Time Management Tips for Keto Moms & Dads

We are excited to share this guest blog post from keto mom Dana Haddox-Wright. As always, Dana is full of helpful tips and insights for other parents. Be sure to check out her previous posts:


I have a daughter with a debilitating form of epilepsy, and before starting on the ketogenic diet she had status seizures at least twice a week requiring emergency intervention.  When my daughter’s neurologist suggested to my husband and me that we put her on the keto diet, I was instantly stressed by the idea.  I knew that it may help, but I was concerned that I would not be able to fit it into our daily routine.

I was also apprehensive because keto is so restrictive. Living in a world where food is such a large part of our culture, I was afraid that I would be depriving her in some way.  However, I came to the realization that having her in an ambulance on a weekly basis was no way for her to live.  I consulted with friends about how they manage the diet.  Most of the parents with kids on the ketogenic diet had only good things to say about it in terms of seizure control, so we decided to try it.  Within 3 days of being on the ketogenic diet my nearly 3 year old daughter was fully potty-trained, and she was more verbal than ever before.

Fast forward to 3 years later and my daughter is still on the ketogenic diet.  It has become part of our daily schedule.  It is not always easy, but we have a system in place that seems to work.

Below is my daily schedule, and I am sure other parents may relate:

6:45am – Wake up and get to cooking
7:00am – Prepare keto lunch and keto snack for the oldest
7:15am – Place keto meal in oven and start packing non keto meal for the youngest
7:45am – Finish packing lunches and start preparing keto breakfast and typical breakfast
8:00am – Breakfast finished and ready to eat
8:15am – Get the little ones dressed and ready for school
8:30am – Drop off the kids
9:00am – Work
3:15pm – Pick up the oldest
3:30pm – Prepare second keto snack
4:45pm – Pick up the youngest
5:15pm – Both kids home, time to prepare all the meals (keto and typical)
6:00-6:30pm – Dinner is served
7:30pm – Time to get ready for Bed
8:00pm – Kids are asleep.  Need to finish the work I could not finish during the day

Based on this routine, how does one find free time?  How can we incorporate keto into our day without becoming overwhelmed?  There are certainly ways to manage the keto diet and follow the daily regimen without losing all sanity.

1 – Cook ahead of time.  I laugh when I read this.  The concept of dragging my tired-self off of the couch when the kids are in bed is almost painful, but sometimes I do have a little extra energy to make a few bake and freeze pizzas or some school snacks before I relax.  What you accomplish at night will save you some stress in the morning.

2 – Time is ticking.  Think fast.  On any given day, I have a short amount of time to think through what to prepare for my daughter’s breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  I typically ask my daughter what she would like for lunch and/or snack.  On some mornings, she will request a vanilla KetoCal shake (“happy dance” time).  Otherwise, she has her “go to” meals or favorites that I can make quickly:  hot dogs in sauce (mayo and low sugar ketchup) with cream on the side, pizza, or cake with whipped cream frosting.  I have become very efficient at putting these things together and having them baking/cooking while I pack lunch for my younger daughter.  Again, the better (least realistic) option is to cook ahead.

3 – Dinners are made easier when keto meal looks like everyone else’s dinner. One can use items for keto meals that the rest of the family will have in their food.  For example, if it is taco night create a keto-taco recipe that contains the same ingredients.  I have a simple keto-taco recipe that includes:  iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, sour cream, ground beef, and oil.  I usually measure out and/or cook the keto meal first and then focus on the meal for the rest of the family.  That way, we can all eat at the same time.

4 – Keep It Simple. It may seem silly, but the longer I cook keto the easier it is for me to build-in time savings.  Recipes do not have to be elaborate or complicated.  If you don’t feel like whipping egg whites to make a crust, don’t whip them.  Taste is what really matters.  If mixing all ingredients in one bowl will not affect taste, then do that.  You can even create more all-in-one recipes that keto kids will enjoy.  Also, rely on your keto kids to let you know what they like.  My daughter will often cycle between 3 or 4 different recipes for a while.  Giving choices empowers keto kids in an otherwise restrictive situation.  I want my daughter to enjoy her food, so I feel that she deserves to have a voice in meal planning.

In a perfect world no child would ever need to be put on the ketogenic diet, but we all know that we do not live in a perfect world.  Our lives are not perfect and we are not perfect, so we have to make the best of our circumstances.  Provided we stay within the parameters of the diet set by our keto dieticians, we can be creative and make the diet fun.  This regimen is literally a labor of love, because if we did not love our children we would not be spending so much time on their meals.  It takes a lot of thought and practice finding ways to make the ketogenic diet less tedious, but once we get a knack for it, we may be surprised how fast things come together.

-Dana

A Keto Mom’s Tips for Managing the Holidays on the Ketogenic Diet

Our favorite keto-mom blogger, Dana Haddox-Wright, is back for another guest blog post! In today’s post, Dana shares her tips and recipe ideas for managing the holidays with a child on the ketogenic diet. Thanks for sharing with us, Dana.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


Happy Holidays

The holiday season is approaching quickly and for most families, this means taking in all of the feasts and treats that come with the territory. Food tends to be a focal point of the festivities as families get together to share in traditions either set by the family or by their religious affiliations.

Having a child on the ketogenic diet can be a challenge during the holidays. It is important to include them in our traditions as much as possible, even if their meals are much smaller than everyone else’s. Infusing keto meals with the holiday spirit requires a lot of thought, but it is not impossible. Though I am by no means an expert keto chef, I do have some ideas for making keto-friendly versions of holiday classics. To keep things simple, and I apologize ahead of time for leaving out any other holidays, I will be focusing on Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas.

THANKSGIVING MEAL:

Cauliflower and turnip make great substitutes for potatoes. Sweet potatoes may be switched to rutabaga. For our daughter, we make three dishes of the traditional Thanksgiving feast: Turkey breast, cauliflower, turnip, or rutabaga mixed with European butter, and a side of 40% cream (put into the keto calculator to fit your child’s caloric count and ratio). These dishes are easy to prepare and the kids will love to “gobble” it up (pun intended).

For more tips and recipes for Thanksgiving, here are some previous KetoConnect posts on the topic:

CHANUKAH FEAST:

I may not be Jewish, but I have wonderful friends who were willing to share some of their Chanukah favorites with me. Sufganiyot are custard or jelly filled doughnuts typically consumed every day of the Chanukah festival. I have created two types of doughnuts, and although they are not filled with anything (but love), they are delicious. One of my recipes uses ground macadamia nuts, egg, canola oil, frozen berries, a touch of vanilla, and liquid stevia to taste. A second is a nut-free recipe. It includes: baking powder, ground cinnamon, Truvia®, vanilla, coconut flour, xantham gum, egg, canola oil, and European butter. Each of the mixtures can be baked in a silicone mold (bundt shaped).

Latkes and brisket are also enjoyed during Chanukah. Though latkes are typically made with potato, one could create a keto-version with shredded or whipped turnip, a dash of onion powder, egg, olive oil with greek yogurt for dipping. In order to make it a full meal (which would make calculating it easier), one might add cooked brisket and a side of cream.

For more ideas, check out some previous Chanukah-related KetoConnect posts:

CHRISTMAS DINNER:

Some families serve turkey, some roast, and others serve ham. In a similar manner to Thanksgiving, consider substitutions. If you serve turkey, create a meal akin to what I suggested above. For roast, you can serve with butter and cooked carrots or rutabaga (with side of cream). You can also make a ham and cauliflower casserole (ham, cooked cauliflower, cheddar cheese, cream, and European style butter cooked in one pan).

For more Christmas recipe ideas, visit:

HOLIDAY SNACKS:

Chanukah gelt is typically a coin-shaped chocolate treat. An easy way to make chocolate is to melt coconut oil with unsweetened baker’s chocolate, add in liquid stevia and little vanilla. For texture, shredded coconut or whole flax seed can be added. You may be able to find coin molds and foil wrappers. The only catch is that the chocolate must be refrigerated until it is to be eaten.

Cookies can be made for any occasion. I like to keep it simple and make keto sugar cookies. Each batch makes 3 small cookies. Simply combine: melted European butter and coconut oil, mixed egg, coconut flour, Truvia®, a dash of vanilla and liquid stevia to taste. You can use different silicone mold shapes and keto-safe food colorings to make them look a little more festive.

I also make a coconut based candy that includes coconut oil, coconut flour, and shredded coconut. Simply melt the coconut oil and mix in other ingredients, then transfer into any mold and leave in refrigerator or freezer until completely set.

Finally, please try to keep your sanity during the holiday season.  Even if your child does not like certain items in the keto-versions of the traditional meals, they will always have their other favorites to fall back on.  If they like sausage, incorporate sausage.  If they like crunchy vegetables, work those in.  Making keto recipes is all about trial and error.  Feel free to test your holiday recipes beforehand, so that you know what needs tweaking.  I always tell people that I feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen, maybe that is because I am actually a little crazy.

In the end, both you and your kids will be happy that no one was left out.

-Dana

For more holiday tips and resources, visit the following KetoConnect articles:


Read more posts from Dana: