When Did They Start Serving Oatmeal at McDonald’s?

I don’t eat at McDonald’s very often any more.

I still treasure their French fries, fresh out of the fryer.

1905 Quaker Oats magazine advertisement

1905 Quaker Oats magazine advertisement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I stop for an occasional hamburger, for old times’ sake, if I know I don’t have anything handy to eat at home.

But, stopping there on the road is rare.

Thus, on a recent trip to Georgia, I was surprised when my husband said we’d have to stop at a fast food restaurant because a leak in our water hose had put us three-and-a-half hours behind schedule.

I had found their salad choices a couple of years ago, so assumed that salad and a cup of water was as healthy as I could hope for.

Oatmeal for Lunch

And, then I spotted the oatmeal.

It was late in the afternoon, but I asked anyway.

“Is the oatmeal available?”


The sign confirmed, all day.

There are two options, fruit and maple.

Deciding to go as healthy as possible, I asked for the fruit.

And, it was delicious. Chunks of fresh apple, regular and golden raisins, dried cranberries, creamy and warm oatmeal.

Reviews tell me that it is instant and has lots of preservatives and other assorted chemicals.

You’d think I’d care. I eat fresh, old-fashioned, not instant, oatmeal almost every morning for breakfast.

Quaker Oats, of course.

Quaker Oats is the company that used to advertise their “cereal shot from guns,” referring to Quaker Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice.

When I lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home to one of the cereal mills that formed Quaker Oats, I toured their plant and saw the cereal “shot from guns” being made.

Click here for a YouTube video of a cereal ad from that era.

But, seeing oatmeal on the McDonald’s menu was such a delightful surprise, after I’d expected only a bowl full of salad, which, by the way, I also ordered, that I loved it.

When Did McDonald’s Introduce Oatmeal?

They rolled it out across their chain of restaurants on January 3, 2011. No wonder I’d missed it.

I don’t eat there often enough to have found it.

It was probably big news in the fast-food world. Starbucks had introduced oatmeal in 2008.

If I were the mother of young children today, I would probably only go to McDonald’s, like I used to, when schedules veered away from home and our usual home-cooked meals.

It’s nice to know that oatmeal is now an option for those busy times.

Thanks, McDonald’s.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

Click here to order this blog on your Kindle.



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