When you think of kid-friendly ingredients, do mushrooms come to mind? It’s not likely; many kids shy away from the delicious fungi. And can you really blame them when most grocery stores and restaurants offer the same three varieties? Most kids aren’t seeing the best examples of this colorful and diverse food source.
Some parents who’ve tried everything to get their kids to like mushrooms find that gourmet varieties end up being just what they needed in their arsenal. Gourmet mushrooms are colorful (take the Pink Oyster, for example), flavorful, and more fun to look at.
Here are our tips for introducing your kids to R&R Cultivation’s organic, gourmet mushrooms.
Getting Kids to Enjoy Mushrooms
If you don’t want to prepare a different meal for every member of your family, you may be interested in getting your kids to enjoy gourmet mushrooms. Few kids are mushroom lovers from a young age; they can be an acquired taste and often aren’t thought of as a “kid-friendly” food. But mushrooms are nutritious and taste delicious, so there’s no reason for kids not to eat them!
Experts say it can take trying a new food at least a dozen times before a child will learn to like it, so don’t give up if your kid tried mushrooms once and wasn’t a fan. Here are some parent-approved methods for teaching your child to enjoy eating mushrooms:
- Add mushrooms to a dish they already like (pizza, pasta, chicken and rice dishes, and stir frys are all good options)
- Prepare the mushrooms in an enjoyable way. For example, you can saute mushrooms before adding them to your dish to bring out the taste of the mushrooms while creating a kid-friendly, crunchy texture. When mushrooms are thrown into a dish and steamed, the resulting texture can be unappealing.
- Start small. Your goal shouldn’t be to highlight the mushrooms right away. It should just be to get your child used to the smell, flavor, and texture of mushrooms as a component of a cohesive dish.
- Don’t skimp on the sauce! We all know many kids love sauces, so make sure they have plenty of teriyaki for their stir fry, tomato sauce for their pasta, etc.
- Get your kids in the kitchen to help prepare their meal. Studies have shown kids are more likely to eat something they helped make.
Mushroom Recipes for Kids
The tips above are great for getting your kids to eat mushrooms if you have a recipe in mind, but what if you have no idea what to make? We’ve got you covered with these recipes.
For the lover of everything breaded, these fried Golden Oyster mushrooms are a great introduction to the world of fungi:
Serve them with your child’s favorite dipping sauce – no need to stick to tartar sauce. The mushrooms don’t have a fishy flavor if you skip the seaweed; they’ll please a fish stick loving kid, but they’re also a good dupe for chicken nuggets.
Does your kiddo eat with their eyes first? If you have a veggie-loving kid who just can’t get on board with mushrooms, try this fun rainbow colored pizza:
Let your kid pick out their favorite toppings to customize their pie!
Finally, if your kids love brunch, here are some great recipes that include mushrooms:
We’re of the opinion that a fried egg makes everything more delicious, and most of these recipes don’t take more than 20 minutes to prep.
Themed Nights Make Mushrooms Feel Like A Treat!
Themed nights are a fun way for kids to try new foods. We’d recommend trying a tex-Mex themed dinner. You can easily incorporate Oyster mushrooms into kid favorites like tacos and taquitos using these recipes:
- Oyster Mushroom Tacos with Grilled Poblano Pepper + Corn Salsa
- Oyster Mushroom Taquitos with Roasted Corn Salsa
If you’re hesitant about going all-in with these recipes, consider using half mushrooms and half shredded pork or chicken. When kids have their choice of salsas, cheeses, and other fun fixings, they’re more likely to tolerate the mushrooms buried underneath. Consider inviting friends and extended family members to your dinner – especially if their kids are adventurous eaters! Your child is more likely to give something a try if their peers are enjoying it.
High Quality, Flavorful Mushrooms that Kids Love
R&R Cultivation offers many varieties of organic, gourmet mushrooms that kids get excited to eat. Our locally grown mushrooms aren’t the plain button mushrooms we all ate on our pizza as kids; their varying flavors, textures, and colors are much more appealing to the younger generation.
The next time you’re headed to a Lund’s or Byerly’s, bring along your kids and let them pick out some of R&R Cultivation’s fun and tasty mushrooms. We guarantee they’ll make your dinnertime more fun and delicious!