Did you know that the nutrients in mushrooms can help keep your child strong and protected? Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins and minerals despite their lack of color and aesthetic appeal. They are also high in fiber, aiding your kid's digestion.
Several varieties of edible mushrooms exist. The most commonly enjoyed are white buttons, portobello, and oysters. But some medicinal mushrooms, like Lion's mane, are also known to benefit the health of your little ones.
Below, we will talk about the benefits of mushrooms for kids. Then, we will share some interesting, fun facts about mushrooms and move on to an easy-to-prepare delicious mushroom treat for your kids.
Four Benefits Of Mushrooms For Kids
Edible and medicinal mushrooms are known for their many health benefits. Of these, the top four mushroom kid benefits are:
1. Mushrooms are nutrient-dense.
Edible mushrooms are packed with several nutrients, such as vitamins D and B, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iodine, and potassium. These nutrients are required by your child's body to perform several bodily functions that help enhance their overall growth and development.
Mushrooms provide vitamin D2, a form of vitamin D that is easily absorbed and effectively metabolized in the body. They are also an excellent source of iron, which helps the formation of new red blood cells.
2. They help make the immune system stronger and fight inflammation.
Mushrooms like Reishi contain bioactive compounds(2) like triterpenoids that boost the immune system. Several mushrooms are also known to promote the maturation(3) of white blood cells that help fight infection, improving immunity.
Lion's mane mushrooms are a good option if your child has allergies or other chronic inflammatory conditions. In addition to immunomodulating properties, the mushroom has anti-inflammatory benefits(4). Research has shown that Lion's mane inhibits inflammation signaling pathways, benefiting children with chronic inflammation and allergies.
3. Mushrooms are excellent brain food.
Lion's mane is a revered brain tonic for adults, and children can benefit from it too. Compounds in Lion's mane help promote the synthesis(5) of proteins like Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This helps regenerate brain cells, enhancing memory, mood, and cognitive performance.
4. They enhance metabolism
Manu mushrooms contain beta-glucans and chitin, soluble dietary fibers that promote gut health. They help maintain a healthy digestive system by adding bulk to the stool. In addition, fibers act as prebiotics that helps strengthen your kids' immune systems.
Fun Mushroom Facts For Kids
Here are some amazing mushrooms facts:
- Mushrooms are not plant, contrary to popular belief. Rather they belong to an entirely different class of organism called fungi.
- The life of a mushroom begins as a spore, which germinates and grows into a filament-like lacy root network known as the mycelium. When the mycelium matures, it produces a mushroom that will disperse its spore to continue the lifecycle.
- Mushrooms and people are more alike than plants. For instance, they have their own immune system, and when exposed to sunlight, their cells can produce vitamin D.
- Numerous varieties of mushrooms exist. You'll most likely find five or six different kinds at the store. The button mushroom is the most popular type in grocery stores.
- Mushrooms are one of the most gentle food sources. They are sustainably produced and use limited growing space. They require very little energy, and the growing medium can even be composted.
Mouthwatering Mushroom Recipe For Kids
Since children typically dislike mushrooms due to their unappealing appearance, most parents are constantly thinking of new ways to incorporate them into meals for their children. So here's an easy mushroom recipe that your kid will love.
Sautéed Lion's Mane Mushroom
- 8 ounces Lion's mane mushroom
- Soy sauce
- Olive oil or butter
- Sea salt
Clean and slice Lions mane mushroom into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
Dry saute the mushrooms. Add the butter, then cook until the mushrooms are brown.
Flip on the other side and cook till both sides are golden brown.
Add sea salt and soy sauce.
How Do I Give My Child Mushrooms?
You can roast, fry, barbeque mushrooms, or make a soup pot. But if your child is a fussy eater, try using mushroom powders instead. These can be easily (and subtly) mixed into your kid's favorite snacks and shakes, giving them all the benefits.
Are White Mushrooms Good For Kids?
White button mushrooms are incredibly popular among adults and kids alike. They are high in micronutrients, making them suitable for kids.
Is mushroom powder good for kids?
Mushroom powders are nutrient-dense and are high in vitamins, proteins, fats, dietary fibers, and carbohydrates. In addition, they are easy to incorporate into foods and drinking, making them perfect for children.
Edible mushrooms are a nutrient-dense food that can be included in your kid's diet. Mushrooms for kids can help with their growth and development. It can also boost their vitamin D levels and overall immunity. Moreover, mushrooms have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Next time you are at the grocery store, remember to pick up some mushrooms for your kid. You can even try the recipes included above!
- Mushrooms—Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4244211/
- Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Mushrooms Mainly from China, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274515/
- White button mushroom enhances maturation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and their antigen presenting function in mice, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18287364/
- The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion's Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26559695/
- Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/