Kidney Diet Tips

10 Thanksgiving Holiday Hacks

It is easy to load up on phosphorus, potassium, sodium and calories during Thanksgiving or any holiday. With a few small changes to the menu, a renal-friendly meal can be served.

Menu Suggestions

Here are a few suggestions for more kidney-friendly menu options:

  1. Smashed cauliflower swapped for mashed potatoes is a tasty, low-potassium replacement. Try this Almost Mashed Potatoes recipe. Adding steamed cauliflower with chives, butter, garlic or other spices to a food processor makes the texture smooth like potatoes.
  2. Spiced or Glazed Carrots are good low-potassium substitutes for sweet potatoes. However if you must have sweet potatoes be sure to double boil or soak them to reduce potassium content.
  3. Herb Cranberry Stuffing is a kidney-friendly option compared to a traditional recipe or boxed stuffing mix. Rice dishes such as Autumn Wild Rice is another low-phosphorus, low-sodium menu item.
  4. A veggie tray with cucumber, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, celery and bell peppers is a healthy appetizer, especially when using Salt-Free Seasoning Dip.
  5. Brussels sprouts, Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary, yellow squash and Coleslaw are better options than candied yams.  For more cauliflower recipes see “Crazy About Cauliflower Recipes“.
  6. Carrot Apple Casserole is a low-phosphorus recipe compared to macaroni and cheese.
  7. The Green Bean Casserole recipe on has less sodium than the traditional green bean casserole made with high-salt canned soup.
  8. Cranberry Sauce is a low-potassium, low-phosphorus food.  You can make your own and replace the sugar with Splenda for a low-sugar version.
  9. Apple pie, cherry pie, Carrot Pie with Crumb Topping, Snickerdoodles, Shortbread Cookies and High Protein Rice Crispy Treats are renal-friendly desserts. These are lower in potassium and phosphorus compared to pumpkin or pecan pie, fruit cake or chocolate desserts.
  10. Hot Mulled Punch is a warm and pleasant beverage, a great solution to the calorie and phosphorus filled standard egg nog.

These tasty and delicious appetizers, side dishes and eggnog replacement can help spice up your holiday meals. With a few changes everyone can enjoy a healthy meal that’s kidney-friendly. has many kidney-friendly recipes to include in your meal planning. Enjoy and have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Lynn Taylor MS, RD, LD

Lynn Taylor MS, RD, LD

Lynn is an avid kayaker. In her free time she loves trying new recipes, biking, gardening and traveling.