Summer Traveling while on the Ketogenic Diet

Today’s guest blog post is by ketogenic dietitian Robyn Blackford, RDN, LDN. Thank you for these helpful and timely tips, Robyn!

Robyn Blackford, RDN, LDN


The beginning of summer is finally here! Are you considering a family trip this summer? Packing up your keto kid for a family trip may seem like a daunting task to accomplish. Whether you are traveling by air or car, here are a few ideas for you to consider as you plan your summer get-away:

  1. Make a checklist. Think of all of the things that you need to pack and things you need to do. Start this list several weeks before the planned trip. This will bring you much needed peace of mind knowing that everything is checked off of the list and you truly have thought of everything!
  2. Label everything. Be specific and label all bags and bowls of food items. It may even be helpful to label the outside with what food it contains and what day and time you plan on serving it. This way it is fool proof when other family members are trying to be helpful and helps you to keep everything straight and organized.
  3. Check your destination. It can be helpful to look into both hotels or rental homes in the area. A hotel may offer some perks, like a concierge and a chef who are happy to meet the needs of your child’s special diet. But, a rental home will have a full kitchen that you can utilize. Be sure to find the closest grocery store and see if they carry your favorite items.
  4. Travel letter from your Keto Center. Many facilities who support the Ketogenic Diet have standard letters that they can provide to families. The travel letter should include that your child is on a special medical diet and that it would be helpful to be able to carry in certain items, such as unrestricted amounts of fluids (cream, oil, water, etc) and a cooler. These letters can be used for air travel as well as amusement parks and water parks that usually restrict customers from bringing in outside food.
  5. TSA guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the rules, so you know what special accommodations your family may need. The TSA Cares website can be very helpful.
  6. Timing is everything. Many websites that give tips on traveling with children suggest that you choose travel times near bedtime. To me, this sounds like the perfect idea, especially for children on a special diet. You can feed your keto kid their meal and then prepare them for a traveling bedtime, whether it be by car or airplane. This is less time you have to think about feeding your child and it’s an easy distraction in your travel plan.
  7. Medical ID or food allergy bracelet. Some families already utilize the medical ID bands for the purpose of seizures, but why not also use it for your ketogenic diet. Listing an allergy to dextrose can be helpful in the event of an emergency during your travels and  help others to be aware of the needs of your child’s medical diet. In general, people take allergies a bit more seriously than diet guidelines.
  8. Easy to pack and eat foods. For easy packing, choose foods that can be stored for a long time in a cooler or even stay fresh outside of a cooler. Consider these foods:
  • Protein foods: nut butters, lunchmeat, cheese sticks, nuts
  • Fat foods: Fat bombs, oil shots, avocados
  • Carb foods: veggies, very low carb breads, berries
  • Drinkable Meal/Snack: KetoCal 4:1 LQ

I hope these tips make your summer travel a little bit easier.  Planning weeks in advance can help you be successful in taking your next family trip.

Find some fun and enjoy your summer!

-Robyn

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

KetoCal is a medical food and is intended for use under medical supervision. 

The Ketogenic Diet At Grandma & Grandpa’s House

In today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian Stacey Bessone provides some tips for keeping your child safe on the ketogenic diet while at grandma and grandpa’s house. Stacey is a ketogenic dietitian, RDN, LDN, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a Nutricia Keto Ambassador

stacey


 

I don’t know about you, but my grandmother was all about feeding me as much and as often as possible.  For many adults, preparing food for others is a way of showing love.  Sometimes being on a special diet does not fit in with this agenda of affection through food.  Here are some tips for keeping your child on the ketogenic diet at grandma and grandpa’s house.

  1. Educate. Educate. Educate. (Easier said than done, right?). If possible, have a grandparent attend the initiation classes or some of your follow up appointments with the nutritionist.  Having the diet guidelines come from a 3rd party can be very impactful.
  1. Have grandparents participate in keto meal prep. Sometimes seeing that it is regular foods, only in prescribed amounts, makes it easier to understand.
  1. Send little food packages with pre-prepared keto meals and snacks. This will take the mistake factor out of the equation.  Many people want to help but fear they will make the menu wrong. There are really convenient bento lunch boxes and containers that make a great presentation.
  1. Have grandparents place non-keto foods out-of-reach and out-of-sight. Kids can be very convincing, especially to an aunt or cousin that is not sure of the diet guidelines.
  1. Provide different food or gift options that your child CAN have. This provides an alternative to grandparents when they want to show their love (with or without food).  It can be a keto treat that you had prepared ahead of time or a small toy such as a little car or a princess wand.
  1. Show grandparents any education videos or provide any books on the diet. Sometimes the impact of the story can really make the importance of staying on the diet a reality.  There are many resources such as The Charlie Foundation*, Matthew’s Friends* and MyKetoCal that can be a great resource.

I hope these tips can make it a bit easier.  Grandparents can be a great supporter for the diet with the right understanding.

-Stacey

I have been paid my Nutricia for my time to write this blog post but my opinions are my own. 

*Nutricia is not affiliated with The Charlie Foundation or Matthew’s Friends.

The Ketogenic Diet: 5 Things To Do Before You Go on a Trip

Taking a summer trip requires a little more planning when you or a family member is on a special diet. In today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian and keto ambassador Stacey Bessone, RDN, LDN, shares her list of 5 things to do before going on a trip while on the ketogenic diet. Thank you for your tips, Stacey!


trip 2Sometimes planning for a trip can be overwhelming, even for people not on a special diet. When you or a family member is on a special diet, such as the ketogenic diet, the task can be even more daunting.  Here are a few tips to help preparations so that you do not need a vacation from your vacation.

  1. Plan for the travel portion (there and the way home).

    Try to bring non-perishables and pre-made snacks/meals that can be consumed on the way there AND the way back.  Some suggestions would be a sugar-free jello with whipped cream, avocado or a KetoCal LQ.  Make 2 travel meals/snacks and save one for the return trip.

  1. Plan for airport security.

    Below is a link for items NOT allowed through the check points for carry on.  Liquids need to be less than 3.4 fluid ounces with the exception of medically-necessary liquids, such as special formulas or liquid medications. Let the TSA agent know if you have medically-necessary liquids as these will need to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. You may also consider bringing a letter from your doctor or dietitian explaining the diet and need to carry special food, liquids, or medications.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/prohibited-items

  1. Research grocery stores in the area you will be visiting.

    This may help with brand names and usual food items that you will want to have menus for. Call your hotel to see if there is grocery delivery and order ahead so that items will be available when you arrive.  Also, most hotels can provide small refrigerators which can be used to store cream, butter and other cold items.

  2. Review menus of local restaurants where you will eat.

    Many restaurants have online menus. This may make it easy to make a plan for ordering and bringing along items needed to compliment the meal. If you are staying or eating in a relative’s or friend’s home, call the host ahead of time to explain the situation.  This way you can make a plan for the host to supply certain foods or the need for you to bring food with you. Always have a fast food meal menu for back up.

  3. Have fun!

    By preparing and making a plan, the ketogenic diet can fit into a great vacation. This can be a good time to try new foods that may be part of the experience.  For example, BBQ in the south or fish/seafood near the ocean.  Preparing a menu for these foods and taking some of the steps above can make for an interesting dining experience.

-Stacey

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

KetoCal is a medical food and is intended for use under medical supervision.