2016-04-13 / Voice at the Shore

Food and frogs: Making Passover fun for kids

By ELLEN WEISMAN STRENGER
Voice shore correspondent


Marci Lutsky is a food blogger, the mother of five-year-old twins, and a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Northfield. Marci Lutsky is a food blogger, the mother of five-year-old twins, and a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Northfield. “Passover is a holiday that’s really fun for kids,” said Marci Lutsky, a local food blogger who was slated to talk about “The ABC’s of making your first Seder” at the Board of Jewish Education Passover Plus Shuk at the JCC on April 10.

Involving kids in as many aspects of holiday preparations as possible builds their excitement for the holiday. “They can help you shop, they can help set the table, put things on the Seder plate and put out the matzoh,” said Lutsky, whose blog can be found at veggingattheshore.com.

Lutsky’s own five-year-old twins look forward to Passover and even talk about the holiday during the year. She uses food as a way to draw them in to the holiday, involving them in meal planning as well as cooking. “I always try to do holiday recipes with them, to get them involved with holiday cooking. I think when kids are involved in making a recipe they are proud of it and are more willing to try it and eat it.”


EASY MACAROONS EASY MACAROONS Kids can also get into the spirit of the holiday by making origami frogs place cards or some other type of themed place card for each of the guests, said Hazzan Jeffrey Myers of Congregation Beth Judah, who was also slated to speak at the BJE Passover Shuk. (For directions on making origami frogs, go to creativejewishmom.com/2012/03/simpleo-rigami-jumping- frogs-for-passover.html, or pinterest.com/explore/origami-frog/).

How can you stop antsy, hungry kids from getting shpilkes and whining as they sit through a long Passover Seder? One strategy is to give them something they can eat before the meal begins. According to Myers, once the blessing is said for dipping the greens into the saltwater, “there is no reason you can’t have other crudité at the table that people can dip.”


PASSOVER APPLE NOODLE KUGEL PASSOVER APPLE NOODLE KUGEL Another strategy for small children, he noted, is to do a kids’ Seder before the adult Seder and have them eat and change into their pajamas before the adult Seder as well. They can then participate to a limited degree with the adults or watch a video or go to sleep.

Below are some of Lutsky’s easy Passover recipes to try with kids:

EASY MACAROONS
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon or vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded
coconut

Optional: melted chocolate for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350º F. Spread parchment paper over a large cookie sheet or grease a baking sheet. In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and lemon or vanilla extract. Blend in coconut until the mixture is completely moistened. Let this sit for about 5 minutes for the coconut to absorb the egg mixture. It’s not supposed to be like batter, more like well-moistened clumps of coconut. Drop generous spoonfuls onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until macaroons are golden brown with crisp edges. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

PASSOVER
APPLE
NOODLE KUGEL
6 apples, ends cut off and
peeled
4 sheets of matzoh
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: 1/4 cup golden
raisins

Preheat oven to 350º F. If you have a spiralizer, put the apples through it to make noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can shred them in a food processor or cut them into small pieces.

Break matzoh into pieces and soak in water for a few minutes. Drain in a colander and gently press to remove excess moisture. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Fold in apples, matzoh and raisins. Stir until combined. Pour into a greased 8-inch baking dish and cook for 30 minutes until top is browned and bottom is bubbling. Let cool, cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. .

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