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What You Need To Know About McDonald's Oatmeal

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Is McDonalds Oatmeal Healthy?

McDonald's is now featuring "Fruit and Maple Oatmeal" and you can get it ALL day - not just for breakfast.

Snack Girl took a trip out to her local McD's to give it a try. Is it undeniably delicious oatmeal?

(I asked the manager what he thought. He said, "It's okay. I'm more of a Fruity Pebbles guy." oh dear.)

Snack Girl has been flamed in the past for liking a McDonald's Salad. But, I have been critical of the fast food chain. For example, I warned readers about the Frappe here: 560 Calories For Your Rapid Consumption From McDonald's.

Why do I go to McDonald's?

Well, even though it is a mega-corporation that has some scary practices (and food), I believe it can be a force of good. McDonald's gives us what WE want. Maybe we want a tofu burger with a 100% whole grain bun. Maybe McDonald's will listen and give it to us.

My trip to McDonald's began with ordering a cup of Newman's Own ORGANIC coffee and 100% WHOLE GRAIN oatmeal. What's next? Arugula? :)

Here is what it looks like:

mcdoatinside

Ingredients:
Oatmeal- Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural maple flavor with other natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.
Diced Apples-
Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).
Cranberry Raisin Blend Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).
Light Cream
Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

Nutritional Information: 290 calories, 4.5 g fat, 57 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 5 g fiber, 160 mg sodium (Points+ 7)

How do they make it? It is instant oatmeal with the sugar pre-added and then they add hot water, cranberry raisins, diced apples, and light cream. I watched the chef (AKA McD's manager) mix it up himself.

There is some good news here.

  1. It tastes delicious.
  2. It has a little fresh fruit.
  3. The calories are not out of control.

This oatmeal has almost the same nutritional facts as my Apple Peanut Butter Oatmeal. Of course my oatmeal didn't have any sodium stearoyl lactylate (I was fresh out).

So the bad news:

  1. It has a bunch of chemicals that you may deem to be unsavory.
  2. I was hungry about 2 hours after eating it.
  3. Should be called FRUIT and BROWN SUGAR oatmeal as there is no maple syrup (just maple flavoring).

Also, it is a bit sweet. The downside of having it pre-made is that you can't adjust the sugar. My Apple Peanut Butter Oatmeal had 11 grams less sugar in it, but I actually add a little maple syrup to the recipe to make it work for me.

I probably wouldn't eat this every day, and if I HAD to, I would bring some peanut butter to add some protein to the carbohydrates in this oatmeal. Then it would be closer to a healthy breakfast.

As a snack, it is a bit large, but it is much better than many of the other food served there that I would say go for it.

If you don't add the Cranberry Raisin blend you can bring it down to 220 calories, which is pretty close to a reasonable snack.

What do you think of McDonald's new oatmeal?


Other posts you might like:

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Last week, I posted What You Need To Know About McDonald's Oatmeal. Immediately, I was asked about Starbucks' oatmeal.... read more

McDonald's Smoothie vs. Odwalla SmoothieMcDonald's Smoothie vs. Odwalla Smoothie: Which Should You Choose?

How about a smoothie face off to see which product is the healthiest? This should be fun!.... read more




First 20 Comments: [ see all 47 ]

I too tried their oatmeal on the way home from a road trip last weekend. We wanted a hot breakfast and didn't have any other options in the car besides other fast food places. I thought it was good, and you can apparently order it without the brown sugar.

I think it's a good "fast food" option if you HAVE to eat fast food breakfast. Of course, I'd prefer to make it at home, but that's not always available.

on January 17, 2011

I have been wanting to try McDonalds 2$ a cup oatmeal compared to Starbucks 3$ a cup oatmeal. What I wonder is if Starbucks adds all those chemicals too, or if it really is just slow cooked oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins? if you could do a side by side comparison I would love that! Thank you
Your friend the Oatmeal lover
Leslie Haon, Atlanta, Georgia.

on January 17, 2011

I agree with the above comment. When you compare it to some of the sandwiches and combos that McDonalds offers, it's by far the better option. I wouldn't think you could eat this every day, but it's a better choice when your back is to the wall (or, rather, your face is to the counter I suppose.)

on January 17, 2011

Thank you for this post. I may stick to Starbucks oatmeal...you control the sweetness. :) :) Good alternative to an Egg McMuffin though if you're on the road...glad they came out with it. Hopefully it survives.

on January 17, 2011

Leslie, this is for you. Here's the info on the Starbucks Oatmeal: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/starbucks-perfect-oatmeal-1629998

on January 17, 2011

I had no idea Starbucks served oatmeal! Guess I have to get out from under my rock more often. I will go take a look. Thanks for the suggestion!

on January 17, 2011

I ordered it while on a road trip during the northeast blizzard and welcomed something with less fat from MickyD's. Not bad, but too sweet for me. I like the idea of adding some PB.

on January 17, 2011

I don't frequent McDonald's very often, but am so happy to hear they are serving oatmeal and healthier choices.

on January 17, 2011

I haven't tried it but I have been adding chopped organic Fuji's and cinnamon to my organic low sugar oatmeal and it is delicious!

on January 17, 2011

Being too sweet, is the biggest complaint I have heard from people on this.

on January 17, 2011

I tried the McDonald's oatmeal yesterday morning -- we were on the road very early for my daughter's sports and didn't have many hot and fast options. It was pretty good. Not the oatmeal I would want to eat everyday but not a bad option when you need something quick -- and definitely better than the event's concession stand donuts...

on January 17, 2011

Since the biggest complaint is the sweetness, you can order it without the brown sugar and it takes away 30 calories.

on January 17, 2011

Starbucks oatmeal is Quaker instant oats.

on January 17, 2011

what about the egg mcmuffin? Has 20 more calories but much more protein and actually is satisfying. I ate a similar sandwich for breakfast every day when I was living in a dorm last year (at the age of 43) and actually lost weight over the year. At least the egg mcmuffin stays with you until lunch time.

on January 17, 2011

I agree with Cassie, you can ask for it without the brown sugar and it drops the calories down. Also, at least for me, I never miss the extra sugar. The apples and raisins provide enough sweetness.

I also agree with Snack Girl- sometimes you have absolutely no choice but to eat out for whatever reason. This is a healthy, lower calorie, meal alternative if you pair it with like a black coffee.

Another option for those of you that get caught out occasionally and need to grab something healthy without getting your sleeping toddlers out of a car, you can also get the 'protein plate' at most Starbucks. It has some cheese, some grapes, a couple apple pieces, a hard boiled egg, and a multi-grain little bread slice. If you do not eat the peanut butter/honey spread packet (80 calories) it drops it down to 290. I think the bread is just fine by itself.

I appreciate that places are attempting to offer more items that are healthier and list the calorie counts right on their boards. My local 7 eleven has started selling individual bananas right near the check out. Love that. Pair that with a black coffee and you are good to go. I often stop in mid walk.

on January 17, 2011

I'm pleased to see some acceptable occasional options for busy people on the run. I hope to see more healtheir options than the typical junk.

Thanks for sharing this infor Snack Girl.

on January 17, 2011

I really like the Jamba Juice oatmeal. It is whole grain, and you can control the toppings (I get mine with a fruit topping and no brown sugar.

on January 17, 2011

I am enjoying it on the days when I either don't have anything to take along, or don't have time. Much better for me than a sausage McMuffin, which is what I would have gotten in the past.

on January 17, 2011

They offer this dish without sugar at my local McD's, which is only 260 calories. Not bad for an entire meal! That's the only way I've had it and it is pretty darn good; super-sweet, wihtout the added sugar! I can only imagine what it tastes like with the sugar... McD's is practically outside my office door. Thankfully, I have a lot of self-control when it comes to fast-food. But, this b-fast is my go-to if I run out of time in the morning.

on January 17, 2011

Thanks for posting this kind of information. I love making your snacks at home, but it's good to know I have a few options when out of the house with my 2 year old!

on January 17, 2011

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