7 Health Benefits Of Mushrooms For Kids

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IN THIS ARTICLE

Mushrooms are edible fungi known for their high nutritional values. Most parents keep thinking about ways to include mushrooms for kids since children do not usually love them due to their dull appearance. Although they are not colorful or visually appealing, mushrooms are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They also come in various types, including white buttons, oysters, and portobello, which are highly nutritious.

Read on to discover some interesting mushroom recipes and their health benefits for children.

Benefits Of Mushrooms For Kids

1. Provides several nutrients

Mushrooms contain several nutrients, such as phosphorus, vitamin B, selenium, iodine, copper, and potassium, among others, that can contribute to a child’s nutritional needs (1). A child needs these nutrients to perform several physiological functions that promote a child’s overall growth and development.

2. Boosts vitamin D levels

Mushrooms can provide considerable amounts of Vitamin D, provided they are not grown in the dark (1). They contain vitamin D2, a form of vitamin D that gets metabolized and absorbed effectively in the body.

3. Rich in iron

Certain varieties of mushrooms are an excellent source of iron (2). Iron encourages the formation of new blood cells, thereby supplying oxygen to the different parts of the body. So, enhance your child’s iron levels by including mushrooms regularly in their meals.

4. Boosts immunity

A strong immune system is necessary for children to prevent common illnesses. Mushrooms contain nutrients and bioactive compounds, such as triterpenoids that strengthen immunity (3). Besides, studies show that mushrooms can promote the maturation of the dendritic cells or the immune system cells from the bone marrow, which too improves the body’s immunity (4).

5. Provides antioxidants

Mushrooms contain different nutrients and phytochemicals, such as ergothioneine that possess antioxidant properties (5). Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help fight free radicals produced by oxidation in the body. Antioxidants also promote skin health and protect the body’s cells from damage that may lead to chronic diseases.

6. Rich source of fiber

Mushrooms contain a good amount of fiber that can promote gut health. Fiber adds bulk to stools and helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Besides, it acts as a prebiotic, promoting probiotic development that can also strengthen your child’s immune system (6).

Mushrooms are extremely healthy but are not well-accepted by children. There is something about the texture or taste of mushrooms that turns them off. So how can you include mushrooms in your child’s diet? To help you, we have come up with four yummy and easy mushroom recipes that will surely appeal to your child’s palate.

Mushroom Recipes For Kids

1. Roasted Mushroom In Gravy

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You Will Need:

  • 4 shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 button mushrooms
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock

How To:

  1. Roast the mushrooms and chop them up finely.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss all the ingredients except the mushrooms along with the olive oil and rosemary.
  3. Transfer the veggies to a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Blend the roasted vegetables in a blender until smooth.
  5. Heat the sweet potato puree in a saucepan and stir in the roasted mushrooms.
  6. Simmer on medium heat for five minutes and serve.

2. Stuffed Buttons Mushrooms

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You Will Need:

  • 6 large button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of dry bread crumbs

How To:

  1. Remove the mushroom stems and brush the caps with olive oil. Place them on a baking tray.
  2. Chop the stems and sauté in olive oil with chopped red pepper and garlic.
  3. Stir in the chicken stock and cook for two minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
  5. Stir in cheese and breadcrumbs and stuff the mixture into the mushroom caps.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and serve.

3. Easy Cheesy Portabella Caps

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You Will Need:

  • 1 portabella mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives

How To:

  1. Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  2. Sprinkle pepper and top the mushrooms with the grated cheese.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

4. Mushroom And Barley Soup

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You Will Need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves sliced garlic
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • Fresh thyme
  • 4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 4 cups chopped carrots
  • 6 cups broth of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 tbsp parsley

How To:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add mushrooms, garlic, thyme, carrots, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cook for about ten minutes.
  3. Add the broth and barley, and cook until the barley turns tender.
  4. Serve with the parsley on top.

Mushrooms are nutrient-dense edible fungus that can be included in your child’s diet. It can help your child’s growth and development, as well as boost their immunity and vitamin D levels. They’re also a good source of iron, fiber, and have antioxidant properties. So, don’t forget to pick up some mushrooms for your kid the next time you’re at the store, and try some recipes of mushrooms for your little one from the list above. However, ensure you don’t serve raw mushrooms to your kid.

Remember: do not serve raw mushrooms to your children or anyone else.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Mushrooms.
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/mushrooms/
  2. Growing Mushrooms.
    https://hnr.k-state.edu/doc/hort-tips/Growing%20Mushrooms.pdf
  3. Jiao-Jiao Zhang et al.; (2016); Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Mushrooms Mainly from China.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274515/
  4. Zhihong Ren et al.; (2008); White Button Mushroom Enhances Maturation of Bone Marrow-Derived Dendritic Cells and Their Antigen Presenting Function in Mice.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18287364/
  5. Mary Jo Feeney et al.; (2014); Mushrooms—Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4244211/
  6. Muthukumaran Jayachandran et. al.; (2017); A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/
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Dina Totosegis

(RD)
Dina Totosegis is a registered dietitian specializing in pediatrics. She has graduated from McGill University with Bachelors in Physiology as well as Dietetics and Human Nutrition. She started working in wellness clinics and fitness clubs in Montreal, Canada, and Austin, US, helping individuals establish a healthy way of life through nutritious food, an active lifestyle, and a positive mindset.  Since... more

Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.