Kidney Diet Tips

Holiday Eating for Kidney Patients on a Low Phosphorus Diet

Deck the halls with boughs of holly…plus foods low in phosphorus, will power and phosphorus binders! During the holidays, following a low phosphorus diet is more of a challenge for chronic kidney disease and dialysis patients because there are so many high phosphorus temptations.EElevated phosphorus levels cause itching, sores, red eyes, calcifications and contribute to bone and heart problems.

Here are some holiday survival tips to keep your body healthy with normal phosphorus throughout the New Year.


  • Keep binder prescription filled so you don’t run out during the holidays.
  • Review your high phosphorus food list to be sure you remember which foods to limit or avoid.
  • Mingle at parties and avoid hanging around the food. Serve your food on a plate to avoid grazing over high phosphorus temptations.
  • Instead of ice cream, use whipped topping on pie or other desserts.
  • Make low phosphorus eggnog using nondairy creamer instead of milk or cream.
  • Prepare low phosphorus holiday recipes to take to social events.
  • Beware of holiday goodies made with cheese, chocolate, nuts, or peanut butter.
  • Go for fresh meats like turkey or roast beef instead of dishes made with processed meats like hot dogs, sausage or enhanced meats injected with phosphate additives.
  • Choose yeast breads over quick breads and muffins made with baking powder.
  • Look for phosphorus free beverages like sparkling cranberry, apple or grape juice, lemon-lime soda, wine, spiced tea or coffee instead of higher phosphorus cola, cocoa, beer or drinks made with milk.
  • Remember to take phosphorus binders with meals and if necessary with snacks. Ask your doctor or dietitian about adjusting binders to cover higher phosphorus intake. Ask a family member to be your binder reminder.

Enjoy the holidays and start the New Year with normal phosphorus to help keep your eyes and skin clear and your bones and heart healthy. Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones!

Do you need extra help with controlling phosphorus? Speak with your dietitian or check out the recipes on

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                      

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

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.

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.