A tiny vegetable, packed with nutritious goodness, peas are good to introduce as one of your baby’s first green vegetables, at around the age of 8 months. Peas are low-allergen and quite easy on an immature digestive system – though the skins do not puree well, and you may prefer to push cooked peas through a fine sieve for a really smooth texture.
Peas are good for baby (and you):
Nutritionally speaking, peas are like diamonds: small in size – great in value! They provide calcium to help strengthen bones and teeth, and folate to support nerve function and the development of red blood cells. Peas are also a good source of iron – important, because a breast or bottle-fed baby’s iron levels begin to drop after about 6 months. Vitamins A, B6 and C are also found in peas.
Hints on buying and storing:
- Buy peas in the pod – already shelled ones are difficult to check for damage, and may not be very fresh.
- Peas are among the less contaminated of vegetables – their pods protect them even more.
- Look for bright, crisp-looking pods that have a ‘velvety’ feel.
- Pods should be quite thin – thick, tough ones are old.
- Small- to-medium pods mean smaller, sweeter peas.
- Keep in the refrigerator – but use within a day or two.
- Frozen peas are harvested and flash-frozen, so retain nutrients well and are a good alternative to fresh.
Tips on cooking:
- ‘Pod’ the peas then steam them, or place in a small amount of boiling water to cook until tender.
- Cook in a homemade stock for a change of flavour.
- Hot cooked peas will puree more smoothly if plunged into iced water first.
Ideas for ways of including peas in your baby’s meals:
- Mix pea puree with apple or grape puree.
- Mash into cooked sweet or white potato, carrot, pumpkin, courgette (zucchini) or green beans.
- Add to cooked lentils or other legume, or brown rice.
- Include in chicken, pork or beef dishes.
- Mash into tofu.
Please remember: Always consult your baby’s paediatrician or doctor about introducing new foods.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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