Celebrating “Thanks-Keto-Giving”

Today’s guest blog post is by ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador Vanessa Aldaz, MPH, RD, CDE. Vanessa provides her tips and recipes ideas for families celebrating Thanksgiving on the ketogenic diet.


The holiday season is around the corner. Thanksgiving may have a different meaning for each household and how we choose to celebrate it may vary from home to home. However, I believe

thanksgiving 2that one thing most people can agree on is that it is centered around coming together with family, loved ones and friends. Here are some ideas for your keto family to consider when celebrating “Thanks-keto-giving” this year (aka: thanksgiving with a keto twist).

Keto-friendly Recipes:

The following are a few good recipe ideas for you to try. Don’t get overwhelmed with the options or feel that you need to make them all. Two sides and 1 dessert can easily make your keto-child or keto- friends feel included and very “keto-thankful”.

Main Dishes

Choose from an array of protein choices: These main dishes are perfect as most of them are carbohydrate-free.

  • Roasted turkey (not stuffed)- Instead of traditional stuffing, you can stuff with herbs and citrus rinds to give your turkey flavor and holiday flair
  • A “Turducken” (duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed inside a turkey)
  • Roasted whole ham leg or a spiraled ham (without the brown sugar glaze)
  • Non-traditional main dishes such as salmon, lobster or filet mignon

Side Dishes

  • Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower drizzled with good quality butter or try KetoCal® Mashed Fauxtatoes (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Try the KetoCal Cauliflower and Cheese recipe- sooo good! (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe, MAD recipe)
  • Green salads- use group A and B vegetables if you are on the Classic Ketogenic diet. Read the food label of your favorite creamy dressing and add heavy cream, mayonnaise, or oil to make it your ratio. Check your specific diet ratio and amounts with your ketogenic dietitian
    • My favorite: kale and baby spinach, cucumbers and sunflower seeds, topped with blue cheese dressing with extra heavy cream and mayonnaise.
  • KetoCal’s Thanksgiving Stuffing (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • KetoCal’s Green Bean Casserole Recipe (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Chicken or turkey keto gravy (3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Squash Curry Soup (if you are not a fan of curry try adding pumpkin spice instead)
  • Charlie Foundation’s High Fiber Bread Roll (4.16:1 recipe) (you can also use these high fiber rolls as a base for stuffing)

Desserts:

Family Activities

Another way to make “Thanksketogiving” a success is to try not to completely focus the day around the food. Get up and go do other fun and exciting activities to add to your memories. Depending on where you live there are many holiday activities you can participate in.

Go to the movies!

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular time for opening day of some big movies of the year. There are a variety of movies, animated and not, that feature heroes, superheroes, and other beloved characters of the season. There is something for everyone!

Take a walk!

Weather permitting, it’s nice to get outside as a family. Take a walk around the neighborhood or out to the zoo.  If you live in warmer climates, play touch football, soccer or baseball in your backyard or a nearby park.

Play games!

Get your friends and family together and play charades! Have everyone write random words, famous people, phrases or themes on pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. Make your own rules and have fun as all ages can play this game. Or, if you don’t like charades, family board games are always fun.  If relatives are coming, have them bring some of their favorites so you can all play together!

Play & sing!

If your family likes to sing or play music, consider bringing music sheets or a karaoke machine! You can always use pots, pans and plastic containers that aren’t used for the meal to make musical instruments and form your own band.

Get crafty!

Set out festive craft supplies for your little ones to create placemats, napkin rings, wreaths and centerpieces to use as your Thanksgiving Day table decorations. You can find some Thanksgiving-themed craft ideas here.

And finally, don’t forget to share with each other why you are grateful to be together or what you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-Vanessa

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

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

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

KetoCal is a trademark of SHS International LTD.

Halloween on the Ketogenic Diet

Today’s Guest Blog post is by Lindsey Thompson, MS, RD, CSP, LD, ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador.


Food is the focus of many holidays, and Halloween is no exception. For kids on the medical ketogenic diet, there are many ways to include them in your family traditions for Halloween. For this blog, I reviewed some tips for trick-or-treating with your child as well as how to navigate school or other Halloween parties.

Trick-or-Treating Tips

If your family trick-or-treats, here are some tips for including your keto kid:

-Provide non-food items or keto-friendly treats to neighbors beforehand for your child to pick up when she or he trick-or-treats. Some examples include:

  • Halloween themed toys or stickers
  • Tickets or tokens your child can collect from house-to-house and redeem for a larger non-food prize at the end
  • Keto-friendly treats, such as the following:
  • Chocolate Almond Bark:3:1 recipe
  • Almond Coconut Cookies:4:1 recipe and 3:1 recipe
  • No-Bake Fudge:4:1 recipe and 3:1 recipe
  • Sugar-free gelatin cups (Choose Halloween colors and/or decorate cups with Halloween stickers)
  • Other keto-friendly food ideas from the recipes included below

-Donate candy to a local charity or group after trick-or-treating. There are many groups that will collect extra Halloween candy for a good cause. If you plan to donate candy, make sure to talk to your children beforehand to explain your plan so they understand. You can also have the children turn in their candy to you for a larger toy, prize or allowance.

-Plan another activity in place of trick-or-treating that would not include candy or other treats your child could not consume. Some examples include a hayride, corn maze, pumpkin patch or decorating pumpkins as a family.

School Parties or other Halloween Parties

Make sure to plan ahead for school or other parties around the Halloween holiday. Let teachers or other caregivers know about your child’s food restrictions and plan to bring keto-friendly foods that your child can consume with her friends.

Here are a few recipes for keto treats that your child can take to the party:

  • KetoCal® Creamy Gelatin Snack: 4:1 recipe (can use green or orange gelatin powder and Halloween themed molds to make the treats festive)
  • KetoCal Pumpkin Spice Shake: 4:1 and 3:1 recipe
  • KetoCal Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Cream Frosting: 3:1 recipe (cook in Halloween themed muffin wrappers or add Halloween cupcake toppers)
  • Matthew’s Friend’s Chocolate Muffins: 4:1 recipe
  • Crustless Pumpkin Pie: 3:1 recipe

Always be sure to check the recipes with your ketogenic dietitian.

I hope these tips help make for a safe, happy and keto-friendly Halloween!

-Lindsey

KetoCal is a medical food for the dietary management of intractable epilepsy and is intended for use under medical supervision. 

Talk with your healthcare provider to determine if KetoCal is right for you. 

A Dietitian’s Tips for a Keto-Friendly 4th of July

staceyIn today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian Stacey Bessone provides some tips for celebrating the 4th of July while on the ketogenic diet. Stacey is a ketogenic dietitian, RDN, LDN, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a Keto Ambassador.

 


Fourth of July: The official American holiday for summer.  It is a great day for family time, outdoor grilling and fireworks.  Staying on the ketogenic diet during this holiday can be cool and tasty.  Here are some suggestions for a festive, keto-friendly 4th.

  1. Make sugar free ice pops and frozen treats. You can make cream-cicles with heavy cream and sugar free gelatin or use water, stevia and food coloring to make your own frozen pops. It is also fun to make star-shaped frozen ice cubes using just water and food coloring.  Who doesn’t want a red, white and blue stars floating in their water??
  2. Use the “raw meat” choice (in Keto Diet Calculator) and pre weigh foods for the BBQ. Chicken, beef or your favorite protein can be cooked on the grill right along with everyone else’s protein.  Just keep track of your keto portion. Try a lettuce bun for your hamburger.  Ribs can be tasty too.Young black boy holding flag at 4th July family garden
  3. Make kabobs using your favorite protein with peppers and onions. Use low-carb ranch or make another low-carb creamy dipping sauce.
  4. Add keto-friendly sides. Try substituting cauliflower for the potato in potato salad or for the macaroni in mac and cheese (try this Cauliflower & Cheese recipe from KetoCal®). Zoodles (spiralized zucchini) are a great substitute for pasta as well. Coleslaw can be made low in carb using mayo.
  5. Try grilling your carb portion of the meal. Grilled tomato, grilled zucchini or even grilled fruit (maybe a small portion of a peach) taste great.
  6. Consider breaking out some berries for dessert. Berries are in season and naturally low in carbs.  Adding heavy whipping cream or cooking them in butter can be super delicious. You can even make a low-carb fresh berry crumble, such as these 4:1 KetoCal® recipes for Raspberry Crumble and Blackberry Crumble.
  7. Use cookie cutters in the shape of stars to cut out sugar free gelatin into Fourth or July shapes. Try this 4:1 gelatin recipe from KetoCal.
  8. Remember it is not always about food. What a great day for playing outdoor games like kickball, catch, or corn hole.  Also look online for DIY games like bean bag toss using paper plates and paint. It is a great day to go to the beach. If outdoors is not your thing, a good movie or show may be a good treat too.
  9. If you are playing outside, remember to STAY HYDRATED. This is important for everyone but especially important when on the ketogenic diet. Drink plenty of water and do not skip your meals and snacks.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

-Stacey

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

As always, please consult with your healthcare provider to determine if recipes ideas are appropriate for you or your child.

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