Food

Frozen Peas

Frozen Peas

Getting our little guys to eat vegetables has been one of our great parenting struggles over the last five years.

Until! I discovered something the other day: Our boys hate cooked peas, but somehow they LOVE frozen peas. The cold temperature makes them taste less pea-like and a little sweeter. They gobble them up and ask for more.

Thought I would share it today as a PSA for other parents, in case it works for you, too!

Frozen Peas

P.S. How to get your kids to talk at dinner, and 21 surprising parenting tips.

(Photos by Stella Blackmon for Cup of Jo)

  1. Haha I saw this and thought – this is how I get my boyfriend to eat his peas!

  2. Oh, this is fabulous: these were my oldest son’s favourite’s too! I’m going to have to share this because he’s now a teen and I’m just not writing about the million small tricks a mother does that makes you feel like you’ve voyaged out on a space mission, like this does! Frozen peas were, hands down, the best way — ever — to keep the kids eating a steady diet of vegetables. (And, I can report in — from the future — all 3 of my kids have broad pallets now.) Perfect share… so happy that I’ve ventured back to you lovely blog!

  3. I have the exact same problem as your kiddies lol and I love frozen peas too!

  4. Sarah says...

    The children I used to babysit loved to nibble on frozen corn for dinner and for snacks! They thought it was a treat every time.

  5. My nephews call them “pea Popsicles”!

  6. Asli says...

    I give my daughter frozen raspberries when she asks for dessert. She gets so excited!

  7. Erika says...

    My daughter inexplicably loves chopped frozen spinach. She gobbles it up and asks for more. Parent victory!

  8. A says...

    My sisters and I ate frozen peas constantly as kids! Now, when I’m making dinner, I cook peas for my husband and serve myself frozen ones, straight from the bag. Trader Joe’s fresh frozen petite peas are my favorite!

  9. Sandy says...

    Yes! Also really good for cooling down soup or dishes that are too hot such as macaroni and cheese (while sneaking in some veggies ;) )

  10. Rachel says...

    We used to eat frozen peas as kids all the time! Also my mom would let us eat raw green beans, which are just so much better crunchy and cold!

  11. wow! i may try this. my daughter resists veggies all the time!

  12. Chantal Rancourt says...

    I was the same as a kid!! I used to “sneak” handfuls of frozen peas from the freezer! For some reason I figured my parents wouldn’t let me eat them if they weren’t cooked (which I hated), so I thought I was being sneaky. They were probably watching from the doorway wondering why I was trying to be so stealth…

  13. Marcella says...

    I have a very good recipe for peas. Cut a fourth of a red onion and let it cook slowly in butter until it becomes translucent. Add the frozen peas and add enough water to cover the peas. Raise the flame so the water starts bubbling and add 1 cube of bouillon ( I use better than bouillon so o add one spoon). You can use either chicken or beef. Do not salt until the peas are cooked. Sometimes I do not use salt at all. Let it cook until peas are soft. Generally 15 or 20 min total. My brothers and I used to be crazy about them when we were little. My husband now loves them.

  14. MichelleLG says...

    Yep, my kids too. Frozen peas for the big win l.
    Also, edemame (in the pods). I dont offer it all the time (because soy, etc) but when i do they could eat heaps of it! Who knew? ;)

  15. Suzie says...

    Huh. I had never thought of it as kid food. I dated a guy who always snacked on frozen peas while he studied, though, and now I sometimes snack on them while I’m trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

  16. This made me laugh–my mom always kept frozen peas on hand when I was a kid because they can also double as a moldable ice pack for bruised knees or bumped heads!

  17. Ali says...

    I thought my mom was the only one who did this! When I’ve told my husband or friends about eating frozen peas as a kid, they look at me like I’m nuts.

  18. My CAT actually loves peas… frozen or not. He’ll gobble one up if I drop it on the floor, and he’ll chow down on a dish of peas.

  19. My kids both go nuts over frozen peas! I thought they were the only ones… :) I often pack frozen peas in my daughter’s lunch box. They’re a bit thawed by lunch time, but she still gobbles them up like crazy!

  20. Ali says...

    I will have to try frozen peas on our kids! Usually I just mix them up into risotto or other rice dishes. I tend to change up the vegetables we serve often and make them in various ways so the kids will experience different tastes and textures. We are Chinese, so I do a lot of Asian preparations (among others) and our rule is that everyone has to try something at least ONCE before saying they don’t like it. Usually after trying it, they actually like it!

    Our favorite preparations are haricot verts sauteed with fish sauce and garlic (Vietnamese/Thai inspired), and roasted broccoli with olive oil and sea salt. Whenever I make these two vegetable dishes there is nothing leftover! My husband and two girls (5 and 3) love them! I also resonate with something Chef Richard Blais said – “sauce is the liaison for flavor” … if we put something in a nice sauce, it will taste so much better! So let’s make our veggies flavorful and lovely so our kids will learn to enjoy them and be excited about them. Steamed broccoli is so boring!

  21. Crosby says...

    I’m a 28 year old woman and I still snack on frozen peas (and corn too!)
    They are so crunchy and cold and a little sweet and totally satisfying. I guess I’m just a kid at heart…er…stomach.

  22. Jacqui says...

    Dinner a Love Story does a great frozen pea pasta sauce..
    Just add oil, lemon juice, fresh mint and a pinch of salt to the peas in the blender and whizz it all up!
    Mix it through the pasta and my kids eat it all up!
    You can even add in some cooked broccoli to the mix too and disguise even more green goodness!

  23. My girls have frozen peas and corn as treats and they love them, great for a before dinner snack!

  24. Julianna says...

    My kid gets frozen peas EVERY night with dinner, I do frozen blueberries too. He also randomly LOVES canned carrots, and to my surprise and delight, FETA CHEESE!

  25. Claire T says...

    My kids like this too! I’ve been meaning to see what happens if I put them into a smoothie. They are kind of sweet so it might work?

  26. Jillian says...

    I gave my son frozen peas as an infant the first time because he was too hungry to wait for cooked ones. He thought it was so funny and now that’s how he prefers them. The other cool thing is that he influenced his older cousins and they like them that way now too!

  27. Ha – we totally did this when we were kids!!

  28. emanuella says...

    My sister did this with all four of her kids! Although, her kids thought frozen peas were candy so she would act like it was a special treat. This got them sneaking peas when she wasn’t looking. So funny seeing kids “sneak” vegetables.

  29. Holly says...

    My two boys love them, too! I heard once that some people have a cold-palate profile, and prefer many things cold over warm. This is certainly true of my oldest son, so when he doesn’t like something, I always try giving it to him cold.

    Tip: cocktail shakers are great for cooling off shelf-stable soups. ;-)

  30. Erin says...

    They make a great snack for teething babies too! When I get them out for the baby, my older two beg for them . . . Not going to say no to handing over vegetables. ;)

  31. rachel says...

    My 17 month old loves frozen peas, too! I read they were great for teething babies and gave them a try. My mom thought I was crazy but my daughter just loves them. :)

  32. Ana says...

    What a great idea. I usually cheat the vegetables in, like a little beetroot on strawberry juice (I make them with fresh fruits and vegetables at home); a bit spinach in the apple juice. We do struggle with soups, so I always declare a “soup race” at the table. Doesn’t do wonders for table manners, but at least I make sure all the vegetables they need get in their bodies.
    I usually get peas and carrots on the rice, so they eat them. And I also mix cauliflower in the mashed potatoes, so they have no idea they’re eating it. As for broccoli… well, I can’t blame them. I used to hate them, too.

  33. I find this hilarious you shared this. I actually am a huge frozen pea eater. Although I like them cooked too. My roommate used to laugh at me for eating frozen peas by the handful in the summer (and she’s not the only one). They’re a great treat when it’s hot out and you don’t have AC (also I don’t like popsicles). Her and I no longer live together but I remember running into her awhile back and her admitting to me she tried the frozen peas and she too was hooked. I think it’s just the texture frozen and the little bit of sweetness that makes them so great. Mmm. Now I’m hungry.

  34. Molly says...

    My son loves them!

  35. Megh says...

    My mom used to give us frozen peas as a snack while she was cooking dinner (because kids always want a snack while dinner is being prepared)…such a sweet, random memory.

  36. Leanne says...

    That’s funny. Just yesterday, my two year old eating frozen corn out of the bag while helping make dinner. He declined my offers to warm it up and kept on chowing down. I’ll have to offer peas next time too!

  37. christie landstrom says...

    We have been using this idea with great success for a couple years, Our kids eat them like popcorn for a snack : )

  38. Prudence says...

    I have never eaten frozen peas but if the kids love them, they must be pretty good! Thanks for sharing!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  39. Jennifer says...

    My friend suggested frozen peas when my daughter was teething .
    She loved them and now (she is 9 now) we often eat them as a snack or side dish. I thought we were the only ones! I was talking to a co worker who was needing snack ideas for her granddaughter and suggested frozen peas. She looked at me like I was crazy! Good to know I am not!

  40. jess says...

    my daughter (2yrs) loves these too.. also both my kids (2 &8yr) love edemame beans in their shells. I think they enjoy the task of getting them out! You can buy them frozen and just blanche them in hot water.

  41. I was the same way!

  42. Tamara says...

    Try warming them up with some coconut oil. My kids love it.

  43. Interesting! The only vegetable my grandson will eat is sweet potatoes. I keep reintroducing different vegetables but with no luck. I will definitely try the frozen route.

  44. Mine, too! In fact it was THE. ONLY. way I could get my oldest to even entertain putting something green into his mouth. Now it’s the only way he’ll eat peas. In Denmark, where he went to nursery school, they served a lot of raw veg (he still won’t eat a cooked carrot) and that’s the way he prefers them. You can also try squeezing a little fresh lime or lemon juice on some of the more challenging veg – like broccoli. Works like a charm for mine!

  45. Gillian says...

    YES!!! My mom used to do the same thing when I was little. She called them “pea-sicles.” My brother and I would often get big, frozen blocks of peas all lumped together and have to wait for them to melt down a little before eating them… but it was worth it, because we hated cooked peas! Thanks for sharing that insight with the mothering world, Joanna :)

  46. Lauren says...

    Have you tried making pea mash? Bit more of a grown up treat but add a little garlic and some mint and olive oil, mash up, serve on toast (sour dough preferred ;) ) with a poached egg on top. Scrumptious.

  47. Courtney uses this trick, I never got round to trying it but I shall now, you’ve spurred me on. Thank you!

  48. Courtney says...

    Umm… I still eat frozen peas, have since when I was a child. Nothing better in summer!

  49. Bek says...

    Same with mine! So weird! But totally going along with it!

  50. Kristina says...

    My mom gave me frozen peas as a baby and I still love them!

  51. i always happily ate cooked peas as a kid, but truly gobbled down the frozen ones!! i also liked to eat crushed ice so maybe those preferences were connected?! a happy find for you! my 2.5 year old likes them and calls them “brr peas.”

  52. Elise says...

    Mushy peas!

  53. My niece will eat frozen green beans. Ha!

  54. Stephanie says...

    Omg – yes! Just discovered this a couple weeks ago with my 2 year old!

  55. dawn says...

    Frozen edamame works too!

  56. My daughter LOVES frozen blueberries! We have also started serving the vegetable first before the rest of the meal…seems to be opening up the palate a bit more.

  57. Nancy says...

    Ha ha, yes! My kids eat two green veggies mainly– plain, steamed broccoli and frozen peas! It’s a mainstay and makes me feel less guilty about their sad veggie intake.

  58. We loved them growing up and they were my daughter’s most common fingerfood, even out and about! It was the only non-bread product that wasn’t messy and she LOVED them. My son not so much. He was throwing them on the floor just this evening ;) But we also do TONS of frozen berries…chopped strawberries or whole/halved blueberries. Mostly because it’s much more affordable than fresh!

  59. Katherine says...

    My husband still wants his peas frozen and most of his veggies raw, because when they were kids and nagging their mum for food near dinner time, she would give them uncooked veggies like it was a special treat that they were getting before dinner. Now he just likes them that way. This works with my boys too. They’ll eat a whole raw carrot while I’m cutting veggies but otherwise wouldn’t eat them off their plates. Kids!

  60. Wow, apparently everyone and their brother does this? I’ve never heard it before, but it’s genius! Gonna use it on my nieces and daughter!

  61. My kids eat bowls and bowls of frozen peas. And frozen berries and mango. I find it totally strange but I’m keeping my mouth shut.

  62. Daniela says...

    The kids I nanny tend to eat most of the frozen fruit we use for smoothies before it goes into blender. I find it so weird, brr!

  63. Robin says...

    Cook not cool! Ah autocorrect.

  64. Robin says...

    My two year old is the same – I used to cool peas for him, and he liked them, but he prefers them frozen! I only discovered when we were visiting his cousins and they wanted theirs frozen. He also really loves frozen berries straight from the freezer- I put them in a cup with a little water and he eats them with a spoon. Frozen mango is also popular. So strange!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg our boys are OBSESSED with frozen mango. little kids are so weird!!!

    • Jenna says...

      My husband likes frozen mango, too. He eats it as he puts it into the blender for our smoothies.

  65. My boys LOVE frozen peas! It started out as a suggestion I read somewhere on the internet, to pack frozen peas as a snack when heading out…the idea being by the time the kids are ready to snack, the peas will be thawed. Then one day they weren’t. Now the kids will only eat them frozen!

  66. My little guys love em frozen too!!!

  67. Have you seen the freeze-dried peas? I know they sell them at vitacost.com – they are strangely addictive!

  68. I like to use frozen strawberries as ice cubes in my kids water, they think it’s fancy and awesome.

  69. Kirsten says...

    I don’t recall eating frozen peas growing up, but I looked frozen corn! (Or any corn, really. I was a fanatic). Growing up, my dad had a poem he used to get us to eat peas that went: “I eat my peas with honey, I’ve done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny but it keeps them on my knife!” Worked on us like a charm. Somehow peas seemed less gross when we were trying to eat them stuck to a knife!

    • Kirsten says...

      Loved corn. Dang autocorrect.

    • My mom always recited the same poem!! :)

  70. Marianne says...

    Frozen corn is also delicious! Devoured them in college as a healthier alternative to candy while studying!

  71. Jo Chan Smith says...

    My daughter loved frozen peas when she was a toddler/pre-schooler. She loves them cooked as well, so that’s how we have them now. We were able to get her into salad the year she and Daddy grew lettuce in our yard. The thrill of eating homegrown has since worn off, but she still eats salad anyway, with only just a little resistance!

    • Jo Chan Smith says...

      ps! I only ever buy frozen baby peas – they’re SO much sweeter!

  72. Jane says...

    Ha! I thought you were going to say Alex got a vasectomy and was using frozen peas to ease the pain!

  73. Katie says...

    I’ve been snacking on frozen peas for years–something my mom used to do while she made dinner. Agreed, they’re delicious.

  74. Besides snacking on these frozen veggies myself…it’s surprisingly a favorite with my daughter’s pups too. They love green peas and green beans at the moment…don’t even get me started on frozen bananas. We no longer can say ‘banana’ out loud because they magically appear with tails wagging.

  75. Breanna says...

    My mom used to give my brother and me frozen peas to snack on when she was making dinner. To this day I still eat a few any time I’m cooking with them.

  76. Carmen says...

    My guys (3 boys) loved frozen peas too before they liked them hot. After I learned they did, I offered a variety of fruits and vegetables. A great way, and not sneaky at all, to get them to eat them.

  77. I need to try this! MY little one refuses to eat his veggies!!! I hope it works!

  78. Kelsey says...

    I grew up LOVING frozen peas! I would eat them that way all the time… and might need to get a bag after that reminder. As a nanny, I got the boy I watched to eat peas by serving them frozen, until the dad deemed it unsafe (apparently thinking they HAVE to be cooked? I’m still not sure).

  79. Meegan says...

    I thought this was just us:) So happy to read this….

  80. Laurel says...

    Same with my son! Same goes for frozen spinach. He won’t touch the fresh stuff but will eat the frozen stuff by the truckload. We microwave it….I’m not sure why he prefers this but hey, it works!

  81. Bri says...

    Yes! My 2 year old daughter loves frozen peas. She will eat them cooked, but really prefers them ice cold. They are her primary source of veggies. I also take them along as a snack…they keep whatever they are next to (yogurt squeeze, string cheese, etc.) cold! Great for teething, too!

  82. Emma says...

    I love this! My mom tapped into this too. My siblings and I loved frozen green beans, corn, lima beans, cherries, blue berries, and black berries. I still think it’s a good way to get your vegetables in. It’s great for when you’re feeling snacky but not hungry.

  83. Alice says...

    This is so funny because on Friday last week I was in a rush to feed my 19 month old and so I put some frozen peas on his plate while I cooked the rest and he gobbled them right up and immediately asked for more. I was thrilled! But the next morning I found many whole peas in his diaper so I’m worried maybe we wasn’t really chewing them, and therefore maybe not getting any nutrients? Anyway I felt the same as you – excited to find a veggie that goes down without a battle!

  84. Whitney says...

    … I also love to snack on frozen peas. They are so good. Maybe my mom used to use the frozen pea trick on us growing up!

  85. Lauren says...

    Frozen peas were my favorite snack as a kid!!

    I still eat them to this day, though my boyfriend thinks it’s the weirdest thing.

  86. margaux says...

    so great. my 3yo and my 15mo loves frozen peas, frozen edamam and frozen berries.

  87. I’m gonna try that! I make Luna a daily green smoothie with a handful of spinach so it makes me feel less guilty. Especially when her meals are mostly homemade fries and ketchup! ;) No matter what time of day when I ask what would you like to eat for breakfast she screams French Fries! Haha! At least I bake them weekly but Ohhh man she’s obsessed!

    Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

  88. Michela says...

    Yes! My mom used to give me a measuring cup full of peas while she cooked dinner, and I would completely devour them. Although I also love cooked peas, I’ll sometimes still eat them frozen while cooking myself (and I’m a grown-up now). So I’m happy to hear you found something that works, and something that is so nostalgic for me! Maybe the boys will even end up snacking on frozen peas as adults, too- just like I do.

    xoM

  89. Sarah says...

    When we were kids our parents would give us each a little bowl with frozen mixed veggies – peas, corn, and little squares of carrot – with lunch or dinner. My sister and I LOVED them!!

  90. Genevieve Luckel says...

    My two year old LOVES frozen peas. I never heat them up anymore!

  91. This is so interesting, because one thing my sisters and I (4 of us!) used to eat as kids was a bowl of peas, boiled with loads of butter in it! that was the only healthy snack that we would take the effort to make ourselves and actually enjoy as kids. got to be something about peas and kids!

    http://www.footnotesandfinds.com

  92. Alison says...

    When I was a little girl my mom used to open the bag of frozen peas at the grocery store and I would snack on them while she shopped! 30 years later sometimes I still treat myself, but at least now I wait until I get home ;)

  93. Devon says...

    Cold green beans are also a hit in my house!

  94. Lisa says...

    Must try this!
    The only way I can get my daughter to eat peas is if they’re snap peas — somehow breaking open the shell and picking out the little peas is like finding a little hidden surprise every time!
    Another tip — raw spinach leaves are a hit if I get her to pretend she’s a giraffe eating them off the tree.
    As you can imagine, dinner at our house takes a while!

    • Jess. says...

      The giraffe trick works on broccoli at our house (obviously we’re tremendously large giraffes in this scenario, and hilarity ensues).

  95. Caitlin says...

    Both of my daughters eat bags full of frozen veggies. It’s weird, but it works!

  96. That’s so funny! When I was little I loved cottage cheese with frozen peas- together! Not going to lie, I still eat it every once in awhile!

  97. Talia says...

    I used to call water “aqua pop” for my girls. They thought it was soda pop when it was really just water. They’d ask for it everywhere – friends, restaurants, etc and people would smile. Sweet memory!

  98. allie says...

    Another trick – which maybe is better for older, hungrier kids – which my Mama used to use. We were always starving, begging for dinner to be ready while we watched TV or did homework, but when it was time for dinner we’d gobble down the ‘fun’ part and ignore our salad. So Mum started making little bowls of salad that she’d drop to us before dinner, when we were hungry but distracted by TV or math homework. And what do you know we’d eat it all up and still have room for dinner. Clever Mama. I’ll be using that trick when the time comes!

    • Julia says...

      Same here: When I’m preparing lunch or dinner and my sons (3 and 6) move impatiently around me, they are so happy to get anything before the official meal time, and for sure do I take advantage of These rare occasions by offering them sticks of the raw vegetables I am slicing. I pretend that I’m doing it reluctantly since I need the vegetables for cooking – which only rises their interest :-)

  99. Caitlin says...

    This was my favorite snack growing up. My mom would put them in a little cup so that I could carry them around the house with me while I played!

  100. Mairéad says...

    Yep, discovered frozen peas about a year ago – I give them a little ramekin of peas each while they are waiting for their dinner to cook. They sit on the kitchen floor happily munching while I cook – it’s less peaceful these days though with the baby climbing on top of them (the 2 boys – and 2) trying to get the peas!

  101. My kids have always loved frozen peas! I’m glad to learn I’m not alone! 😁

  102. Caitlyn says...

    My friend’s parents feed us frozen peas when I was a kid and I thought it was the BEST thing ever. My mom thought I was a nut when I went home and started begging to have frozen peas – while they’re still frozen!

    You just brought back such a sweet memory! :)

  103. Corinne says...

    i love frozen peas and i’m… 27! my younger brother was big on the frozen corn. frozen grapes are my go to when i’m having an ice cream craving.

  104. Josephine says...

    Yes! Frozen peas area a regular feature around here! I hand out a bowl before dinner (a tip I’m pretty sure I read here!) to be sure at least some green is consumed ;-)
    Just the other day, I had given my three year old son a bowl of said peas. I went away for a minute and I came back to find him lining them up on the floor and hoovering them up like a vacuum! I was slightly disgusted, but amusement won the day and I let him finish, because, you know, vegetables…

  105. Lisa says...

    Thisis my mom’s go to pre-dinner snack. You know when your kid is dragging around your ankles dying for food as you cook? She just grabs the frozen peas, runs under cold water for a second and hands them for eating.

  106. jill c says...

    we do the same thing….they even like the mixed veggies frozen as well (the ones where the carrots are shredded really small) and it’s so nice that we don’t have to cook them! we tend to put them out on the table while we’re cooking dinner so they get the veggies in first and it buys us some time while we’re trying to make dinner!

  107. Rebecca says...

    Mine too! Glad I’m not alone.

  108. jaclyn says...

    I’ve hated cooked peas my whole life but raw peas, especially straight off the vine in my dad’s garden, are a favorite for sure!

  109. My parents used to call them “candy peas” and for the longest time I didn’t know other kinds of candy (aka REAL candy) existed. I have fond memories of my brother and me begging my parents for candy peas so we could run around the backyard, tossing them up in the air and catching them in our mouths after in dinner.

    Ugh, everything I knew was a lie (and I still love peas).

  110. volha says...

    my toddler daughter loves frozen peas!

  111. Erin says...

    Yup! My three year olds LOVE frozen peas. It’s my go-to veggie for them most nights.

  112. Rebekah says...

    My mom used to give us handfuls of frozen corn and peas for snacks:)

  113. Maryann says...

    My mother convinced me that frozen peas were dessert for the first 5 years of my life… until I was old enough for my preschool friends to set me right.

  114. Maymay says...

    My daughter has been eating frozen broccoli since she was 2, she is now 5. Frozen corn is also a favorite. People think I’m nuts when I tell them that’s how she eats her veggies.

  115. Ellen says...

    Oh, yeah. I loved frozen peas as a kid and now mine do too! Genius! Try freezing water on lollipop sticks…. they can have an ice lolly every day!

  116. Claire says...

    That’s been my gateway vegetable from the beginning with my two little boys. Great when teething or have a bang in their mouths and don’t want ice. It’s the snack they get when waiting for dinner. They happily eat green beans and edemame too because they were initially framed as peas hidden in pipes and superpeas! Frozen raspberries are other handy snack.

  117. May says...

    Fantastic!
    I’m a big fan of frozen fruit, Bing cherries mostly.