This post is dedicated to all the stressed out Mamas (and Papas and Grandparents) who are running around to three+ grocery stores in order to buy all the food on their keto shopping list. Who are reading the nutrition labels to find that one cream cheese with the most fat, who are scouring the Web for ideas, insights and new recipes, and who are looking for short cuts to this labor-intensive and super-expensive diet! There is nothing quite like the joy of finding a product in the store that your Keto kid can just simply eat!
I am writing this post on the one-year anniversary of Drake’s Keto diet hospital initiation experience (Facebook kindly reminded me of this memory in my newsfeed) and it got me thinking of how overwhelmed and confused I was at first. We had over a month between Drake’s diagnosis and the hospital stay and it took that whole time for Ken and I to process the implications of the Keto diet and to realize that every single food Drake ate needed to be adjusted or no longer eaten.
One year later we are happy to report that this diet has gotten easier. But with a Glut1 kid we don’t have the luxury of Drake being able to stop this diet, ever. And that sometimes sends me into the fetal position with tears streaming down my face. What happens when I get too sick or too busy to focus on meal shopping and prep? What will happen if I go back to work and this no longer becomes my primary focus? What happens if I haven’t had a chance to have a cooking day and I don’t have any breakfast cookies or muffins or keto pizzas or meatball cups in the freezer? I need a backup plan. I need some shortcuts.
So here is my top 10 list of sanity-saving short cuts for Keto Kids:
- Charlie Bar. Your Keto kids very own food bar, 7 per box at 2:1 ratio. Here is a link to make it a higher ratio.
- Flackers and European butter. Simple spread butter on a Flacker cracker. (also available at Whole Foods).
Trader Joes Parsip chips. Unfortunately the nutritional facts for these Parsnip Chips are wrong and a new label is being created. They are actually at about 1.6 : 1. It’s my understanding that they used fresh parsnips to calculate the nutritional information instead of dehydrated parsnips. Add fat on the side depending on your ratio. Luckily Drake hasn’t been knocked out of Ketosis because of this!
Parsnip Chips available at Trader Joes for only $2.99 a bag. At a 4:1 ratio it can be eaten right out of the bag with no additional fat, yay!
- Coconut Chips. Coconut Chips, Ginger Masala Chai Super Snack. Found at Whole Foods (sometimes) and Amazon. Around 2:1 ratio. Drake surprised me by totally loving this flavor combination. It includes his favorite spice, cinnamon.
- Pepperoni Tacos. Spread cream cheese on a slice of pepperoni and put a toothpick through it. Add an olive or pepperoncini peppers if your ratio or kid will let you.
- Berries and Cream. Mix heavy cream in a Magic Bullet blender add berries (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries) and sprinkle with Truvia.
- Bowl of nuts. Mix high fat nuts with low fat nuts such as almonds and macadamia nuts.
- Butter quesadilla. Heat up a low-carb tortilla in a pan, spread with European butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Order Medical Food. Pizza Petities, Cinnamon Donut Delights and Wholesome Bread. Available at Cambrooke Therapeutics with a prescription.
- Tuna salad. Mix tuna with mayonnaise. Add chopped celery if your ratio or kid will let you, or serve on the side with ranch dressing.
- Hot-dog dinner. Heat-up a hot dog and serve with lots and lots of mayonnaise. Why oh why do kids love hot-dogs?
AND Here is my list of mental short cuts:
When you build up a meal or snack think of the FAT as the BASE. Avocado’s, macadamia nuts, pecans, heavy cream, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, ranch dressing are all above 3:1 ratio and make for a great starting point for building up a meal.
Subtract Fiber grams from the Carb grams
Yes, you can minus out the fiber! Fiber is good and doesn’t affect ketosis or blood sugar levels. Keto kids especially need fiber (I won’t go into why — because I don’t want to embarrass Drake and hopefully the answer is pretty obvious anyways) so go ahead and subtract that fiber. Ketodietcalculator does this automatically.
I don’t have many money saving tips, sorry, this is a costly diet and worth every penny. High quality fat is expensive! You can save a few dollars here or there with coupons and big box store memberships — and then console yourself that this is literally your child’s medicine.
We go through jars of coconut oil and cartons of 40% heavy cream, and bags of pecans and almond flour like it’s nobody’s business. I buy organic chicken and grass fed beef and $5 sour cream and over $4 for a tub of butter and try not to bat an eye at the cash register when I realize just how much I’ve spent. So, mentally prepare yourself for the sticker shock and leave a comment if you have found a good cost savings short cut.
But we have recently switched Drake’s vitamins from — k-phos, magnesium, calcium, a multi-vitamin and carnitine — to now just FruitiVits and carnitine with a savings of $175 a month! (And yes I did go out and buy a new pair of boots!)
It’s great to keep trying new recipes and even better when one becomes a winner, but kids tend to like to eat the same thing, over and over and over again. So don’t knock yourself out over complex keto meals that are too involved for young kids to willingly eat anyways. Sometimes the simplest short cuts involve aiming to bite off less than you (or your kid) can chew.