Image

Special Post for Epilepsy Awareness Month

As many of you know, November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, so today’s KetoConnect blog post is a special Epilepsy Awareness edition. Read below for an overview of Nutricia’s Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness and to view our new infographic to help spread awareness about epilepsy and the ketogenic diet.

Nutricia North America Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness:

Last Friday was “Purple Day” here at Nutricia North America. The KetoCal team committed to donate $5 for every Nutricia North America employee who wore purple to work for epilepsy awareNNAPurple2014ness. It was a sea of purple in the office and our internal social media site was flooded with photos of employees across the US and Canada sporting purple. We were so impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm that we decided to double the funds raised.

Friday’s fundraiser will be used to sponsor a child to attend Camp Great Rock, a camp specifically for children and teens with epilepsy. Great Rock campers get a chance to experience the joys of summer camp in a safe environment, under the medical supervision of the Neurology team from Children’s National Medical Center, our local children’s hospital here in Washington D.C.

Epilepsy and Ketogenic Diet Awareness Infographic:

Also in recognition of National Epilepsy Awareness Month, we created this Infographic to help spread awareness about epilepsy and the ketogenic diet as an option for those with intractable seizures. Please feel free to share, pin, post, and spread the word!

How are you recognizing Epilepsy Awareness Month?

-Mallory

 

Ketogenic Diet jpeg

Celebrating Thanksgiving on the Ketogenic Diet

ThanksgivingCan you believe that Thanksgiving is just 9 days away? If you have a child on the ketogenic diet for seizures, you may be feeling stressed about managing the diet on such a food-focused holiday. For today’s post, I’ve compiled some recipes and tips to help you ensure that your little one has an enjoyable, keto-friendly Thanksgiving.

Preparing a Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal:

Many parents like to prepare their child keto versions of the dishes that the rest of the family eats so that their child feels like they are eating the same thing as everyone else. If your family will celebrate Thanksgiving at a family member or friend’s house, consider talking to them about the menu ahead of time so that you have time to prepare similar keto dishes for your child.

Once you have some ideas of the dishes that you want to prepare, ask your child’s dietitian for help adjusting the recipes to your child’s ketogenic ratio and calorie needs, if necessary. If you are making a dish that you haven’t made before, you may want to try making it before Thanksgiving to make sure that it looks and tastes how you expect. If you will be making your child’s meal at home, then traveling to a friend or family member’s home for your Thanksgiving feast, make sure that the meals are transportable.

Some parents like to serve their child’s meals on smaller, kid-friendly dishes to make keto meals look more appealing and to make it less obvious that keto meals are smaller in size than regular meals. Consider getting a fun, colorful kid’s plate for your child’s Thanksgiving meal. You might even pick some up for all of the young children attending your Thanksgiving feast. Your child will feel like “one of the gang” and the other children might enjoy the special, kid-friendly dishes too!

Recipe Ideas:

KetoCook has created a wonderful Thanksgiving menu for keto kids. You can find their Thanksgiving recipes on the Charlie Foundation website or through the links below.

Desserts:

Dessert is the highlight of the Thanksgiving meal for many people. Check out our KetoCal recipe ideas for delicious Thanksgiving desserts.

Festive Formula:

If your child is mostly formula-fed, you can make Thanksgiving special by giving their KetoCal a festive twist. For example, you could dress up their KetoCal LQ into a turkey (see this example of a decorated drink box on Pinterest) or make a KetoCal Pumpkin Spice Shake.

Foodless Fun at the Table:

You can take the focus off of food altogether by creating an awesome kid’s table or kid’s place at the adult table with fun activities to enjoy during Thanksgiving dinner. This might be especially helpful if you are planning to feed your child before the group meal or if your child is tube-fed. Pinterest is full of free, printable, Thanksgiving-themed placemats and activity sheets for kids. We’ve collected some of our favorites on our holiday pinboard.  If you are feeling crafty, you can even make these cute pilgrim hat crayon holders for the table! We absolutely love this idea of making a faux pumpkin pie, filled with non-food treats and toys to keep your little one entertained at the dinner table.

 

Celebrating Thanksgiving on the ketogenic diet will take some extra effort but with some advanced planning and creativity, you can ensure that the whole family enjoys the day. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! What are you most thankful for this year?

-Mallory

 

 

Talking to Young Children about Epilepsy and the Medical Ketogenic Diet

explaining epilepsy and ketogenic diet to young childrenWhen your child has seizures and is starting a medical ketogenic diet, it’s important to help him or her to understand and cope as much as possible. But it can be challenging to discuss complex medical information with young children in ways that they can grasp. This post provides some tips and resources to help you explain epilepsy and the medical ketogenic diet to your little one.

Keep It Simple

Try to keep things as simple as possible. You want to be open and honest but too many details can be confusing and create unnecessary anxiety for a young child. Remember that you know your child best so you are the best judge of how much they can understand. It may be helpful to let your child guide the conversation. Provide basic information and encourage your child to ask questions. Let the questions guide you with how much information to provide.

Use Kid-Friendly Terms

Sometimes children need kid-friendly analogies to understand a concept. For example, you might tell your child “You’re starting a magic diet (or a superhero diet, or a princess diet) because it helps some kid’s brains to feel better so that they don’t have seizures. You won’t be able to eat some of your favorite foods for a while but we’ll make special magic (or superhero, or princess) foods just for you that are just as tasty.” Using terms like these can help you to communicate to your child that he or she will be eating different foods and that they can do it because he or she is strong like Spiderman (if interested in superheroes) or determined like Cinderella (if interested in princesses). Again, you know your child best so tailor your explanation to his or her interests.

Use Children’s Stories

Some parents find storybooks are helpful in communicating complicated information to children and fortunately, there are many children’s books about special diets or epilepsy. Here are some that you might find useful:

Reassure Them That They Are Not Alone

Even at an early age, children are very sensitive to feeling different from their peers. Reassure your child that they should not be embarrassed about having seizures or eating differently. Point out that many people have health issues and that they come in many forms. Some kids have breathing problems, others have tummy troubles, and others have seizures. Similarly, many kids have conditions that require them to follow a special diet. For example, some children have food allergies that limit the types of foods that they can eat and others are on a medical ketogenic diet for epilepsy, which also limits the types of foods that they can eat.

For more information on talking to your child about epilepsy, check out some of these useful sites:

How did you explain epilepsy and the medical ketogenic diet to your child? What advice would you give to other parents in your shoes?

The medical ketogenic diet should be used under medical supervision.