Though I don’t eat them for breakfast every damn day anymore, it’s no secret I’m a big fan of oats in the morning. When the folks at Intelligent Formulas sent me some of their Oats ‘N Vites to try, I was intrigued.
Back when I worked in long term care, we were always on the lookout for ways to add extra nutrients into our residents’ foods—fortified hot cereal was a no-brainer. However, the important question to ask is what you’re going to fortify a product with. In that setting, your main focus tends to be adequacy: adequate protein, calories, and vitamins/minerals. Budget determines a lot about the how those needs are met. It makes me cringe sometimes to think of the crap that goes into a lot of so-called nourishing products.
Even for well individuals, “healthy” breakfast cereals, bars, and the like are often just glorified sugar bombs with added buzz-words (vitamins! fiber!) to make the consumer feel they’re winning at nutrition by purchasing these things. In actuality, you’d do just as well (often better) sticking with real, whole foods.
I tend to be skeptical of anything that comes in a packet and is, like, “Oh hey, I’m a product that’s going to do great things for you.”
(This is probably why I found online dating disappointing at best, but that’s a post for another blog)
However, this nutrient-packed hot cereal seemed different from the others. Here’s a brief (and abbreviated*) list of what it has going for it:
- Whole Oats
- Flax and chia seeds
- Protein (mostly whey), plus additional amino acids
- Spinach; broccoli sprouts; carrots
- 23 vitamins and minerals
- No added sugars
- Real fruits
- High in fiber
So I gave it a try. This oatmeal comes in Apple Cinnamon and Strawberry Banana. All you do is add a little hot water and microwave until the liquid’s been absorbed. Mine was ready in about a minute-and-a-half. Because I’ve been let down in the past by similar items, I really wasn’t expecting much. To my surprise, though, both flavors were delicious without being too sweet, and the texture was hearty and satisfying. Though microwaved oatmeal isn’t the best in photographs, I tried to pretty mine up a little. This here is a shot of the apple cinnamon with some sliced roasted fig and peanut butter.
With 5 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein per packet (without any add-ons), both varieties kept me full about 4 hours until lunchtime with no issues. As a busy New Yorker, this is no small feat in my world. I could certainly see recommending this to patients looking to add a nutrient boost to their morning meal without piling on the sugar or creepy modifiers. At about $2 per serving (~$10 per box of 5 packets), it’s not the cheapest product out there, but definitely a great option.
*Though Intelligent Formulas did provide me with samples, a review was not required and my opinions are my own. For more details about Oats ‘n Vites, visit the Intelligent Formulas website.
Do you buy flavored oatmeal? What are your thoughts on fortified foods?
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