Special Needs & Eating On Passover 

Special Needs & Eating On Passover 

Preparing for Passover for people with medical or special needs presents many unique challenges. 

Until fairly recently, Yaffa was on a feeding tube. At one point, her diet primarily consisted of puréed split pea, lentil and occasionally chicken soup. 

It was an challenge to teach her how to eat by mouth. I would make her soups, purée them, and then freeze them in ice cube trays and defrost as needed. If I would alter her diet, she would stop eating and regress.

So, up until fairly recently, Yaffa was permitted to eat Kitniot. 

In order to explain what that means, I am going to provide a bit of background on Passover customs.

The observance of Passover is not monolithic. Many customs and traditions are also a function of individual historical and cultural backgrounds.

All Jews refrain from eating leavened food, called “chametz,” over the holiday. Chametz, however, in its most literal meaning only refers to products containing wheat, oats, barley, rye or spelt. 

I am from a conventional Eastern European background. So conventional, in fact, I am almost radical. 

During Passover, we eat “gebrokts” — matzah mixed with water, but we do not eat  “Kitniot.” 

Kitniot is the the term used for rice, millet, corn and beans. They are not among the prohibited grains on Passover, but are generally only eaten by Jews of Sephardic and not Ashkenazic descent.

Examples of kitniot

Since we do not eat Kitniot, we used to have a separate set of Kitniot pots, pans and equipment for Yaffa. Everything had to be checked and made prior to the holiday. 

Fortunately, quinoa is now available on Passover and it is not considered Kitniot.

We are so grateful that Yaffa can eat more solid food. Now, we only need one set of Passover dishes in our house! 

The ability to eat food, chew and swallow are tremendous blessings. 

Yaffa’s art project for Passover


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30 thoughts on “Special Needs & Eating On Passover 

  1. Sheryl April 30, 2016 at 9:25 PM Reply

    It’s wonderful to hear that Yaffa can eat more solid foods. I absolutely love her art project. She is so creative, and has a wonderful sense of design.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kristy Rhine April 28, 2016 at 12:36 PM Reply

    So challenging, but looks like you do such an amazing job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. anotherfoodieblogger April 27, 2016 at 8:07 PM Reply

    I can only imagine having health restrictions on top of the other Passover rules (is that what you call them?) must be challenging along with your time challenge! Yaffa made a beautiful piece of art, very nice! I remember doing tissue decorating projects with my daughter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged April 27, 2016 at 9:14 PM Reply

      We got through it. Once I figured out what to do, I made everything in various crockpots before I went to work. I would make 1 or 2 types of lentil, split pea, and chicken soups; potato, onion and sweet potatoes; and then, depending on her stage, a vegetable or two. Then, when I came home, I puréed up all of the food and put it into ziplock bags or ice cube trays. Everything was labeled and put in the freezer. The good thing was, after that, I was set for the month. Then, I would add to it by blending any of our leftovers with chicken soup and/or thickeners like potatoes or matzah balls. This way, we also had less food wasted. I am the master of the immersion blender! She actually had a pretty healthy diet. Her hair has always been very shiny and pretty. I attributed it to an all natural healthy diet. She ate no junk food at all. 🌿 I like her art project too!


  4. Ann Coleman April 27, 2016 at 2:48 PM Reply

    Personally, I’m glad that you go into detailed explanations, as that helps me learn more about your traditions. And Yaffa’s art work is beautiful!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged April 27, 2016 at 4:29 PM Reply

      I also feel that some explanations are necessary, otherwise someone won’t understand what I am talking about. It can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings. I just don’t want to be too tedious.

      I think Yaffa’s art is great too! Plus, I love how proud she is when she comes home and shows me what she made that day. She has such a sweet charm!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Pan April 27, 2016 at 2:17 PM Reply

    I love her art project ! And that you are devout in how you live life.. Your outlook facing challenges is something to be admired.. You remind me of a saying I’ve quoted but can’t remember from where I first heard it.. I want to credit it as a sage Jewish saying but I just don’t know the real origin..

    Life has few problems but many inconveniences..

    And I feel how you approach tasks to tackle, is knowing the difference between a problem and an inconvenience..

    Your family is blessed with you.. And I’m sure it’s reciprocal.. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged April 27, 2016 at 4:20 PM Reply

      Thank you for your kind words and support. Faith is a powerful anchor. Living a life of faith grounds me and provides structure to my life. Trusting in a benevolent universe allows me to accept what is and focus on how I can respond to what happens to me. There is meaning and purpose to everything I do and in each and every experience I have.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Lynz Real Cooking April 27, 2016 at 1:13 PM Reply

    A huge blessing Carol!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy April 27, 2016 at 1:12 PM Reply

    This is fascinating – I only know the absolute basics about Passover, so any of these tidbits are interesting to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged April 27, 2016 at 1:15 PM Reply

      I am so happy! I always struggle to balance how much explanation to provide. But, we also had to learn all the ins and outs of preparing special food for Yaffa. It was quite a steep learning curve.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sarah Ferguson and Choppy April 27, 2016 at 1:17 PM

        I can’t even imagine – other than our fish Fridays in Lent, I have almost no dietary restrictions I’m working with at our house (and to be clear, the fish thing is less about a dietary restriction and more about not forgetting it’s Friday for a few weeks).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cooking For The Time Challenged April 27, 2016 at 1:32 PM

        My life experiences are definitely unconventional. But, as my father would always say, “everyone has a story.”

        Liked by 2 people

  8. CHCooks April 27, 2016 at 12:57 PM Reply

    The ability to eat food, chew and swallow are tremendous blessings – how true! Nothing can be taken for granted really. I’m glad Yaffa can have more solid food and you have only one set of Passover cookware 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  9. katysinspirations April 27, 2016 at 12:31 PM Reply

    This makes for absolutely fascinating reading and lovely to hear about your daughter’s change in diet 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  10. lynne hoareau April 27, 2016 at 12:16 PM Reply

    What a beautiful art project Carol. Yaffa must be so proud 🙂 It is lovely to hear she is able to eat more solid food. x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Doctor Jonathan April 27, 2016 at 11:23 AM Reply

    Following the laws of religion can be challenging enough without having the complications of additional health needs. I am so glad to hear Yaffa is beginning to eat more solid food. Emotionally this will be better for her as well.
    Please tell Yaffa I think her art project is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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