Snow peas, when cooked, may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is usually around 6 months of age.
Snow peas and snap peas have different flavor, shape, and size. Snow peas have flat, thin pods containing smaller peas. Snap peas have round, thicker pods containing bigger peas. The crunchy pods of both varieties are best eaten when underripe because they become more fibrous as they mature. Snap peas are also called “sugar snap peas” which hints at the sweeter taste than snow peas. Both snap peas and snow peas produce delicate flowers and sweet young sprouts that are featured in congees, curries, stir-fries, and many more dishes with roots in Asia, the native home of both legumes.
Hawii, 11 months, eats snow peas.
Adie, 15 months, eats fresh snow peas
Yes. Snow peas are a good source of folate and vitamins B6, C, and K, which collectively support neurodevelopment, metabolism, immune function, and healthy blood clotting. Plus, they offer fiber to support digestive health and modest amounts of iron for baby’s red blood cells. Lastly, snow peas are rich in antioxidants to help support the body’s resilience against stressors.
Yes, the firm texture of snow peas poses some risk. To reduce the risk, cook and chop the pea pod before serving. As always, make sure you create a safe eating environment and stay within arm’s reach of baby during meals. For more information on choking, visit our sections on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.
No. Snow peas are not a common allergen. Pea allergies have been reported in some patients with allergies to other legumes, particularly chickpea and lentil. Being allergic to one type of legume does not necessarily mean that an individual will be allergic to all others, although the risk of having more than one legume allergy can increase. Fortunately, most individuals with peanut or soy allergy (both common food allergens) are able to tolerate other legumes, such as snow peas, just fine.
Individuals with allergies to birch tree pollen and/or Oral Allergy Syndrome (also called pollen-food allergy syndrome) may be sensitive to legumes. Oral Allergy Syndrome typically results in short-lived itching, tingling, or burning in the mouth and is unlikely to result in a dangerous reaction. Cooking snow peas can help minimize and even eliminate the reaction.
As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity for the first few servings. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the quantity over future meals.
Yes, snow peas contain fiber and water, both of which help support healthy gut bacteria, bulk up poop, and hydrate the intestines to support healthy digestion and bowel movements. High-fiber foods can also produce gas and while this is normal, it can be uncomfortable for baby. To minimize digestive discomfort, introduce high-fiber foods like snow peas gradually and regularly in baby’s diet as tolerated. Remember that pooping patterns can vary significantly from baby to baby. If you have concerns about your baby’s pooping and digestive function, talk to your pediatric healthcare provider.
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience.
Cook and finely chop snow peas to fold into soft foods that baby can scoop, such as congee and other warm porridges. Alternatively, offer a whole, raw or cooked snow pea as a teether (just know that baby is not likely to get any food in the belly this way, but munching on the pod can help develop oral-motor skills).
Cook and chop snow pea pods to offer on their own or as part of a meal. This size helps baby develop the pincer grasp, where the thumb and index finger meet.
Offer bite-sized pieces of raw or cooked snow peas. If your child is doing well with chopped pieces of snow pea and you feel comfortable with it, offer whole snow peas for biting and chewing practice under close supervision. If your child doesn’t seem ready for whole snow peas, do not worry; this is likely to come closer to 18-24 months of age. Expect lots of spitting, since the fibrous pods are challenging to chew.
Continue offering cooked whole or chopped snow peas, either on their own or as part of a meal. At this age, many toddlers are ready to eat whole, raw snow pea pods, with supervision. And continue to expect spitting as toddlers develop jaw strength and gain confidence in their chewing. Snow peas are a great interactive food for toddlers: investigate how loud it crunches when you bite into it, or ask them how many peas they think are inside each pod.
Get lunch ideas for home or daycare with our guide 75 Lunches for Babies & Toddlers.
6 peas + ⅓ c (80 ml) dip
This recipe contains a common allergen: peanut (peanut butter). Only serve to a child after this allergen has been safely introduced. Always check for potential allergens in ingredients listed on the labels of store-bought processed foods, such as peanut butter. Added ingredients may include honey, which should not be given to babies younger than 12 months.
Prepare the Peas
Peel the stringy seam from each pod.
Place the pods in a steamer basket in a pot or a microwave-safe bowl. Add enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pot or bowl.
Cover and steam the pods until they have brightened in color and softened slightly, about 1 minute in the microwave or 3 minutes on the stovetop.
Prepare the Dip
Juice the orange.
Whisk the orange juice and peanut butter until smooth with no clumps. If it looks too thick, add a splash of water. The dip should be smooth and saucy.
Serve the Peas and Dip
Offer snow pea pods and dip, and let your child self-feed.
If help is needed, dip a pod in the dip, then hold it in the air in front of your child and let them grab it from you.
Eat a pod alongside your child to model how it’s done.
To Store: Steamed snow peas and peanut butter dip keep in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Snow peas taste great with other green vegetables, beef, chicken, and peanut and sesame oils.
Pediatrician & pediatric gastroenterologist
Pediatrician & pediatric allergist/immunologist
Pediatric occupational therapist, feeding & swallowing specialist, international board-certified lactation consultant
Speech-language pathologist, feeding & swallowing specialist
Pediatric registered dietitian & nutritionist
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