Kidney Diet Tips

Holiday Flavors for the Kidney Diet

December is the month for holiday celebrations, and now is the time to pick out a few ‘go to’ kidney diet holiday recipes you can prepare with little fuss. By selecting recipes made for your kidney diet you can always feel good about enjoying food with your guests or bringing a dish to a holiday event. There are so many choices in the DaVita recipe collection, I thought I would inspire you with a few of my ‘go to’ favorites.

We all love easy when there’s so much to do, so my first holiday pick is a quick appetizer with only 4 ingredients plus apple slices and low-sodium crackers.

Holiday Cheese Ball is a combination of cream cheese, Russian dressing, onion powder and a thin coat of ground walnuts. Mix the ingredients and form into a ball then wrap it and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you slice the apples and pull out your favorite serving dishes.

Holiday Cheese Ball also travels well. Keep it wrapped and place in a cold lunch bag to transport.

You can change it up by shaping it in a log instead of a ball, or by serving with celery of other low potassium raw vegetables.

Holiday Cheese Ball keeps over several days so you can make it a day in advance or save part for a second event the next day.

Another great holiday recipe is Cranberry Pumpkin Bread, a great make-ahead treat to serve with coffee or tea morning or evening, or to slice and take on a plate to a party or pot-luck.

This recipe makes 2 loaves with 10 servings each, and freezes well so you can even make a double batch and have it on hand throughout the entire month.  

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread is a great gift to give from your kitchen, sure to bring enjoyment to your favorite friend or family. If you’re not a fan of cranberries no problem–leave them out and the bread is still wonderful.

 Plan on having  festive holiday beverage ingredients on hand so you can offer your guests a Hot Mulled Punch featuring cranberry and apple juice simmered with cinnamon and cloves. Or serve a chilled beverage like Ginger Apple Sparkler  with fresh and crystallized ginger and sparkling  cider.

Bring on the holiday cheer with Spiced Eggnog. Pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and rum extract flavor the non-dairy eggnog and a swirl of whipped topping with a sprinkle of nutmeg makes it so festive and tasty.

 Holiday cookies are fun to make, especially the kind you  cut into shapes and decorate. Try Old Fashioned Shortbread Cookies, a tried and true recipe with only the basics-flour, brown sugar and margarine or butter. Make a batch of dough and chill until you’re ready to bake and decorate.

Try one of these favorites or explore over 800 kidney-friendly recipes on to find your ‘go-go’ recipes for this holiday season.

Best wishes for an enchanting December!

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.