Passover is only a few short weeks away, but I've already got my thinking cap on in the meal planning department.
Passover with kids makes this especially important, because it's much harder to turn kids away from their favorite meals than it is to get adults to eat something different.
With that in mind, and knowing that I'm not the only one searching for kid-friendly Passover fare, here are some of my tips and tricks for getting through the holiday.
Passover commemorates the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt. But it was not an easy escape. In fact, once the Pharaoh finally allowed the Jews to go free, he changed his mind shortly thereafter. The Jewish people, aware of their tenuous grip on freedom, grabbed whatever was close to them and fled into the desert. This meant that there was no time for their bread to rise, and they grabbed the still flat bread and packed it for sustenance on the journey.
In commemoration for the sacrifice and narrow escape, during the week of Passover, Jews don't eat anything that rise or puffs. Just as the escaping Jews didn't have time to let their food rise. This includes breads, pastas, grains, rice, beans, corn - or anything made with derivatives of those products, such as cornflower, corn oil, or tofu.
With the current popularity of Whole30, this mealplan probably doesn't sound as strange as maybe it once did!
For breakfast, I buy a special kosher for Passover cereal, although both of my boys are pretty big fans of matzah with cheese or butter.
While their preschool provides lunches, during Passover I send in food I know they can eat. Like matzah sandwiches, matzah pizza, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, fruit, or yogurt.
Dinners have always been the easiest for me, because it's not hard to cut grains out and serve a well rounded meal. We stick with meats and veggies, like broccoli, carrots, beets, and potatoes. Things like shepherds pie, lasagna made with zucchini instead of noodles, and stuffed baked potatoes, are also easy dinners that everyone likes.
The most difficult food issue is snacks. Because granola bars are out. As are crackers and cookies. And pirates booty. So I stock up on lots of fruit - both dried and fresh. Cheese and applesauce are good for on the go. And we'll make popsicles for a special sweet dessert.
It sounds a little intimidating to cut out so many sources for a week, especially with kids who are notoriously picky eaters. But it goes by quickly, and at least in my house, as long as there's enough variety, there is very little complaining.