Keto-friendly Candy and Treat Recipes for Easter

With Easter coming up, you may be searching for keto-friendly candy alternatives to put in your little ones’ Easter baskets. These recipes are perfect for making keto-friendly candy and treats. Use Easter-themed candy molds to make these even more festive.

Chocolate Candy (2.87:1)

Easter Marshmallow Treats (MAD Recipe)

Gummies (3:1)

 

A Keto Dietitian’s Tips for Families Celebrating the Winter Holidays, Keto-Style!

Thanksgiving is a week from today and the rest of winter holidays are right around the corner! In today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador Robyn Blackford, RDN, LDN, provides her tips for families celebrating the holidays while on the ketogenic diet. Thanks for these awesome tips, Robyn!


For people following a ketogenic diet during the holidays, it doesn’t have to be a season of additional stressors. Parents of children who follow a special medical diet, including the ketogenic diet, may even find the upcoming holidays easier to survive than they first thought.

I often hear that extended family members are very supportive of their child’s special diet. Educating others on the diet will open your family up to a potentially strong support system. Most people like to hear about the nuances of the special diet and learn how they, too, can help. Talking about the diet and getting that ‘pat on the back’ can give you just enough motivation and energy to make the next special meal. Siblings may ask if they, too, can have the yummy, magical keto food that you are preparing. What a nice, fun, supportive time that this can be for your whole family!

Whether you are hosting holidays at your house or joining others elsewhere, you are sure to be successful to sticking to your ketogenic diet during these festive days if you practice these tips.

Holidays at your house:

* Consider serving a low-carb dish on your menu. There are many low-carb recipes readily available, such as a cauliflower mash in place of mashed potatoes. This may be helpful for others to understand some of the details and enjoy the foods that are part of the special diet

* Using festive holiday plates, bowls, and napkins to distract from ordinary or special diet food is a welcome change for people of any age! Try using cookie cutters to make foods more appealing and brightly colored toothpicks to add fun to your holiday meal.

* Keep food out of reach for tiny guests that are on a special diet. This way they cannot snatch foods quicker than you can say no or be able to take it away from them. They can be faster than you anticipate!

Holidays as a guest:

* Consider eating or serving your keto meal before leaving the house. This way you do not have to worry about finding foods you can eat later when you or your child is hungry. Talking to the holiday host can help you be successful if you plan on eating a little something at the get-together.

* Plan to serve and eat your favorite keto foods while away from home in easy-to-warm-up containers. It can be quite a treat if you haven’t had that favorite food in a while.

* For smaller children, be sure to pack a bag full of toys and fun things to help distract them from focusing on food. Do not underestimate the power of non-food rewards during playtime!

 

In any case, make sure that you plan ahead. Mentally prepare your child to resist food that is not part of their special diet and prepare yourself to teach others about the positive impact the diet has had on your lives.

Helping people follow their ketogenic diet can be one of the best gifts you can give them during the holiday season!

-Robyn

The Ketogenic Diet & Halloween Blog Round Up

Halloween on the ketogenic dietAs Halloween quickly approaches, we’ve compiled a list of blogs all about managing your child’s ketogenic diet on this food-focused holiday.

Happy keto-friendly Halloween, everyone!

Halloween on the Ketogenic Diet: New Ideas & Traditions

In today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian and keto ambassador Vanessa Aldaz, MPH, RD, CDE, shares her tips for parents managing Halloween with a child on a ketogenic diet. Thanks for these fabulous ideas, Vanessa!


It’s that time of year again when not only is it getting colder outside, school is on a roll and well, everything is going well. However, you walk into pretty much any store to find decorations colored in black and orange and entire sections of candies and sugar right at the entrance! What is a keto-parent to do?  You hear the chatter of children talking about what costume they’ll be dressing up as this year, and then there’s the whirlwind thought of “Can my keto kid go trick or treating? Can we make it through this holiday without a sentimental scratch?” The answer is: yes! Children on the ketogenic diet can have just as much fun as any other kid out there celebrating Halloween. There may need to be some rules that other kids may not need to stick to, but the fun won’t be a disappearing act. Here are more than a few ideas to make Halloween on the ketogenic diet fun, crafty, ghoulalicious, and sure to set new traditions.

Can my child go trick or treating? Yes, yes, and sure! Let them only collect a bag full of candy and not eat them, but at the end of the night you can have them participate in a few new fun ideas or traditions (read ideas below). The other great thing about this is that they went for a walk and got some exercise. A good rule of thumb is to have them eat dinner or a filling snack BEFORE going trick or treating so they don’t get the munchies once they are out there.

New Fun Ideas & Traditions

  1. The first one, I truly have to say I stole the idea from one of my patients with diabetes a while back, but come to think about it, it works!! For a keto kid it’s genius! Once your child has come home with a bag full of candy and treats, have them count them with you and put them in a bag for the “Switch Witch” – yes she’s that sweet tooth, sugar eating witch with rotting teeth who’s willing to take your child’s candy and switch them over for a fun toy or surprise that your child will wake up to the next morning! – Tada! You have replaced a treat your child cannot eat with a fun surprise of your choosing that your child is sure to love and not miss that candy. Feel free to come up with your own Halloween “goblin” that will replace candy for a treat.
  2. If the above doesn’t work for you or if it just screams of spoiling your child then have your kids collect the candy and donate the candies to our troops overseas. Many dental offices will collect candies that your little ones collect. Not sure if this includes a discount on your next visit though, hehe.
  3. You can also try to have close friends and neighbors have a pre-set keto treat bag for your little one when they ring their door bell and say “trick or treat”. A bag full of little non-edible goodies like Halloween stickers, spider rings, bubbles, erasers, pencils, etc. Places like Walmart®*, dollar stores or 99 cent sections at other stores are filled with fun little trinkets. These can also be taken to school to hand out to your child’s classmates.
  4. Focus on costumes, not on the candy! – have a costume contest. Dress up your child in their favorite costume or disguise. Be creative, decorate their stroller or make their wheelchair part of their disguise. Pinterest had some amazing ideas like a brand new toy still in the box, where the box is the stroller and the doll or toy is your child.
  5. Host a Halloween party, play games and focus on non-edible treats. You can have them paint mini pumpkins, tossing balls or any other fun game. Focus on the fun decorations! If you do get trick or treaters to your house, instead of having a large bowl of candy that might get into the wrong hands or mouth, try pre-packaging them into sealed “grab bags” for  non-keto kids to take home.
  6. Go on a Halloween-themed adventure! Visit a pumpkin patch, go on a hay ride or if your child is old enough and able, perhaps a not so haunted house might not be a bad idea. Or go to a theme park- Many theme parks will be all decked out all month long or host a series of fun events for the whole family to enjoy. Disney theme parks are amazing that time of year.
  7. Lastly, if you would like to make some fun Halloween Keto treats, here are some ideas. Just make sure you double check with your keto team and RD to ensure it fits your child’s keto diet prescription.

-Keto Chocolates: cocoa butter flavored with stevia flavoring drops, put in fun candy molds and enjoy.

-Sugar free jell-o molds. Try the KetoCal® gelatin recipe and put in fun Halloween molds, yummy!

-KetoCal crustless pumpkin pie

-KetoCal chocolate cupcakes

Happy Halloween and enjoy.

-Vanessa

 

*Nutricia North America is not affiliated with Walmart®.

A Dietitians Tips for Celebrating Passover on the Ketogenic Diet

Zahava Turner, RD CSP LDN

Zahava Turner, RD, CSP, LDN

We are happy to share today’s guest blog post written by ketogenic dietitian and keto ambassador Zahava Turner, RD, CSP, LDN, who shares her tips for families celebrating Passover with a child on the ketogenic diet. Thanks, Zahava!


 

Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrated in the springtime commemorating the Israelites being freed from slavery from Ancient Egyptians. For those of you not familiar with it, the story goes that God sent ten plagues to the Egyptians to free the Israelites. The final plague killed all of the Egyptian firstborn sons but spared the people of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was finally broken, and he chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, that they did not have time to let the bread that they baked rise. Therefore on Passover the custom is to only eat unleavened bread called Matzah. On the first night of Passover families get together and relay the story of how the Israelites went from slavery to freedom. The meal is called the “Seder” which is a ritual feast telling the story.

Any holiday and occasion can be difficult to follow while on a special diet, especially one that revolves around food. However, of all the holidays, Passover might be the easiest to follow while on the ketogenic diet because we don’t eat any leavened bread. Many foods or drinks that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives, and which wasn’t guarded from leavening, are excluded during Passover. This includes carb-heavy foods like bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta and most alcoholic beverages.

For children on the ketogenic diet, a small piece of matzah can be calculated into the meal consisting of chicken or meat and vegetables, which will be very similar to what the rest of the family eats. Of course, the quantities will need to be calculated to work with your child’s diet plan and additional fat will likely be required to meet your ketogenic ratio. If needed, ask your child’s dietitian for help ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about calculating the recipe on the day of the feast. Almond flour or any nut flour can be used to create dessert recipes, similar to recipes already calculated for the ketogenic diet. Again, ask your dietitian for help if there is a specific dessert recipe that you want to make “keto-friendly”.

With a little extra planning and help from your dietitian, any person following the ketogenic diet should have no trouble joining the rest of the family in enjoying all of the Passover festivities.

-Zahava

For more tips on celebrating Passover on the ketogenic diet, see our previous post “Tips and Recipe Ideas for Celebrating Easter or Passover on the Ketogenic Diet”.

A Dietitian’s Tips for Celebrating Easter on the Ketogenic Diet

Lindsey Thompson, MS, RD, CSP, LD

We are pleased to welcome back Lindsey Thompson, MS, RD, CSP, LD.  Lindsey is a ketogenic dietitian and Keto Ambassador from Kansas City. In today’s guest blog post, Lindsey shares her tips and recipe ideas for families celebrating Easter with a child on the ketogenic diet. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, Lindsey!

In case you missed her previous guest blog post this month, be sure to check out Lindsey’s tips for families preparing to start the ketogenic diet.


One of the challenges for children on specialized diets is that food is often the focal point of holidays. Easter is a holiday that many families celebrate together and is no exception. If you have a family member on the ketogenic diet, including them in your family meal is imperative, but will require some extra planning.

Easter Meals

On Easter many families feature meals with ham or lamb, pies, breads and dishes with eggs. Consider incorporating the type of meat you are serving into a ketogenic meal for your child, such as ham or lamb with a side of fruit or vegetable and cream or other fats. In addition, here are a few keto-friendly dishes you might consider for your family member’s Easter meal:

KetoCal Cheese and Ham Tart

KetoCal Cheesy Tomato Tart

KetoCal Apple Crumble with Whipped Cream

Ketogenic Deviled Eggs:

Use the following ingredients to put into your child’s ketogenic diet planner to calculate his or her recipe:

  • Egg white- cooked
  • Egg yolk- cooked
  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter- softened
  • Small amounts of mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce (if your family member likes spicy foods)
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Instructions:

  1. Hard boil eggs. Slice eggs in half and remove yolks.
  2. Place the cooked egg yolks in a bowl & mash them up with a fork.
  3. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Scoop the filling into the halved egg whites.
  5. Sprinkle with paprika.

Easter Egg Hunts

In addition to family feasts, many families will attend or have Easter egg hunts for the Easter holiday. Children often hunt and discover plastic eggs filled with treats or goodies. Here are some tips to help include your family member on the ketogenic diet in your family’s Easter Egg Hunt:

Easter is a special holiday for families. With a little extra planning, your child on the ketogenic diet can enjoy and feel included as a part of your family’s Easter traditions.

Happy Easter to all!

-Lindsey

 

For more tips on celebrating Easter while on the ketogenic diet, read Tips and Recipe Ideas for Celebrating Easter or Passover on the Ketogenic Diet.

Christmas on the Ketogenic Diet: Blog Roundup

Christmas

Christmas is just over a week away! As you know, when you have a child on the ketogenic diet, party and meal planning takes a little extra time. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of blog posts with tips and recipe ideas for celebrating the holidays with a child on the ketogenic diet.

Do you know of any other useful blog posts or articles about celebrating the holidays on the ketogenic diet? Please let us know so that we can add it to the list! Also, please share your own tips for other parents in the comment section below.

We hope that your family has a very merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Ketogenic Diet over the Holidays (KetoConnect guest blogger)

KetoCal Christmas Recipe Ideas (KetoConnect)

A Keto Mom’s Tips for Managing the Holidays on the Ketogenic Diet (KetoConnect guest blogger)

Winter Holidays on the Ketogenic Diet (Epilepsy Foundation)

Holiday Baking (KetoCook)

Keto Gingerbread House & Gingerbread Men (KetoCook)

Although Hanukkah has already passed for 2015, we also have some tips and recipe ideas for families celebrating Hanukkah on the ketogenic diet in case you missed them.

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:

 

 

Keto-friendly Thanksgiving Recipes!

Chef Rachel

Chef Rachel

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! For keto parents, it can be difficult to come up with keto-friendly variations of traditional Thanksgiving recipes. Chef Rachel Finn, from Kansas City, KS, has saved you some time! Rachel specializes in creating recipes for individuals on special diets and often works with families of children on the ketogenic diet. Her keto Thanksgiving recipe creations are sure to please your little one’s taste buds! Below are instructions for making these recipes at a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio. We hope that your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Note, the recipes below are intended for individuals on a 4:1 or 3:1 ketogenic ratio. As always, consult with your health care provider to ensure that a recipe is appropriate for your child’s diet. Work with your provider to adjust recipes to meet your specific ratio and calorie requirements.


Recipes for a 4:1 Ratio

Thanksgiving Tart (4:1)

tart

Ingredients:
16 g Butter
20 g KetoCal® 3:1 powder, Nutricia NA
18 g Oil, Olive
10 g Cream Cheese, Philadelphia Brand
8 g Flour, Coconut – Bob’s Red Mill Organic Hi Fiber
11 g Egg (raw, mixed well)
2 g Bouillon, Wylers Instant-Beef/Chick granules
7 g Turkey, dark meat (no skin) – cooked
5 ml Water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 °F
2. To make the tart crust, place coconut flour and KetoCal into bowl and rub in butter with fingertips. Add a pinch of poultry seasoning, dried rosemary or rubbed sage, if desired.
3. Dissolve bouillon granules in the 5 mL water. Sprinkle bouillon over top tart crust dough and mix until it becomes a stiff, crumbly pastry dough. Save 5 grams of the pastry dough for the tart topping.
4. Line tartlet tin with your crust dough (minus the 5 grams saved for the top), using your fingers to press the pastry into the edges.
5. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, egg, olive oil, and turkey. Pour the mixture into the crust.
6. Season with salt and pepper, and top with remaining 5 g of crust dough. Add another pinch of dried rosemary on top.
7. Place on oven tray and cook for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from tart pan.

Nutrition Information (for entire recipe):
Carbohydrate: 3.87
Calories: 507
Fat: 50.87
Protein: 8.8
Ratio: 4.01:1

Mashed Fauxtatoes (4:1)faux

Ingredients:
76 g Cauliflower, cooked
8 g KetoCal® 4:1 LQ Unflavored – Nutricia
14 g Butter

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, heat KetoCal 4:1 LQ with butter and cooked cauliflower until warm.
2. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
3. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information (for entire recipe):
Carbohydrate: 1.44
Calories: 129
Fat: 12.88
Protein: 1.77
Ratio: 4.01:1

Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole (4:1)gbc

Ingredients:
10 g KetoCal® powder 3:1, Nutricia NA
36 g Cream, 36%
50 g Green Beans – cooked
28 g Butter
46 g Sour Cream – cultured (not low-fat)
10 g Durkee French’s fried onions

Directions:
1. Melt butter; Mix with KetoCal 3:1 powder, sour cream, and cream.
2. Stir in green beans.
3. Pour mixture in a ramekin or a small baking dish. Season with salt & pepper.
4. Top with fried onion (if desired, save some of the onions to place on top after baking for a crunchy texture).
5. Bake in 350 °F for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information (for entire recipe):
Carbohydrate: 9.77
Calories: 566
Fat: 56.66
Protein: 4.38
Ratio: 4:1


 

Recipes for a 3:1 Ratio

Thanksgiving Tart (3:1)tart

Ingredients:
17 g Butter
20 g KetoCal 3:1 Powder
7 g Oil, Olive
10 g Cream Cheese, Philadelphia Brand
10 g Flour, Coconut – Bob’s Red Mill Organic Hi Fiber
14 g Egg (raw, mixed well)
2 g Bouillon, Wylers Instant-Beef/Chick granules
6 g Turkey, dark meat (no skin) – cooked

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 °F
2. To make the tart crust, place coconut flour and KetoCal into bowl and rub in butter with fingertips. Add a pinch of poultry seasoning, dried rosemary or rubbed sage, if desired.
3. Dissolve bouillon granules in the 5 mL water. Sprinkle bouillon over top tart crust dough and mix until it becomes a stiff, crumbly pastry dough. Save 5 grams of the pastry dough for the tart topping.
4. Line tartlet tin with your crust dough (minus the 5 grams saved for the top), using your fingers to press the pastry into the edges.
5. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, egg, olive oil, and turkey. Pour the mixture into the crust.
6. Season with salt and pepper, and top with remaining 5 g of crust dough. Add another pinch of dried rosemary on top.
7. Place on oven tray and cook for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from tart pan.

Nutrition Information (for entire recipe):

Carbohydrate: 4.32
Calories: 424
Fat: 9.18
Protein: 9.18
Ratio: 3.05:1

Mashed Fauxtatoes (3:1)

Ingredients:faux
107 g Cauliflower, cooked
10 g KetoCal® 4:1 LQ Unflavored
14 g Butter

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, heat KetoCal 4:1 LQ with butter and cooked cauliflower until warm.
2. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
3. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information (for entire recipe):
Carbohydrate: 2.01
Calories: 138
Fat: 2.4
Protein: 2.4
Ratio: 3.02:1

Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole (3:1)gbc

Ingredients:
13 g KetoCal 3:1 Powder
28 g Cream, 36%
54 g Green Beans – cooked
16 g Butter
34 g Sour Cream – cultured (not low-fat)
12 g Durkee French’s fried onions

Directions:
1. Melt butter; Mix with KetoCal 3:1 powder, sour cream, and cream.
2. Stir in green beans.
3. Pour mixture in a ramekin or a small baking dish. Season with salt & pepper.
4. Top with fried onion (if desired, save some of the onions to place on top after baking for a crunchy texture).
5. Bake in 350 °F for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information (for entire recipe):
Carbohydrate: 10.44
Calories: 462
Fat: 4.41
Protein: 4.41
Ratio: 3.01:1

Tips and Recipes for Making Valentine’s Day Fun for Your Keto Kid

valentinesdayLike most holidays and special occasions, Valentine’s Day can be tricky when you have a child on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Most valentine celebrations involve candy and other sweets not allowed on the ketogenic diet, which can make it stressful for parents trying to ensure that their child does not consume any non-allowed foods.  Parents may also find it challenging to make the day fun despite the dietary restrictions. Fortunately, little things go a long way when it comes to making special occasions fun for kids. For today’s KetoConnect Blog Post, we have some tips and ideas for small ways to make Valentine’s Day fun and special for your keto kid.

Add a Festive Touch!

You can make any meal more festive with a cute Valentine’s Day-themed straw, cup, plate, etc.

Decorate Your KetoCal!

Replace your child’s regular KetoCal with pink, strawberry-flavored KetoCal. Simply add a sugar-free, carb-free strawberry flavoring, such as DaVinci Gourmet’s strawberry syrup, to the KetoCal LQ Vanilla. Add your festive straw and voila!–You have a Valentine’s treat!

Another idea is to actually decorate the KetoCal LQ drink box. We found some cute ideas on Pinterest, such as these. You can find more ideas on our “Valentine’s Day on the Ketogenic Diet board on Pinterest! (Please note- these ideas use juice boxes, so you would just use your KetoCal LQ boxes instead).

Make Everything Heart-Shaped!

Another easy way to make Valentine’s Day special is to make your child’s favorite foods in the shape of a heart. Below are a few ideas:

  • Make your KetoCal pancakes into hearts by pouring the batter into a cookie cutter on the pan.
  • Make a heart-shaped KetoCal pizza by spreading the pizza dough into the shape of a heart before topping and cooking (you could do this by hand or using a larger-sized cookie cutter–just place the cookie cutter on the parchment paper and spread the dough inside of it to shape the pizza).
  • Make heart-shaped muffins or cupcakes using heart-shaped silicone baking cups, such as these.

Embrace Pink!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by making recipes that are naturally festive by color! Here are some recipe ideas that are pink and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Rasstrawberry_smoothiepberry or Strawberry Smoothie:

Our KetoCal Raspberry or Strawberry Smoothie recipes are naturally pink in color and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Optional–Top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with carb-free sweetener and serve with a festive straw!

KetoCal Cherry Float:

Add scoops of KetoCal Vanilla Ice Cream to any sugar-free, carb-free cherry-flavored soda, such as Zevia® Black Cherry or Professor Fizz (please note, these sodas are not carb-free but the carb comes from erythritol, which some dietitians do not count towards total carbohydrate– check with your dietitian first). Usually, the carb-free cherry soda is red in color but if the brand you use is not, you could add a small amount of red food coloring. Optional- top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with carb-free sweetener and serve with a festive straw!

Strawberry Panna Cotta:panna-cotta

Panna Cotta is a creamy Italian dessert. Our KetoCal Strawberry Panna Cotta recipe is tasty and perfectly-colored for a Valentine’s Day treat!

Make Awesome Non-Food Valentines!

Many valentines involve candy, but there are many other options for non-food valentine treats which are just as much fun for kids. We found some awesome ideas for non-candy valentines on Pinterest. You can check them out on our “Valentine’s Day on the Ketogenic Diet” Pinterest board. If your child’s school is having a Valentine’s Day celebration, send along some non-food valentine treats for your child and the rest of the children to enjoy. If you are friends with other parents of children in the class, you could share some non-food Valentine ideas with them as well. There are likely other children in the class with food restrictions, such as those with food allergies, and many parents try to minimize their children’s sugar intake, so you might find that other parents embrace the awesome non-food valentine idea too!

-Mallory

Holiday Tips and Recipes Roundup

Today’s KetoConnect post is a collection of posts from around the web with helpful tips and recipe ideas for celebrating the holidays with a child on the ketogenic diet. Please comment if you know of any other helpful posts that we should add to the list. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, keto-friendly holiday!

Tips for Celebrating Winter Holidays (Epilepsy Foundation)

Christmas:

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Ketogenic Diet over the Holidays (KetoConnect)

Christmas Survival Guide (Matthew’s Friends)

KetoCal Christmas Recipe Ideas (KetoConnect)

Holiday Baking (KetoCook)

Hanukkah:

Celebrating Chanukah on the Ketogenic Diet (KetoConnect guest blog post)

KetoCal Hanukkah Recipe Ideas (KetoConnect)

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Ketogenic Diet Over the Holidays

The holiday season is officially upon us! Hanukkah starts today, Christmas is just over a week away, and Kwanzaa starts the following day! This time of year tends to be very food-focused, which can make it challenging for parents of children on restrictive diets. For today’s blog post, Robyn Blackford, a ketogenic dietitian from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, helped us to come up with some tips for managing the holidays with a child on the ketogenic diet.

Plan Ahead for Meals & Treats

  • Talk to your child’s dietitian for any recipes that you may need well before the time you need them.
  • Make the recipes in advance to ensure that they taste good and travel well.
  • For holiday meals, if possible, find out what will be served ahead of time so that you can find keto-variations to match what everyone else will be eating.
  • Make a few batches of keto treats to have handy over the holidays so that you can provide them for your child at school parties, family get-togethers, etc. when other kids are enjoying treats.

Prepare for Holiday Meals & Get-Togethers

Preparing your child:

  • It’s important to prepare your child for holiday meals, get-togethers, and parties. Talk to your child ahead of time about what to expect and practice saying “No, thank you” if offered any foods other than the foods that you bring.
  • For holiday meals, some kids may enjoy a smaller, kid-friendly, holiday-themed dinner plate. Smaller, sectioned plates can be helpful for making keto meals more appealing to children and also make it less obvious that their meal is smaller in size than a typical meal. On the other hand, some kids may prefer to have the same dinner plate as everyone else so that they don’t feel different. Talk with your child ahead of time to find out which option he or she prefers. If you go with the small, child-friendly plate, you might also bring some for all of the children attending to enjoy!

Preparing friends & family:

  • Let family members and friends know ahead of time about your child’s special diet so that they know not to offer foods other than the food that you bring for your child. By letting everyone know ahead of time, you can avoid having the conversation in front of your child, which might make your child feel self-conscious.

Preparing your child’s school:

  • If there will be a holiday party at your child’s school and food will be provided, remind your child’s teacher(s) that your child cannot have any food except for the food that you send. If there will be treats provided, send a special keto treat for your child so that he or she doesn’t feel left out. You might also send along non-food, holiday-themed treats like stickers, pencils, etc. for all of the children to enjoy.

Embrace Non-food Variations of Favorite Holiday Traditions

A lot of holiday traditions involve foods that are not allowed on the ketogenic diet, but you can still enjoy them by taking a new, non-food spin on favorite traditions.gingerbread house

  • If your family enjoys making gingerbread houses, you can make a non-food gingerbread house this year using a cardboard box, paper, cotton balls, jewels, glitter, puff balls, stickers, etc. Here’s one that we made as an example. They are just as much fun to make and they last longer!
  • Rather than filling your child’s Christmas stocking with candy, fill it with non-food treats like small toys, stickers, markers, fun socks, etc.

We hope that you find these tips helpful for managing your child’s ketogenic diet over the holidays.  With a little creativity, improvising and planning ahead, you can make your child’s holiday as normal as possible. Try to remember that although food seems like such an important part of holiday celebrations, most of our best childhood memories of the holidays have nothing to do with the food.

Happy Chrismakwanzika everyone!

-Robyn & Mallory

Celebrating Chanukah on the Ketogenic Diet

zahavaChanukah begins a week from today and we are excited to welcome a guest blogger for today’s post on celebrating Chanukah while on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Zahava Turner, RD CSP LDN, is a ketogenic dietitian at the Johns Hopkins Ketogenic Diet Clinic in Baltimore, MD. Zahava looks forward to celebrating Chanukah with her family each year so she is happy to share some tips for families celebrating Chanukah with a child on the ketogenic diet so that they can have an enjoyable holiday too.


hanukkahChanukah and the Ketogenic Diet

The holiday season is fast approaching! Chanukah or Hannukah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and spirituality in a materialistic world. The Holy Temple which had been destroyed was rededicated  in Jerusalem. It begins on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev. Chanukah is observed by lighting the Menorah every night for eight days in honor of the single vial of olive oil that was found in the rubble that lasted for eight days.

As with most holidays, there are special foods that are eaten during Chanukah. Popular Chanukah foods include latkes, which are potato pancakes, and sufganiot, which are doughnuts. These foods are traditionally cooked in oil to commemorate the miracle of the olive oil that lasted for eight days. The heavy use of oil during Chanukah makes it the perfect holiday for children following a ketogenic diet for epilepsy!

As a ketogenic dietitian, I know how important it is to parents for their child’s life to be as normal as possible while on the ketogenic diet. Parents may be concerned that their child will have to miss out on favorite Chanukah foods but with some creativity and help from your dietitian, you can create ketogenic versions of almost any dish. Below are some ideas for making ketogenic latkes and sufganiot for your child to enjoy during Chanukah.

Latkes:

Although potatoes are traditionally used for latkes – any shredded vegetable like zucchini, beets, kale, or spinach can be mixed with egg to bind it together and then fried in oil.

Sufganiot:

One of the families that I work with came up with this recipe for a ketogenic donut! These keto donuts make a great substitute for sufganiot during Chanukah.

Keto-donut Recipe – Created by the Lynch family

Work with your dietitian to adjust the amounts of each ingredient to meet your child’s ketogenic ratio and calorie needs.

Ingredients:

  • Egg whites
  • Cream (whipped)
  • Macadamia nuts (finely chopped)
  • Butter and
  • Peanut butter

Directions:

Spray mini bunt pan well with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix egg whites, whipped cream and nuts together – set aside.  Melt butter and peanut butter together – mix well and pour into egg mixture.  Mix together and pour into bunt pan.  Bake in the oven at 350°Fon the lowest rack until golden brown (about 35 min. for a 300 kcal meal).  Cover with aluminum foil the last 10 minutes or so of baking to prevent top from burning before completely cooked through.

Happy Chanukah everyone!

-Zahava

 Find more recipe ideas for keto Chanukah foods here.