Passover and Easter Nutrition Hacks: Put ALL THE EGGS In Your Basket

Matzo bread (Passover and Easter Nutrition Hacks: Put ALL THE EGGS In Your Basket Monica Moreno Contributor Miami Mom Collective)
Matzo: the traditional Passover unleavened cracker. NOT delicious; unless smothered with butter and salt 😉

Whether you celebrate Passover, Easter, or are simply lucky enough to be invited to a ~distanced~ Seder or egg hunt and feel festive with friends — our two Judeo-Christian holidays come with a lot of food face time. This can lead to some questions about how to approach these festive meals mindfully and healthfully while preserving tradition but also feeling good about your food choices.

Hunt these holiday nutrition hacks down like you’d hunt for the Afikomen (Passover hidden matzo) or your pastel Easter eggs.

Pastel candy hearts A white lamb (Passover and Easter Nutrition Hacks: Put ALL THE EGGS In Your Basket Monica Moreno Contributor Miami Mom Collective)

1. Don’t PASS OVER breakfast (and lunch, too!).

Your body fasted for a good 8-12 hours (RIGHT?) while you slept and now it’s time to replenish your energy stores, balance your blood sugar, and ~hunt~ down some complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, seeds, eggs, etc. to kick off your day. The worst thing you can do before a holiday meal is starve. Eat breakfast as usual. Drink up with a tall glass of water firstly, and then dive into *complete* breakfasts like:

-overnight oats made with yogurt/kefir/fruits/nuts/seeds
-eggs with veggies, sprouted toast, and a fruit salad
-a smoothie with fruit, veg, rolled oats, avocado, nut/seed butters, spices, AND protein — yogurt, kefir, milk, or dairy-free alternatives if needed
-cottage cheese and pineapple and some cinnamon; an easy, no fuss staple

2. We drink four cups of wine at Passover. Ceremoniously.

You do not have to drink all four. Have a few sips of the table wine, and save yourself for a full glass (or two… but no more…) with your meal. Drinking alcohol with food helps attenuate glycemic responses. Also, drink a full glass of water in between drinks to stay hydrated. 

3. Eggs are traditional across both holidays. Eat the yolk!

It harbors all the Vitamin D, B12, and choline — a nutrient that is vital for brain health and development — especially in pregnancy. 

4. Enjoy the traditional Seder plate foods – they’re all nutrient-dense (including the bitter herbs).

Don’t add sugar to your charoset; you can use apples or dates for sweetness. Try to use matzo as you would bread at the table. A nice sheet is enough. Leave the rest of the box for the birds and ducks.

5. Buy and cook a ham without glaze; or try roasted pork loin or shoulder.

Pork is a wonderful source of zinc.

6. Make deviled eggs with Greek yogurt, avocado, and spices like paprika.

You can also use Everything but the Bagel spice for some fun flare. 

7. For Passover, try making kugel without added sugar.

Use dates/raisins/chopped bananas for sweetness. Use labneh instead of cream cheese for more probiotic power. Unfortunately, egg noodles have yet to break into the bean pasta market, nor do I think this would be delicious, so enjoy a portion of the ‘real’ stuff. 

8. Enjoy one or two of your favorite desserts with a complementary sidecar of fruit. 

9. Cook with olive oil or avocado oil.

You can also cook with ghee instead of butter which is lactose-free and suitable for folks with lactose intolerance.

10. Don’t commit to second helpings before you even take your first bite.

Prepare your plate according to your hunger and see if that feels satisfying. Oftentimes, second (and third) helpings are either habitual or competitive. Try to be honest with your hunger and fullness.

11.  Ask your guests if they have any food allergies and try to accommodate these folks or invite them to bring a dish of their choice to complement your spread.

12. Try to make your own marshmallows with your kids as a fun activity.

Try using collagen/gelatin, honey, vanilla extract, lemon, natural food colorings like mashed berries/beet juice/pomegranate juice, mint, cacao powder, etc.

13. Whole meat matzo is only marginally “healthier” than regular; it simply has a little more fiber.

Let’s all agree that matzo isn’t delicious, anyways. You can still focus on nutrient-dense grains and starches during Passover and leave matzo for ceremonial purposes/making matzo brei (scrambled eggs with matzo) as part of your breakfast. If you’re not comfortable eating beans on Passover, you can still consume sweet potato, yuca, quinoa, millet, amaranth if you are comfortable with those (every sect has different views on grain). It’s important to get enough fiber during Passover and these high fiber grains (paired with adequate fluid intake) can help promote healthy bowel motility. 

14. When making desserts, you’ll often find that if you halve, or even only use ⅓ of the sweetener the recipe is calling for – it’s still sweet enough.

I like to use honey, date syrup, and maple syrup in recipes since they are powerfully sweet and require less quantity in baking. You can also use bananas or applesauce in baking. When a recipe calls for chocolate, I always use cacao powder since it’s quite nutrient-dense and rich, and I opt for cacao chips that are at least 85% cacao (“dark” chocolate can often just be milk chocolate in a bunny outfit.)

15. Remember to have gratitude and thank whatever deity you wish for your food, your family, and the time and ability to enjoy them!

A white lamb (Passover and Easter Nutrition Hacks: Put ALL THE EGGS In Your Basket Monica Moreno Contributor Miami Mom Collective)

Chag Sameach and Happy Easter!

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Monica Moreno
Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN is the founder of Essence Nutrition, a group practice of 11 registered dietitians who work with pediatrics and adults. Monica oversees all of Essence’s private client work while managing Essence’s corporate wellness programming, speaking engagements, consulting services, school wellness programming and marketing. She is the dietitian for the Miami Marlins and is the and Ocean Reef Resort and Club. Monica has spoken at national nutrition and wellness conferences and delivered hundreds of nutrition presentations over her career and been featured in various national print and media publications. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetics Practice Group, Integrative Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group, Collegiate and Professionals Sports Dietitians Association, and Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group. She has been a member of the Junior League of Miami since 2011, is the Diversity Liaison for the Florida AND, and is a past co-chair and current board member of Jewish Community Services of South Florida’s Young Alliance. She has a one toddler and one geriatric Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Instagram: @eatlikemonica Essence Website: Appointments:


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