Back to School on the Ketogenic Diet: Blog Roundup

back to school busWe don’t have to tell you that managing your child’s ketogenic diet can be tricky. As the kids head back to school, you may find that it gets a little more complicated. We’ve compiled a list of blog posts to help support you. From tips for informing the school about the diet to ideas for packing a keto-friendly lunchbox, we hope that this blog collection will help make your keto kid’s transition back to school as smooth as possible.

 

 

Back to School: Tips for Packing Keto Lunches

We are excited to welcome back Dana Haddox-Wright, keto mom and guest blogger extraordinaire! Dana lives in Connecticut with her husband and two adorable daughters. Her 9-year-old daughter has Dravet Syndrome and has been on the ketogenic diet for over 5 years. As you prepare for your children to head back to school, we hope you will find Dana’s tips for packing a keto lunch box useful and timely. 

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Preparing food for children can be a daunting task, particularly when they are on the ketogenic diet. Kids on the diet are not always predictable. What they absolutely love one day, they may not want to touch the next. The struggle is real for us. Just when we narrow down several “favorites” the kids love, we are then confronted with another challenge….SCHOOL.

Work Around School Policies

School policies on food vary by district, but most do not allow tree nut products. No macadamia nut, almond, or peanut-based foods are allowed much of the time. This significantly limits our fat options. If your child’s school cafeteria does allow nuts at designated tables, then you are ok. Other parents will need to get creative. Coconut is a useful substitute, but you may need to convince your school administrators that it is ok. When my daughter’s school told me that I would not be able to send in coconut based foods, I was confused. I contacted the keto dietitian, and she told me that though coconuts grow on trees they are technically not “tree nuts,” and it is very rare for individuals with tree nut allergies to have a reaction to them. She wrote the school a letter that was shared with the school nurses, and problem solved. Once you know what you CANNOT send to school, you can experiment with alternate recipes. Try using coconut flour or flaxmeal in exchange for nut flours.

Keep It Simple

Another helpful hint is to keep things simple. You can make delicious meals that do not require a lot of components or ingredients. A few of my daughter’s favorites that are not messy or complex include the bake and freeze pizzas (using flaxmeal instead of macadamia nuts), cheesecake, hotdogs with “awesome sauce” (low sugar ketchup and mayonnaise with cut up cooked hot dog mixed in) and a side of cream (made into whipped cream). Last, but not least, a nice water bottle with a keto-safe flavoring and some liquid stevia is a great alternative to the juice boxes that kids often have.

Remember the Social Aspect

Lunch period is time that kids socialize. Something to remember is that kids pay attention to what their peers pack in their lunches. Knowing this, I try to make my daughter’s lunches tasty and fun while meeting all the keto requirements. You may also want use the school lunch calendar as a guide. Attempt to mimic what the school cafeteria will be serving.

Listen to Your Child

Take time to listen to your children. If they say they want carrots or apple, attempt to work them into new recipes (assuming you have time in your busy schedule). In the end, it is all about making things easier while keeping our little ones safe.

Put On Your Advertising Hat

As the head keto-chef in my house, I try to prepare things that even I would want to eat. Think like an advertiser. Market to your child, and everyone wins. Find keto-friendly food coloring for cookies or cakes, or even for their water to add to visual appeal. On a diet that is so restrictive, there are ways to turn limits into opportunities.

Know That It’s All Worth It

Know that the time you spend being a keto mad scientist, is time well spent. Your kids, whether they can verbalize it or not, will appreciate your effort. They will know that you put your love for them into everything including their school meals.

-Dana

I was paid by Nutricia for my time to write this post, however, my opinions are my own. 

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy should be used under medical supervision. 

Back to School on the Ketogenic Diet: Part 3

ketoschoollunchFor the final post in our Back to School on the Ketogenic Diet Blog Series, we’ll talk about getting KetoCal® through the National School Lunch Program. We’ll also share some school lunch recipe ideas incorporating KetoCal®LQ. In case you missed them, be sure to read Part 1 on notifying the school about the ketogenic diet and Part 2 on packing the ketogenic diet lunchbox.

KetoCal and the National School Lunch Program

If your child attends a U.S. public school, you may be able to get KetoCal LQ provided by the school for the cost of the standard lunch meal. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as the regulations governing the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) stipulate that substitutions to the regular school meal must be made for children who are unable to eat school meals or have special dietary needs due to a qualified disability, such as epilepsy, when that need is certified by a licensed physician. Best of all, our Nutricia Product Coverage Navigator can guide you through the steps to request KetoCal from the school. For more information, visit our Epilepsy and the School Lunch Program webpage.

Quick & Easy KetoCal School Lunch Recipe Ideas

Speaking of KetoCal and school, we are excited to share some ketogenic school lunch recipe ideas that incorporate KetoCal LQ. If your child gets KetoCal LQ provided by the school, you can just send the additional ingredients to go along with it. We hope that your keto kids love the recipes and we hope they save you precious time in the morning!

As always, be sure to consult with your child’s health care provider about all meal ideas to ensure that they work for your child’s specific ketogenic ratio and calorie requirements.

Thanks for reading our Back to School on the Ketogenic Diet Blog Series. We hope everyone has a happy and healthy school year. We’d love to see photos of your little ones and their keto lunches on the first day back, so please share on our Facebook page!

-Mallory