Baby food can be made from a wide variety of vegetables to provide your baby with the nutrients he or she needs. Peas are a common homemade baby food to feed babies and a great nutritional option for one of your baby’s first foods. Peas make a great side dish for your dinner, and you can quickly prepare them for your baby to eat as well, often in the same way.
In this article, you’ll learn how to prepare peas to serve to your baby, the health benefits of peas for babies, and you’ll also find a recipe to make the best pea dish for your little one.
How to Serve Peas to Your Baby
Kids often don’t like eating green foods, including peas. Luckily, you can get your child used to the color and taste of peas early on by preparing them as baby food. The best way to serve peas to a baby of at least 4 months is by pureeing them.
Pea puree is a popular food that parents use to introduce their babies to solids. It has a mild taste which is perfect for your baby’s palate, and it’s full of vitamins that will be beneficial to your little one’s immune system.
Avoid buying pre-made pea baby food from the grocery store. Store-bought brands often have an unappealing consistency and an acidic taste. Peas are generally inexpensive and available year-round. They’re also a dinner staple that can be prepared in various different ways, so it’s worth keeping some at home. They freeze well, which means you can purchase them in large quantities so that you won’t run out. You can also buy frozen peas and keep packages in your freezer. Frozen peas taste delicious and fresh when defrosted.
Pea puree is easy to prepare as a homemade baby food. All you have to do is give the peas a quick boil and either blend them or puree the peas in a food processor. You’ll end up with a smooth, creamy, bright and vibrant puree that is easy for your baby to consume. As your baby gets older, you can skip the pureeing and give your baby peas as finger food.
Benefits of Peas in Baby Food
Peas are a great choice of food to ease them into eating solids. Like most vegetables, they have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.
Some of the benefits of baby pea food include:
- High in fiber: The high level of fiber makes peas great for regulating your baby’s digestion
- Source of antioxidants: It’s great to help build up your baby’s immune system
- Source of Vitamin A: This is important for immune health and for healthy vision.
- Source of protein
What to Mix with Peas in Baby Food
Although peas have a mild taste, they can be boring on their own, even as a homemade baby food. It’s easy to mix peas with other sweeter foods to make the puree more palatable for your baby. Try mixing peas with bananas or apples to sweeten the puree. You can also try mixing with other vegetables to maximize the health benefits. Peas and carrots are a classic combination, and both vegetables are beneficial to your baby’s health and development.
You can also mix peas with:
- Breastmilk or formula
- Meats (chicken or fish)
How to Make Peas Baby Food: Pea Baby Food Recipe
Basic pea puree is very simple: you just boil fresh peas and throw them into a food processor. However, you can customize the homemade baby food by combining the peas with other fruits and vegetables, or by adding herbs and spices. A great combination is green pea and mint. Mint helps soothe a baby’s stomach, improves digestion, and improves focus, not to mention the added nutrients mint provides. Peas and mint also makes a good side dish for your own dinner, or you can turn the puree into a soup by adding some spices.
Here is a recipe for pea puree with mint.
2 cups of peas (fresh or frozen)
4 mint leaves
- Place the peas in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover the peas.
- Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 8 minutes or until tender.
- Transfer the peas to a food processor and add the mint. Puree until you achieve desired consistency. Add water to help you achieve the right texture.
- Serve immediately or store for later.
- Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezing: Use an ice cube tray to freeze pea puree. Put the pea puree into the ice cube tray and place them in the freezer. When they’re frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and place them in freezer bags before putting them back in the freezer. Frozen pea puree should be consumed within 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
- It’s always best to purchase organic produce to serve your baby. Be sure to thoroughly wash your peas once you bring them home from the grocery store and use vinegar to remove any unwanted bacteria.
- Add lemon juice to balance the flavor of the fresh peas and help maintain that vibrant color.
- Do not add sugar to the puree, even if your baby doesn’t like the natural taste. Instead, mix your peas with sweet fruit like bananas or peaches to make the puree more palatable for your baby.
- You can add some more flavor to your pea puree by adding different herbs such as basil, cilantro or parsley. Add other vegetables such as zucchini to change the consistency and add additional nutrients.
- Add formula instead of water to get your pea mixture to the right consistency and creaminess, as well as for additional sustenance.
- Although boiling the peas is quick, you can also steam them to keep the maximum amount of nutrients. There are a number of other cooking methods that you can use that can change the flavor of the peas. Try using the following cooking methods. You can also cook the peas in a skillet for 5-7 minutes instead.
- To keep the peas bright green, don’t cook them for too long, as to not let too much of the chlorophyll leave the peas. You can also “shock” the peas by immediately adding them to a bath of ice water after cooking.