Mushrooms For Babies – Health Benefits and Risks

4 min read

Mushrooms, though classified as a vegetable, are actually fungi. Are all mushrooms edible? No. When you buy from a reliable grocer, you can add quite a number of flavorful, tasty mushrooms to your diet. However, are they edible for babies? Can you give mushrooms to a baby? Read on to find out if mushrooms for babies are safe or not.

bowl of mushroom

Mushrooms are Considered Safe for Babies

The first and foremost basic question is- is it safe to give mushrooms to babies? Is a mushroom a healthy food for them? The answer is yes. The edible varieties of mushrooms are very healthy and safe for babies too. There have been no scientific or medical studies to prove otherwise.

Age when Mushrooms can be Introduced

Though eating mushrooms is considered safe for a baby, the recommended age has a split opinion. While many feel it is not safe until the baby is 10 months old to start introducing them to mushrooms, many feel it is ok to start when the baby is 6 months old, along with other solids.

Enoki mushrooms

Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

Mushrooms come in different varieties and each has its own distinctive taste. Your baby might or might not like each type, although all the varieties have their own nutritional benefits.

  • Mushrooms have a high moisture content and provide a lot of energy per serving.
  • They provide a lot of carbs for your baby.
  • Mushrooms are rich in protein and dietary fiber.
  • Enoki mushrooms contain more carbs and energy than the common mushroom, while oyster mushrooms are richer in protein content.
  • Mushrooms contain a number of other nutrients like calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, niacin, etc.
  • One of the most noticeable facts is that mushrooms have nutrients that are found in both vegetables and animals.
  • They also contain unique nutrients that are found only in fungi.

Health Benefits of Including Mushrooms in Babies Diet

Mushrooms have a number of nutritional benefits to offer for your infant. Some of them are:

Vitamin D

Mushrooms are a good source of non-fortified Vitamin D for your baby.

Liver Health

The various antioxidants in mushrooms help in detoxifying the liver. Diseases like jaundice and hepatitis B are very common in small babies and cause a lot of damage to the liver. Mushrooms can be helpful in protecting and improving the health of your baby’s liver.

Iron

It is crucial to provide your baby with iron-rich food as it is an important component of red blood cells that helps in transporting oxygen and regulating cell health.

fresh mushrooms

Selection of Right Mushroom for Babies

Here are some ways you can choose the right mushroom:

  • The fresher the better. Opt for mushrooms picked and packed on the day you are buying.
  • It should be dry but without any cracks.
  • The underside of the mushrooms known as “gills” should either be brown or pink and definitely not black.
  • Strong musty-smelling ones are not recommended, and so, choose the ones that hardly have any smell.
  • If you are not keen on preservatives, avoid the canned varieties.

Storage of Mushrooms

Once fresh mushrooms are bought, they can be refrigerated for up to a week. Store them in paper bags or trays lined with paper towels to absorb the moisture and to keep them dry.

Wipe them with a damp cloth or do a quick rinse instead of thorough washing, before making some delicious mushroom omelets or roasted mushrooms with veggies.

However, if you are planning to make some mushroom soup, you need to wash them well and get rid of the stems before chopping them into tiny pieces that can be ingested by a baby.

Risks Factors

As with any food introduced to a baby for the first time, mushrooms have the risk of triggering pollen-related allergies that can cause breathing difficulties. If you do see some allergic reactions after your baby eats mushrooms, consult your doctor immediately. Introduce small quantities on a regular basis until you are sure your baby does not have any mushroom allergies. Offer small cut pieces to avoid choking in small babies as mushrooms can be difficult to chew. Also, stay close by when your baby is eating them. This applies to all foods until your baby is older and more independent in eating.

mushroom soup

Delicious Recipes with Mushrooms for your Baby

1. Mushroom Omelet

Omelets are easy to make and are a versatile breakfast dish that allows you to experiment with mushrooms and other vegetables too.

2. Roasted Veggies with Mushrooms

If your baby prefers mushrooms over other vegetables, you can roast them all together and offer a flavorful bowl of food for your tiny tot.

3. Mushroom Soup

Soup is a favorite for most babies and all parents. This nutritious soup can be a great dinner by itself with some fruit or grilled vegetables by the side or even some bread.

Mushrooms can be a great addition to your baby’s diet if they like the taste and are able to process it without any difficulty. However, never give your baby raw mushrooms.

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