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!
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
For more holiday tips and resources, visit the following KetoConnect articles:
Read more posts from Dana:
- Back to School: Tips for Packing Keto Lunches
- Ten Things that Only Keto Parents Would Understand
- Tips for Making the Ketogenic Diet Fun