How Long Does Oatmeal Last?

Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious food you can have. Fiber, minerals, and all the essential vitamins needed for your healthy life are there.

“Healthy food doesn’t taste good.” But this is not true for oatmeal. There are many ways you can add oatmeal to your meal. Oat with milk might be the first thing that comes to your mind. But oatmeal cookies, oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal soup, and if you go through the internet, you can find thousands of more recipes. Try the yummy ones.

So, do you have any idea how long you can keep your unopened oatmeal box on the shelf? Or do you know how to identify expired oatmeal? Maybe you have mistakenly eaten bad oatmeal. I know you are thinking now, “how to find bad oatmeal?” Not to worry, this article will tell you everything you need to know about oatmeal.

What is Oatmeal?

Originally, oats are grown to feed livestock. Oat is a grain you can grow under harsh conditions. Maybe that’s why it contains more nutrition. The relationship of humans with oat runs a long way back.

There are few types of oat grains you can find in the stores.

  • Irish Oatmeal (steel-cut oats)
  • Scottish Oatmeal (stone-ground oats)
  • Rolled Oats (regular oats)
  • Instant Oats (a thinner version of rolled oats)

Steel-cut oats are rich in nutrition, and they are chewier as well. Rolled oats and Instant oats are more common in stores. You can find them preprocessed to limit the time that they take to make into a meal. You have to decide on more nutrition or save time.

Oatmeal for Breakfast

For many families, morning is like a fire drill. Parents have to go to work, and kids have to get to school. Under all these commotions, you can not ignore the most important meal of the day, breakfast. I know you might be having oatmeal regularly for your breakfast already. Let me give some tips to take your oatmeal breakfast to the next level.

First, you have to make the oat ready to eat. Add oat and milk to a 1:2 ratio. For a single serving, you can add ½ cup oat to 1 cup of milk. Then microwave it for 2 minutes under a high heat range. When you complete these steps, you can move to add flavors to your oatmeal.

Here are some oatmeal toppings you can try:

  • Fruits – bananas, apples, strawberries, raisins, dates
  • Nuts and Seeds – walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds
  • Spices – cinnamon, ginger
  • Dairy – yogurt, any cream made from milk
  • Sweets – honey, maple syrup, sugar
  • Protein Powder – you know what protein powder is
  • Grain – you can cook grains separately and them into your oatmeal

Preparing your breakfast oatmeal will only take 5 minutes maximum. And there are many flavors to choose from too. Morning meal with high nutrition with fewer troubles. Isn’t it great? 

How Long Does Oatmeal Last?

No one goes to the stores to buy oatmeal every day. We always bring down enough boxes of oatmeal for weeks or maybe months. So it will sit on your shelf until you open it. But do you have an idea how many days you have before it gets expired?

Even I can’t give a straight answer to that. It can depend on the type of oatmeal you brought home. And the temperature on your shelf also affects that. But that is not a considerable one.

You have to know there are two types of oat-based products in the market.

  1. Processed oatmeal products
  2. Unprocessed oatmeal products

Out of these two, processed oatmeal can last for 12 months. But oatmeal with dry fruit and dry milk will last only for four months.

Unprocessed oatmeal also has the same life span of four months. To make sure of the expiration date, always check the label on the box.

How to Know Oatmeal is Expired?

Something you can be happy about is consuming expired oatmeal will not do any harm to you. Oat doesn’t become poisonous with time. But always try to eat fresh oatmeal.

The easiest way for you to identify expired oatmeal is its color. If you look carefully, you might be able to identify mold on the oats as well. Another way of identifying expired oatmeal is its smell. It will give out a strange odor.

If you notice these qualities in your oatmeal, avoid eating them.

Storing Your Oatmeal to Last Longer

The main reason for oatmeal expiration is moisture. Always make sure to store your oatmeal airtight. Do not store oatmeal in transparent containers and expose them to the sunlight. That will shorten the lifespan of your oatmeal.

That was about dry oatmeal you bring from the store. When you store cooked oatmeal, make sure to put them in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.

What are the Health Benefits of Oatmeal?

Like other grains, oatmeal also contains a high amount of carbs and fiber. But it has more nutrition than other grains, like more fat and protein. And oats are rich in minerals. Let’s look at the health benefits you can get by having all these nutrients in oatmeal.

Oatmeal will make you feel fuller than other food. Because of this, you can control your food consumption easily. That means It’s an effective method to manage your weight.

By consuming oatmeal, you can lower your blood pressure. Another benefit of oatmeal is reducing the chance of getting heart attacks. Oatmeal is good for diabetes patients because it lowers the sugar levels in your body.

Oatmeal is good for your skin, but you have to apply it externally to your skin instead of eating them.

Oatmeal is also famous for reducing childhood asthma. Better if you can make your kids eat oatmeal more often.


Oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can have for your breakfast. You can store oatmeal properly to preserve the quality. There are some signs to identify expired oatmeal. If you find any of those in your oatmeal, make sure to throw them away. Finally, follow the correct methods to store your oatmeal dry or cooked.