Photo: Jennifer Causey

Because eight days of matzo isn’t exactly the pathway to health.

Arielle Weg
March 30, 2018

Like any food-focused holiday, Passover can pack on pounds you definitely didn’t ask for. With two days of major eating (and lots of wine!), plus six more days of finding creative ways to turn matzo into a meal, it’s easy to lose sight of your healthy eating goals.

But Passover doesn’t have to be the pitfall of your efforts. Follow these tips for the healthiest (and tastiest) Passover you’ve ever had.

Meal Plan

Just like you would during any regular week, it’s important to have a game plan in mind for meals. During Passover, you can’t rely on backup plans like dining out so it’s easy to veer off into dangerous ‘matzo pizza’ territory. Focus on healthy meals with lean protein, veggies, and acceptable starches like quinoa and sweet potatoes.

Consider planning out salads topped with lean proteins, stashing fresh fruits for snacking and dessert, and taking your portion sizes into account. These Healthy Passover Recipes will help get you through the week.

RELATED: Better Passover Desserts: Berry Crisp with Matzo Streusel

Strategize the Seder

Like any major holiday meal, it’s ok to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. Use Practical Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating, like drinking enough water or bringing your own healthy dish to Seder.

If you’re hosting one of the two main meals, you have the advantage of crafting a nutritious menu. Try one of these 12 Main Dishes Perfect for Passover or Crowd-Pleasing Passover Recipes for Your Family’s Seder.

Skip the Packaged Desserts

Most Passover desserts have no beneficial nutrients, and really don’t even taste that great. Just two Manishewitz coconut macaroons have 110 calories, 7g fat, 6g saturated fat, and 8g of sugar. And if we’re being honest—we never really stop at two.

Try a healthier, homemade dessert like this Orange-Almond Cake or Strawberry, Basil, and Balsamic Slablova. You’ll feel better for indulging in something less processed, and the flavor is totally worth it.

Pump up the Fiber

One not-so-talked-about side effect of cutting out whole grains and legumes in place of matzo is constipation. The key here is to stick to a high-fiber diet with foods that are ok for Passover.

Increase your daily intake of fruits, veggies, and nuts in every meal to keep you regular. These foods will encourage a balanced diet during the week, and ultimately keep you feeling a lot healthier during the holiday.