Cooking Up Fun – Mushroom Adventures with Kids
Cooking with kids is not just about creating delicious meals; it’s also an opportunity to foster a love for food, teach valuable life skills, and spend quality time together.
One ingredient that’s perfect for a kid-friendly culinary adventure is mushrooms! They’re a fun ingredient that are easy for little fingers to chop, and have a unique flavour that can intrigue young taste buds.
In this blog, we’ll explore the exciting world of cooking mushrooms with kids, from selecting the best mushrooms to sharing simple, tasty recipes.
Mushrooms are a fantastic choice for cooking with kids for several reasons:
Kid-Friendly Shapes – Mushrooms come in various shapes and sizes, making them visually appealing to children. Buttons, chestnuts and portobello mushrooms resemble tiny umbrellas, while shiitakes have a more exotic appearance.
Texture Exploration – Mushrooms provide an opportunity for sensory exploration. Kids enjoy feeling the smoothness of the caps and the roughness of the stems.
Versatility – Mushrooms can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, from pizzas and pasta to omelettes and soups. This versatility allows kids to get creative in the kitchen.
Nutritional Value – Mushrooms are a healthy addition to meals, being low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s an excellent way to introduce nutritious eating habits to kids. Particularly now as they go back to school and their immune system needs to be strong!
Maths Skills – You can ask younger children to count out a certain number of mushrooms to chop, and then count the individual pieces.
Choosing the Right Mushrooms
Before you start cooking, it’s essential to select the right mushrooms. While there are numerous varieties to choose from, consider starting with these kid-friendly options:
Button Mushrooms -These mild-flavoured mushrooms are perfect for beginners. They have a pleasant texture and pair well with a variety of dishes.
Chestnut Mushrooms – Slightly more flavorful than buttons, creminis are like a mini-adventure in mushroom flavours.
Portobello Mushrooms – Their large size makes them fun for kids to stuff, grill, or use as a pizza base.
Before you begin your mushroom cooking adventure with kids, make sure to teach them these essential safety rules.
Hand Washing – Always wash hands thoroughly before and after handling mushrooms and other ingredients.
Knife Safety – Supervise kids closely when using knives or any sharp kitchen tools. Age-appropriate knives and proper technique are crucial.
Hot Surface Awareness – Remind children to be cautious around hot stovetops and ovens, and provide oven mitts for handling hot pans.
Child-Friendly Mushroom Recipes
Now, let’s dive into some simple mushroom recipes that kids can enjoy making and eating.
Spread pizza dough with tomato sauce.
Let kids add sliced mushrooms, cheese, and their favourite toppings.
Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
Heat oil or butter in a hot pan and ask them to add the mushrooms
Add garlic powder or any other seasoning
Toast and butter bread
Add the cooked mushrooms.
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
In a separate pan, sauté sliced mushrooms in butter.
Add cream and seasoning.
Toss with cooked pasta and top with grated cheese.
Our model loved the experience of preparing the mushrooms and cooking them. He also enjoyed the meal, and had a real sense of accomplishment as well as a new love for this amazing ingredient!