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Permitted?

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Pesach 5761. Beernut was 9 months old and had recently joined the ranks of Cheerios-loving babies. In my usual state of pre-Pesach panic, I called my rabbi.

Dad, what am I supposed to feed the baby?

He wasn’t really certain what the problem was. After all, with so many kosher-for-Passover products on the market, he was certain that I would be able to find suitable substitutes for the little guy.

They even have ersatz Cheerios!

Crispy-O's

Like the dutiful Jew (and daughter), I removed all traces of chametz from our townhouse in time for Pesach, replacing all of his favourite foods with permissable alternatives. On the first morning, I cheerfully prepared the baby’s breakfast.

He took one bite and with narrowing eyes, spit out his Crispy-O’s. Regarding me with great suspiscion, my little baby went on a food strike, refusing anything else offerred to him throughout the week.

[And for the record — they really were vile!]

Ach…what a loooooong week that was.

Fastforward to this year. Pesach 5768. With a little one still consuming baby food and formula (to help supplement my waning milk supply) — not to mention his Cheerios love-affair — I was prepared to have yet another child vent frustration against me, the culinary traitor. And then I took a look at the Orthodox Union’s site and was really pleased to find the following:

Most infant formulas are made from soy products. At first glance, one might assume that this presents a problem of Kitniyoth on Passover.

However, the custom of disallowing the use of ‘Kitniyoth’ (soy, for example) was never applied to infants nor to people who are ill. However, you must take care to keep bottles, nipples and formula away from the general kitchen area. Any mixing or washing should be done in the bathroom sink and NOT in the kitchen sink.

A very moderate position. Moderation, reasonable approaches allow us to observe the spirit even when we cannot observe to the letter.

When I mentioned this ruling to the aforementioned rabbi, he shrugged and said something to the effect of “babies are like pets in that respect.” Implying, I think, that one need not get crazy when it comes to babies or pets in such matters.

Of course, there are those who do not permit even their goldfish to eat leavened fish food during Pesach.

[Thanks for the link, Ima!]

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 17 April 2008 8:37 pm

    i am a huge spirit-of-the-law girl when it comes to pesach. as a vegetarian, i also eat kitniyot, as do my kids. (i did buy them the chocolate o’s cereal…i thought maybe i could sell them on the fact that their mom only buys sugar cereals at pesach…we’ll have to see how it goes. i’m always looking for snack food to replace cereals, goldfish, etc. yes, i know it’s only one week but it’s tricky to feed those little people who generally eat more times a day than we do…how many toppings can you put on matzah throughout the day!?) and i eat corn syrup, which does make things a bit easier, but…i don’t eat popcorn. cuz that just feels wrong. confusing? sure…but isn’t it more fun that way!? lol…

  2. Nita permalink
    Friday, 18 April 2008 8:51 am

    We feed our dogs Evangers, who, coincidentally, actually make certified kosher for passover dog food. Heck, if I take the dry food out to the garage for a week (at $40 a bag, I can’t see tossing it), I’ve got enough of their canned food right now that even my dogs don’t have to have chametz in the house.

    http://www.evangersdogfood.com/about/news_tribune.html

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