Milk Or Water For Oatmeal: Which Should You Use?

The debate over using milk or water for oatmeal is an interesting online discussion I often see online. While some people claim that water makes oatmeal creamier, others argue that it is more delicious with milk.

Whichever the case, I believe that it’s a matter of preference, and whatever you choose still gives you a bowl of oatmeal that’s packed with nutrients. Moreso, based on certain considerations you may want to use water instead of milk and vice versa.

In this article, we will examine the benefits of using milk for oatmeal as well as that of water, what you should consider before making your choice, and more.

Why is milk better than water for oatmeal?

Oatmeal has a bland taste, so using only water makes it flavorless and less enjoyable. Adding milk to your oatmeal gives it a nice and rich flavor. It also adds an extra amount of essential protein, calcium, and vitamin to your food.

Since children use up energy more while running around, these nutrients as well as the added calories from milk give them the needed boost for their daily activities.

Additionally, if you love your oatmeal chewy, then you want to use milk instead of water. You can use almond milk if you are mindful of the calories or soy milk if you want extra protein in your diet.

SEE: Can You Use Milk Instead Of Water When Making Pancakes

Why is water better than milk for oatmeal?

Cooking oatmeal with water makes it creamier. Also, preparing oatmeal with water instead of milk helps with weight loss.

Although consuming milk with oatmeal adds extra protein, calcium, and vitamins, it also increases the calories compared to just water. This can amount to weight gain if you eat it frequently.

So, if you don’t need the calories, simply settle for water. Moreso, milk could get contaminated, and it will ruin your meal if it gets into your food.

Also, cooking oatmeal in milk is rigorous as it requires that you keep stirring to ensure that it doesn’t curdle and burn. On the other, boiling oatmeal in water doesn’t require too much effort.

You simply have to boil your water, add your oatmeal, stir, and allow it to cook for fifteen minutes. Individuals who are lactose intolerant cannot eat oatmeal that is prepared with milk.

Apart from that, water is more easily accessible than milk. And you can save your milk for baking or for other reasons.

To make your oatmeal more enjoyable, you can add some nuts, seeds, and fruits which wouldn’t really increase the calories.

SEE: Can Oatmeal Cause Constipation Or Not

Water or milk for oatmeal: which is good for weight loss?

Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is low in calories and fat and helps with weight loss.

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best that you cook your oatmeal with water instead of milk. Milk makes oatmeal more nutritious with additional protein and vitamins but it adds more calories and sugar to your food.

Foods that contain more calories and sugar makes you gain weight. 100 grams of plain oats has 68 calories and 1.4 grams of total fat while 100 grams of whole milk contains 61 calories and 3.25% fat.

It’s obvious that taking them together would result in calorie and fat increase and a sugar spike. Hence, oatmeal cooked with water is your best bet for losing weight. You can then add nuts, seeds, and fruits for extra protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.

But if you find it difficult to eat oat without milk, go for oat milk, almond milk, or non-fat milk which contain little amount of fat and calories.

Additionally, choose steel-cut oats, plain instant oatmeal, and old-fashioned oats as several other brands of oatmeal are highly processed and packed with additives and added sugar and fats which causes weight increase.

SEE: Does Eating Oats For Dinner Help To Lose Weight

Water or milk for oatmeal: which is more nutritious?

Water is just water. It doesn’t add any form of nutrient to food. Milk on the other hand is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that the body needs.

That said, oatmeal with milk is more nutritional than those made with water. The milk boosts the nutritional value of the oatmeal and enriches its flavor.

However, be aware that milk also increases the calories in your food, so you want to be careful of the amount of milk you use. Better still, you can choose healthy milk alternatives.

SEE: Does Oatmeal Make You Tired

Can you use both water and milk for oatmeal?

Yes. You can use both water and milk to prepare your oatmeal. You can simply boil the oatmeal with water and add milk when it is done. You may also boil a half cup of milk and water each together with the oats.

Whichever way you choose to cook it is fine. Just ensure to stir it frequently if you’re using milk so it does burn. You may boil it in water till it’s almost done then add a little milk near the end and stir.

Once it’s ready, turn off the heat and let it sit for 3 – 5 minutes before eating. Furthermore, you can add your choice of toppings and sweeteners and enjoy.

SEE: Is Oatmeal Good For Ulcer

How to make oatmeal with water

Cooking oatmeal with water is really easy. The golden rule is to use twice as much water as your oatmeal. So, for a cup of oatmeal pour 2 cups of water into the pot and let it boil on a stove, or one cup of water for a half cup of oatmeal.

Once the water comes to a boil, add your oatmeal and cook over medium heat for a few more. Once it absorbs the water fully and becomes creamy then it is done.

Put it down afterward and allow it to simmer for 3 – 5 minutes before adding your fruits, and other toppings. You can slice some banana into it or add blueberries, raisins, or whatever you want.

If you’re using a microwave to cook oatmeal, put your water and oats in a microwaveable bowl and place them in the microwave. Set the heat on high for a minute or two to cook. Then take it out carefully and stir it together.

SEE: The Differences Between Oats And Oatmeal

How to make oatmeal with milk

To prepare your oatmeal with milk, first, measure a cup of your favorite milk into a bowl (twice as much as the oats also). Place it on the stovetop and boil it at high heat.

Get your oats and pour them into the milk once it comes to a boil. Set the heat to medium and keep stirring the mixture until they come together perfectly.

Instant oatmeal should cook in one minute, while rolled-out or old-fashioned oats may take 5 minutes, and steel-cut for 20 minutes. Ensure that you keep stirring the oatmeal at intervals of one minute so it doesn’t burn.

You can taste a little to be sure that it is done when you suspect. Afterward, turn off the stove and place the bowl down and let it sit out for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

For microwave cooking, put the milk and oatmeal in a bowl and place them in the microwave. On high heat, instant oats will cook in 1 minute, rolled oats in 3 minutes, and steel-cut in 5 minutes.

Then, bring it out and stir with a spoon so it mixes evenly. Wait for it to cool for a few minutes before eating.

SEE: Should Milk Or Cereal Go First


What is the oatmeal-to-water ratio?

Use twice as much water as your oatmeal. For instance, two cups of oatmeal would require four cups of water.

What happens if you use water instead of milk for oatmeal?

The oatmeal will be creamier but less flavorful.

Does oatmeal taste better with milk?

Yes. Milk enriches the oatmeal flavor and makes it more delicious.


Whether you use milk or water for oatmeal it doesn’t stop you from enjoying your meal. But, if you are concerned about your calorie intake, then you should settle for water.

If you prefer to eat a meal that’s rich and filling, then milk with oatmeal is best for you. Also, kids should eat oatmeal with milk because they need the extra protein, calcium, vitamin D, and calories that come from milk.

Finally, you should read this article to know if oatmeal can cause constipation or not.

I hope this article was helpful. Thanks for reading.