Mushrooms – the proven food which has become a quintessential inclusion in the diet of every health conscious person- be it a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian. So what is with this extremely fleshy, spongy and juicy flavor of this delicacy? Well, the answer is quite simple. Mushrooms lend meatiness and flavor to any plain recipe – giving any dish a complete transformation. There is a prevailing confusion as to whether Mushrooms could be grouped under the fruits or vegetables category? Well, the answer is none!! Yes, indeed, you heard it right. Can Babies Eat Mushrooms?
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What Are Mushrooms? Can Babies Eat Mushrooms?
Mushrooms belong to the family of fungus. They originate from fungus – either on the ground or other surfaces, even concrete. So difficult to judge if mushrooms are vegetarian or non-vegetarian; there is a school of thought which believes that it falls under both the categories. The standard shape of the mushroom is a cap and a stem, although the sizes may vary. Some varieties of mushrooms are non-edible, as they may be wild, toxic or having mind-altering effects, while some may be poisonous too.\
How to choose Mushrooms for your baby?
With over 10,000 varieties of Mushrooms existing, it is not a difficult task to identify the edible variety. Mushrooms have the standard shape, yet there are a few facts which you must look out for before choosing the right Mushrooms. Generally, the Mushrooms which are available in your Grocery store or the Vegetable Market are safe and edible. Yet, these points should be considered before you buy them:
- When you look upside down of a Mushroom, there should not be any visible gills (both black and white).
- A sack-like base or a red colour on the cap or the stem.
- Mushrooms should be light pink or white in colour. Avoid mushrooms which are black or brown in colour.
- Mushrooms should not be cracked or bruised and must not be moist from the outside.
- Choose Mushrooms which are freshly delivered, never go in for old stock, as they could acquire a weird smell when kept overtime.
- Canned mushrooms should be avoided as they contain a lot of preservatives.
On the whole, the best variety of Mushrooms for your baby is the soft, white button mushrooms, which are widely available in the market. Look out for the plump size of the Mushrooms. So, now you know if you wanted to know that can babies eat mushrooms, the obvious answer is YES!
When to introduce Mushrooms in your baby’s diet?
There is no specific age restriction to introduce Mushrooms as such. On the completion of 6 months of age, when we start introducing solids then Mushrooms could be included too. Provided they should be hygienically washed and dried before using them in any form. The ideal form to introduce this food is in a puree form or sauté form. Mushrooms can also be given as finger food to babies of 10 months age and above. As they are soft and fleshy to chew upon.
Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a boon, especially to the vegetarians, as they are the highest source of non-animal protein. They do have cholesterol, added to this they also are low in sodium and calories. They are also a good source of dietary fibre, iron and selenium. The biggest advantage being that they are one of the rare food sources of Vitamin D, which generally could be obtained only by exposure to sunlight. When the Mushrooms are exposed to sunlight, the ergosterol in mushrooms gets converted into Vitamin D. It also helps in building strong bones and may help fight colon cancer. Mushrooms also contain a good amount of B Vitamins like niacin and riboflavin. The other important health benefits of Mushrooms are:
- Helps in maintaining good liver health by helping in detoxification of the liver. Young kids and babies are more prone to the risk of Hepatitis B and jaundice, which ultimately affect the liver.
- Strengthens bones and teeth
- Boosts immunity
- Regulates blood pressure
- Helps to fight colon cancer
- Vitamin D present in Mushrooms helps in promoting good vision.
- Helps to relieve stress
- Mushrooms are rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus and other essential nutrients which help in boosting energy levels
- Mushrooms being rich in antioxidants promote excellent skin health, thereby preventing skin diseases.
- They help in maintaining your kid’s excretory system as it contains an important mineral called selenium. It is proven that 100 grams of raw mushrooms could provide 47% of the daily value of selenium.
- Selenium, an important mineral is also believed to lower the risk of colon cancer.
How to store mushrooms?
Mushrooms are generally available in plastic packaging. It is best to be consumed the very same day, as the taste is the best on the date of purchase. If there is a need for storage, then wipe the mushrooms with a dried cloth or tissue paper and then wrap them in a cloth bag or netted cloth. Storing in plastic could hamper the freshness of the Mushrooms. Care should be taken than the mushrooms must be completely dried with no moisture content. They could be refrigerated for upto one week.
Can Mushrooms cause allergic reactions?
Mushrooms belong to the family of fungus, which have the tendency to release spores in the air. Therefore, it could cause allergic reactions similar to pollen or mould. But the risk factor involved is quite low. If your baby shows any signs of allergy, then you need to check with the doctor.
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Healthy Mushroom Recipes for babies
Mushroom Soup Recipe - Healthy Soup Recipes For Toddlers
200 gms button mushroom
20gms crushed garlic
10 gms thyme
Salt – to taste
- Take a pan and add butter and mushrooms in it. sauté it until the colour of the mushrooms turns golden brown.
- Add water to it and bring the ingredients to boil. Keep it on low flame once the water boils. Leave it for around 45-60 minutes. Once you see the soup has thickened, switch off the gas.
- Add crushed garlic, spring onions and sea salt to taste.
- Switch on the gas and keep it on low flame for about 5 minutes
- For garnishing add spring onions (chopped).
- For adding richness to it, you could add 2 tsp of fresh cream to it.
Saute Mushrooms - Best Weaning Food For Toddlers
1tbsp Olive oil or butter
Thyme, or spring onions
- Take a frying pan and add butter, chopped garlic and mushrooms. Sauté them on low flame until the mushrooms are golden brown.
- When the mushrooms turn golden brown, garnish it with thyme, pepper and oregano.
- Serve it when hot. No need to add more spices, as it might not be well received by your child.
Mushroom Potato Puree - Best Purees For Babies
Button Mushrooms (200 gms) finely chopped
Potato (100 gms)
Onion (2 nos.) finely chopped
Organic cheese (50 gms)
Water 3/4th cup
- Heat the butter in the pan and add butter and button mushrooms and sauté it on medium flame for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the water and potatoes to this and cook further for 10 minutes.
- When all the ingredients get cooked, you switch off the gas and blend the ingredients in the mixer.
- Garnish it with pinch of pepper, oregano and cheese.
Mash it well with a hand blender or manually.
A doting mom to an angel, Social Media Specialist & Professional Blogger. She loves to share her thoughts with other parents in the same turbulent boat. She absolutely loves & adores her family & is learning to strike a good work-life balance. When she is not writing, cooking or busy taking care of her toddler, she probably is dancing to some good desi music!