A Keto Dietitian’s Tips for Families Celebrating the Winter Holidays, Keto-Style!

Thanksgiving is a week from today and the rest of winter holidays are right around the corner! In today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian Robyn Blackford, RDN, LDN, provides her tips for families celebrating the holidays while on the ketogenic diet. Thanks for these awesome tips, Robyn!


For people following a ketogenic diet during the holidays, it doesn’t have to be a season of additional stressors. Parents of children who follow a special medical diet, including the ketogenic diet, may even find the upcoming holidays easier to survive than they first thought.

I often hear that extended family members are very supportive of their child’s special diet. Educating others on the diet will open your family up to a potentially strong support system. Most people like to hear about the nuances of the special diet and learn how they, too, can help. Talking about the diet and getting that ‘pat on the back’ can give you just enough motivation and energy to make the next special meal. Siblings may ask if they, too, can have the yummy, magical keto food that you are preparing. What a nice, fun, supportive time that this can be for your whole family!

Whether you are hosting holidays at your house or joining others elsewhere, you are sure to be successful to sticking to your ketogenic diet during these festive days if you practice these tips.

Holidays at your house:

* Consider serving a low carb dish on your menu. There are many low carb recipes readily available, such as a cauliflower mash in place of mashed potatoes. This may be helpful for others to understand some of the details and enjoy the foods that are part of the special diet

* Using festive holiday plates, bowls, and napkins to distract from ordinary or special diet food is a welcome change for people of any age! Try using cookie cutters to make foods more appealing and brightly colored toothpicks to add fun to your holiday meal.

* Keep food out of reach for tiny guests that are on a special diet. This way they cannot snatch foods quicker than you can say no or be able to take it away from them. They can be faster than you anticipate!

Holidays as a guest:

* Consider eating or serving your keto meal before leaving the house. This way you do not have to worry about finding foods you can eat later when you or your child is hungry. Talking to the holiday host can help you be successful if you plan on eating a little something at the get-together.

* Plan to serve and eat your favorite keto foods while away from home in easy-to-warm-up containers. It can be quite a treat if you haven’t had that favorite food in a while.

* For smaller children, be sure to pack a bag full of toys and fun things to help distract them from focusing on food. Do not underestimate the power of non-food rewards during playtime!

 

In any case, make sure that you plan ahead. Mentally prepare your child to resist food that is not part of their special diet and prepare yourself to teach others about the positive impact the diet has had on your lives.

Helping people follow their ketogenic diet can be one of the best gifts you can give them during the holiday season!

-Robyn

A Dietitians Tips for Celebrating Passover on the Ketogenic Diet

Zahava Turner, RD CSP LDN

Zahava Turner, RD, CSP, LDN

We are happy to share today’s guest blog post written by ketogenic dietitian and keto ambassador Zahava Turner, RD, CSP, LDN, who shares her tips for families celebrating Passover with a child on the ketogenic diet. Thanks, Zahava!


 

Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrated in the springtime commemorating the Israelites being freed from slavery from Ancient Egyptians. For those of you not familiar with it, the story goes that God sent ten plagues to the Egyptians to free the Israelites. The final plague killed all of the Egyptian firstborn sons but spared the people of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was finally broken, and he chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, that they did not have time to let the bread that they baked rise. Therefore on Passover the custom is to only eat unleavened bread called Matzah. On the first night of Passover families get together and relay the story of how the Israelites went from slavery to freedom. The meal is called the “Seder” which is a ritual feast telling the story.

Any holiday and occasion can be difficult to follow while on a special diet, especially one that revolves around food. However, of all the holidays, Passover might be the easiest to follow while on the ketogenic diet because we don’t eat any leavened bread. Many foods or drinks that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives, and which wasn’t guarded from leavening, are excluded during Passover. This includes carb-heavy foods like bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta and most alcoholic beverages.

For children on the ketogenic diet, a small piece of matzah can be calculated into the meal consisting of chicken or meat and vegetables, which will be very similar to what the rest of the family eats. Of course, the quantities will need to be calculated to work with your child’s diet plan and additional fat will likely be required to meet your ketogenic ratio. If needed, ask your child’s dietitian for help ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about calculating the recipe on the day of the feast. Almond flour or any nut flour can be used to create dessert recipes, similar to recipes already calculated for the ketogenic diet. Again, ask your dietitian for help if there is a specific dessert recipe that you want to make “keto-friendly”.

With a little extra planning and help from your dietitian, any person following the ketogenic diet should have no trouble joining the rest of the family in enjoying all of the Passover festivities.

-Zahava

For more tips on celebrating Passover on the ketogenic diet, see our previous post “Tips and Recipe Ideas for Celebrating Easter or Passover on the Ketogenic Diet”.