Peas for Baby
The nutritional value of peas is pretty impressive. Not only are they sweet and delicious, they are high in calcium and vitamins K and C and just one cup of peas has more protein than 1 tbsp of peanut butter! It’s not often that you hear about how nutritious peas are, but they are packed with potent phytonutrients that have been shown to protect against stomach cancer and inflammatory conditions, regulate blood sugar and even lower fasting blood sugar levels. Peas also replete the soil with nitrogen, reducing the need for fertilizers. This legume may be sweet, but is also fairy low in sugar, making them a tasty but healthy snack that both baby and kiddo will enjoy. Serve them on their own seasoned with salt and butter, or add them to a sweet or savory puree for a big nutritional boost.
Highlighted Nutritional Importance of Peas
Vitamin K – vital for healthy bones and for the blood clotting process (1 cup of peas contain 52% of your daily recommended vitamin K!)
Vitamin C – a potent antioxidant that helps heal small cuts and wounds and helps maintain a strong immune system
Thiamine – also known as vitamin B1, thiamine enables you to convert carbohydrates into energy and is essential for baby’s brain development
Vitamin A – crucial for healthy vision and bone growth
Manganese – this potent antioxidant helps protect cells from damage and helps form bone and cartilage
Phosphorus – about 85% of phosphorus is found in our bones and teeth, making it a crucial mineral for healthy bone growth
Magnesium – helps to maintain a healthy, strong skeletal system and a steady heart rhythm
Copper – helps to form collagen which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and connective tissues while we age
How to Select and Store Peas for Baby Food
According to the EWG, peas are on the dirty dozen list, meaning they are one the foods most contaminated with pesticides. Buying organic is recommended, but a personal choice.
When selecting fresh green peas, check the pod carefully in order to ensure the peas are firm, crisp and bright green in color. The majority of peas (about 95%) are frozen or canned, so you may decide to go this route when purchasing. Frozen tend to retain their color, texture, and flavor better than canned peas, and tend to have less sodium. Both options should remain fresh if unopened for 6-12 months.
Steaming or sauteing peas is an easy, healthy way to prepare this veggie. Tossing the peas into ice water after cooking is said to create an even smoother puree for baby! Peas are sweet and tasty and can be enjoyed on their own or added to a savory puree for a big nutritional boost. Baby and kiddo will love them!
Recipes Using Peas