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As Passover approaches, I’m taken back to memories of my childhood growing up in Anaheim, California. I’ll never forget the rectangular shaped shiny tin foil wrap my mom carefully placed in my Cabbage Patch Kid lunch pail throughout the week of Pesach. I was one of the only Jewish kids at my elementary school and during the 8 days of Passover, I always had that surprise foil-wrapped matzah sandwich!
It was no surprise that during this chametz-free week there were going to be four options…was it a slice of swiss cheese? Spread to the rim with butter? Schmeared with whipped cream cheese? Was it the go-to PB&J?
Now as a mother of 2, I realize that planning the Passover school lunch weekly meal plan can take a lot of effort. My goal is to simplify your life so all you have to focus on is getting those kids to school on time! I’ve asked some local parents to share some of their kid-approved recipes. Passover doesn’t mean you have to pass over the flavor!
Here is a small collection of Pesach recipes for easy to make lunches that take minimal preparation or that can be done in advance.
Here are a few more ideas to get our lunch prep moving in the right direction:
It’s important to note that each local school has its own rules and regulations on what can be brought on campus during the holiday week. Sara Martin, the Assistant Director of Rabbi Steven Foster’s Early Learning Center at Temple Emanuel, distributed the following to their parent database:
The message of Passover is pretty simple…slavery is awful, freedom is miraculous…remember this always! On Passover, we eat foods that connect us to the Israelite slaves in Egypt. When Pharaoh finally gave the Israelites the green light to leave Egypt, our ancestors had to pack so fast, their bread didn’t have time to rise. They grabbed the unleavened bread (Matzah) and made a run for it. If we eat what they ate, we will never forget their miraculous journey from slavery to freedom.
If food plays a major role in Passover, what’s on the menu?
Matzah, matzah, matzah! Eight days and eight nights of crispy, crunchy matzah. Yummy! Matzah with butter, matzah with chopped liver, matzah pizza, matzah ball soup, matzah kugel, and matzah toffee. We also eat lots of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, potatoes and chocolate.
What’s NOT on the menu?
Chametz, chametz, chametz. Foods made from wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt are referred to as chametz. No bread, bagels, crackers, granola bars, Oreo’s, goldfish, flour tortillas, pretzels, etc… When in doubt, all grains are out!
Dawn Spector, Director of Youth Education at Congregation Rodef Shalom, informed us that their school is closed over Pesach rather than over the school district’s Spring Break. Sheila Purdin, Director of Early Childhood Education with Temple Sinai’s Preschool shared a list of suggested snacks and lunches with their community such as: Matzo with butter and jelly, or cheese, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, turkey, beef, chicken, beef salami, beef hot dogs, Matzo pizza, hard boiled eggs, egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, baked potatoes with cheese, noodles that are Kosher for Passover and cottage cheese with fruit.
Whether you’re packing school lunches or making treats at home, here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy, meaningful and tasty holiday! Make it a delicious week!
What are your favorite Passover holiday lunches? Do you have any delicious recipes that you’d like to share?