Kidney Diet Tips

Slow Cooker Winter Warm-up Meals

A slow cooker is a versatile kitchen appliance that comes in a variety of sizes. Extra-small slow cookers hold 1-2 quarts; extra-large slow cookers hold 8-10 quarts. The 4-6 quart size is typically used for average size family meals. Slow cookers range from about $15 to $80 dollars. But the most common price range is $20-$40. The price is higher when a timer and additional settings such as searing and warming are included. These cookers are a great way to prepare not only soups and stews, but also a variety of meats and poultry, and even desserts.

Slow Cooker Appeal

Slow cookers offer a simple and easy way to cook while you run errands, go to work, appointments or dialysis. However, the appeal of slow cookers goes far beyond low maintenance meal preparation. Making food in a slow cooker also enhances flavor and nutrition. This may even make it easier for your body to absorb the antioxidants from your meal. Due to the flavor enhancing qualities, slow cooked recipes are a perfect way to avoid additional salt when cooking.

Quick Slow Cooker Tips

Learning a few slow cooker tips will help you get started with your new appliance.

  • Thaw all meat and poultry before adding to the slow cooker
  • Add raw vegetables first because they take longer to cook
  • Add frozen and canned vegetables as well as rice and pasta last because they will soften and cook quickly
  • For more tips and information on how to use a slow cooker visit Slow-Cooking on the Kidney Diet.

Try these kidney-friendly recipes to get you cooking.

Soups and Stews Made in the Slow Cooker

Meals Made in the Slow Cooker 

Desserts Made in the Slow Cooker

For more recipes download DaVita’s Today’s Kidney Diet: Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook at no charge.


1. Amazon. Slow Cookers. 1996-2018. Accessed January 28, 2018.

2. S. Palmer. Turn up the Slow Cooking Heat for Health. Food & Nutrition. January 10, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2018.

3. E. Haraminac. Cooking Safely With a Slow Cooker. Michigan Food Safety: Michigan State University. July 2015. Accessed January 28, 2018.

Krista Blackwell, RD, LDN, CNSC

Krista Blackwell, RD, LDN, CNSC

Krista believes eating well is an essential component of living a long, healthy and happy life. She has been with DaVita for over one year and has been working as a clinical dietitian in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area for almost four years. Krista is a certified nutrition support clinician and is taking classes for a master’s of science in applied nutrition. She enjoys being part of a strong team of renal medical experts at DaVita. In her free time Krista loves traveling, cooking, reading and staying active.