Welcome to our peas baby food recipes section! If you’re thinking about introducing peas to your little one any time soon, find out how to prepare them in ways he’ll really enjoy!
You can offer peas to your baby (with your doctor’s consent, of course) from 6 months of age.
You’ll often see jars of commercially prepared pea puree marketed as a ‘first food’ – although, in our experience, pureed peas may not actually make the best first food for baby.
This is because peas may cause gas in some babies (and in some adults, too!) – so, if you’d like to wait until a little later to introduce peas, why not visit our Best First Food for Baby section to find some other great ideas to try right now!
Peas, like other legumes, may be unsuitable for babies with G6PD Deficiency – please see this page for more information.
Peas are not usually sold by variety, although many varieties DO exist.
Frozen peas are often the most readily available (read more about making baby food with frozen fruits and veggies here) and are both easy to use and very nutritious.
Canned peas are also widely available, although they tend to be unsuitable for use in your baby food recipes as they usually contain salt or sugar. Processed – or marrowfat – peas are also best avoided as they, too, usually contain salt and have gone through extensive processing, which strips them of many of their nutrients.
Petit pois are simply – if you haven’t guessed by their name – very small garden peas. They are picked whilst young and offer the same nutritious benefits as regular green peas.
Fresh peas are – sadly – less widely available. They are sold unshelled, in their pods, with several peas to a pod. Different varieties include snow peas/mange tout and sugar snap peas, which differ from regular (garden) peas because they are eaten whole – pods and all – before they are fully mature.
The website devoted to peas – peas.org – really puts the value of peas into perspective…
“Just one serving of freshly frozen garden peas and petits pois contains as much vitamin C as two large apples, more fibre than a slice of wholemeal bread and more thiamine than a pint of whole milk.”
Pretty impressive – and definitely worth including in baby’s menu when he’s ready!
Frozen peas are very easy to cook – simply steam them until tender or just boil a little water in a saucepan, add the peas, then cook until they return to the boil.
Fresh peas, however, require a little more work!
If you’re lucky enough to find fresh peas at your local market, choose vibrant, mid-green velvety pods and avoid those that are too light, too dark or speckled. The pod should rattle just a little when you shake it – if it rattles too much, the peas will not be as plump as they should be.
Now, we recommend using fresh peas on the day you buy them, as their taste will be at its best. If not, then be sure to store the peas in the fridge – heat changes the sugars in the peas into starch, so they won’t be anywhere near as sweet if stored unrefrigerated.
Always shell peas JUST BEFORE you are ready to use them.
Wash them, snap off the top and the bottom of the pod, then pull off the ‘string’ along the seam. Open the pod and use your thumb to remove the peas. If you have older children, this is a job you can delegate to them… kids love podding peas!
Although your newly shelled peas have been protected by their pods, we still recommend giving them an extra wash before using them in your baby food recipes.
TIP: When you purchase fresh peas in their pods, buy one pound of pea pods for every cup of shelled peas you need.
Steam them or boil them in a little water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender.
Pea puree can be difficult to get completely smooth, because the little bits of the skin tend to be rather stubborn! We’ve never had much success with using a hand blender to puree peas – our Magic Bullet has been the best tool for this, although the peas have to be pureed in small batches and STILL don’t come out 100% smooth.
The best way around the problem is to pass the puree through a very fine mesh strainer, which should filter out even the tiniest bits. Or use this tip from Andrea, one of our visitors…
I was able to get a smooth puree without straining by using a blender on the fastest setting and letting it run for two minutes or so. Add a little water so it really gets moving and the skins will puree.
For a more flavoursome green pea puree, why not try adding fresh, finely chopped…
Alternatively, try adding a little pinch of ground nutmeg!
And here’s another tasty idea for your baby…
Try stirring pea puree into natural yogurt and adding a little fresh, chopped basil… simple and delicious!
Cooked peas can make a wonderful finger food for older babies – a bowl of cooked peas would keep our little ones occupied for ages and our eldest daughter loved them so much that – when we introduced corn kernels – she would only eat them when we told her they were yellow peas!
And green peas are FUN… try using them to create a smiley face on a bowl of veggie puree, for example!
Delicious as they are, uncooked fresh peas are not a suitable finger food for babies. They are too hard and would present a choking hazard – save these sweet treats until your child is older and equipped with enough teeth to chew them effectively!
Fresh or frozen peas can be added to your baby’s food with ease – just toss a handful into soups, stews or casseroles a few minutes before the end of the cooking time (or around 10 minutes before for fresh peas).
Give these yummy ‘peas baby food recipes’ a try!