It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down, with Labor Day quickly approaching. Many people mark this holiday as a last opportunity to enjoy the nice weather over a long weekend. Celebrations typically include firing up the grill to barbeque, packing a picnic for the park or taking one last family vacation. As you prepare for the upcoming holiday, enjoy these kidney-friendly tips and recipes to ensure healthy and cheerful festivities.
Tips to Remember
When people hear “BBQ,” they often think of only meat. However, low-potassium fruits and vegetables can be a tasty treat on the grill. Just a few minutes on the heat really enhances their flavors. See fruit and vegetable grilling recipes below.
If you are on dialysis and need to limit your fluids, stay as cool as possible to decrease your thirst. Try to avoid spicy or salty foods that increase thirst. Some people find that sucking on a piece of candy helps with thirst. Also, be aware of hidden fluids in foods like watermelon.
Cheese is often a popular party appetizer or snack, but remember to limit your cheese intake to avoid excess sodium or phosphorus. If you’re on dialysis, be sure to follow your dietitian’s guidance.
Try to work into your diet some foods that are high in antioxidants, such as berries, cherries, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, onions and red peppers. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can reduce chronic inflammation associated with kidney disease, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Kidney-Friendly Grilling Recipes
Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Recipe yields approximately 4 large kebobs. If you are on a restricted diet, be sure to follow your dietitian’s guidance on quantity.
- 1 Tbsp peach jam
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp Mrs. Dash® herb seasoning blend
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow summer squash
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium purple onion
- Place jam in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 10-15 seconds to melt. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, Mrs. Dash® and salt with jam.
- Cut chicken into approximately one-inch cubes. Place cut up pieces in a large zippered plastic bag and pour 3 tablespoons marinade on top. Refrigerate bag to marinate (at least 1 hour).
- Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces to be placed on kebob. Keep vegetable sizes consistent to ensure even cooking. Place cut-up vegetables in bowl and add remaining marinade. Stir to coat.
- Heat grill to medium heat. While grill is heating, thread vegetables and chicken pieces onto skewers.
- Place skewers in covered grill for approximately 12-15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Grilled Fruit (of your choice!)
- Choose a low-potassium fruit of your choice such as pineapple, peaches or plums. If you are on a restricted diet, be sure to follow your dietitian’s guidance on quantity.
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Cooking spray
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Wash fruit. Cut fruit into slices according to type. Pineapple: 3/4-inch slices. Peach and plums: cut in half with pits removed.
- Apply a light coat of oil on outer layer of fruit.
- Place on clean grill. Cover and cook until visible grill marks are present and fruit is tender (~5 minutes).
Lauren Elkins, R.D. for Marina Del Rey Hospital, is a dietitian and nutritionist who is focused on teaching patients, staff and hospital visitors about the benefits of healthy eating for optimal nutrition. Lauren has taught numerous diabetic classes, weight management and healthy eating seminars. Lauren is recognized as a trusted resource who provides an understanding of the importance of health, fitness and wellness.