While there are many different options for first foods, some parents may be wondering if they can give their baby mushrooms. The answer is yes: babies can eat mushrooms, and it can add a great deal of nutrition to their diet.
In fact, mushrooms are a perfect food for babies. They have a natural sweetness that babies love, and they’re easy to prepare and can be served with any meal. If you’re considering cooking mushrooms for your baby as a first food, here’s what you need to know.
Read on to explore the wonders of mushrooms – and learn how to cook up a delicious and nutritious meal your little one will love.
About Edible Mushrooms
Edible mushrooms have become a popular staple in the diet – for adults and children alike. Mushrooms are loved for their significant health benefits: as well as their great taste and aroma.
Mushrooms as a Nutrient Source
There are many different types of edible mushroom – each with their own genetic makeup and nutritional benefits. Mushrooms are an abundant source of proteins, minerals and vitamins.
Below, we’ll break down the main nutritional benefits of giving your baby mushrooms. Whether you’re learning about baby led weaning or updating your puree recipe collection, there are many ways you can incorporate cooked mushrooms in your little one’s diet.
For babies, Vitamin D is essential to building strong bones: as it helps to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus. Mushrooms contain varying amounts of Vitamin D2.
Some types of mushrooms contain other vitamins such as B complex, C and E.
Iron is a crucial mineral in your child’s ability to maintain healthy blood. As a major component of haemoglobin, iron helps to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. For your child, iron is important for healthy brain development and growth.
In the commonly eaten white button mushrooms, there is 0.23mg of iron per 100g. As such, it makes great sense to include this ingredient in your child’s meals.
Fibre is key for your child’s digestive health, encouraging healthy bowel movements and helping your little one feel fuller for longer. Mushrooms are a great choice for first foods, with the various types offering a significant amount of fibre. The amount of fibre will vary greatly depending on the type of mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, have higher amounts of fibre.
Mushrooms are a healthy and versatile addition to your baby’s diet. Mushrooms are an excellent source of antioxidants and some mushrooms also contain high amounts of protein, zinc, manganese and selenium.
How to Prepare Mushrooms for Your Baby
There are a few different ways you can prepare cooked mushrooms for your child. Read on to discover our best baby food recipes involving mushrooms. It may take a little experimentation to find your child’s favourite type of mushroom dish; but once they discover this versatile and tasty veggie, they’ll enjoy them for life.
If you are unsure about whether your baby has a mushroom allergy, speak to your child’s healthcare provider.
6 Months – 1 Year
For babies exploring solids for the first time, cooked mushrooms can be a tactile finger food that they enjoy devouring! To prepare mushrooms for babies aged 6-12 months, slice and cook until browned. Before you serve it to your baby, make sure that the mushrooms have time to cool.
13 Months – 2 Years
Wondering whether babies eat raw mushrooms? As your child grows, mushrooms can become a tasty staple to fuel their energetic needs.
Below are a few recipes including mushrooms, for babies aged 13 months to 2 years:
- Chicken or vegetarian mini pizzas
- Chicken pesto and mushroom pasta
- Savoury pasta with mushrooms
- Bean stew with mushrooms
- Vegetable and ricotta lasagna
- Lamb with mushroom and tomato
- Beef stroganoff with mushrooms
- Chicken and mushroom casserole
From the age of two, your child is ready to progress to a much broader range of dishes! As the mushroom recipes above become mealtime favourites for your toddler, they’ll likely want to experience more and more diversity in their meals.
Enjoy this time, as you watch your infant’s taste buds develop. Their current diet will shape their eating habits in the future: it’s important to have a simple and fast repertoire of recipes with vegetables like mushrooms.
Benefits of Giving Mushrooms to Your Baby
When you introduce mushrooms to your child early on, you can help them delight in the joy of new tastes and textures. The sweeter taste of mushrooms is something most children enjoy: creating a positive relationship with vegetables from a young age, helping to prevent them from becoming a fussy eater.
By sparking a lifelong love of mushrooms, you can help to promote beneficial effects in your child’s diet. Mushrooms are used as a gourmet ingredient around the world, and have proven functional and nutritional advantages.