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Category Archives: Low Protein Diet Tips

Make PKU Formula Part of Your Daily Routine

If you have Phenylketonuria (PKU), then you know PKU formula is part of your life.  

PKU Formula is one of the most important parts of your diet.

Since PKU is generally managed with a diet low in whole protein, you need to get additional, PKU-appropriate protein from a different source.

PKU formula is your main source of protein and is essential for your health and well-being. Taking your full prescription of formula every day will provide your body with the protein it needs.

 

Here are some tips to help make PKU formula part of your daily routine
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Learn more about Why you need PKU Formula with these tips for Making PKU Formula Part of your Routine 

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Making the Most of Your Meal

Satisfaction from food or a meal is something everyone wants. Although many foods may be restricted or limited on a low protein diet, you do not have to compromise taste. Selecting the  foods you eat involves a variety of factors. We choose foods based on taste and smell, in addition to texture, sight and culture.

To make the most of your meal, begin by identifying what you crave, like spicy, sweet, crunchy or salty. This will make your meal more satisfying.Here are some tips to help you make the most of your meal.

  • Spicy: Add seasonings that can add a kick. For example, add cracked pepper, crushed red pepper or hot sauce to steamed vegetables to give a familiar item a new twist.

  • Sweet & Tangy:  Satisfy your sweet and tangy craving with grilled pineapple topped with BBQ sauce on a low protein bun. You can also add mandarin oranges and Italian dressing to a garden salad for added flavor and tang.

  • Crunchy: With a little creativity you can add a snap to any dish. Make your own salad iStock_000015639017Mediumcroutons with low protein bread. Season them in a variety of ways by using garlic powder, cayenne pepper or Italian herbs depending on your personal desire for savory or spice. Another great way to add crunch is to include raw vegetables, like cucumbers or carrots slices to a salad or sandwich.

  • Salty: Salt is among the most popular taste craving. Although highly desired, salt is an ingredient to be used in moderation. A little bit goes a long way. To satisfy your craving for salt, try slicing fresh potatoes very thin and sprinkling with garlic and a touch of sea salt. Bake them until crisp for a satisfying addition to your meal or snack.  

  • Smooth and Creamy: Create your own creamy low protein dip with your favorite seasonings for a flavorful way to enjoy Low Protein Crackers or fresh cut vegetables. You can also include a sweet treat at the end of your meal to help satisfy your need for something smooth and creamy.

Low Protein Summer Salads

Beat the heat and satisfy your appetite with a cool summer salad!

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Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fruits and vegetables at the peak of freshness.  A make-your- own salad station makes a great addition to any cookout or pool party. You can also spice up a green garden salad by bringing along your favorite toppings and low protein dressing.

Try these themed salads for a fresh take on the usual bed of greens:

Fajita Salad: Create a colorful nutrient-packed meal by topping your salad greens with sautéed red and green bell peppers, onions and zucchini.

Mushroom Salad: Portobello mushrooms sautéed in fresh garlic or grilled can turn an ordinary salad into a savory meal.

Fruit Salad: Add diced apple, dried cranberries, diced peaches and grapes over greens. Toss with a light vinaigrette dressing for a sweet and tangy summer treat.

Mexican Salad: Spice up your salad with finely diced black olives, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes. Add jalapeños and salsa for an extra kick.

Roasted Vegetable Stacker: Toss coarsely chopped zucchini, eggplant, red pepper and onion in garlic oil and roast until tender. Serve piled high over a bed of salad greens.

Ratatouille Salad: Stew diced eggplant, olives, zucchini, garlic and onion in a broth made of tomato puree mixed with water. Allow to cool. This tasty topping can be served over greens or chilled low protein pasta to create a unique summer salad.
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Turn your summer salad creation into PKU friendly protein source

Just mix 1 pouch (12.5g) of PhenylAde® GMP Mix-In (PKU formula) into 2 Tbsp of salad dressing for 10g of Protein Equivalents  

Note: Be sure to eat the entire serving.
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PhenylAde® GMP Mix-In contains Glycomarcopeptide (GMP), made from a whole protein source!

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Plan Ahead for a Memorable Holiday

The holiday season is full of fun, friends and family time. It can also be challenging to those following a low protein food diet, but with advance planning you can enjoy the festivities without overindulging. iStock_000015639017Medium

  • Don’t forget your formula! Plan to have it between meals or drink before a meal to help prevent exceeding your prescribed diet.

  • Make a Plan. Check out your food options before filling your plate. Make sure not to go over your daily natural protein allowance.

  • Bring a dish. If you are going to have the holiday meal at a friend’s or relative’s home, bring a low protein friendly dish everyone can enjoy. This way you will be certain to have food you like, but also share with others.

Below are some suggestions and tips for creating a holiday menu that will help you to stay within your recommended protein intake.

    Soups & Appetizers

  • Start with a variety of fresh raw vegetable crudités with a low protein dip or salsa.

  • Be sure soups are vegetable based and do not include hidden animal protein or dairy.

    Main Dishes

  • Oven roast a variety of vegetables tossed with olive oil and garlic or other low protein seasonings for a flavorful side dish that everyone can enjoy.

  • Serve steamed vegetables with sauce on the side. This will allow you to choose how much, if any sauce, to add.

  • Make some minor changes to some old favorites. Reduce the protein content of mashed potatoes by blending potato with parsnip, cauliflower, non-dairy creamer and dairy-free margarine for that real mashed potato taste with less total protein. View Recipe

  • Low protein stuffing is easily made by substituting cubed low protein bread as your main ingredient. Use vegetable broth and dairy-free margarine for moisture. Add celery, onions, diced apples and your favorite seasonings for a delicious combination.

Save Room for Dessert

There are many delicious desserts that can take center stage after the meal. Try the following:

  • Home-made holiday cookies. Cookies can be the focus of a family activity. Bake Maddy’s Homestyle Sugar Cookies in advance either as drop cookies or rolled and cut into holiday shapes.

  • Purchase a variety of low protein frosting and sprinkles (choose holiday shapes and colors) and let everyone take part in the decorating fun.

  • For a special dessert, check out our low protein Holiday Cake. This delicious dessert tastes as good as it looks and will be a treat everyone can enjoy. View Recipe Here

Happy Holidays from

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Tips for a Low Pro Friendly Thanksgiving

fb-thanksgivingThe holidays can be a tough time for many people, especially those on a restricted diet. The most important thing about managing PKU, any other inborn error of metabolism or a low protein diet during any holiday season is to plan ahead.  The more you know in advance, the better you can plan.

These are some questions to ask:

  • 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 over the weekend?

  • Am I dining at home or at someone else’s home?

  • Will I be making the menu or someone else?

Once you know more about what your day/weekend will consist of, you can make a plan.

One key thing to plan in advance is the menu.  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 low protein 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 items for the holiday meal.

 

Get Creative!

Many traditional holiday favorites can be modified to reduce the protein, while still keeping the taste and texture you and others love. Here are some recipes with small changes to lower the protein content — they are sure to become family staples at your holiday meals:

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

Directions

  1. Boil potato and parsnip in a large pot until they begin to soften.
  2. Add cauliflower and continue to cook until soft and tender.
  3. Drain water.
  4. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 7 servings  (115 g per serving)

Protein 2 g     P HE 67 mg        Calories 105

End your holiday meal on a sweet note with this  low protein apple cobbler for dessert.  This is a dish everyone at your holiday gathering is sure to enjoy!

Low Protein Apple Cobbler

8 cups (880 g), Apples, peeled, cored, sliced
½ cup (110 g), Brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (67 g), Sugar, granulated
¼ cup (28 g), Corn starch
2 tablespoons (31 g), Lemon juice
½ teaspoon (1.3 g), Cinnamon
½ teaspoon (1 g), Nutmeg
1 can (400 g), Maddy’s Homestyle Sugar Cookie Mix
8 tablespoons (1 stick), Margarine, dairy-free

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine Maddy’s Homestyle Sugar Cookie Mix and margarine.
  2. Blend until mixture is fully combined (resembles coarse crumbles)
  3. Set aside
  4. In a second large bowl, combine all other ingredients.Stir.
  5. Place apple mixture into a greased 9 x 12 inch pan.
  6. Spoon cookie mixture over top of apples, evenly.
  7. Bake at 375° F for 35-45 minutes (until apples are tender and topping is lightly browned.)

Makes 12 servings  (124 g per serving)

Protein 0 g        PHE 8 mg         Calories 215

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 checkers tournament.

Happy Thanksgiving from

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Teen & Adult PKU “Diet-for-Life” Conference

Teen & Adult

 November 11-13, 2016  –    Harrisburg, PA

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Deadline to Register:   November 7, 2016

Join together for a weekend of of fun, learning and new friendships.  This event is recommended for those currently on-diet or wanting to get back to the PKU diet.  

The weekend will focus on learning more about PKU and improving diet management skills.  

Plus…a fun trip to Hersheypark!   

 

AGENDA

 

Friday, November 11, 2016   

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Registration with Vendor Booths

Saturday, November 12, 2016

8:30 am – 4:00 pm – Teen & Adult Focused Education Sessions

  • The Science Behind Staying on DietDr. Mitzi Grant, Drexel University
  • The Simplified PKU Diet Kayt Marra, MA, RD, CDM, CCRP, University of Albany
  • Communication and Personal AdvocacySharon Ernst, MPH, RD, CSP, FAND, Linda Leuffgan, RD & Rachel Flar, Reimbursement Specialist

LUNCH BREAK

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Attend 3 Sessions)

  • Contemporary Issues for Adults with PKU
  • Life On Campus for Teens & Young Adults with PKU
  • Meal Planning and Healthy Eating
  • Finding Low Protein Foods at Your Local Supermarket

5:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Trip to Hersheypark for Dinner & Rides!(optional)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

8:30 am – 12:00 pm – Low Protein Cooking Workshop

Spend the morning in small groups learning new low protein recipes and simple techniques for preparing delicious low protein meals in minutes.  Rotate through a variety of stations, each with a personal recipe guide and tasting!  This workshop is going to be unique and delicious!

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Don’t Wait:  BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW!

 

Budget Friendly:   The Econo Lodge Harrisburg/Hershey 

1006 Briarsdale Road, Harrisburg, PA, 17111 (about $64 – $75 per night)

Conference Venue:   The Central Hotel Harrisburg/Hershey 

800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA, USA 17111                      Phone:  (717) 545-9595  (about $150 per night)

 The Hampton Inn, Harrisburg East (Hershey Area) – 1/4 mile from Conference Venue

4230 Union Deposit Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17111                             Phone:  (800) 644-3144 (about $130 per night)

Questions?   Contact Sandy.Simons@nutricia.com

Does your child love low protein pasta?

My child would eat pasta every day, every meal if I let him. It is great he found a food he enjoys, but I want my son to eat more vegetables and other healthy foods that provide fiber and other nutrients.

Here are some ideas to feed your child’s low protein pasta cravings, but to make your low protein pasta last longer and provide more dietary variety.

Soup 

Dicing carrots and celery (the smaller the better for young kids) and simmering in a vegetable broth with low protein pasta added is a low pro and filling lunch or dinner.   311You can use Loprofin Animal Pasta, Rice, or broken Spaghetti to keep it new and exciting.   Fresh dill adds a great ‘soup’ flavor and expand your child’s taste  palate.

Veggie Noodles 

Bulk up your Low Protein Spaghetti by mixing 278with Zucchini or Yellow Squash noodles. With a spiral vegetable slicer this only takes minutes and can really satisfy a bigger appetite.

 Spicy Vegetables over Low Pro Rice Pasta

You can do so many different meals with fresh or frozen cauliflower and carrots, which are Vegetable Curryboth naturally quite low in protein. Often, people on a low protein diet enjoy spice. Check out this recipe for Indian Curry with Loprofin Rice.

 Dish it out slow 

I often serve my son a small amount of pasta, which he gobbles up. Then ask him to eat 3-4 bites of the vegetables on his plate. Once done I serve another small portion of pasta and repeat. All children are motivated differently, but that love of pasta usually is an incentive to eat more veggies at meal time.

 Roll it up 

Kids love to eat with their hands (or at least my son does). Use Loprofin Lasagna to make a salad roll-up or other roll-up filled with veggies. Try filling a pasta roll-up with a blend of mashed potato and mashed cauliflower for a yummy kid friendly dinner entree.

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Order Loprofin Low Protein Pasta online at medicalfood.com

 

Written by Sandy Simons, MA, RD, CHES

Flying with Formula – Tips for your Next Trip

Flying with Formula – Tips for your Next Trip

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If you are planning a flying vacation, before you book, contact your airline’s customer service department to notify them of your travel requirements as soon as you can.  Airline policies regarding travelling with metabolic formula will differ so it is worth checking with a customer service representative before you arrive at the airport.

Airplane food is generally not PKU or low protein diet-friendly so you may need to pack (or purchase prior to boarding) any food or snacks you think you might need during the flight.

If you are booking an international flight you will need to order a special meal. Please note that even meals listed as low-protein or vegetarian/vegan may not be low enough in protein for the PKU diet, so explain your dietary requirements clearly.

Airline Tips

  • Always take a travel letter from your clinic explaining your medical condition, especially for international travel

  • Always pack extra PKU or metabolic formula in your carry-on bag in case of delays

  • Do not mix PKU or metabolic formula powders with liquid until you go past the security screening checkpoint

  • Keep your PKU or metabolic formula in its original sealed containers (packages, cans or sachets)

  • Take a copy of your child’s diet prescription with you

  • Take plenty of snacks for the flight

Useful PKU Traveler’s Tip

  • It may be useful to switch to a powdered PKU or metabolic formula when travelling abroad, to reduce your overall luggage weight. However, ready-to-drink pouches that don’t require mixing are also particularly convenient when traveling. Contact your dietitian for more information on these options

  • If you are traveling overseas, ask your metabolic healthcare professional team for information on where low-protein food supplies can be obtained in your destination country

  • If you are shipping your PKU or metabolic formula or food to a hotel prior to your arrival, be sure to label the box clearly with your name and arrival date on the package. Call and alert the hotel that a shipment will be arriving for you.

*Reference Source: My PKU Binder. National PKU Alliance. Chapter 11: Traveling, Page 88-89.

Low Protein Food – Buy Direct from Nutricia!

There are a growing number of options when it comes to low protein food.  One of your options includes buying direct from the company, which could add up to a cost savings for you.

For example, Loprofin brand pasta by Nutricia is available online in more than one place, but buying direct from Nutricia’s website www.medicalfood.com provides up to a $2 per box savings per box compared to other online low protein food shops when purchased by the case.*  This can up to BIG savings when buying 6, 12 or 24 boxes in one order.

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Quantity per unit is also another important item to explore.  Some products may appear similar in nature and have the same cost per unit.  But with a closer look you may see that one product unit may only provide 10 oz  while the other supplies 16 oz.  You want to compare you prices by ounce or gram to determine the best value for your money.

Next time you are ready to place a low protein food order, compare the volume and cost.   Also consider buying direct from the company and registering on their webistes for special offers and promotions.

 

Written by Sandy Simons, MA, RD, CHES

Sandy works for Nutricia North America.

*based on prices published online by PKU Perspectives as of September 22, 2014.  Varies based on product.

Eating Out on a Low Protein Diet

Although it can be easier to prepare low protein meals at home, this can restrict your work and social activities. Fortunately, many eating places are beginning to realize that an increasing number of people follow “special diets”.

Many of the larger restaurant chains state that they will try and cater for customers on a special diet whenever possible. To get further information from a particular company contact their Customer Service helpline or check their website.

RESTAURANT TIPS

  • Try and give advanced notice to the restaurant whenever possible
  • When explaining your diet, try not to get caught up in a long list of “I can’t have” foods
  • Offer a few ideas of possible dishes you can eat and recipes if necessary
  • Ask if you can bring in your own low protein products such as pasta or pizza bases if this is suitable

EATING ON THE GO
1. Cafes/sandwich shops

Small cafes that make things up from scratch can prove useful (especially if they get to know you!).  Ask if nutritional information is available to find out ingredients /protein content of items.

Possible snack ideas

-Salad
-Fruit
-Tomatoes on toast*
-Chips*
-Jacket potato* and butter

2. Fast food outlets

Some larger, well known fast food chains, provide nutritional content leaflets  for customers in the shop or online access nutrition information.

Possible snack ideas

-Salad (if available)
-Chips*
-Onion rings*
-Hash browns*
– Most veggie burgers are NOT suitable, as they are high in protein.

3. Cafeterias at work or school

Some cafeterias can be quite flexible so it is worth asking if they can cook or re-heat some of your low protein foods. If the cafeteria food choices are limited it may be easier to take a packed lunch in.

Possible snack ideas

-Salad/vegetables
-Fruit
-Baked Potato (avoid mashed potato as it is likely to contain milk)
 *Weigh out as usual

Note: Each condition may vary in tolerance for specific foods that contain protein, even if low in protein. Always speak with your metabolic dietitian or healthcare provider before adding new foods or changing your metabolic diet in any way.