Kitchen Divided for Kidney Health

Kidney Health - A Bird with a French Fry
Organic Romanesca Cauliflower Bites with Parmesan Cheese

I’m pretty sure the majority of parents will raise a hand in agreement if I were to ask how many of you struggle with fussy toddlers when it comes to meal times. Do you follow the school of ‘they’ll eat when they’re hungry?’ or are you pretty strict when it comes to meal times?

Being a mom of a child with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), I have learned just how much of a difference the right diet makes for a person with a chronic illness.

In brief, Henry’s ideal diet is best when it’s high in fats and carbohydrates. (Everyone’s dream diet!) Dairy and protein (meat, fish, chicken) are necessary for growth but not ideal for CKD. To help with undesirable effects certain foods will cause, H is given medication. In fact, most of the medications revolve around meal time – before meals, with meals and after meals. But how do you explain to a fussy toddler who takes over an hour to finish a meal that he needs to finish his meal within half an hour of consuming his medicines? Let’s just say – you don’t.

Kidney Health - A Bird with a French Fry
Organic Romanesca Cauliflower Bites with Parmesan Cheese

I have spent the best part of the past 4 years trying to provide meals that are tasty, balanced, and offer enough vitamins and nutrients a growing child needs. Sometimes I get it right, other days, there are tears, mostly mine, because my efforts seem to be in vain – but then I am reminded that he is a toddler and things are not so straight forward. And that’s ok.

We have had regular appointments with nutritionists as part of his care, and we are always provided plenty of information about what is beneficial and what isn’t but in the end the work is left to me to prepare meals that are right for him.

The Kidney Donor

Finding out that Henry’s own father was confirmed as his donor, was the best news. Ever!

All he had to do was lose weight. But the hardest part is not losing the weight, it’s keeping it off.

Kidney Health - A Bird with a French Fry
Organic Fennel & Orange Salad

So what are we left with? Dishes consisting of fresh fruit and veg, salads, low carbs for one and plates of pasta with olive oil and deep fried crispy anything.

But we have meal times that are healthy for needs of the individual person – 2 very different diets from one kitchen, for very important reasons.

Ultimately, there are sacrifices but my husband needs no better reason to make all the efforts to lose the weight, as difficult as it might be.  And I have no better reason to prepare suitable meals for my son and support my husband the best way I can.

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