Renal Diet Headquarters Podcast 048 – What to Pack in a Bento Box That Is Good For a Kidney Diet

Bento Box Ideas KidneyPodcast #48 Released on July 8, 2015    

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What to Pack in a Bento Box That Is Good For a Kidney Diet

What Is A Bento Box?

A bento box is a style of packing meals for lunches, etc. Typically, there are multiple small containers or compartments in a bento box. These allow for variety as well as healthy portion sizes. Bento boxes are also reusable, Tupperware type dishes, so they cut down on a lot of waste which can save you money as well as help the environment.

Laptop Lunches Have Excellent Bento Boxes: Go There

Bento Boxes on Amazon: Go To Amazon

Easy Packing

Bento boxes are perhaps one of the easiest ways to pack a healthy meal to go. Bento boxes can be purchased from websites such as or multiple other sites, and even in some stores.

You do not have to have a special lunch box to make a bento box, however. You can make your own by using small Tupperware containers. Packing lunches this way makes packing lunches or other meals super easy, and can help guide you to healthier portion sizes.

Kidney Healthy Options

A Bento box will have multiple options to keep your meal interesting as well as control portion sizes. You will have many different options available to you in one meal, but there will be small amounts of each item. Fill each compartment with a different healthy and delicious option.

Here are some ideas for great kidney friendly Bento box options:

  • Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries
  • Sliced Apples, peaches, pineapple
  • Carrot Sticks, celery, zucchini
  • Kidney friendly chicken or egg salad and sandwich fixings
  • Grilled chicken, turkey, or shrimp (great for leftovers!)
  • Fresh Salad: cabbage, radish, carrot, onion, celery, cucumber
  • Fat Free Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
  • Pasta and kidney friendly sauce.

Delicious Variety

Having so much variety has multiple purposes, all aimed at helping you maintain a healthy diet. First, just the visual display of multiple options keeps you interested in each available option. This encourages you to eat the meal you packed instead of making less healthy decisions. Second, it helps you maintain proper food portions so you do not overeat.

Great for Kids and Adults

Whether you are using them for breakfast, lunches, or dinner, Bento boxes are a great option for kids and adults. Packing food this way certainly makes on the go lunches easy and delicious, but you can use this style of eating for any meal. In fact, presenting meals this way can help entice picky eaters to eat much healthier.

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Renal Diet Headquarters Podcast 047 – Vacation Travel, Healthy Eating and Kidney Disease

renal diets and vacationsPodcast #47 Released on July 22, 2015    

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Vacation Travel and Healthy Eating Ideas For Chronic Kidney Disease

Traveling Smart

Most people tend to eat a lot of junk food while they are traveling; road trips become a reason to constantly snack on chips, candy, and fast food and airport restaurants are hot spots for greasy foods and booze. Many times this occurs simply because it is expected, but it actually isn’t necessary.

If you make a plan and stick to it, you can keep your eye out and easily find smarter options. The bigger restaurants in airports typically have a lot of healthier meal options, and you can skip the booze and stick to healthier options like water or lemonade. Simple planning for road trips can help you avoid the junk food.

Travel Foods to Bring With You

Keeping a stock of healthy snack options is always a great idea when you are traveling. These options should be kept as simple as possible. A little preparation ahead of time can help with this. For example, use snack bags to separate small servings that are easy to open and eat while on the road. Foods like carrots, celery, sliced apples, strawberries, animal crackers, salt free pretzels, etc. are all excellent options for easy snacking while on the road.

Here are some bars you can eat on the road and order:

Eating Out On the Road

Road trips, of course, often involve meals at roadside restaurants. This is absolutely fine, as long as you are vigilant about what you are eating. As a general rule, it is better to order a la carte and avoid buffets. This is because you can request meals to be made to your specifications.

Healthy ideas for eating out include asking for sauces on the side, requesting that no salt be added while cooking, and sticking to simple steamed vegetables for sides. Avoid casseroles because they often are full of added sodium. Remember that it may seem like you are missing out, but overall you will feel so much more comfortable while on the road if you stick to the healthiest meals possible.

The Rules of Fast Food

Now and again, you may not be able to avoid hitting a drive through window. As long as you aren’t doing it for every meal, there are options that are much better than others.

Order your hamburgers with few condiments, sticking to mayonnaise and mustard when needed. Lettuce, onion, and one slice of tomato are usually safe.

Order a side salad or fruit cup for a side instead of fries.

Stick to water or clear soda to drink. If you are choosing chicken, go for the grilled option rather than fried to cut down on oil and salt.

If you are paying close attention, it can be easy to make healthier decisions in any situation.

Stick To a Schedule

The times that people typically find themselves overeating or making truly poor decisions, it is because they have let themselves get too hungry or just didn’t plan properly. There are tricks to avoid this- one is keeping a stash of healthy snacks, and the other is keeping to a set schedule.

When you are at home, you tend to eat at around the same times of the day. This shouldn’t change too much when you are traveling. Try to plan your trips so that you will have easy access to food, restrooms, and a little exercise during the times that you would if you were home.

Stay Hydrated

Many people simply forget to drink enough water, others believe that they will have to make less stops on their trip if they avoid drinking. This isn’t healthy at all! Make sure you are sipping water and staying plenty hydrated, especially if you are flying.

Get Out and Move

It is important to get out and stretch your legs once in a while. If you are on the road, try to stop every two to three hours for bathroom breaks and a short walk. It will help keep you energized as well as help with back and leg pain, etc.

Read this podcast  RDHQ047 Transcript

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Renal Diet Headquarters Podcast 046 – What To Avoid Taking With You On A Picnic With Kidney Disease

renal diet picnic foods
Summer picnic with a basket of food in the park.

Podcast #46 Released on July 15, 2015    

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What to Avoid Taking with You on a Picnic


Egg salad is certainly delicious, and there are very few people on Earth that can turn down a deviled egg, but eggs are generally terrible picnic food. They can spoil very easily, need to be kept cold, and smell terrible when left out for even a short time. Save your favorite egg recipes for your next indoor potluck.

Soggy Sandwiches

Sandwiches are a really easy and delicious option for picnics, especially when there are kids involved. The problem is that many sandwiches are going to end up being too much trouble, or might end up being inedible by the time you arrive at your picnic.

There are some things you can do to combat this issue:

The first is to just do not bring sandwiches that are going to end up soggy, which unfortunately means no PB&J for the kids. Instead, stick to sandwiches that do not rely on mushy ingredients and go with simple meat, cheese, and lettuce options.

The second, and perhaps more desirable, option is to choose sandwich options that are easily assembled on site. Chicken salad sandwiches are a great example, as you can bring bread and a container of your delicious salad and simply scoop it onto the bread without many other needed condiments, etc.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is just too much trouble when it comes to picnics. Ice cream requires too much maintenance to keep it cold enough, and then you still have a melty, drippy, sticky mess to deal with while eating.

Fried Chicken

There are some reasons why this delicious picnic staple can be a bad idea. The first is because it has the potential to go bad and make you sick, especially after it has been cooled and then reheated by sitting out in the sun.

The second is because it is so messy, with all of the grease and bones and napkins needed. The third is because it can be so unhealthy in the first place; anything deep fried should certainly be avoided, especially for kidney disease patients.   

Foods That Require Too Many Utensils

As a general rule, picnic food should be portable and hand-held. Anything that you have to cut with a knife is going to be difficult to do, especially if you are sitting on the ground somewhere such as a beach or park.

Either choose only hand-held foods and foods that are simple to scoop up with one utensil like a fork or spoon, or hold your picnic somewhere will you will have access to tables. In this case, make sure you are using quality utensils, as many cheap plastic forks and knives are easily breakable.

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Renal Diet Headquarters Podcast 045 – Summer Picnic Ideas For Kidney Disease

Summer picnic renal diet
Kidney Diet Picnic Foods

Podcast #45 Released on July 8, 2015    

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Great Foods for Grilling

Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook your food, as it typically needs no extra fat or flavoring. Just about anything from meats to vegetables and more, can be grilled to perfection easily. Shrimp, salmon, and chicken are kidney friendly favorites.

Lots of easy to follow recipes can be found at:

Sensational Salads

There are plenty of easy to make and delicious sides and salads that will go perfectly with your grilled foods, or as easy entrees that are delicious as well as portable. Use them in sandwiches, on top of fresh salad greens, or on their own. Example: chicken or tuna salad made with fat free mayonnaise, celery, herbs, lemon juice, and chopped apples.

Decadent Desserts

Especially if you are out on the grill, you can make some healthy and delicious desserts simply by grilling your fruit. Peaches, pineapple, and apples are absolutely delicious when sliced thick and put on the grill. The heat brings out the sweet juiciness just perfectly. Add some fresh grated ginger and/or cinnamon to your apples and peaches for an extra flavor boost.

Custom Condiments

As many condiments simply have too much sodium, keep your toppings to a minimum. If your picnic foods need something extra, stick to mustard, mayonnaise, pepper, and onions to flavor your meals.

What to Avoid

When it comes to kidney friendly picnicking, there are going to be some foods that you want to avoid. Be wary of anything that is covered in condiments like ketchup and barbeque sauce, unless it is homemade with a kidney friendly recipe. These sauces have an enormous amount of additives that can be dangerous for you. Casseroles will usually have a lot of added salt as well. Luckily, you can make or find lots of healthy options for summer picnics.

Check out my casserole recipe at: Casserole Recipe For Kidney Disease

RDHQ045 Transcript

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Apple Cinnamon Healthy Smoothies For Kidney Disease

healthy apple smoothie renal dietA Healthy Smoothie For People With Kidney Failure

Yummy, don’t you love it when you find a great smoothie recipe.  But most of them contain bananas and other ingredients that you want to avoid.  Here is a delicious smoothie recipe for you to enjoy without over doing it on the potassium and phosphorus.  4 ounce servings are small, but if you need more calories to gain some weight, you can drink bigger portions.
smoothie for kidneys

This is a very light tasting smoothie. You will need to keep all items cold prior to mixing if you want to have the best outcome.





apple smoothie

Place all the ingredients in the blender, and blend until smooth – about 4 minutes.






DSC00398 kidney disease

I recommend putting the applesauce in first so your oats mix in easier. You can sprinkle some additional cinnamon on top if you like. The recipe is also gluten free if you use gluten free oats.





Print the recipe below for your family to enjoy. 


Green Gelatin Dessert Recipe
Serves 8
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Cook Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
  1. 12 ounces Sprite or similar fruit flavored, caffiene free soda
  2. 2 cups canned applesauce, unsweetened
  3. 2 3 ounce packages gelatin, sweet
  1. Use a 8 x 11.5 pan that is 2 quart capacity for the final product to chill in. Put the applesauce in a 2 quart saucepan, then add the jello using a whisk.
  2. Mix together and heat gently until jello is dissolved - you may see a few bubbles as you stir continuously. Warming gently takes about 5 minutes on low - medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat, then add the lemon-lime soda a little at a time while mixing into the jello.
  4. Pour into the 2 quart pan - it will be a little foamy on top.
  5. Refrigerate until it sets - about 2 hours.
Nutrient Totals
  1. Calories 125, Protein 2 gm, Carbohydrate 31 gm, Fat 0 gm, Sodium 105 mg, Potassium 47 mg, Phosphorus 33 mg
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 Let us know what you would like to see more of!  We are posting new recipes every Thursday and want to make something you would enjoy!