Ten Things That Only Keto Parents Would Understand

We are excited to welcome back Dana Haddox-Wright, keto mom and guest blogger extraordinaire! Dana lives in Connecticut with her husband and two adorable daughters. Her 5-year-old daughter has Dravet Syndrome and has been on the ketogenic diet for nearly two years. Many of you will relate to Dana’s list of “Ten Things that Only Keto-Parents Would Understand” and hopefully it will put a smile on your faces! In case you missed it, be sure to check out Dana’s previous post on tips for making the ketogenic diet fun for your child


  1. If “measuring to the tenth of a gram” was an Olympic sport, we would fill the medal podium. One of the best things about nailing a perfect measurement of heavy cream, egg, oil, or mayonnaise is being able to share the accomplishment with another keto-parent knowing that s/he will fully understand what a big deal it is, and will probably give you a well- deserved high five (or virtual high five in my case).
  2. It’s all about that spatula. Admit it. We have our favorites. If we see a good deal on “the one,” we buy the entire lot. Our motto is “no morsel left behind,” and we should expect nothing less from our utensils.
  3. Size DOES matter to us. Yes, when it comes to our keto-related staples, no “standard” sizes will do. We ALWAYS buy the industrial sized items found at our favorite wholesale store, and will rejoice in the idea of not having to shop for them again for weeks. Whether it is gallon sized bins of mayonnaise, triple stacked flat of eggs, or double rolls of parchment paper, we do what we have to do in order to ensure we never run out of what we use most. And lugging them from the car into the house does qualify as a workout. No flabby arms here.
  4. We have a system for organizing our recipes that only we understand. And I am certain that some of us even have stacks of papers with hand-written recipes which may or may not be stained with oil or butter. The funny thing is that no matter how unorganized my recipes might be, when I need to find something I know exactly where to find it in my mound of notes.
  5. We have highly developed ninja-like reflexes when it comes to “non keto-friendly” food getting into the hands (or mouths) of our children. We can snatch any carb-filled goody away from our kids within milliseconds if they are either offered something or if they find it on their own. We are also not opposed to digging food out of their mouths.
  6. We are forced to be short-order cooks. Making different meals for different people becomes pretty much a daily occurrence. We learn to cook quickly and efficiently for our entire family. And the mess of dishes left is reason enough to hire a bus boy.
  7. We often have a space designated for all of our keto paraphernalia. It usually will include lots of dry food items and small containers with color coded labels (and those beloved spatulas). Let us not forget the variety of cups and bottles, even straws we also have around in order to ensure we get enough water into our kiddos.
  8. We have more silicone items in our kitchen than in a plastic surgeon’s office, and probably spend nearly as much money as we would having a procedure done. Candy molds, cupcake liners, and baking pans (oh my!). If it does not stick, we must get it.
  9. We get every last bit of food into our kids at any cost. We see any minute speck of food left in a bowl, on a plate, or in a glass. We do not miss a thing, and I should add that we could probably work in a forensics lab.
  10. It is not uncommon to have a love/hate relationship with the keto diet. We really want to hate it because it takes up every last minute of our lives, but we love it for all of the benefits that following it has for the children. I hope that I speak for a lot of parents when I say that I would rather spend 30 minutes preparing a meal for my daughter, than I would witnessing her seize for another second.


Tips and Recipe Ideas for Celebrating Easter or Passover on the Ketogenic Diet

Like most holidays, Easter and Passover have food-related traditions that can make it slightly more complicated to manage your child’s ketogenic diet. For today’s post, we’ve compiled some tips and recipe ideas to help you manage your little one’s ketogenic diet over the upcoming spring holidays.


Instead of filling plastic eggs and Easter baskets with traditional candy, you can fill them with non-food treats (like stickers, jewelry, toy cars, etc.) or homemade keto treats.  The Charlie Foundation has some awesome recipes for keto chocolate candy and keto coconut candy.

Our basic keto cookie recipe (available in a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio), which makes the keto-equivalent of basic sugar cookies, is a great staple recipe for holidays. You can make them festive using Easter-themed cookie cutters and carb-free food coloring to color the cookie dough or the Truvia®* that you sprinkle on top (keto sprinkles!).

Jell-O® eggs, made using egg-shaped molds (such as this one), are popular Easter treats for kids. You can make a keto version using our KetoCal gelatin recipe.

If your family typically serves ham on Easter, you can make your little one a delicious Ham & Cheese Tart (one of my personal favorite keto recipes).

If carrot cake is a tradition in your home, KetoCook has a great recipe for keto carrot cake.

For more ideas, check out the Easter recipe ideas that Matthew’s Friends recently shared on their Facebook page (please keep in mind that these recipes are calculated using the program used in the UK so work with your dietitian to adjust).


The Epilepsy Foundation has a very helpful article all about managing the ketogenic diet over Passover. It includes many tips for substitutions that can be made to traditional Passover foods to make them more keto-friendly.

Matzo is a typical Passover food, but the high carb content usually makes it off limits for keto kids. If Matzo Ball Soup is a favorite in your family, you can make a keto-version for your child using the Charlie Foundation’s “No Matzo-Ball” Soup Recipe.

Macaroons are another common food consumed during Passover. Matthew’s Friends has a recipe idea for keto-friendly macaroons made of shredded coconut, egg whites, corn flour and artificial sweetener (please keep in mind that these recipes are calculated using the program used in the UK so work with your dietitian to adjust). If corn flour is not allowed, you could try substituting with almond flour.


Whether your family is celebrating Easter or Passover this week, we hope that you have an enjoyable holiday with your family!


Ket-O’Cal St. Paddy’s Day Milkshake!

Ket-O'Cal ShakeSt. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and what better way to celebrate than with a minty, green Ket-O’Cal milkshake! You can make your keto kid his/her very own shamrock shake with a few simple ingredients:

Add the flavored syrup to your KetoCal LQ to reach your desired level of minty chocolate goodness, then add it to your blender with some ice. Blend until smooth, pour, and enjoy!

Optional: Top your Ket-O’Cal shake with homemade whipped cream (whipped heavy cream with artificial, carb-free sweetener).

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

For more fun keto recipes, visit MyKetoCal.com.

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day!

Did you know that today is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day? Each year on the second Wednesday of March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honors the many contributions of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).  The expertise and dedication of RDNs has a great impact on the health and well-being of their patients and community. If you have a child on the ketogenic diet, you know just how important and valuable it is to have a knowledgeable and committed RDN. If you are grateful for your ketogenic dietitian (a RDN with special training and expertise in implementing the ketogenic diet), today is the perfect day to let them know!

We’d like to give a special recognition to the many dedicated ketogenic dietitians out there, especially our five awesome Keto Ambassadors. Your contributions make a difference in the lives of your patients and the entire ketogenic diet community! Read more about our Keto Ambassadors here: http://www.myketocal.com/ambassador.aspx.

Check out this YouTube video to learn more about the many ways that RDNs make a difference.

KetoCal Supports Rare Disease Day 2015!

KetoCal is a medical food used by individuals with intractable epilepsy who are on a ketogenic diet. Within the category of intractable epilepsy, there are many different seizure disorders, many of which are rare diseases. KetoCal is also used by individuals with rare metabolic disorders that are managed with a ketogenic diet, including GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome and Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (PDHD). Many individuals in our KetoCal community are living with rare disease, so we wanted to take this opportunity to show our support for Rare Disease Day 2015rdd-logo

Below is a list of just some of the rare diseases within the ketogenic diet community. Please note that this list contains only the rare diseases that we are aware of from talking with caregivers and healthcare providers of individuals living with these diseases; If we are missing one that is important to you, please let us know. If you get a chance, please take a moment to click on the links to learn more about these rare conditions.

Rare Disease Day 2015 is on February 28th. To learn more about Rare Disease Day, and how to get involved, visit http://www.rarediseaseday.org/.

Rare Disease: Numbers: Learn more:
GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome About 500 cases have been diagnosed worldwide http://www.g1dfoundation.org/
Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (PDHD) Several hundred cases reported https://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/413/viewFullReport
Myoclonic-Astatic Epilepsy (Doose Syndrome) Estimated 1 in 10,000 http://doosesyndrome.org/
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Estimated 1 in 10,000 http://www.tsalliance.org/pages.aspx?content=2
Rett Syndrome Estimated 1 in 10,000 females (very rare in males) https://www.rettsyndrome.org
Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (Dravet Syndrome) Estimated 1 in 30,000 http://www.dravetfoundation.org/
Infantile Spasms (West Syndrome) Estimated 2-3.5 in 10,000 http://www.infantilespasmsinfo.org/index.php
Lennox-Gaustaut Syndrome Estimated  1 in 50,000-100,000 http://www.lgsfoundation.org/
Angelman Syndrome Estimated 1 in 15,000 http://www.angelman.org/
Landau Kleffner Syndrome Unknown http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-epilepsy-syndromes/landau-kleffner-syndrome
Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Estimated 1 in 1,000,000 http://ahckids.org/ or http://cureahc.org/

Fiber and the Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy

By Ellen Sviland Avery, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

As many of you know, the ketogenic diet is a very high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet. Since carbohydrates are limited, this can also limit an important nutrient in the diet: fiber. In today’s KetoConnect post, registered dietitian Ellen Sviland Avery answers your questions about fiber and why it’s important for children on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy.

Why is fiber important?

Fiber is important in a healthy diet to maintain gut health.  It is recommended that children older than 2 years of age consume a minimum amount of dietary fiber equivalent to their age plus 5 grams of fiber per day. For example, a 4-year old child should consume at least 9 g of fiber per day (4+5=9). A safe range of dietary fiber intake for children is suggested to be their age plus between 5-10 grams of fiber per day. 1 Research has also shown that up to 55% of children don’t meet fiber needs with an oral diet. 2,3

How does this affect my child on the ketogenic diet?

As previously stated, fiber may be limited in the ketogenic diet. Fiber is primarily found in fruits, vegetables and grain products. Due to the low carbohydrate intake of the ketogenic diet, these foods are typically consumed in small quantities, limiting the amount of fiber consumed. Because of the lack of fiber and bulk in the diet, constipation is a common side effect. 4,5 Gastrointestinal symptoms, especially constipation, are seen in ¾ of all ketogenic diet patients.6

So how do I improve these side effects?

To help prevent or alleviate constipation with the ketogenic diet, talk to your child’s doctor or dietitian to ensure your child is receiving adequate fiber and fluid. Speak with the dietitian about foods that may be higher in fiber that will fit in your child’s ketogenic ratio. Sometimes just increasing the amount of fiber consumed by small amounts will help with constipation. If needed, the doctor or dietitian may also prescribe a fiber supplement or even a carbohydrate-free laxative. Do not give your child any laxative without first consulting with the medical team.

How can KetoCal help with fiber needs?

KetoCal 4:1 contains fiber to help meet your child’s fiber needs while on the ketogenic diet. One drink box of KetoCal 4:1 LQ contains 2.6 g fiber. The great thing about the fiber found in KetoCal is that it comes from a patented blend of six different types of fibers, rather than just one type. This helps to better resemble the blend of fiber one would get from eating a healthy diet. Talk to your dietitian to see how KetoCal fits into your child’s meal plan!


  1. Williams CL, Bollella M, Wynder EL. A new recommendation for dietary fiber in childhood. Pediatrics. 1995;96(5 Pt 2):985-8.
  2. Butte NF, Fox MK, Briefel RR, et al. Nutrient Intakes of US Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Meet or Exceed Dietary Reference Intakes. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2012;110(12):S27-s37.
  3. Hampl JS, Betts NM, Benes BA. The ‘age+5’ rule: comparisons of dietary fiber intake among 4- to 10-year-old children. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98(12):1418-23.
  4. Dahl WJ, Niebergall EJ, Owen RJ. Implications of fiber inadequacy in the ketogenic diet: a case study. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition. 2011;3(5):3.
  5. Kossoff EH, Zupec-Kania BA, Amark PE, et al. Optimal clinical management of children receiving the ketogenic diet: recommendations of the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. Epilepsia. 2009;50(2):304-17.
  6. Bergqvist AG. Long-term monitoring of the ketogenic diet: Do’s and Don’ts. Epilepsy Res. 2012;100(3):261-6.

Tips and Recipes for Making Valentine’s Day Fun for Your Keto Kid

valentinesdayLike most holidays and special occasions, Valentine’s Day can be tricky when you have a child on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Most valentine celebrations involve candy and other sweets not allowed on the ketogenic diet, which can make it stressful for parents trying to ensure that their child does not consume any non-allowed foods.  Parents may also find it challenging to make the day fun despite the dietary restrictions. Fortunately, little things go a long way when it comes to making special occasions fun for kids. For today’s KetoConnect Blog Post, we have some tips and ideas for small ways to make Valentine’s Day fun and special for your keto kid.

Add a Festive Touch!

You can make any meal more festive with a cute Valentine’s Day-themed straw, cup, plate, etc.

Decorate Your KetoCal!

Replace your child’s regular KetoCal with pink, strawberry-flavored KetoCal. Simply add a sugar-free, carb-free strawberry flavoring, such as DaVinci Gourmet’s strawberry syrup, to the KetoCal LQ Vanilla. Add your festive straw and voila!–You have a Valentine’s treat!

Another idea is to actually decorate the KetoCal LQ drink box. We found some cute ideas on Pinterest, such as these. You can find more ideas on our “Valentine’s Day on the Ketogenic Diet board on Pinterest! (Please note- these ideas use juice boxes, so you would just use your KetoCal LQ boxes instead).

Make Everything Heart-Shaped!

Another easy way to make Valentine’s Day special is to make your child’s favorite foods in the shape of a heart. Below are a few ideas:

  • Make your KetoCal pancakes into hearts by pouring the batter into a cookie cutter on the pan.
  • Make a heart-shaped KetoCal pizza by spreading the pizza dough into the shape of a heart before topping and cooking (you could do this by hand or using a larger-sized cookie cutter–just place the cookie cutter on the parchment paper and spread the dough inside of it to shape the pizza).
  • Make heart-shaped muffins or cupcakes using heart-shaped silicone baking cups, such as these.

Embrace Pink!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by making recipes that are naturally festive by color! Here are some recipe ideas that are pink and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Rasstrawberry_smoothiepberry or Strawberry Smoothie:

Our KetoCal Raspberry or Strawberry Smoothie recipes are naturally pink in color and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Optional–Top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with carb-free sweetener and serve with a festive straw!

KetoCal Cherry Float:

Add scoops of KetoCal Vanilla Ice Cream to any sugar-free, carb-free cherry-flavored soda, such as Zevia® Black Cherry or Professor Fizz (please note, these sodas are not carb-free but the carb comes from erythritol, which some dietitians do not count towards total carbohydrate– check with your dietitian first). Usually, the carb-free cherry soda is red in color but if the brand you use is not, you could add a small amount of red food coloring. Optional- top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with carb-free sweetener and serve with a festive straw!

Strawberry Panna Cotta:panna-cotta

Panna Cotta is a creamy Italian dessert. Our KetoCal Strawberry Panna Cotta recipe is tasty and perfectly-colored for a Valentine’s Day treat!

Make Awesome Non-Food Valentines!

Many valentines involve candy, but there are many other options for non-food valentine treats which are just as much fun for kids. We found some awesome ideas for non-candy valentines on Pinterest. You can check them out on our “Valentine’s Day on the Ketogenic Diet” Pinterest board. If your child’s school is having a Valentine’s Day celebration, send along some non-food valentine treats for your child and the rest of the children to enjoy. If you are friends with other parents of children in the class, you could share some non-food Valentine ideas with them as well. There are likely other children in the class with food restrictions, such as those with food allergies, and many parents try to minimize their children’s sugar intake, so you might find that other parents embrace the awesome non-food valentine idea too!