Kidney Diet Tips

My Favorite Things…Kidney Diet Goodies

I love holiday music, especially Carol of the Bells and My Favorite Things. I also love to discover new food products that are special because they’re only available this time of the year. I made a couple of ‘discoveries’ that could easily become favorite things from my local Trader Joe’s store this week (also available online).  I like shopping at TJ’s because they promise no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, no MSG and no trans fat. This means you can find kidney-friendly foods that are free of phosphate additives.

My first new holiday discovery is Speculoos Cookie Butter, described as “a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits”. Serving suggestions are to spread on pancakes, make cookie sandwiches, or use as a dip for celery or pretzels. Cookie Butter looks like a jar of peanut butter, spread smoothly like peanut butter, but the gingerbread-cinnamon-nutmeg flavor is out of this world! Because it’s free of nuts, the potassium and phosphorus are much lower than comparable nut spreads.  One tablespoon has 90 calories, 6 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrate and less than 1 gram protein. In addition, the cholesterol and sodium are zero. Okay, you may need help with stopping at 1 tablespoon—but keep in mind moderation is important to feeling good throughout the holidays).

My second TJ’s holiday discovery was actually selected by my hubby, who takes the lead on making and decorating bells, trees, stars and snowman-shaped sugar cookies. Normally I make a batch of Old Fashioned Shortbread Cookies from, but for the sake of time decided to give this boxed mix a try.  TJ’s Sugar Cookie Baking Mix has no baking powder to add phosphorus and the sodium for one 3” cookie is only 80 mg. Other nutrients include 130 calories, 5 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 20 mg carbohydrate and 1 gram protein per cookie.

Speaking of cookies, DaVita dietitian Mary from Kansas recently submitted her recipe for Snickerdoodles, another holiday favorite, plus Cranberry Cream Salad, the perfect recipe for that extra can of cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving.

Looking for something less sweet and cheesy? Check out the latest recipe collection, Kidney-Friendly Cheesy Appetizers featuring 5 low phosphorus cheese appetizers that are sure to be a hit at your next social event. I made the Holiday Cheese Ball last week–it was fantastic!

Have you downloaded your DaVita Kidney Diet Delights holiday cookbook yet? I hope you enjoy this wonderful holiday recipe collection and many other kidney-friendly recipes in the collection!

Happy Holidays,

DaVita Dietitian Sara

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.