It’s a Wednesday and you just got home from work. You open the fridge to see you have nothing to cook with for any of your go to kidney friendly recipes. How should I avoid this? Meal planning with CKD!
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Meal Planning With CKD VS. Meal Prepping
Meal planning involves mapping out your meals for a set period of time. One of the most common ways to do this is choosing a variety of recipes you will follow for the week and subsequently going and buying all the necessary ingredients for these recipes. This differs from meal preparation as it doesn’t necessarily involve cooking and actually preparing food in advance for the week. Many people use these two techniques hand in hand to manage their meals for the busy work week.
Can Meal Planning Help Manage CKD?
The answer is yes! When you are planning and subsequently making your own meals they can be lower in sodium which is important for CKD management. But, meal planning can allow you to have better portion control in regards to protein content of your food, another important aspect of regulating CKD. Plus meal planning also helps keep track of potassium and phosphorus. And reading food labels you can understand if foods you are using have added phosphorus in then. Check out this post for more information.
One result of meal planning is knowing all the ingredients and portions in your food, and planning ahead with kidney friendly recipes, like with sodium, you can watch your potassium intake. Meal planning encourages cooking at home which will also greatly reduce your phosphorus consumption because you will not be consuming nearly as much of the phosphorus containing additives that are commonly present in processed foods.
There are also companies out there that have CKD friendly meals already made. Check them out here.
Getting Started With Meal Planning and CKD
Here are some tips and tricks for getting started with meal planning and CKD:
- Check your fridge to see what you already have and need to use up
- Check your schedule for the week and see how much time you will have for cooking and choose recipes accordingly
- When planning each meal aim for a balanced plate of fruit & vegetables, grains, and protein
- See if there are multiple recipes that include the same ingredient for convenience
- Make a grocery list with all required ingredients
- Check out local flyers or apps like Flipp to see what is on sale or in season
- Don’t forget snacks!
- Canada’s food guide is a good reference source for more meal planning tips and tricks
- Use meal planning apps like Kidney Community Kitchen Meal Planner
Ready To Meal Plan With CKD?
Start with choosing your ingredients. Here are some suggestions for main ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes.
- Choose a fruit or two like blueberries and strawberries
- Choose vegetables: cauliflower, red peppers, lettuce, carrots
- Proteins: tofu, salmon, hummus, lentils, animal proteins (check out these portion size options)
- Carbohydrates or grains: rice, pita, oats, rice paper wrappers
Now let’ put it all together into meals:
- Blueberry, strawberry and cauliflower smoothie
- Blueberry lentil muffins and some strawberries – prep these ahead and use for breakfast and snacks throughout the week
- Overnight oats with blueberries
Does Today’s Article Speak To Your Struggles?
If you’re looking to feel empowered and supported with your nutrition needs, and want to manage your sodium and chronic kidney disease The Kidney Connection is available to help you preserve your kidney function, support from me and a community of those living with CKD. If you’re looking for support with your nutrition and CKD, the doors are open and your spot is saved.
Want to learn more about Emily? Learn more here.
This article was written by Rachel Rosenberg, Nutrition Student Volunteer.
This article was reviewed by Emily Campbell, RD CDE MScFN.