Now that my kids are old enough to refuse food—the elder, with her words, the younger, by throwing it at me or on the floor—I’m going to need some kid-friendly Passover food.
The meals they actually sit and finish during the rest of the year are tortellini, mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, falafel, and PB&J. That is their palettes’ limit.
I like fast, convenient, but healthy foods. I love stuff that comes in pouches for snacks. I’ve found, though, that “convenient pouches” and “healthy” are mutually exclusive during Passover (at least they are up here in my neck of New York State). And around here, the only yogurt that’s KfP (Kosher for Passover) comes in two flavors—vanilla and coffee—so one must get creative, especially if your kids can’t appreciate the magical stimulant yet. If you, like me, feel that smothering jam on a piece of matzah qualifies as “food prep,” then perhaps you, too, are looking for fast, easy ways to sate your picky little ones without stifling their delicate systems with too much matzah meal.
This is going to be a community effort, so I’d love to hear your ideas for easy, fast, delicious, and kid-friendly Passover recipes. If you want convenient pouch stuff, there’s all sorts of stuff online (even a Count Chocula-for-Passover equivalent!).
My pouch-less snack grocery list, however, looks like this at the moment:
Fruit. This is a given, but it always tops my list. If you need to get all Jessica Seinfeld-y on your kids to make sure they actually ingest fruit, there’s this chocolate-dipped-banana pops recipe (note: it does require turning on a stove) and I hear the Sephardic among us get all jiggy with the figs, and their charoset makes a nice spread for matzah for the rest of the week, too. Don’t forget the avocados. And grapes.
Dried fruits (and you know you’re going to need those prunes, honey).
Veggies (see these homemade sweet potato chips). Don’t forget the baby carrots.
Yogurt (other incarnations: the smoothie, frozen yogurt pops).
Dip/Dressings, like tzaziki (did I mention yogurt?)
Pepperoni (if you’re into that sort of thing)
Eggs (because no one will be sick of seeing eggs after two Seders, right?)
Shelled nuts, such as pistachios
Meals for picky discriminating carbivores take a little more invention, but here’s a start:
Go veggie. You ate enough meat to make Paula Deen choke during the first two nights of Passover, so try a few nights of roasted or grilled vegetables. For some reason, if I roast a bunch of cauliflower and saute it with a little garlic and EVOO (which does not need to be hecshered for Passover!), my kids go for it. And if I get the cauliflower soft enough, these three ingredients can be whipped together to look like mashed potatoes. (Take that, Mrs. Seinfeld!) Thin slices of eggplant also serve as long noodles in what would otherwise be a matzah lasagna. Let your kids drizzle the mozzy over the top, and voila, well, hopefully they eat it. Another suggestion here: flourless, roasted veggie quiche. Those who need the crunch of a crust can try using grated potatoes on the bottom of the dish. We make “Israeli salad,” which is nothing more than diced tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, and which you can top with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and feta—but I digress—your kid is not going to eat anything that smells like feta. That one was for you.
Go campy. Remember how you elbowed that girl at summer camp in 7th grade because she was about to finish the table’s last helping of Sloppy Joe’s? Oh, wait—that was you? (I’m sorry.) Get your revenge with the ultimate in Passover creative cooking. According to my incredibly creative cousin in Cleveland, Sheri, you can make a KfP Sloppy Joe’s with Rokeach tomato mushroom sauce (serving suggestion: top over matzah-meal latkes.) Sheri also suggests chicken potato patties, made of leftovers (mashed potatoes, boiled chicken from your soup, an egg, and matzah meal), which you pat and fry. No one said camp food was healthy.
Go traditional. Fine. You want me to mention matzah pizza, so here it is. You know what to do already, because you’ve been making this by yourself since microwaves were invented. But if you want your kids involved in their meal prep, have them make different faces on several boards with some veggies. (Then, watch the faces melt in the oven! The ultimate in Passover fun.) Tuna on matzah, matzah brei, the aforementioned matzah lasagna…
I’d love to hear what’s on your lists this Pesach. Have a happy one, Kvellers!