“Renal Diet Snacks, Breakfast Ideas, and More: Dietitian-Approved Nutrition Care Plan for Better Patient Health”

Introduction to Renal Diet Snacks and More!

As a dietitian, you know how important it is to provide quality nutrition care for your patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). But finding the right renal diet snacks , breakfast ideas, and other nutrition-focused ideas for your patients can be difficult. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with the information you need to provide the best nutrition care for your renal patients, including kidney friendly snack ideas, breakfast ideas, labs to monitor, and more. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to provide the best nutrition care possible and ensure your renal patients stay healthy and happy.

If you need to know more about the renal diet, then this article is for you!

Who is a Renal Diet For?

A renal diet is for patients who have chronic kidney disease. They can be actively going through Dialysis (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) or they can be being monitored.

The goal of nutrition care for a patient with chronic kidney disease is to liberalize the diet as much as possible while also maintaining acceptable blood labs. To read more on liberalizing a diet, read this article.

If a patient is not actively going through dialysis, their diet should be liberalized as much as possible to increase quality of life, and reduce malnutrition risk.

Chronic Kidney Disease Stages

Chronic Kidney Stages goes in stages and most patients will not start to receive dialysis until stage 4 or 5, depending on their other health conditions.

Chronic kidney disease stages are based on Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR), as CKD progresses, eGFR declines. The eGFR is essentially how well the kidneys are working and filtering out waste products.

The kidney disease stages are:

Stage 1: eGFR > 90
Stage 2: eGFR 60-89
Stage 3: eGFR 30-59
Stage 4: eGFR 15-29
Stage 5 < 15 Dialysis must begin

Diet Restrictions for Chronic Kidney Disease

When a patient has Stage 5 chronic kidney disease, they will need to begin dialysis and there will need to be diet restrictions as well.

Diet restrictions include:

Low Sodium
Low Potassium
Low Phosphorous
Fluid Restriction

Protein is an important part of a patient with chronic kidney diseases diet. Protein is lost during the dialysis process, so restoring it should be a priority.

Focus on animal proteins as these have great biological value.

Diet restrictions are only put in place on the basis of blood tests where needed. Especially in elderly individuals. The risk of malnutrition is high so balance needs to be found.

Renal Diet Breakfast

A renal diet breakfast should be low sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and protein, and it should also be high in fibre and complex carbohydrates.

Some breakfast ideas include:
Oatmeal with fresh fruit
Toast with peanut butter and banana slices
Bowl of whole-grain cereal with almond milk
Smoothie made with almond milk and fresh fruit
Scrambled eggs with a side of whole-wheat toast.

For those on dialysis, it is important to limit processed protein intake such as deli meats, so focus on plant-based proteins like nuts, nut butters, and legumes. 

A Renal Dietitian can help you with specific diet recommendations based on your lab values.

Renal Diet Snacks You Wish You Knew Earlier

Renal Diet Snacks are an important part of a renal diet, as they help provide energy and nutrition between meals.

When it comes to snacks, it is important to focus on foods that are low in sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and protein, and high in fiber.

Some snack ideas for a renal diet include:
Vegetable sticks with hummus
Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
Whole-grain crackers with peanut butter
Roasted chickpeas

If you’re looking for more snack ideas with different categories such as high protein, soft foods, finger foods, click here to read more!

Great Fruits for a Kidney Friendly Diet

Here’s a list of great fruits for a kidney friendly diet, this includes low potassium fruits, low phosphorous, and more!

Apples, Apricots, Berries, Clementines, Grapes, Grapefruit, Plums, Pears, Watermelon. These options can include juices too!

When a patient is on a fluid restricted diet, fruit can be a great option to help them not feel so dehydrated. A frequent complaint of people on fluid restrictions is they simply want more water! Giving them slices of watermelon or berries can help to reduce that common complaint.

Grocery list for renal diet

Some important foods to focus on when shopping (or ordering) for a renal patient are:

Whole-grain breads and pastas
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Lean meats, poultry, and fish
Low-sodium canned beans and legumes
Low-sodium soups and broths
Low-sodium condiments and sauces
Low-sodium snacks
Nuts and seeds
Healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
Dairy products such as milk and yogurt 

Make sure when planning for a renal patient that you include renal snack ideas too!

Milk for Kidney Patients: Is It Okay?

Milk for Kidney Patients Milk is an important part of a renal diet, as it provides important nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D.

However, it is important to choose low-fat or non-fat milk, as it contains less protein and phosphorus than regular milk.

For those on dialysis, it may be best to choose almond or soy milk, as these are lower in phosphorus. 

If you want to read a great research article on renal patients and protein, read this one!

Peanut butter and Kidney Disease: Is It Okay?

Peanut butter is a great snack for those managing chronic kidney disease, as it is a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

However, it is important to choose natural and unsweetened peanut butter, as some varieties contain added sugar and salt. It is also important to limit portion sizes, as peanut butter is high in calories. 

Best Bread for Kidney Patients: What To Choose?

When it comes to bread, it is important to choose whole-grain breads that are low in sodium and phosphorus.

Examples of good bread choices for those managing chronic kidney disease include whole-wheat bread, oat bread, and rye bread. 

Renal Diet Dessert: Because Everyone Deserves Dessert

When it comes to dessert, it is important to choose desserts that are low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Some ideas for renal diet desserts include:
Fruit parfait made with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit
Small bowl of air-popped popcorn with melted dark chocolate
Small piece of dark chocolate
Smoothie made with almond milk and fresh fruit. 

Renal Diet Sandwiches: Lunch To Go For Dialysis Days

Renal Diet Sandwiches Sandwiches are an easy and nutritious meal for those managing chronic kidney disease.

When it comes to sandwiches, it is important to choose whole-grain breads that are low in sodium and phosphorus, such as whole-wheat bread, oat bread, and rye bread.

For fillings, focus on lean proteins such as turkey, chicken, or tuna, as well as fresh vegetables and low-sodium condiments. 

Nutrition Care Process for Renal Patients on Dialysis

Nutrition Diagnosis:

The patient has inadequate nutrition due to inadequate intake and impaired digestion, absorption, and excretion of nutrients secondary to chronic kidney disease and dialysis.

Nutrition Interventions:

1. Educate the patient on the importance of nutrition for maintaining overall health and well-being.
2. Assess the patient’s dietary intake and lifestyle to identify any potential nutrition-related issues.
3. Develop a nutrition care plan tailored to the patient’s individual needs and goals.
4. Provide education to the patient on proper food choices to meet their nutrition needs.
5. Encourage the patient to increase their intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting processed foods, fats, and sodium.
6. Monitor patient’s dietary intake and make necessary adjustments to the nutrition care plan.
7. Advocate for the patient to receive the necessary medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services.

Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation:

1. Monitor patient’s weight, blood pressure, and laboratory values.
2. Evaluate the patient’s progress towards their individual nutrition goals.

Nutrition Goals:

1. Increase nutrient-dense food intake to meet recommended daily allowance of essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Maintain a healthy body weight.
3. Reduce the risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Renal Labs to Monitor

For dialysis patients, a dietitian should monitor certain blood lab values to ensure they are at optimum levels. 

These include: 

1. Potassium (K): If the patient’s potassium levels are too high, the dietitian should recommend a lower potassium diet and increased water intake. 

2. Calcium (Ca): If the patient’s calcium levels are too high, the dietitian should recommend a diet lower in calcium and increased vitamin D supplementation. 

3. Phosphorus (P): If the patient’s phosphorus levels are too high, the dietitian should recommend a low phosphorus diet and recommend a phosphate binder medication. 

4. Sodium (Na): If the patient’s sodium levels are too high, the dietitian should recommend a low sodium diet and an increase in water intake. 

5. Magnesium (Mg): If the patient’s magnesium levels are too high, the dietitian should recommend a diet low in magnesium and an increase in water intake. 

6. Bicarbonate (HCO3): If the patient’s bicarbonate levels are too high, the dietitian should recommend a low sodium diet and increased water intake. 

By monitoring and managing these nutrient levels, the dietitian can ensure that the dialysis patient is receiving the best nutrition and care possible.

Are you looking for more nutrition care plan examples? Click here to see a great list of nutrition care plans!

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Michelle Saari is a Registered Dietitian based in Canada. She has a Master's Degree in Human Nutritional Sciences and is a passionate advocate for spreading easy to understand, reliable, and trustworthy nutrition information. She is currently a full time online entrepreneur with two nutrition focused websites.

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