Planning your meals with Spice It Up!
By June Martin, RD, CDE
Following a renal diet is tricky. Not only do you need to worry about the amount of potassium, phosphorus and sodium you consume, but you also need to make sure you’re getting enough protein! For many kidney patients, it can be exhausting trying to fit it all together. Without planning ahead, it can be all too easy to eat too little protein… and too much of everything else.
One of the best things you can do to keep yourself on track is to do some meal planning. With the recipes in Spice it up! you can easily plan your week, make your grocery lists and meet your goals for protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus. The Nutrient Analysis in every recipe is designed to meet your needs. And an added bonus? Planning ahead will actually save you money and time and help you avoid the stress of last-minute meal decisions.
Here are a few meal planning tips:
- Make a grocery list and stick to it.
- Include a source of protein at each meal.
- Aim for less than 600mg of potassium per meal.
- Plan your meals with common ingredients to reduce food waste. In the example below, we’ve chosen two meals that use cabbage as the vegetable. This saves you from having a crisper full of half-used vegetables.
- Plan to use your leftovers. It’s all too easy to let those leftovers sit until they’re only good for compost! If you aren’t going to eat them within a couple days freeze them for another day when you’re too tired to go shopping. Label your freezer containers so you’re not guessing what’s in them.
- Cook once, eat twice. If you make chicken breasts for supper, cook an extra one that can be used to top salads, slice for sandwiches or enjoy in a wrap the next day.
Plan some snacks for the week – make a batch of Anytime Muffins or our Protein Bars so that when you want a kidney- friendly snack, there’s one handy.
We’ve put together an example to show the difference a bit of meal planning can make. By choosing recipes from Spice it up! you can reduce the amounts of sodium, potassium and phosphorus you are consuming and get enough protein at the same time.