Pesach meals and staying on track | C.L. and Meira Waldman MS RDN

When Pesach is mentioned, Matzah and wine often come to mind. Pesach is a holiday where there seems to be endless Matzah, meals, and food. However, there is so much more to the day than the food. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.

For the first days seudos, try to counterbalance the wine, matzah, and all that late night eating of the sedarim (of course by the sedarim you are eating the mandatory shiurim of Matzah and the four cups of wine) by only having a kazayis of Matzah. Stick to the protein and vegetables.

For the second day seudos, make sure you are keeping track of those carbs and stay consistent with your meal plan or how many carbs you normally consume a day. Don’t nibble, eat your carbs but keep track.

If you are hungry or need food on the go (when traveling) increase that vegetable intake, protein, fruits, nuts and water. Try to stay away from the carbs. Stay away from the C’s: cake, cookies, chocolate, chips, and candy!

To help guide you I will give you examples of portion sizes.

  • 1 carb:
  • ½ cup/4 oz potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1 square Matzah
  • ¾ round Matzah
  • 1 100 kcal yogurt
  • 100 kcal of chocolate
  • 100 kcal of potato chips

For Sephardim:

  • ½ cup legumes
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 2 Carbs:
  • 1 round Matzah
  • 1 200 kcal yogurt
  • 1 medium potato/sweet potato=1 cup=8 oz

Many people find that meal planning makes it easier so they’re not thrown off track. Have that goal and game plan in mind so you can make good smart food choices. Choose meals with lean proteins, lots of veggies, and healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes. Make yummy filling salads and consider adding a good meat or steak to the salad. Keep tons of fresh food on hand, yum!

In addition, be strategic. It’s okay to enjoy some treats but in moderation. Some people find it helpful to stall for time, by saying in fifteen minutes I’ll eat, after I eat etc. until they don’t even want it anymore and they overcame the temptation. Try it, it really works!

Lastly, to ensure you feel good over Pesach, add back some fiber into your diet, which is lost from lack of whole grains and legumes over Pesach. Increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts will make you feel much better. Remember, the Holiday isn’t all about the food. Enjoy the time off from work or school and spend quality time with those you’re celebrating with!!

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