Fast Food Oatmeal - Is it a healthy choice? - Aviva Allen's Blog

Fast Food Oatmeal - Is it a healthy choice?

Posted by on in General
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 15551
  • Print


Oatmeal is the hottest new menu item, popping up at a numerous coffee shops and fast food joints around the city.

Even McDonald's is selling it at its US restaurants. But is it really a healthy choice?

Below you will find a comparison of the oatmeal available at three different food chains; Starbuck's, Tim Hortons and Timothy's. While none of these options are as healthy as making your own oatmeal at home, I've provided some tips to help you make the best choices out of what is available.




Tim Hortons






Cooking Method

Instant - cooked with hot water

Slow cooked

Instant - cooked in steamed milk

Type of Oats

Rolled oats + oat bran

Rolled oats

Quaker quick oats

What's Added

Guar gum and caramel colour in the oatmeal and sulphites, sugar and sunflower oil in the dried fruit mix

Sugar, salt and
sunflower oil

Just the steamed milk (hot water can be used instead by request)


Brown sugar

Mixed berry and brown sugar or Maple and brown sugar flavour options

Honey or brown sugar


Nut mix (almonds, walnuts, pecans) and dried fruit mix

See above

Granola or raisins




Ask for it without the dried fruit mix or brown sugar and add nut mix and honey instead

Ask for the plain oatmeal and request the mixed berries without the brown sugar

Ask for it to be cooked in hot water instead of milk and skip the sweetened granola and brown sugar

Aviva Allen is one of Toronto's leading Kids' Nutritionists specializing in helping parents deal with their picky eaters. Inspired by her two young boys' adventures in food, Aviva helps children and their families establish healthy eating habits through her nutritional counselling, offering consultations via phone or Skype. Aviva is also the founder of Healthy Moms Toronto, helping connect like-minded moms throughout the GTA.