Millions of Aussie kids have returned to school and now, more than ever, parents are looking for ways to support the child's immune health.
One of Australia’s leading nutritionist’s Jane Freeman believes strengthening your child’s immune system should be added to the Term 1 ‘to do’ list.
The AMGA Dietitian says adding the mighty mushroom into lunchboxes is an easy way to support tip-top immune health.
“As a mother-of-three myself, I understand that mushrooms might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when working out what to put in your child’s lunchbox, but mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, antioxidants and other important nutrients proven to help support our immune systems,” says Ms Freeman.
“Mushrooms pack a powerful punch when it comes to health goodness and there are simple ways to sneak them in, even for the fussiest eaters.
“Interestingly, increasing intakes of wholefood antioxidants is something that can help our immune system to defend the body, and mushrooms contain a number of potent antioxidants to help do this.
“Mushrooms also contain a prebiotic type of fibre which provides an essential food source to the numerous types of good gut bacteria and cells in our body. In fact, 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut which is why including this superfood can help with overall gut and immune health.”
Ms Freeman says researchers are investigating whether a powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine and a compound called B-glucans – both found in mushrooms - might have a role to play in the overall treatment of respiratory illness, including COVID-19.
So how can you add more of the might mushroom to your child's diet?
“For a start, I recommend setting a target of around three small mushrooms per day as part of a plant-focused, whole-food diet. There are lots of great mushroom recipes on the Australian Mushroom Growers website, which children will enjoy.” says Ms Freeman.
“No matter how you decide to include more mushrooms in your child’s diet, you can be certain they will be better for it.”
A blend of mushrooms + mince is healthier, with less fat and more nutrients.
Mushrooms have almost no kilojoules compared to red meat, so substituting some mince for mushrooms significantly lowers the overall food kilojoules or calories that you are dishing up.
Comparatively, mushrooms have 88% less calories than lean red minced meat which is good for the waistline.
- 100g of lean red mince* 710 kJ (169 calories)
- 100g of minced mushrooms 86 kJ (20 calories)
AMGA Dietitian - Jane Freeman
Jane is an internationally regarded and experienced dietitian and nutritionist, is an IOC (International Olympic Committee) qualified sports nutritionist, Leiths qualified cook and an award-winning author.
As a practicing dietitian and director for CANutriton, a cancer specialist nutrition practice in Sydney, Jane is big mushroom lover and passionate about delivering practical nutrition advice that is easy to understand and adopt.
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