The holidays can be an exciting time of year. However, they can be a bit challenging for someone on a restricted diet as most festivities center around food. This blog focuses on tips for managing a restricted diet during the holiday season.
The most important thing to do is plan ahead. The more you know in advance, the better you can plan.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Where will I be spending the holidays and how long will the trip be?
Do I have enough formula so I do not run out while away over the weekend?
Am I dining at home or at someone else’s home?
Will I be preparing the food or will someone else?
Once you know more about what your day/weekend will consist of, you can make a plan.
One key thing is to plan the menu in advance. If you are not dining at home, but at a friend’s or relative’s home, it will be important to ask what is being served, then…
Ask if you can bring a side dish (one that is suitable for you, but enough for everyone to share).
Let them know about your dietary needs so they can omit or serve items on the side that are not low protein friendly, like cheese or bread crumbs.
See if you can access the kitchen to re-heat or make additional low-protein items for the holiday meal.
Many traditional holiday favorites can be modified to reduce the protein while still keeping the taste and texture you and others love.
Here is a simple recipe for a popular dish with small changes to lower the protein content – this dish is sure to become a family staple at your holiday meal:
Reduced Protein Mashed Potatoes
2 cups (248 g), Cauliflower, florets
2 cups (312 g), White potato, peeled and cut into pieces
1 cup (156 g), Parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces
¼ cup (56 g), Non-dairy creamer, liquid
2 tablespoons (28 g), Margarine, dairy-free
To taste (2-3 g), Salt and pepper
Boil potato and parsnip in a large pot until they begin to soften.
Add cauliflower and continue to cook until soft and tender.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 7 servings
13.8 g protein
709 mg leucine
499 mg phenylalanine
337 mg tyrosine
2 g protein
101 mg leucine
71 mg phenylalanine
48 mg tyrosine
End your holiday meal on a sweet note with this low protein dessert. This is a dish everyone at your holiday gathering is sure to enjoy!
Easy Pumpkin Pudding (recipe developed by Sarah Marshall)
1 fluid ounces Water
7 fluid ounces Coconut Milk (full fat, canned coconut milk required to get pudding-like consistency)
6 each Whole pistachios (for flavor – to be strained out later)
½ tablespoon Brown sugar
¼ teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (or blend cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
½ teaspoon Vanilla flavoring
½ cup Loprofin Rice
In a small saucepan, add 1 oz water & 7 oz coconut milk and 6 pistachios.
Bring to a boil. Immediately when it begins boiling, add brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and stir.
Add Loprofin Rice. Stir. Cover and lower heat to simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Once rice is cooked remove pistachio pieces.
Serve warm or cold.
Makes 2 servings
4.1 g protein
306 mg leucine
207 mg phenylalanine
124 mg tyrosine
2 g protein
153 mg leucine
104 mg phenylalanine
62 mg tyrosine
And most of all…
Holidays do not have to be all about food. Make your holidays memorable with family traditions, such as a family football game or a checkers tournament.
In support of PKU Awareness Day on December 3, 2018, Nutricia is challenging you to POST YOUR TOAST!
For each tagged post on Facebook or Instagram with #Toast2PKU, Nutricia will donate $5 to the National PKU Alliance to help support their mission to improve the lives of families and individuals associated with PKU through research, support, education and advocacy, while ultimately seeking a cure.*
So don’t delay, post and tag your toast today!
You can also show your support with a direct donation to the NPKUA
Note: Facebook and Instagram are in no way affiliated with Nutricia and have not endorsed this contest or Nutricia products. Only tagged posts made between November 15, 2018 and December 3, 2018 11:59pm will be counted toward the donation to the National PKU Alliance.
*Nutricia will cap the donation to a maximum of 600 posts during this time period or up to $3000.
For children with an inborn error of metabolism, Halloween celebrations can be tough since protein-containing candy and snacks tend to be the classic party staples. Additionally, these celebrations can be scary on parents as they want their children to fully enjoy in the festivities while maintaining their dietary restrictions.
Here are a few tips, resources, and recipes to help make Halloween fun while staying on a diet low in intact protein:
Speak with teachers or other parents about what your child can and cannot have at Halloween parties or school
Also talk with your child about the importance of staying on diet and remind them to check with you to determine if a particular food or candy is
Now to the Fun Stuff:
Get creative with Halloween Have non-food treats to hand out at home or at school. Think dollar store toys, stickers, party favors, and coloring books.
Plan an alternative activity to trick-or-treating, such as Halloween slumber party, game night, craft party, or a scavenger
Supply low-protein treats for your child’s Halloween parties and festivities so he/she has something to enjoy and doesn’t feel left out – View Halloween Cupcake Recipe
Consider having a “swap-party” where your child can swap candies he/she cannot have for “allowed” This way everyone gets what they want!
Make your child’s metabolic formula festive! Serve it in a Halloween- themed cup, use fun straws, or add some orange food
Post Your Formula ‘Dressed-Up’ for Halloween and TAG Nutricia!
Halloween Low Protein Cupcakes
Surprise a special someone or treat yourself to a Halloween cupcake. These cupcakes are made with Loprofin Baking Mix. They are easy to make and great for at home, work or parties.
Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy
Add LoprofinBakingMix, egg replacer, and baking powder into the creamed mixture and mix well
Add water, vanilla extract and orange food coloring gradually, mix until smooth
Spoon batter into paper cups filling each cup about 2/3 full and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes
Let cool on a baking rack
Decorate with frosting and candy corn
Note: Any additional frosting or decorations may add additional protein, phenylalanine, leucine or calories, be sure to read labels and account for any topping or decorations.
All Nutricia products shown are for the dietary management of inborn errors of metabolism and must be used under medical supervision. Please consult your metabolic healthcare professionals prior to making any changes to your diet.
Written in collaboration with Katie Maguire, PKU Adult and 2nd grade school teacher
I don’t know about you, but it was stressful for my parents sending me off to school in September knowing that I would be making many food choices on my own without them present.
ALL children should be able to make healthy food choices. Children with PKU, MSUD, TYR or other metabolic disorders are no different.
Learning healthy choices can begin at a young age when you grocery shop and prep food in the kitchen together.
10 Low Protein Lunch Tips for Back-to-School
Pack lunch in fun, creative containers in all different sizes.
Use an insulated lunch tote with ice packs to keep food and formula cool.
Make lunch colorful with a small amount of different veggies, such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow peppers, etc.
Prepare, weigh and measure food ahead of time to speed up mornings.
Give your child a low protein “surprise” snack like homemade cookies or a cupcake.
Write a special ‘good job’ note or include a sticker 2-3 times a week.
Send formula in a fun re-usable drink container or sports bottle.
Plan ahead with a 5-day menu to ease grocery shopping and food prep.
Try a ready-to-drink formula if unable to mix formula at school.
Involve your child in shopping, prepping and weighing their own lunch.
Ask your clinic about Ready-to-Drink Formula for school children
Periflex® LQ is a great tasting, ready-to-drink that provides 15 g of protein equivalents with 0 mg of PHE. (For PKU Only). Great for school lunch!
Nutricia also offers the Lophlex® LQ line of Ready-to-Drink formula options for Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), Tyrosinemia (TYR), Homocystinuria (HCU) and Phenylketonuria (PKU).
Lophlex LQ is a low volume, quick and easy way to get 20 g of protein equivalents.
As always, check with your dietitian if these products are appropriate for your child prior to making any changes to their diet.
Ask your clinic about Periflex LQ or Lophlex LQ Today!
Periflex LQ is a medical food for proven Phenylketonuria (PKU). Lophlex LQ is a medical food for proven Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), Tyrosinemia (TYR), Homocystinuria (HCU) or Phenylketonuria (PKU). Must be used under medical supervision. Please consult a metabolichealthcare professional prior to making any changes in your child’s diet.
The return to school is an exciting time of year. But for a parent of a child with a metabolic disorder, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), there are also certain concerns and stresses that comes with the start of school.
Each year you may be faced with educating a new teacher or school nurse about PKU.
What is PKU?
How it is Treated?
What that means to the teacher and fellow students…
Nutricia Metabolics is proud to share an educational handout to help you inform your child’s new teacher and/or school nurse about PKU.
It includes information about What PKU is, What happens, How it is treated with additional classroom tips for the teacher.
Nutricia also provides information and education available about other rare metabolic disorders such as Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), Tyrosinemia (TYR), Glutaric Aciduria Type-1 (GA-1), Homocystinuria (HCU) and more available online at medicalfood.com/connect
Summer is one of the best season! Long days, fun adventures, amusement parks and the warm sun are just a few reasons summer is such a great time of the year.
When you have PKU, you also need to think about how you will transport and drink your PKU formula when out for a full day.
Imagine you could have a great tasting PKU formula that you could easily drink when:
– Mountain Biking
– Canoeing with Friends
– At an Amusement Park
– Hiking or Camping
– Vising Family or Friends
– Hanging Out by a Lake
Don’t imagine it any longer!
Try PKU Lophlex LQ, a great PKU formula for summer. Each ready-to-drink pouch is protein packed with 20 g of protein equivalent and only 120 calories. Lophlex LQ are low volume and ready-to-drink which is great for life on-the-go.
Plus, it is the only low volume, ready-to-drink PKU formula made with real fruit juice* from concentrate for a refreshing taste on a hot summer day.
The only question is …
Post your on-the-go PKU Lophlex LQ photo on Instagram! #PKU Summer
Try PKU Lophlex LQ Today!
✓ Low Volume
✓ Only 120 Calories
✓ Quick & Easy to Drink
PKU Lophlex LQ is a medical food for the dietary management of proven Phenylketonuria (PKU) in individuals over 4 years of age. Must be used under medical supervision. Consult your metabolic clinic prior to making any changes to your metabolic diet.
Turn What You Like Into PKU Formula with PhenylAde® GMP Mix-In
Virtually Tasteless and Odorless
PhenylAde GMP Mix-In is a medical food for the dietary management of proven Phenylketonuria (PKU) and must be used under medical supervision. Always consult your metabolic healthcare professional prior to making any changes in your PKU diet plan.
Working to get insurance coverage for medical formula can be a long and frustrating process. You many not always know the right questions to ask, the process for coverage may change along with legislation for coverage of medical formula and you may not know of all the outlets for coverage available to your family.
The good news is that you don’t have to face these coverage challenges alone.
Through our Nutricia Connect program our team of Coverage Specialists are available to help you seek coverage and answer questions throughout the process. You might be wondering:
Do I have to pay for out-of-pocket costs?
My insurance denied formula coverage, now what?
I am on WIC, is Nutricia formula covered?
Our coverage team works with different insurance plans, your dietitian, and if necessary your employer to find formula coverage. Here is one family’s story.
Families like yours told us they wanted more educational tools to help better understand and teach others about their child’s metabolic disorder.
We heard you!
Nutrica is proud to share new, easy to understand, educational books and videos help breakdown complex disorders so you can use them to educate others in your community. You may also find them helpful in teaching your child about his/her disorder.
For now, these books and videos are available for PKU, MSUD and GA-1. Our team is working hard to create more for other rare disorders and make them available in Spanish and French.
Want a printed copy of the Temple Books?
Click HEREfor a PDF copy of the Temple Books you can download and print at home.
Whether you have been drinking the same formula for years or if you are reading this in an effort to return to the PKU diet, understanding the ‘types’ of PKU formula available to you is important.
World-wide there are over 60 different PKU formulas! Knowing you have options to get back-on-track or make a change in the future will help you reach and maintain your PKU diet management goals.
Types of PKU Formula
SHAKES – Many formula options are in powdered form and get mixed with water to make a shake-like drink. Shake-like formulas typically provide a balance of fat, carbohydrate, phenylalanine-free* protein, vitamins and minerals. Shake-like formulas often contain a good number of calories, which may benefit active children and adults with higher caloric needs.
*Formulas which contain an ingredient called glycomacropeptide (GMP) contain some phenylalanine. See below for more about GMP-based formula options for PKU.
LESS-TO-DRINK – PKU is Diet-for-Life. As you grow and get older you will need more protein from formula. However, you may not need as many calories from formula since you will also consume more foods low in protein. Lower volume formulas typically have less calories and mix with only 3-5 fl oz of water, so you can drink less formula to meet your daily phenylalanine-free* protein needs. This may also be helpful to those unable to finish their shake-like formula due to being overfull.
READY-TO-DRINK – Life is busy and staying on diet is of utmost importance, which has made these pre-mixed, ready-to-drink formulas a very popular choice. These formulas come in both the shake-like (Periflex® LQ) and less-to-drink (Lophlex® LQ) options so everyone can find something to meet their needs. Just simply shake, open, drink and go.
FLEXIBILITY – Everyone is different and sometimes you need a formula option as unique as you. There are multiple ‘flexible’ options for PKU formula; such as tablets and mix-in powdered formulas. Tablets are an option for people who are unable to drink PKU formula or just want to drink less, but meet their full daily protein recommendation.
Mix-In formula powders are another flexible option that allows you to create your own PKU formula. You can add these powders to sports drinks, foods low in protein, or your current PKU formula to increase PHE-free protein content of your favorite shake-like formula.
GMP-BASED PKU FORMULA–Glycomacropeptide, or GMP for short, is a whey protein concentrate derived from milk during the cheese making process. It is naturally low in phenylalanine, and with the addition of certain amino acids, it makes a suitable source of protein for those with PKU. Your dietitian will help determine how to count for the PHE in these products. GMP-based PKU formulas are available in many forms.
Nutricia has a great tasting shake-like GMP-based PKU formula (PhenylAde® GMP Drink Mix) and a create-your-own option (PhenylAde® GMP Mix-In) that does not significantly change the taste, even then mixed with water!
As you can see, there are no shortages of PKU formula options. If you happen to be thinking about changing formulas or returning to diet let Nutricia help you find a PKU formula you will enjoy drinking.
NOTE: All PKU formulas must be used under medical supervision. Always consult your metabolic healthcare professional prior to making any changes in your PKU diet plan.
Posted by: Sandy Simons, MA, RD, CHES
Sandy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Education Specialist. She received her graduate training at Columbia University’s Teacher College in New York. She has been working on the industry side of metabolic nutrition for the past 14 years and is often seen at patient events around the country.