tips for ketogenic diet for epilepsy

Keto Parents’ Advice for Families New to the Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy

tips for ketogenic diet for epilepsyIs your family new to the ketogenic diet for the management of intractable epilepsy? If so, you may be looking for tips and suggestions to help you manage day-to-day. Oftentimes, the best advice comes from others who have been in your shoes. Using our social media accounts, we asked keto parents about what advice they would offer other families new to the ketogenic diet. Here is what they said*.

“Patience is key. So is persistence. It took 10 weeks of fine-tuning the diet ratio to completely stop our son’s seizures.”

“Simplicity! Don’t overwhelm yourself with a ton of recipes. Or recipes at all for that matter. Start with a few things while becoming familiar and expand as you feel comfortable. My son ate the same things nearly every day. Also, if you reach seizure freedom and it’s interrupted, don’t get discouraged!!! It’s the worst feeling ever but try to stay positive! My son started the diet at 3 and was on it for 2 years. He’s 15 now and seizure free.”

“Take your time, do your research, ask all the questions! This is a lifestyle not a quick fix. But it is totally worth every second 👌👌 My twins have been seizure free for over a year! Make it simple & as time goes on it gets easier! ♥♥♥”

“Don’t give up…work with dietitian and neurology to fine tune! I believe it works but one needs to be patient and work with your whole team!”

“It’s not as hard as you think”

“Take a deep breath, smile and buy a scale!!!!!”

“One step at a time.”

“Keep it simple, ask for help, be patient 💜💜”

“Go slow it’s a marathon not a sprint.”

“Never give up. Weigh and measure precisely.”

“Go to a place that has a keto clinic with a specially-trained dietitian and neurologist.”

For more tips on managing the ketogenic diet, check out these blog posts:
A Ketogenic Dietitian’s Tips for Families Getting Ready to Start the Ketogenic Diet
Time Management Tips for Keto Moms and Dads
Tips for Caregivers of Tube-fed Children & Adults on the Ketogenic Diet

-Mallory

*Results with the ketogenic diet for the management of epilepsy may vary. Talk to your healthcare professional.

The ketogenic diet for the management of intractable epilepsy should be used under medical supervision

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 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

 

 

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.