Are mushrooms and mushroom supplements safe for my kids?
We have been seeing mushrooms become more mainstream for about a year now. With Netflix documentaries, studies being published, social media posts declaring the incredible effect mushrooms can have on your wellbeing and mushroom products and supplements becoming readily available instore, we thought it was about time to get the goods from an expert and what better way to do that then to publish some delicious baking treats from the wonderful Rachel from Misty Day Plant Potions.
The following are Rachels words (please note that research articles, studies and references can be found in the original post on Misty Day Plant Potion's website).
Functional mushies, with their impressive array of health benefits, have become super popular over the last few years. And although I do market and design Misty Day products for adults, I always get asked if the kiddlywinks can partake. In my humble opinion, there’s no reason why an otherwise healthy child aged over four should not. So let's dive into the magickal world of these multitalented natural treasures and discover their potential in supporting your child's well-being. I’m going to provide some studies make you feel a bit more secure, cause I know we are all a bit precious with our little people!
Boosting Immune Function:
Children are prone to infections and seasonal illnesses which sucks for them and can be extremely inconvenient for us. Medicinal mushrooms can help to support the immune system, helping to ward off common colds, flu, and other infections. Research has shown that certain mushrooms, such as reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and chaga (Inonotus obliquus), exhibit immunomodulatory properties that can enhance the immune response in children.
Enhancing Cognitive Health:
Children's cognitive development is crucial for their learning abilities and overall well-being. Lion's mane mushroom is particularly renowned for its potential to enhance brain health. Research has indicated that lion's Mane contains compounds that can enhance neurogenesis and support the production of nerve growth factors, which are essential for healthy brain development.
Supporting Digestive Health:
Maintaining a healthy digestive system is essential for children's comfort, immunity and overall wellness. Certain mushrooms, such as turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) and shiitake (Lentinula edodes), contain prebiotic fibers and polysaccharides that can nourish beneficial gut bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. Research has shown promising results regarding the digestive benefits of these mushrooms.
Balancing Energy and Stress Levels:
Children lead busy lives filled with school, extracurricular activities, and social engagements. Medicinal mushrooms, such as cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis), have been traditionally used to support energy levels and promote healthy stress responses in both adults and children. Cordyceps contains bioactive compounds that exhibit adaptogenic properties, which can help balance energy levels and alleviate stress.
Promoting Respiratory Health:
Respiratory issues, such as allergies or asthma, can affect children's quality of life and be pretty anxiety indusing for parents. Medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi and cordyceps ( and chaga as mentioned above) have been studied for their potential to alleviate allergy symptoms and support respiratory health in children. These mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties that can help alleviate respiratory issues.
How much to use?
Dosage recommendations for children varies depending on the kids age, weight, overall health, and specific needs. All of the recommendations below are just general guidelines for otherwise healthy kids who do not take any essential medications or any allergies to mushrooms!
Recommendations for kids aged 4-12. This translates to approx. 1/4 tsp per day.
Reishi: Recommended dosage: 250 to 500 milligrams per day
Lion's Mane: Recommended dosage: 250 to 500 milligrams per day
Chaga: Recommended dosage: 250 to 500 milligrams per day
Cordyceps: Recommended dosage: 250 to 500 milligrams per day
Turkey Tail: 250 to 500mg per day
Remember to start with small doses to see how they go, especially if they are prone to allergies or are just sensitive in general.
How to get them to take them?
There are various ways to incorporate medicinal mushrooms into your child's diet. You could add your favourite mushroom powders to smoothies, hot cocoa, or baked goods for a nutritious boost. Maybe try the yummy recipes below!
Chocolate Mushroom Brain Balls
1 cup of pitted dates
1 cup of raw cashews or macadamias
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
2 tablespoons of almond butter
1 tablespoons of lion's mane
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
Desiccated coconut (optional, for coating)
In a food processor, blend the dates and nuts until they form a sticky mixture.
Add cacao powder, almond butter, lion's mane, and chia seeds to the food processor. Blend until well combined.
Take small portions of the mixture and roll them into bite-sized balls - makes about 15.
If desired, roll the energy balls in desiccated coconut for an extra touch.
Place the energy balls in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set.
Once firm, they are ready to be enjoyed as delicious and brain-boosting snacks!
Crunchy Mushroom Trail Mix
1 cup mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or apricot or a mix
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1- 2 teaspoon cordyceps
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, combine the mixed nuts, dried cranberries or raisins, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup or honey, cordyceps mushroom powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.
Pour the liquid mixture over the nut and seed mixture, ensuring everything is evenly coated.
Spread the mixture in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and let the trail mix cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
Serve as a crunchy and nutritious snack for your child whenever they need an energy boost or stress relief.
This mushroom-infused trail mix provides a combination of protein, healthy fats, and natural sugars to help sustain energy levels throughout the day. The cordyceps mushroom powder adds an extra boost of adaptogenic properties, which can help support the body's stress response.
In case you haven't heard, Rachel is heading Taranaki way this Saturday to give a functional mushrooms talk in store. We are so excited to host and learn together but for those of you who can't make it we thought we would leave this insightful and educational blog post here for you to read.