Feeding of Infants During Pesach
Parents of babies on special medically supervised diets, which contain
chametz, must contact their rabbi for directions. Most chametz articles have
substitutes which are acceptable for Pesach, and most normal babies can
even thrive on a Pesach diet. Almost all manufactured baby foods contain
chametz in one form or another and should only be used when bearing
When the doctor instructs that a baby must be fed a particular kind of food, the practice not to use rice or leguminous vegetables is suspended. A rabbi should be consulted. The list below outlines acceptable baby foods for Pesach. If rice and the other restricted vegetables are used they should be served in separate utensils kept only for the baby. These utensils should be washed in a sink not used for Pesach utensils.
Isomil is approved and contains oils of leguminous vegetables and is to be considered Kitniyot but not chametz. Therefore babies under doctor’s orders may use Isomil if no other suitable formulae containing Pesach ingredients can be made at home. The Isomil should be used in separate utensils kept only for the baby and not washed in the Pesach sink. There are formulae available from Israel with rabbinic supervision for Passover. See below for
a guide to feeding infants during Pesach. If a child is on a special formula, please consult your rabbi or The KA for advice.
Special care should be taken with regards to “corn starch” baby powder as
it may be actual “wheat starch” and actual chametz. Only maize corn starch
baby powder is acceptable (Kitniyot).
In general all “lotion or cream” products not fit for human consumption are
permitted to be used on Pesach, even if containing chametz .
FEEDING OF INFANTS DURING PASSOVER
Adapted by Genevieve Michael B.Sc. Dip. Nut. & Diet MDAA.
In general, the mother’s role in guiding a child’s early eating experiences, is threefold:
1. To provide food which meets the child’s nutritional needs.
2. To provide food in a form which is compatible with his/her
3. To provide an atmosphere of learning by acquainting the child with
new flavours and textures of a variety of foods to help them establish
healthy eating habits.
During Passover, the normal diet for infants need only be modified to fulfill
Most normal healthy babies can be fed on a formula using fresh whole milk
in the proportion of 60 mls milk, 60 mls water and 2 teaspoons sugar, feeding the baby to appetite. Note: this formula should only be used for the 8 days of Pesach and then the baby should be returned to its usual formula.
The baby who has been prescribed a special formula for feeding by a
doctor or infant welfare sister, which could be chametz may usually continue on
this feeding. Medicines and vitamins, if ordered by the
doctor, should continue to be given during Passover. (However, in all such cases
one should first consult a rabbi).
Commercially produced baby foods which, incidentally, have no nutritional
advantage over those properly prepared by the mother, are generally not
permitted during Passover but can be substituted.
For the 3-6 months infant
small quantities (starting with half a teaspoon) may be given, of the following:
Matzah meal softened with hot milk
Strained stewed fruit
Strained diluted orange juice (60 mls orange juice to 60 mls water)
At 6 months of age
an infant should be eating a variety of foods such as cereal,
meat broth, vegetables, fruit and eggs. Include these foods daily in addition to
breast or bottle-feeding:
Cereal - finely broken matzo softened with hot milk or formula, 1-2 teaspoons
Well mashed potato, 1-2 teaspoons
Soft or stewed fruit, 1-2 teaspoons
Strained meat broth with a little finely minced or strained meat, 1-2 teaspoons
Steamed or boiled fine textured fish
Strained and diluted orange juice - 60 mls orange juice to 60 mls water.
Salt or sugar generally should not be added to foods for babies during cooking
nor at the table.
By the age of one year the child should be eating the same types of food as
the rest of the family except where the meals are highly spiced or include large
amounts of fried foods.