Passover is quickly approaching. The cleaning has started, and you might already be planning your shopping list and menus. Staying organized is key to preventing getting overwhelmed. Enjoying Passover in a healthy way doesn't mean you have to compromise the foods and traditions you love. With proper planning and recipe modification, Passover recipes can be low in fat, healthy and delicious.

Here are some tips to help you with planning, shopping and staying healthy this holiday season.

TIP #1: Create a master computerized shopping list! Write your shopping list containing everything you will need for Passover and input it into the computer. Print and place it on your refrigerator so you can add items as you make up your menus. Then, take the list with you when you go shopping, and check off the items as you put them in your shopping cart. Being organized can help you avoid purchasing double items and reduce the holiday stress of making multiple trips to the supermarket! Once Passover is over, do an inventory of your leftovers and adjust your shopping list in the computer for next year. For example, if you bought six boxes of matzo meal and had two left over, change the purchase amount in the computer to four boxes for next year.

TIP #2: Reduce the calories and fat in your dairy recipes such as Matzoh Lasagna and Matzoh Pizza by using fat-free or 1% milk, cheese and dairy products in place of whole milk or 2% milk. Remember, 2% milk is not low fat, it is reduced fat. Low fat means that a serving of that product has no more than 3 grams of fat.

TIP #3: It’s never too early! Preparing for Passover can be exhausting, but not if you plan ahead. Make a “to do” list with tasks assigned to specific dates so you know that you will get everything done on time. If it is written into your schedule, it is harder to brush it off.

TIP #4: Start early! Purchase shelf stable food items in advance before supermarkets raise prices. Buying items early will guarantee to save you money and help you avoid crowded supermarkets lines!

TIP #5: Have you started your Passover shopping yet? Made your Passover menu yet? The freezer is your friend! Make a list of ingredients you will need for Passover now and during your regular trips to the supermarket, pick up these ingredients and freeze it until it’s time to use for Passover.

TIP #6: Passover recipes traditionally call for a lot of eggs. This year, replace the eggs in the recipe with egg whites. Two egg whites = 1 whole egg. If a recipe calls for 2 whole eggs, use one egg and 2 egg whites. Your recipe calls for 6 eggs, use 3 eggs and 6 egg whites. You will go through quite a few dozen eggs, but it’s sure worth cutting down on the fat and cholesterol in your Passover dishes!

TIP #7: KISS – Keep It Simple Silly! It is already impressive in itself that you have taken on the responsibility of preparing the Seder; there is no need to pick the most complicated dishes. A simple recipe done well is better than a complicated one you really do not have time to execute.

TIP #8: Adjust your Passover recipes by reducing the ingredients high in sodium a little at a time. Don’t be fooled by recipes without table salt that do call for instant soups, bouillon cubes, or condiments which are high in sodium! Experiment with herbs and spices and get the benefit of antioxidants many provide.

TIP #9: Buy in bulk and share with a friend. Food items bought in bulk are usually less expensive and give a better “bang for your buck”. Ask supermarket managers if they will give discounts for items bought in bulk and split the cost and food items with a friend or neighbor!

TIP #10: Eggplant cutlets are a great vegetarian option for a Passover meal! Replace bread crumbs with matzoh meal to make a delicious dish that even meat lovers will enjoy!

TIP #11: Traditional Passover recipes are laden with oil which increases the calories in each serving. There are 9 calories per gram of fat, compared to 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrate. Cut back on the oil, and cut back on the calories. Substitute the oil with equal amounts of applesauce! Or, cut the amount of oil in the recipe by 1/3 and replace that third with applesauce or pureed prunes. You will get the same moist flavor while saving on the amount of fat and calories.

TIP #12: Cooking ahead is crucial if you have the space. While there are some recipes that have to be made on Passover, there are many that can be made ahead of time and frozen. This will give you more time to focus on those specific dishes that must be made fresh.

TIP #13: Be a smart consumer and know your prices. Check out the circulars from the various stores that have Passover sections and make a list of which items are less expensive in which store. Then, organize your shopping days to avoid running back and forth between stores to check prices. The prep time you put in before you head out to the stores will be a time saver later on!

TIP #14: Sour cream is high in fat and calories. If your family loves cheese blintzes or crepes topped with sour cream, swap out the sour cream and top with low fat plain yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon to help trim both fat and calories without trimming the flavor!

TIP #15: Make it from scratch! Pre-packaged foods and baked goods can be pricey. Try preparing these items from scratch. More often than not, most staple items can be found right in your kitchen and you can modify the ingredients of your family recipe to make it healthier! You will cut down on sodium, fat (specifically trans-fat) and unhealthy additives often found in these processed foods by making it yourself.

TIP #16: Sweet Matzoh Kugel is a favorite on Passover. Regular Matzoh Kugel has about 8-10 grams of fat and 68 mg of cholesterol per serving. Swap out full fat cheese with low fat cottage cheese, and egg whites instead of whole eggs. It’s delicious and has only 1 gram of fat and 4 milligrams of cholesterol.

TIP #17: Quinoa is a whole-grain alternative that many Rabbis allow during Passover. This popular ancient grain is filled with fiber and protein. Enjoy quinoa, along with other fiber filled foods like baked potatoes and sweet potatoes to add that extra fiber boost! Check with your local Rabbi about using Quinoa on Passover.

TIP #18: Don’t pay extra for convenience! While it may be tempting to buy that fruit platter or vegetable crudité platter all prepared, these pre-made platters often cost more. This Passover season purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and prepare it at home!

TIP #19: Nuts are a popular snack on Passover and a lot of Passover recipes call for nuts. While nuts are a healthy choice, you must watch your portion sizes. If a Passover recipe calls for 1 cup of nuts, try cutting the amount in half and toast them to bring out the flavor! This will cut the calories and fat in half!

TIP #20: Mistakes are a part of life. Keep track of what worked and what didn’t this holiday season. Save the list to make improvements for next year.

TIP #21: Set the Seder table on Sunday night, the day before Passover begins. It’s one less thing you have to do on Monday!

TIP #22: In spite of all the chaos in getting ready for Passover, make sure you take the time to relax and enjoy your loved ones, and take the time to remember what Passover is all about.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie R. Giller helps chronic dieters and people with medical conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get the healthy body and life they want. She does this by creating a tailored solution that combines three essential ingredients: a healthy mindset, nutrition education and caring support. The result is they lose weight and keep it off without dieting and live a healthy life symptom free.

Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.), Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN) and Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.) with specialized training in Intuitive Eating. She offers programs for the chronic dieter to achieve long lasting weight loss, for people with diabetes to attain blood sugar control and prevent diabetes complications, and for those suffering with irritable bowel syndrome to identify their food triggers so they can enjoy a symptom free life. Bonnie also treats a variety of other medical conditions, and offers a nutrition program teaching young children how to make healthy food choices.

Bonnie is the author of Passover the Healthy Way: Light, Tasty and Easy Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love. Get your copy today, just in time for Passover at www.passoverthehealthyway.com. Free Gift with Purchase!

Visit www.brghealth.com for more information on Bonnies, nutrition services, programs and books.