Kidney Diet Tips

Holiday Eating the Dialysis Way

With the holidays just around the corner, you may be surrounded by savory and sugary eats that are simply too hard to resist. It may be a friends-giving meal, potluck at work or with family, or treats that others share. How can you stay within your dialysis dietary goals while still indulging in a savory treat or two? Here are some holiday eating tips to help.


Potassium is often a topic for discussion for a person on dialysis. It is a mineral that is abundant in a variety of foods, especially dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy these foods while maintaining normal potassium levels . Here are some ways to help limit potassium intake if you are on a low potassium diet:

  • Peel, cut and soak potatoes in water for 2-3 hours prior to preparation
  • Replace regular milk with almond, soy or rice milk in holiday items like eggnog
  • When selecting pies, apple or berry pies are better alternatives to pumpkin or pecan pie


In addition to potassium, phosphorus is another mineral that is equally important to be mindful of during the holidays. Phosphorus is primarily found in dietary sources that are rich in protein including dairy products, legumes, meat, poultry and fish. It may also occur as an additive in processed and fast foods. Ways that can limit phosphorus intake include:

  • Whenever possible, eat meals that are prepared at home from fresh and whole foods rather than processed or fast foods
  • If consuming soda, select ones which are light in color, including Sprite and Mountain Dew instead of cola
  • Have your phosphate binders on hand so that you remember to take them with your meals

Fluid and Sodium

Now you may be thinking, “I have my potassium and phosphorus covered. So what about fluids? Do I really need to monitor what I drink too?” Yes! It is important that you pay attention to your fluid intake during the holidays. Too much fluid can make you feel uncomfortable, increase your blood pressure, and cause additional stress to your heart. Here are ways to regulate your fluid intake:

  • Sip beverages slowly – just enough to moisten your throat and quench your thirst
  • Avoid high sodium foods as they can increase your thirst and need to drink more liquid
  • Remember, anything that is liquid at room temperature counts as a fluid, including ice, ice cream, popsicle, gelatin and sherbet


Most importantly….

It is the holidays so make sure to have fun!! Use these holiday eating tips to stay healthy and happy.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Asmita Batajoo, MS, RDN, LD

Asmita Batajoo, MS, RDN, LD

Asmita Batajoo, MS, RDN, LD, originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, was raised in Madison, WI. She began her professional journey as a clinical dietitian and has worked with DaVita for the past year and a half. Asmita finds a great deal of satisfaction in working with kidney patients to help them understand that the renal diet does not have to be as daunting as it may seem. She enjoys doing yoga and barre exercises as well as cooking. Nepali cuisine is her specialty.