DaVita® Medical Insights

Holiday Diet Tips to Share with Your Kidney Patients

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year’s Day: These holidays and others tend to revolve around traditions that include food, which can pose a significant challenge for patients who are trying to adhere to a kidney diet. Here are holiday-specific diet tips that can be printed off and hand delivered to your patients, so that they can maintain optimal dietary practices while enjoying quality time with friends and family over the next few weeks.

Holiday Diet Tips for Kidney Patients

  1. When in doubt, always ask your dietitian about healthy meal choices, especially for your individual eating plan.
  2. Limit salty foods. Salt makes you thirsty. If you eat too much salt, you may drink too much fluid and possibly make your next dialysis treatment difficult.
  3. Make your stuffing from scratch and reduce or eliminate the high-sodium ingredients such as salt and broth.
  4. Use whipped cream instead of ice cream on desserts.
  5. Remember to take your phosphate binders. Binders should always be taken with food, because the main action occurs as food is being digested.
  6. Select low potassium desserts such as cake and/or fruit pies, instead of pecan pie, pumpkin pie, fruitcake or chocolate desserts.
  7. Remember that gelatins count as fluid.
  8. Remember that gravy counts as fluid.
  9. Roast meats to the correct internal temperature. Poultry must reach 165 degrees F.
  10. Never eat raw eggs. Use pasteurized eggs in recipes that call for uncooked eggs (such as eggnog or cream pie), or buy commercially-prepared egg products that have been pasteurized.
  11. Double boil potatoes to lower potassium content. Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces. Cook in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Drain water and add fresh water. Boil until tender. Drain the potatoes and prepare as desired.
  12. Prepare foods with herbs and spices instead of high-sodium seasonings.
  13. Reduce or replace high potassium and high phosphorus ingredients.

If your patients ask for additional resources or recipes that are specific to kidney disease, they can visit DaVita.com.

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.