This time of year is a great time to get kids to eat veggies, since there is so much in season! One of my favorite summer veggies for kids are peas–there are various types, and kids seem to especially like them raw.
One of my grandsons, Theo, has an aversion to any food that is green these days, but I recently gave him raw sugar snap peas and he ate them! His parents couldn’t believe it.
Here are some tips on buying, storing, and eating peas:
1. It’s best to eat any type of peas the day you buy them since the sugars start to turn to starch the minute they’re picked.
2. If you choose to store peas, put the pods in an open bag in the refrigerator and shell before using. They will be good for about 3 days like this.
3. Shell peas are the best bet for kids. They are more difficult to find, unless you have access to a farmer’s market. Kids love to help shell them and usually once they eat one of the little raw peas inside the shell they are hooked, both in shelling and eating.
4. Shell peas are also delicious cooked. Once you have a few cups of shelled peas, you can gently steam them and add a little butter if you like. I often add them added to some brown rice for an easy dinner side dish.
5. Some children will like sugar peas or snap peas (you eat the shells on both of these). I “string” them first by removing the top and pulling the “string” from the side. They are delicious and sweet when fresh and raw. Or you can slice in half and add them raw or steam them and toss with pasta.
Snap, Shell and Snow Peas
If you are sure your kids won’t eat peas but they’ve only ever had the frozen variety, you may be shocked to see them giving (fresh) peas a chance!