It’s common for families to have holiday get togethers to spend time with one another. These often involve preparing and eating a big meal – which can seem daunting for someone suffering with chronic kidney disease.
Have no fear, however, as it is absolutely possible for you to navigate the dinner table at a holiday get together…even if you have CKD. The following tips will help you enjoy your meal with still eating sensibly for your condition.
How to Navigate Holiday Get Togethers with CKD
Know your dietary restrictions
Depending on the progression of your CKD, you want to be fully aware of the restrictions on your diet. For example, if you are further along in the process of this condition, you will want to reduce your protein intake at holiday dinners. You will also want to keep a close check on your sodium intake.
Don’t be afraid to ask
If you aren’t sure how something was prepared, or if it contains an ingredient you should stay away from, just ask! It’s better to find out what’s inside the holiday dish before you eat than to risk your own health. Your loved ones will understand your need to know more about the foods you are eating.
Bring your own dishes
To play it completely safe, someone with CKD may wish to bring his or her own meal to a holiday get together. At the very least, you may want to bring low-sodium or low-potassium side dishes that you can pair with other items brought by family members. By preparing your own foods, you can be sure you are staying within the restrictions of your renal diet.
Eat before the get together
Having a renal diet friendly meal shortly before you attend a holiday get together can help you stay healthy and well. That way, you can ensure you are eating the right foods for CKD. If you do plan to eat at the holiday dinner, having something before hand helps you cut back on what you eat at the event…thus reducing your chances of eating something you shouldn’t.
Use portion control
It is vital that you exercise proper portion control when navigating a holiday get together with chronic kidney disease. As you fill your plate, take smaller portions of foods that aren’t renal diet friendly. Make up for the small amount by eating larger portions of foods that are okay to eat with CKD. This balance makes sure you are full without damaging your health.
Plan your meal before you start
If you are attending a holiday get together with a large food spread, you want to take a survey of everything available before you begin creating your plate. This allows you to skip dishes you don’t really want in favor of those that you look forward to at the holidays. Picking and choosing allows you to stick to your renal diet!
Your stomach typically needs 15 minutes before it realizes you are eating. By taking the time to enjoy your meal, you will feel full before you gobble up everything. Sip your beverage between bites and have conversations during the meal to slow down your eating. You’ll find you are full before you have the chance to eat too much bad foods for your CKD.
With these tips, you should be able to navigate a holiday get together without affecting your chronic kidney disease. Overall, focus more on the time you are getting to spend with loved ones, and less on the food at the event.
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Also published on Medium.