Helping Your Baby Learn to Self-Feed

Although it will likely be a long time before your baby is really able to eat without any assistance, the early attempts at self-feeding are an important first step to your baby’s independence. From learning to pick up foods with her fingers to figuring out the fork and spoon, self-feeding is a process that takes a long time and lot of practice. Help your baby get started with the right foods and a little help.

Learning the Pincer Grasp

Around 8-10 months of age, your baby will start using her thumbs and fingers to pick up small objects, including foods. You will see a progression from baby using all of her fingers to scoop food into her fist, towards a more precise pincer grasp that uses only the thumb and forefinger to pick up objects one at a time. This pincer grasp is a good sign your baby is getting ready to self-feed with finger foods.

Offer a small pile of small but easy to grasp food like Cheerios cereal for your baby to practice on. At first, she probably won’t get much into her mouth, but it’s the practice that matters. As baby masters this skill, she will soon be able to eat a wide variety of finger foods without assistance. You should always keep a close eye on baby during these early attempts at self-feeding, as she is not used to the foods and there is a risk of choking. Make sure the choice of baby foods will soften quickly in the mouth to avoid serious choking.

Using Utensils

From the earliest feedings, your baby will probably show a great interest in the spoon. To get him used to the idea, bring two spoons to every feeding, and let him play with one while you feed him with the other. At first, that will be the extent of his spoon skills, but as time goes by you can let him start dipping his own spoon into the food and attempting to bring it to his mouth.

When you move on to chunkier foods, consider giving your baby a small fork (choose one that is intended for babies and not for grown-ups, with a short, easy to grasp handle and tines that are not too sharp) to attempt to pick up food. Because using a spoon requires more steadiness and skill, your baby will likely figure out the fork a little faster. This will encourage him to try harder with the spoon, as each success teaches him a little more and gets him excited about self-feeding.

Good Foods for Early Self-feeding

When teaching baby to self feed with a fork, try foods like pasta, small chunks of cooked vegetables, small pieces of fruit and cooked beans. For learning to use a spoon, it’s best to try thick foods such as oatmeal and yogurt. Thinner foods will be much harder for baby to keep on the spoon and will make a huge mess while frustrating your baby.

Stick to small bites of soft foods that are easy to chew, and bear in mind that early self-feeders often stuff way more food than they can handle into their mouths, so be on the lookout. Most babies will spit it out, but there is always a risk of choking. All self-feeding should be closely supervised until your baby starts to master it – and even then, stay close and keep an eye out!

Proper Portions for Preschoolers

One of the biggest problems most of us have with developing healthy eating habits is that we have no idea of what a proper portion size should look like. Accustomed to the huge portions served by restaurants, we have all developed a skewed view of how much food we should be eating on a daily basis. This problem often carries over into how we feed our children. Many kids are eating much larger portions than they should be of certain foods, while other foods aren’t served in large enough portions or at all.

Learning the proper portion sizes for your preschooler will help you to keep her healthy and avoid obesity. This applies to beverages as well as food; in fact, beverages are a common culprit for super-sized portions.

How Much Should a Preschooler be Drinking?

The two main beverages, aside from water, that the average preschooler drinks are milk and juice. While these may both sounds like healthy choices, too much of either one isn’t good for a little body.

It may surprise you to know that a preschooler only requires two cups – that’s sixteen ounces – of milk in a day. If you serve it in an 8 oz cup, that means only two servings a day. Too much milk can fill your child up, causing them to miss out on nutritious foods, and can also lead to anemia. If your child likes milk more often, offer a smaller serving size of 4-6 ounces so that she can have 3-4 servings in a day.

A serving of juice for a preschooler should be no larger than 6 ounces, and juice should only be served once a day. Serve only 100% juice, and avoid juice drinks that are full of sugar. There is no appropriate serving size for sugary drinks like soda, and your child should avoid them as much as possible,

Portion Sizes for Food

Remember that your preschooler doesn’t have a very big stomach, and doesn’t need portions the same size as you might consume. Realistic portion sizes for young children are much smaller than many parents believe.

To get the recommended 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, serve about ¼ cup of cooked or raw veggies, or ½ of a whole fruit. For canned fruits, a serving size is similar to cooked vegetables at about ¼ of a cup. That serving of juice does count as a portion of fruit, but it should only be one of the servings each day.

A proper portion size for a serving of protein is about 1 ounce of cooked lean meat, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, or ½ cup of cooked beans. When it comes to dairy products, a portion includes about ½ cup of milk, ½ cup of yogurt, or ¾ ounce of cheese. Finally, a proper portion of grains for a preschooler is ½ slice of bread, ¼ cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta, or about 4 crackers.

If you want your preschooler to be able to eat everything on his plate, make sure you are serving him portion sizes he can handle. The most commonly over-sized foods are meats and grains, so as a general rule try to make sure the vegetables take up more room on the plate than foods like pasta or rice. If need be, measure the portion sizes until you get better at eyeing how much is enough – and how much is too much.

Safety for Self-Feeding

When your baby starts to feed herself, she is learning important life skills and moving towards independence. It takes a long time, however, for a baby to successfully learn to self-feed, and while she is learning you will need to be vigilant and very cautious about what she eats and how she is eating it.

Self-feeding and Choking Hazards

Although your baby might be feeling confident about her ability to handle any baby food put in front of her, remember that she also thinks it’s a good idea to put everything in her path into her mouth. Your baby can’t judge the size of a piece of food and know whether or not it could cause her to choke. When serving finger foods to your baby, you must make certain that the pieces of food are small enough and well cooked enough that they aren’t likely to become lodged in your baby’s throat causing her to choke. Foods that dissolve easily are the best choices for first finger foods as they will break down quickly and reduce the risk of choking.

There’s another choking hazard inherent in self-feeding that can occur no matter how small you cut up your baby’s food. Many babies get a little overzealous with the joy of being able to get food into their own mouths, and will continue to stuff more food in before they have had the chance to chew and swallow what is already in there. The best solution to this problem is to dole out the finger foods only a few bites at a time, but if you want to put the whole bowl in front of your baby, stay close and make sure she chews and swallows each bite before going for another mouthful.

Avoid foods that might seem like a good choice but are in fact some of the top choking hazards for babies. Raisins, grapes and nuts are all choices to save for when your baby is a little older. Although grapes can be cut up into smaller, more manageable bites, they outer skin can still be tough for a baby to handle as an early food. Hot dogs and sausages are another choice that can be made safer by cutting them into small pieces, but are probably best saved until your baby is a little older.

Safe Use of Utensils

When you introduce baby to a fork and spoon in order to feed himself, be sure that they are safe choices. Look for forks with slightly rounded tines. Plastic is an even safer choice, but plastic forks rarely work well due to their general inability to spear food effectively. Instead, choose metal, but make sure the tines can’t hurt baby – or you! Purchase baby forks and spoons rather than using regular utensils, even the smaller dessert forks and spoons you may have. A baby spoon should have a rubber tip or be made of plastic to be gentle on your baby’s gums.

Your baby isn’t all that good with the fork and spoon yet, and it may not land right where he aimed, so make sure he is holding a tool that will do the job for him, but doesn’t pose any risk of injury. You will probably need several sets, as you’ll find your baby drops his utensils a lot during the learning process, and will need a clean one!

Baby’s First Spoons

When your baby starts on solid food, the spoon will become an important part of every meal. At first, you will want a spoon that works best for your hands, but when your baby is ready to try using a spoon on his own, he’ll need something a little different. Find the right spoon for both purposes with a few easy tips.

A Spoon for First Feedings

When choosing the right spoon to start feeding your baby solid baby food, there are a few things to keep in mind. Babies have very tender gums, and they can be especially sensitive if your baby is starting to cut teeth. A good first baby spoon will have a rubber coated tip to be gentle on baby’s gums.

Because you will be handling this spoon, you will need a long enough handle to make it easy to grasp and control. Baby spoons also have long handles to make it easier to reach the bottom of a baby food jar. These spoons are ok for your baby to hold onto and to get used to the idea of what a spoon is and how it works, but they won’t work very well for baby actually feed himself. This requires something a little different.

The Right Spoon for Self-feeding

When your baby is ready to try self-feeding with a spoon, you will need to get him something that works better for his little hands. This time, look for a thicker handle with a rubber grip that baby can wrap his fingers around. He won’t hold a spoon quite the way you do at first, but will hold it in his fist in a tight grip.

A self feeding spoon will have a larger tip that can hold a little more food. Look for something more concave that will allow some food to stay on the spoon even when your baby tips it. Bringing the spoon steadily to his mouth without tipping it will take a long time and plenty of practice.

When to Give Baby a Spoon

You can give your baby a spoon to hold right from her first feeding. She won’t do much with it, but over time she will start to imitate your motions, dipping the spoon into the food and bringing it to her mouth. When you see her start to do this, she is probably ready to try in earnest. It will be a messy process, but your baby will be learning necessary skills for life, so hang in there and let her figure it out!

Although your baby already has the general idea down, show her how to scoop food onto the spoon and bring it to her mouth. Hold your hand over hers on the spoon and direct the motions a few times. Then, let her give it a shot. Thick foods like oatmeal are a great choice for these early feedings as they will stick to the spoon a little better and not fall off quite as easily. It will be a while before she can take on soup, but she is working on the steady hands and careful motions required to get that food all the way to her mouth!

Learning to use a spoon is an important step towards your baby’s independence. Encourage her to keep trying, and don’t get upset over the mess; she isn’t doing it on purpose, and it’s all part of the process. Before you know it, she will be a spoon expert!

Providing Enough Nutrition for your Toddler

When your toddler graduates from breast milk or formula to cow’s milk, she is no longer getting all the nutrition she needs in liquid form. Cow’s milk can’t replace all of the nutrients that were being provided by the breast milk or formula, so you will need to make certain that your toddler gets everything she needs from her food.

The key to good nutrition for your toddler is to make sure she eats a balanced toddler diet that offers a variety of foods. Different foods provide different nutrients, so the more variety in her diet, the better and more complete her nutrition will be.

Expanding Food Horizons

In the early stages of toddlerhood, before your little one decides to start getting picky about food, you should start offering as many different foods as you can, to introduce many new flavors. Spend some time in the produce department or at a local farmer’s market. Ask questions about fruits and vegetables you don’t recognize. They might turn out to be something you toddler loves, and could replace the nutrition missing from foods she refuses to eat.

Your toddler won’t eat everything you put in front of her, but the more different foods you offer, the more likely she will be to find something she likes. Every child, and even every adult, has some foods they simply don’t like and never will. Rather than forcing your child to eat something she really dislikes, try to find other foods that offer similar nutritional value to make up the difference.

Feed a Balanced Toddler Diet

The best way to make sure your toddler is getting all the nutrients she needs in her diet is to serve the right number of servings from each of the food groups. Aim for 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 servings of protein, 4 servings of dairy, and 3-4 servings of grains every day.

Spread all of these servings out over 3 meals and 2 snacks during the day, so that your toddler is only faced with a few foods at a time. The snacks are especially important as snack time is often when less than nutritious foods tend to hit the table. Make sure that every meal and every snack offers servings of nutritious foods, and skip empty calories that might fill your toddler up and cause him to skip out on healthier foods.

Using Supplements

If your toddler is getting the right number of servings from each food group every day, and eating a variety of different foods on a regular basis, it’s likely he is getting the right nutrition. Still, many pediatricians recommend a multivitamin supplement that can help to fill in any nutritional gaps in your child’s diet. Supplements are meant only to back up the foods your toddler eats, and shouldn’t be relied upon to provide all or most of the needed nutrients. Don’t skip servings of vegetables on the belief that the supplement will make up the difference.

Because toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, supplements are generally a good idea for those times when you just can’t get him to eat right. Think of them as a backup line of defense to keep your toddler healthy – but only a backup. No matter how difficult it might be, you should keep trying to get all the needed foods into your toddler’s diet every day.

Healthy Bag Lunches for Preschoolers

The best way to make sure your preschooler is getting a healthy, balanced lunch is to pack a homemade bag lunch. For busy moms on the go, it can be difficult to come up with fast and nutritious foods to fill a lunchbox or brown bag every day, but it can be done if you just plan ahead! Pack your child’s lunch the night before, and have it ready to go for morning. It will be one less thing off your to-do list during the morning craze.

Looking for some great ideas for a healthy lunch? Try some of these quick, nutritious options that will keep your preschooler full of energy and on a healthy eating track.

Sandwiches Reinvented

The sandwich standards can get a little repetitive, and aren’t always the healthiest either. But don’t toss sandwiches out – they are a convenient lunch than can easily be packed with delicious and nutritious fillings.

A good sandwich starts with good bread. Ditch the white bread and choose a whole grain option instead. If your child hasn’t had whole grain bread before, start with a smoother option that doesn’t contain whole seeds or pieces of grain. The fresher the better – unless you are toasting the bread, which won’t work well for a sandwich that isn’t being eaten right away, soft fresh bread is best. As an alternative, try a tortilla or pita to fill instead of using slices of bread. It will break up the monotony and come along with some fun new filling ideas.

A little tired of the old peanut butter and jam routine? Take a cue from Elvis and swap the jam for slices of banana. Toss them in a little lemon juice first to prevent browning, and then layer thin slices in between peanut butter coated bread. Or mix things up even more by trying almond butter as an alternative. Check with your child’s preschool before sending any nut-based food, however, as some have bans due to allergies.

Most kids like ham & cheese – but not every day. Offer different types of cheese and deli meats for new tastes. Don’t forget fresh lettuce and tomatoes, but package them separately to avoid sogginess. Nobody likes a soggy sandwich!

Quick and Healthy Sides

Fruits and vegetables make a perfect addition to your preschooler’s lunch. Whole or sliced apples, berries and bananas are all great choices. Add a yogurt dip to make them extra fun and tasty. Chopped fresh veggies with a little ranch for dipping are also a perfect choice. Throw in an applesauce cup if you don’t have time for cutting up fresh fruit.

Another great choice to add to the sandwich is a little baggie of trail mix made at home. Mix together raisins and other dried fruit with nuts (again, check regulations) and whole grain dry cereals for a crunchy treat that is full of great nutrition. Make up a big batch and keep servings ready to go.

Healthy Drinks

When packing a beverage for your child, it’s ok to choose a juice box – just make sure your selection is 100% juice, and choose the smaller juice boxes that are intended for younger kids, so that they avoid drinking too much. A preschooler should stay under 6 ounces of a juice for the day, so one juice box will probably be it.

To make a fun drink that doesn’t have as much sugar, mix a little fruit juice with sparkling water in a bottle with a tightly fitting lid. It’s a perfect alternative to soda and prevents your child from overloading on juice.

A healthy, delicious bag lunch is not too hard to achieve. In fact, making these great lunches for your preschooler might inspire you to bring your own lunch to work too!

The Best First Finger Foods

Around 8-10 months of age, most babies will be ready to try finger foods. Every baby is a little different, however, so it’s more important to watch for the signs of readiness than to be concerned with your baby’s age. As with most milestones, some babies will be ready early while others won’t start finger foods until later. Don’t worry if your baby isn’t ready even by 10 months – it will happen soon enough!

Signs of Readiness for Finger Foods

In order to be ready for finger foods, your baby must have all of the same signs of readiness for solids, as well as a few other skills. Your baby should be able to sit up in a high chair without extra support, and should hold her head up without any difficulty. The tongue thrust reflex that causes babies to automatically push baby food out of the mouth to avoid choking should disappear around 6 months of age, but again every baby is different. This reflex should be gone before you offer baby finger foods.

The major skill your baby will need in order to start finger foods is the ability to actually pick up the food and get it into her mouth. At first, your baby will use her entire fist to gather up and grab food from her tray, and then attempt to shove it into her mouth. Gradually, however, she will start to use her fingers individually, and eventually adapt a pincer grasp – in which she will use her forefinger and thumb as a “pincer” to pick up food one piece at a time and bring it to her mouth. Although you can let your baby practice before she really gets the pincer grasp, it is one of the best signs of readiness for finger foods.

Choosing Finger Foods for Baby

The best finger foods for babies have a few things in common: they are easy to pick up, they are soft or will easily become soft in the mouth, and they do not present a choking hazard. To test a food before giving it to your baby, put it in your mouth and use only your tongue and the roof of your mouth to mash it. See how quickly it becomes soft and how easy it is to mash without using your teeth. Foods that dissolve easily and don’t require teeth to break up are good finger food choices for baby.

Some of the classic first finger foods for babies include dry cereal (such as Cheerios), small pieces of soft fruit or cooked vegetables (peas are perfect as they are small, easy to grasp, and mash easily without teeth) and pasta. Choose small types of pasta such as elbow macaroni or shells, and cook it very well (softer than al dente, which is how adults normally eat pasta) so that it will be easy for baby to mash in his mouth. While you might prefer your pasta in a sauce, it’s best to skip it when serving pasta to baby as a finger food. Sauces can make the pasta more slippery and hard for your baby to grip. They will also make the feeding process a lot messier!

Crackers that dissolve easily are another great idea for first finger foods. Choose low-sodium saltines or graham crackers, both of which become soft quickly when moistened. There are also some crackers on the market aimed at babies, but beware of teething biscuits, which are entirely different! Soft, small pieces of cheese are another excellent finger food, but be sure to cut them small as cubes of cheese pose a choking hazard.

Cheese isn’t the only potential choking hazard, so use caution about the size of every finger food you offer, and keep a close eye on your baby while she eats.

The Healthy Perks of Pumpkin

If you have never thought about pumpkin beyond your jack-o-lantern or Thanksgiving pie, you are missing out on a great ingredient that brings more nutrition to the party than you’d think. Cooked pumpkin has a number of great culinary uses in more than just pie. It is surprisingly versatile, and easy to use.

Although most people buy pumpkin canned, it’s very easy to cook your own from a fresh pumpkin. Pumpkins are a fall crop, but cooked pumpkin puree freezes wonderfully to be used any time you need it. Canned pumpkin is a quicker option, however, and still offers all the nutritional benefits, so don’t skip pumpkin just because you don’t have time to cook and puree it!

The Nutrition in Pumpkin

Pumpkin is an incredibly good source of Vitamin A, and also provides Vitamins C and E as well as many B vitamins including folate. It also offers calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.

Low in fat and cholesterol, pumpkin adds a lot of nutrition for very few calories, making it a great food for those looking to fill up on a calorie-restricted diet.

How to Cook with Pumpkin

Look beyond your pumpkin pie; cookies, muffins, quick breads and scones are all a great place to use pumpkin. You will turn a sweet treat into something with a much bigger nutritional value simply by adding pumpkin to the batter. Baked goods involving pumpkin are often less sweet than other choices because pumpkin pairs so well with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, which add a lot of taste without a lot of calories.

That’s not all you can do with pumpkin, though! Make a delicious pumpkin soup or stew, or add pumpkin to chili – it will work great with the spices and adds creaminess and a distinct flavor. Add pumpkin to pasta sauces and use it to top noodles or layer in a lasagna. It makes a great addition to vegetarian lasagnas, adding flavor and texture without meat.

Pumpkin is also perfect in risotto and other creamy dishes; a smooth pumpkin puree gives substance and thickens a sauce. It brings a nutritional boost to dishes not always known for being healthy!

Although any pumpkin will do for cooking, there are certain pumpkins you should look for depending on what you are planning to make. Pie pumpkins are the best choice for pumpkin pie of course, but also better for baked goods due to a smoother texture and slightly sweeter taste. Most supermarkets will have them, as well as farmer’s markets. They are smaller than the pumpkins used for carving jack-o-lanterns.

Pumpkin is great at breakfast too! Try pumpkin pancakes, or pumpkin oatmeal. With the right spices, you will think you are eating pumpkin pie for breakfast – and so will your kids!

Pumpkin doesn’t always have to be pureed. You can use chunks of pumpkin in much the same way you might use other types of squash. Roast it and mix it with other vegetables, or add it to a skewer with meat heading to the grill.

With its bright orange color, distinct flavor, and versatility, pumpkin can liven up many dishes and also add a great dose of vitamins and minerals. Keep some on hand in the freezer so you will have it available whenever inspiration strikes! Take pumpkin beyond Halloween and Thanksgiving for a great tasting, nutrition packed option that is perfect any time of the year.

The Most Common Choking Hazard Foods

Do you know which baby foods pose the highest risk of choking to young children? Some of them may surprise you. Make sure to learn which foods are dangerous and keep them off the menu until your child is old enough and has the right teeth and skill to chew them properly.

The AAP has identified ten foods that are the top food choking hazards for children under 4 years old. Most choking incidents involve food, although luckily most of them are not fatal. The risk is not worth taking, however, so make sure that you and everyone who cares for your children knows what these foods are, and avoids them or takes the right precautions when serving them.

The Top Ten Choking Hazard Foods

While some of these might be obvious, others may not have occurred to you. The ten foods most likely to cause choking are as follows:

  • Hot Dogs: Their round shape can easily lodge in a child’s small airway, and they are too heavy to easily cough out. Hot dogs can be served, but should be cut up into small bites by quartering each round slice carefully.
  • Nuts and seeds: These may seem obvious to some people, but remember that it isn’t just a bowl of nuts that pose the risk. Nuts and seeds can appear in all kinds of baked goods, so keep an eye out for them
  • Chunks of meat or cheese: Meat should be cooked thoroughly and served in very small bites. Cheese is best sliced thin or even shredded, and never served in cubes.
  • Whole grapes: The skin can be very hard to break through, especially without teeth. Grapes should be cut into quarters before serving.
  • Hard, sticky candy: This one isn’t all that surprising to most people, and you might never think of giving your baby hard candy – but make sure well-meaning grandparents and others know the rule as well. As your child gets older, hard candy is still not a good idea – keep candy a rare treat and serve only soft options.
  • Popcorn: Most parents are surprised by this one; after all, popcorn is a soft, fluffy bite that melts in your mouth. Unpopped and partially popped kernels, however, pose a serious risk.
  • Chunks of peanut butter: If you have ever gotten peanut butter stuck on the roof of your mouth, you can imagine how this could become a problem. Serve smooth peanut butter in a very thin layer, and try spreading it on warm toast so that it melts.
  • Raw vegetables: Until your child is able to chew very effectively, don’t offer raw vegetable such as carrots which are hard and can pose a choking hazard. Cook vegetables at least partway before serving.
  • Chewing gum: You might never offer chewing gum to a baby or young child, but that doesn’t mean they might not get their hands on it. Keep it safely out of reach.

Knowing this list and using caution with these foods is a good step towards avoiding choking hazards. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know what to do in case your child does choke. The Red Cross and other organizations offer training for parents in choking and CPR. Make sure you keep your skills up to par, so that you will be able to provide your child with help if it should be required.

The Many Uses for Mushrooms

While the most common mushroom in American kitchens is the white button mushroom, these staples of many world cuisines come in various forms from shitake to portobello. With a wide variety of flavors, sizes, and culinary uses, mushrooms are easy to add to many dishes.

Although mushrooms grow in the wild, there are many species that are poisonous. It’s best to stick to mushrooms purchased from your local grocer or farmer’s market to be on the safe side, unless you happen to be a mushroom expert! The poison in mushrooms can be fatal, so don’t take any chances.

The Nutrition in Mushrooms

Because there are so many varieties, the nutritional value of a mushroom can change depending on the type. Most types however, offer a wide variety of nutrients, including B Vitamins, potassium, iron, zinc, folate and Vitamin C. They are also a good source of dietary fiber and protein as well. Mushrooms contain a good dose of selenium as well, which makes them great immunity boosters.

New growing methods using ultraviolet lights infuse some mushrooms with a good dose of Vitamin D, which can be hard to get from other food sources. This tends to darken the mushroom’s skin, which might be a help in identifying mushrooms high in Vitamin D.

Mushrooms are low in fat and cholesterol and generally low in calories, making them a great way to fill up without adding a lot of empty calories to a meal.

How to Serve Mushrooms

Mushrooms are used around the world in any number of popular recipes. They can be eaten raw either whole or sliced into a fresh salad. They can also be cooked in a variety of ways, adding an earthy flavor to many dishes.

The type of cuisine can determine the type of mushrooms you would like to use, or vice versa. White button mushrooms are versatile enough to use in just about any dish where mushrooms are called for. Add them to soups, stews, rice pilaf or risotto. Cooked mushrooms make a great topping for a burger or a steak, with or without a sauce. Mushrooms are also a great addition to any gravy, as they go perfectly with both red meat and poultry too.

Cream of mushroom soup is a one of the most popular cream soups on the market, and is used in all kinds of recipes from casseroles to sauces. You can purchase it in cans, or even make your own at home for a fresh, healthy flavor.

Mushrooms are great tossed with pasta no matter what kind of sauce you are using, from tomato based sauces to alfredo, to even pesto. Try different species of mushrooms for variations in flavor. Mushrooms are a favorite topping for pizza – instead of ordering out, top a homemade pie with freshly sliced mushrooms.

Add mushrooms to breakfast by scrambling them with eggs and cheese, or adding them to an omelet. They also work great in other egg-based dishes such as quiche.

At just about every meal, fresh, healthy mushrooms can find a place. The uses for them are nearly endless, as they compliment so many flavors and add their own special taste without overwhelming a dish. At breakfast, lunch, or dinner, mushrooms pack a powerful nutritional punch along with great flavor that is like nothing else.

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