nutritious yet very tasty breakfast meal or snack.

Flax or flaxseed contains plenty of nutritional benefits for people starting with the fact that it contains essential fats that the body needs. When you add it in with all of the other great and healthy nutrients that are commonly found in oatmeals such as oats and grains, it makes this the ultimate healthy snack to consume. Better Oats takes it one step further and ensures the highest quality ingredients are used in this instant oatmeal and all ingredients are fully organic.

A box of this Better Oats Original Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax comes only with eight packets of this instant oatmeal. We are happy to tell you that this instant oatmeal barely includes any added sugars as you only get about one grams’ worth in each packet. Thus, this makes it an ideal instant oatmeal for your young children. However, since it comes loaded with tons of nutritious ingredients, each packet of this instant oatmeal will contain a rather hefty 160 calories.

What we liked: this was our first venture into trying flax and we have to say that we were immediately hooked after trying it in this instant oatmeal. Not only is it healthy for you but it also provides the instant oatmeal with some great lightly crunchy texture.

What we didn’t like: because it is loaded with so many beneficial ingredients on top of the flax, it is quite expensive per box. Couple that with the fact that you don’t get all that many packets of this instant oatmeal and it can be hard to find some good value with this oatmeal option.

8. Trader Joe's Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal

Trader Joe’s is easily one of the best and most affordable grocery stores in America. They have an eclectic selection of food products and they also make some fantastic instant oatmeal. With the Trader Joe’s Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal, you can enjoy your favorite oatmeal snack whenever you want.

That’s because this Trader Joe’s Instant Oatmeal comes in a pack of three boxes with each box coming with 10 packets. That’s a grand total of 30 packets of instant oatmeal at a very affordable price.

Did we mention that this instant oatmeal comes in a lovely maple and brown flavor as well? With a pop of sweetness from the maple sugar, this instant oatmeal is far from a boring and plainless flavored oatmeal kids dread of eating in the morning.

Each packet of this instant oatmeal is a great source for the various vitamins and minerals your body needs to be able to function optimally. It is low in fat, high in nutrients, and best of all, still tastes great. One thing to watch out for in this nutrient-heavy oatmeal is that each packet does contain about 160 calories and 13 grams of sugar.

What we liked: as much as we love the variety of foods they offer at Trader Joe’s, the biggest appeal is their pricing and their Instant Oatmeal is no different. It is very fairly priced and you get more than enough value out of this 3-pack of their instant oatmeal since each package comes with 10 packets. This will ensure this lasts you and your kids for a good amount of time.

What we didn’t like: having 30 packets of the same flavor can get boring rather quickly and it would have been nice if Trader Joe’s could have added in another flavor to create some variety.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Instant Oatmeal

Flavor

One of the best things about having instant oatmeal is its flavor and not just the original oatmeal flavor. It’s probably universally known that most people tend to prefer any flavor over the bland and oftentimes, flavorless, oatmeal flavor.

However, with almost any of the best instant oatmeals, you’re virtually guaranteed one that tastes great because it comes with a flavor that isn’t the plain and original oatmeal flavor. Some of the better instant oatmeal flavors out there right now include apple cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, cinnamon and spice, and vanilla with nuts.

There are even some instant oatmeal flavors that incorporate excellent superfoods such as flax into them to give it more flavor and an added texture.

Quantity per Box/Package

When buying instant oatmeal, you’re probably going to want to know how much you’re going to get. Instant oatmeal will typically come in a box that contains individual packages of instant oatmeal.

Depending on the brand of the instant oatmeal you buy, the number of packages can vary by a lot. There are some instant oatmeal brands that offer more value by selling more boxes and thus, more packages per box to bring up the total count. Whereas, there are also some that just sell individual boxes with not that many packages inside. We’ve seen as little as eight packages per box to as many as 48!

No matter how many packages of instant oatmeal you get in a box, the key thing to remember is that you must enjoy the brand first and foremost. There’s no point in buying a box of 48 oatmeal packages if you don’t enjoy the flavor and the product itself.

Sugar Content

The sugar content is something you’ll particularly want to keep an eye on, especially if you feed your oatmeal to your kids on a frequent basis. The sugar content is commonly found in the nutritional information section on the box. There, you’ll also find the other helpful nutritional values but the most important one to look out for is the total sugars.

The sugar value tends to be measured on a per serving basis and not the entire box itself. There are some instant oatmeal brands that try to offer as little to no sugar in their oatmeal. However, the vast majority will at least have a little bit of sugar in their instant oatmeal.

Time It Takes to Make It

Ask any kid or parent and they will tell you that the bane of making regular oatmeal is how long it takes to do it. That is simply not an issue with instant oatmeal. Usually, within a matter of anywhere between two to five minutes, you can have yourself some instant oatmeal ready to be eaten.

Generally, all you have to do is mix some boiling hot water with a package of instant oatmeal, stir well, and it should be ready to be eaten within minutes.

Final Thoughts

You can eat it in the morning, for lunch, and even for dinner. As a snack? Sure, why not. That’s how incredibly versatile instant oatmeal is as a food. It can be had as any meal and the fact that you only need hot water to make it means it is easily transportable to be enjoyed on your favorite camping trips too.

No matter how you choose to enjoy the best instant oatmeal, you’ll be thrilled to know that not only are you getting a tasty snack or meal, but you’re also getting one that is packed with nutrients your body needs and is good to eat for a healthy lifestyle.
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