Mushroom (White Button)

Food Type:
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Nutrition Rating:How nutritious a food is with a focus on the specific nutrients babies need for optimal growth. The more nutritious a food, the more stars it will have.
Prep Time:How much time a food takes to prepare safely for a baby. The more time-consuming a food is to prepare safely, the more clocks it will have.
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Poop Friendly:Whether a food has qualities that promote healthy pooping patterns. Yes
Common Allergen: No
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3 white button mushrooms before being prepared for babies starting solids

When can babies eat mushrooms?

White button mushrooms may be introduced as soon as a baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. Heard you should wait? There’s no evidence to support delaying the introduction of edible mushrooms. Do always cook white button mushrooms as they can contain agaritine, a naturally occurring toxin, which can be reduced by cooking, refrigerating, and freezing.1

Background and origins of mushrooms

A mushroom is neither a fruit nor a vegetable, but a fungus, a scientific classification that distinguishes it from plants and animals for its unique biological attributes. There are more than 2,000 known edible mushroom varieties on the planet, each with a distinctive smell and taste, but the button mushroom is the most widely consumed. Either brown or white depending on the strain, the ubiquitous button mushroom goes by different names—baby bella, champignon, and cremini, to name a few—and when it grows to full maturity, it is marketed as a portobello.

★Tip: Never feed your baby foraged mushrooms unless you are an expert mycologist, as there are plenty of poisonous look-a-like species growing in the wild.

Hawii, 11 months, eats corn meal with cooked white button mushrooms.
Kai, 16 months, eats spaghetti with mushrooms.

Are mushrooms healthy for babies?

Absolutely. Mushrooms offer some protein and special types of fiber that are not common in foods.2 They also contain most B vitamins, including folate to help fuel a baby’s cellular growth, and minerals like copper, selenium and zinc—all essential nutrients that children need to thrive.

Mushrooms also have a superpower: they contain nutrients found in both plants and animals, as well as nutrients that are unique to fungi.3 What’s more, mushrooms contain some phytonutrients that may offer antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.4 5 6

It would be wise to cook white button mushrooms before serving them to a child. Raw white button mushrooms can contain a compound called agaritine that may be carcinogenic.7 8 Fortunately, cooking and even storing the mushroom in the refrigerator or freezer can help significantly reduce the agaritine.9

Button mushrooms can be found sprouting in the wild (they originated in Europe and thrive worldwide today), but the fungi at your favorite grocer were most likely cultivated on a dedicated mushroom farm, where growing conditions can be controlled. There are thousands of varieties of mushrooms in the world, and many are not safe to eat. Always purchase mushrooms from a trusted source to minimize the risk of toxic exposure from accidentally eating poisonous mushrooms.

Commercially grown mushrooms may contain less vitamin D than wild fungi but exposing them to just 15 minutes of direct, midday sunlight before cooking can dramatically increase levels of this vital nutrient.10 11 12

★Tip: Studies show that washing and cooking mushrooms help reduce pesticide residues on the fungi.13

Are mushrooms a common choking hazard for babies?

Yes. Mushrooms caps can be chewy and challenging for new eaters to break down in their mouths—and mushroom stems have a cylindrical shape that in the right size, can increase the risk. To reduce the risk, simply slice or chop the mushrooms, making sure you also slice through the stem, so it is no longer round. As always, make sure to create a safe eating environment, to stay within an arm’s reach of a baby during mealtime, and to check out our age-appropriate serving suggestions.

For more information, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with common choking hazards.

Are mushrooms a common allergen?

No. Mushroom allergy is rare, although not unheard of.14 15 That said, mushrooms contain chitin, a common carbohydrate also found in crustaceans and insects that may contribute to an allergic response.16 Spores released by many mushrooms can be allergenic and cause problems for people with respiratory issues or sensitivities to airborne allergens.17 Individuals with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also called “pollen-food” allergy syndrome) may also be sensitive to mushrooms.18 Oral Allergy Syndrome typically results in short-lived itching in the mouth and is unlikely to result in a dangerous reaction. 

As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity for the first few servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.

How do you prepare mushrooms for babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 12 months old: The easiest way to introduce button mushrooms is to fold them (cooked and chopped) into soft scoopable foods like mashed vegetables or finger foods like omelets. You can also try offering a large whole cooked mushroom to a baby; just select a mushroom that is large in size, take care to remove the stem, and test the mushroom with your fingers, and make sure it is soft before offering.

12 to 24 months old: Offer cooked mushrooms (chopped or sliced) on their own or folded into casseroles, grains, pastas, vegetables, or other dishes. Explore using mushrooms as a substitute for meat in recipes and try using mushrooms to make your own umami-packed seasoning sauce as a substitute for soy sauce. Or trying using button mushrooms in our mushroom ramen recipe!

Watch our video on Preparing Food for Baby for more tips on cutting and preparing foods the right way.

Recipe: Button Mushroom Omelet

six long thin slices of mushroom omelet next to each other on a white background

Yield: 2 child-sized servings
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 large brown or white button mushroom
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • 1 scallion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

This recipe contains egg, a common allergen. Only serve to a child after egg has been introduced and egg allergy has been ruled out.

Directions

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Wash the mushrooms and use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away any grit from the mushrooms. Mince the mushrooms, including the edible stems.
  3. Peel and compost the garlic skin. Mince the clove.
  4. Wash the scallion, cut off and compost the root end, and mince the remaining white and green parts.
  5. Heat half the oil in a small non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add the mushroom, garlic, and scallion when it is shimmering. Stir to coat, then cook until the scallion has brightened in color and the mushrooms and garlic have softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or plate.
  6. Return the skillet to the stovetop, add the remaining oil, and set it on medium heat. Pour in the whisked eggs when the oil is shimmering. Shake the pan to distribute the mixture across the bottom of the pan, then cook without stirring until the edges are set and starting to curl, about 2 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the mushroom mixture on one half of the omelet, then use a spatula to fold the other half on top. Cook for 2 minutes, then check that the omelet is fully cooked by piercing the thickest part with a knife. It is done when there is no runny egg inside the omelet. If it is ready, slide the omelet onto a plate and let it cool. Otherwise, continue to cook until the omelet is done.
  8. Once the omelet has cooled, cut into strips for babies 6- to 9-months of age and into bite-size pieces for babies who have developed their pincer grasp (where the thumb and forefinger meet).
  9. To Serve: Place a few omelet strips on the baby’s plate. Exact serving size is variable; let a baby’s appetite determine how much is eaten. Encourage self-feeding by letting the baby try to pick up the food. If you like, pass an omelet strip in the air for the child to grab.

To Store: Leftover omelet keeps in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Flavor Pairings

White button mushrooms have a mild earthy flavor that pairs well with fatty foods like mascarpone cheese, egg,ricotta cheese, and salmon; hearty grains like Khorasan wheat, quinoa, and rice; and starchy vegetables like butternut squash, purple potato, and sweet potato. Try seasoning with fresh flavor-forward herbs such as basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, or thyme and bold spices like allspice, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, and turmeric.

Reviewed by

J. Truppi, MSN, CNS

V. Kalami, MNSP, RD, CSP

K. Grenawitzke, OTD, OTR/L, SCFES, IBCLC, CNT

S. Bajowala, MD, FAAAAI. Board-Certified Allergist & Immunologist (allergy section)

R. Ruiz, MD, FAAP. Board-Certified General Pediatrician & Pediatric Gastroenterologist

  1. Schulzová V, Hajslová J, Peroutka R, Gry J, Andersson HC. Influence of storage and household processing on the agaritine content of the cultivated Agaricus mushroom. Food Addit Contam. 2002 Sep;19(9):853-62. doi: 10.1080/02652030210156340. PMID: 12396396.
  2. Jo Feeney, M., Miller, A.M., Roupas, P. (2014). Mushrooms-Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique: Exploring a “Third Food Kingdom”. Nutrition Today, 49(6), 301–307. DOI:10.1097/NT.0000000000000063. Retrieved December 29, 2020
  3. Jo Feeney, M., Miller, A.M., Roupas, P. (2014). Mushrooms-Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique: Exploring a “Third Food Kingdom”. Nutrition Today, 49(6), 301–307. DOI:10.1097/NT.0000000000000063. Retrieved December 29, 2020
  4. Cebin, A.V., Petravić-Tominac, V., Djakovic, S., Srecec, S., Zechner-Krpan, V., (2018). Polysaccharides and Antioxidants from Culinary-Medicinal White Button Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus (Agaricomycetes), Waste Biomass. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 20(8), 797–808. DOI:10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018027412. Retrieved December 29, 2020
  5. Yu, S., Weaver, V., Martin, K., Cantorna, M. (2009). The effects of whole mushrooms during inflammation. BMC Immunol 10, 12. DOI:10.1186/1471-2172-10-12. Retrieved December 29, 2020
  6. Adams, L.S., Phung, S., Wu, X., Ki, L., Chen, S. (2008). White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) exhibits antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties and inhibits prostate tumor growth in athymic mice. Nutrition and cancer, 60(6), 744–756. DOI:10.1080/01635580802192866. Retrieved December 29, 2020
  7. Toth, Nagel, et. al. Tumor Induction with the AT-Acetyl Derivative of 4-Hydroxymethyl- phenylhydrazine, a Metabolite of Agaritine of Agaricus b/sporus1
  8. Toth, B., Gannett, P., Visek, W. J., & Patil, K. (1998). Carcinogenesis studies with the lyophilized mushroom Agaricus bisporus in mice. In vivo (Athens, Greece), 12(2), 239–244.
  9. Schulzová, V., Hajšlová, J., Peroutka, R., Gry, J., Andersson, H. C. (2002). Influence of storage and household processing on the agaritine content of the cultivated Agaricus mushroom. Food Additives & Contaminants, 19(9), 853–862. Retrieved December 29, 2020 
  10. Jo Feeney, M., Miller, A.M., Roupas, P. (2014). Mushrooms-Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique: Exploring a “Third Food Kingdom”. Nutrition Today, 49(6), 301–307. DOI:10.1097/NT.0000000000000063. Retrieved December 29, 2020
  11. Simon, R.R., Phillips, K.M., Horst, R.L., Munro, I. C. (2011). Vitamin D mushrooms: comparison of the composition of button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) treated postharvest with UVB light or sunlight. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 59(16), 8724–8732. DOI:10.1021/jf201255b. Retrieved January 12, 2021
  12. Keegan, R.J., Lu, Z., Bogusz, J.M., Williams, J.E., Holick, M.F. (2013). Photobiology of vitamin D in mushrooms and its bioavailability in humans. Dermato-endocrinology, 5(1), 165–176. DOI:10.4161/derm.23321. Retrieved January 12, 2021
  13. Heshmati, A., Hamidi, M., Nili-Ahmadabadi, A. (2019). Effect of storage, washing, and cooking on the stability of five pesticides in edible fungi of Agaricus bisporus: A degradation kinetic study. Food science & nutrition, 7(12), 3993–4000. DOI:10.1002/fsn3.1261. Retrieved January 21, 2021
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