The nutritional value of peas is more than amazing! Only one cup of peas contains more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter. In addition, it is an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Being highly nutritious and simply pleasant to eat, the peas are great first “green” food for your baby. You may find it hard to puree the skins smoothly when making homemade peas for your little one. In that case, run them through a sieve or a strainer, as this may be a problem for babies who are not used to textures yet.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE (1 cup peas, boiled)
- Vitamin A – 955.2iu
- Vitamin C – 22.72 mg
- Niacin – 3.23 mg
- Folate – 100.8 mcg
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – .41 mg
- Vitamin B6 – .35 mg
- Other vitamins in small amounts
- Potassium – 433.6 mg
- Phosphorus – 187.2 mg
- Magnesium – 62.4 mg
- Calcium – 43.2 mg
- Sodium – 4.8 mg
- Selenium – 3.0 mg
- Iron – 2.5 mg
- Zinc – 1.9 mg
- Manganese – .8 mg
- Small amount of copper
WHEN TO INTRODUCE PEAS TO YOUR BABY
Typically, peas should be introduced into baby`s diet between 6-8 months old. However, it is recommended to consult your pediatrician for further information and to discuss any feeding issues.
HOW TO SELECT AND STORE PEAS
According to EWG, peas are one of the 15 least contaminated foods when it comes to pesticides.
“When selecting fresh green peas, check the pod carefully. Look for peas that are firm, crisp, with a bright green color, and a fresh appearance. Fresh peas will feel almost velvet-like when you handle them. Try to buy medium sized pods rather than large ones. Avoid tough, thick-skinned pods, as this is an indication that the peas are over-matured, as well as those that exhibit the poor color or show any sign of decay or wilting.
Do not buy peas that are already shelled because you never know when they were shelled. When you bring green peas home from the market, remember they have a very short shelf life, so use them right away.”˚
PEAS BABY FOOD RECIPES
The best way to cook peas for baby food is steaming or boiling them in sufficient amount of water. Cook them in a homemade chicken, beef, or vegetable stock for a nice flavor.
- Minty Peas and Rice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¾ cup instant brown rice
- ¾ cup sliced scallions
- 1 ½ cups froze peas
- 1 ¼ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Ground pepper to taste
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and bring to the simmer. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat and cook for about 4 minutes.
Add the peas and return to a simmer over high heat. Cover the saucepan again, reduce the heat and cook for about 6 minutes. The peas should be hot and the rice should have absorbed most of the liquid by this point.
Finally, remove from heat and stir in the mint, scallions, and pepper. Cover the saucepan and let it sit until the liquid is absorbed. This step will take you about 3-5 minutes.
- Peas, Cauliflower, and Tofu with Spicy Orange
- 1 lb. peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 lb. cauliflowers, florets, fresh
- 1 lb tofu, firm, cubed
- 1 onion, medium sized
- 2 tbs. garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. Ginger, ground
- 1/3 cup Coconut, unsweetened shredded
- 1/2 cup Almonds*, whole shelled
- 2 Navel Oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut in half
- 1 – 12 oz. can *Orange Juice, frozen concentrate
- 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper, ground
- 1/2 tsp. Turmeric, powder
- 1 tbs. Corn Starch
- 3 tbs. Soy Sauce (low sodium)
First, peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Cook both onion and garlic until the onions become translucent.
Add the cauliflower, peas, tofu, ginger, turmeric, orange juice concentrate, and cayenne pepper. Add the shredded coconut, almonds, and orange sections when the ingredients become hot. Mix frequently so that all the ingredients are evenly cooked.
Mix the soy sauce and corn starch until you get a homogenous mixture. Add the mixture over the vegetables when they are tender. Continue mixing until the corn starch is dissolved. Serve over the brown rice!
- Nana’s Creamed Peas & Nuggets – 8 months+ due to dairy
- 4 cups peas, fresh, frozen or canned
- Pieces of chicken, beef, fish or pork
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for about a minute.
- Add the milk and make sure you whisk all the time in order to prevent lumps. Then, add the salt and pepper.
- Cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Add the peas, stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the meat too.
- Serve over multi-grain toast, rice or alone.
FOODS GOOD TO MIX WITH PEAS
- Winter Squash- butternut, acorn
- Summer Squash- zucchini or yellow/crooked necked
- Brown Rice
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Dried Beans
- White Potato