~ Oatmeal ~
We have switched from instant oatmeal to the regular cooked kind for several reasons; price and natrual ingredients are just two of them. It was hard to make the change intially. And it wasn't just the kids balking at it. It was me. I couldn't stand the bland oatmeal taste and it was hard to get over the texture of it, too. Don't ask me how it was different I couldn't tell you, but it was. Well after several tries my husband successfully got me to try and several more tries later, actually like regular oatmeal. I couldn't tell you how the texture issue worked itself out but I can tell you about the taste issue.
We make our own flavored oatmeal! Our favorite right now is apple cinnamon. (incedentally the favorite instant oatmeal as well). It is easily accomplished too. When I boil the water for the oatmeal I replace 1/3 to 1/2 of it with 100% apple juice concentrate. When I measure out the oatmeal to cook, I add 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp of cinnamon - this depends on how many I am making for. As the oatmeal is cooking I prepare the bowls. I slice and finely chop apples on the bottom of the each bowl. When the oatmeal is ready I ladle a serving in each bowl (not that my oatmeal is that runny it is just an easy way to serve and I don't have complaints that "s/he got more than me".) Top each bowl with a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar and a generous splash of milk and they are ready to go.
I am going to try banana nut next, well for the kids anyway. Banana is one fruit I CAN'T STAND!
For more great ideas see Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer