Kidney Diet Tips

Staying on Track: Must Have Holiday Recipes for Your Kidney Diet

One of the best things about the winter holiday season is an opportunity to socialize more than usual.  Parties, potluck at work, holiday brunch and family get-togethers always include food and drink. For people with kidney disease, holiday eating presents more temptations and dietary challenges. Prepare yourself to stay on track by finding 3 or 4 must-have kidney-friendly holiday recipes for upcoming events.

I’ve selected several recipes from the collection for you to incorporate into your holiday collection. How about an artichoke appetizer that’s not overloaded with cheese or fat? Are You Kidding Me Artichoke Dip contains cream cheese and only 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese to give a creamy, cheesy flavor while keeping sodium and phosphorus content low. It takes about 15 minutes to assemble, and then pop it in the oven 30 minutes before serving.  A second choice (one of my favorites) is Artichoke Relish on Toasted Pitas. A combination of artichokes, seasoned with pimento, onion and a small amount of Parmesan cheese, this tasty appetizer has only 2 grams of fat per serving and the only cooking required is toasting the pitas. Potassium for both these recipes is around 100 mg.

For holiday brunch or breakfast, try Veggie Strata. Mushrooms, onion, sweet red peppers, a small amount of spinach for color and your choice of eggs or low cholesterol egg product come together to make an easy, elegant breakfast entrée. Assemble it the day before, refrigerate overnight, and then bake it an hour before serving.

Lemony Couscous Salad is as easy as boiling water (plus a little chopping). This healthy holiday salad is low in fat, sodium and potassium and provides 2.5 grams of fiber. Make ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve whenever the meal or party starts. For a sweet salad, make Christmas Cranberry Salad, featuring gelatin, fresh cranberry and a small portion of pecans. It’s kidney-friendly but high in flavor. Refrigerate for up to a week if it lasts that long.

For a sweet treat, make a batch of Soft Ginger Cookies. Spiced with ginger and cloves, these cookies fill your house with a holiday scent. The recipe makes 2 dozen so you can store the extra cookies to serve throughout the month. Another yummy treat, Apple Bars, travel well and are sure to be a party hit. This cinnamon-brown sugar-apple combination has a crumb topping and small drizzle of icing and makes 18 portions. Sugar substitutions make it acceptable for a diabetic diet too.

Try one or more of these suggested recipes to serve your guests or take to the next holiday social. You’ll find how it’s easier to stay on track when kidney-friendly holiday foods are available.

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.