Meal Planning
for Dialysis Diets

Whether you’re planning your meals for the week, looking forward to a special dinner out or preparing a holiday feast, you’ll need to plan ahead when you’re on dialysis. We’ve made it easy with practical tips that help you make healthy—and delicious—food choices.

"I love going to Lake Okeechobee. I still do the things I like to do."

On dialysis since March 2015


Eat, Drink and Be Healthy

Holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends—and, yes, food. It’s important to indulge a bit—so long as it’s in a kidney-healthy way, of course. 

Holidays can also be a particularly stressful time of year, so it’s a good idea not to stray from your healthy eating habits and routines—your dialysis meal plan being one of them. Family and friends will lovingly offer food (even after you refuse it sometimes), so stay strong knowing you’re taking care of yourself. Stick with what you know is best for your meal plan—and then you can feel comfortable eating, too.

Be moderate in drinking alcohol—wine is your safest bet. Beer is high in phosphorus and mixed drinks are generally high in sugar. For people with diabetes, never drink on an empty stomach. That can lead to dangerously low blood-sugar levels as your liver works to remove alcohol instead of regulating your blood sugar. It’s best to consult a dietitian on an ideal strategy to enjoy the holidays in the healthiest way possible.

Holiday tips for a healthy kidney meal plan 


Aim for an assortment of colors on your holiday plate. A colorful plate can help balance nutrients.

buffalo chicken meatballs


A mix of crispy and crunchy with smooth and creamy can help you avoid too many fried foods, potatoes, rice or dairy.

chicken & gnocchi dumplings


Choose foods that complement each other, like sweet, tart, and savory. Variety can help balance nutrients like protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and carbohydrates. Learn from your dietitian how to spice up your dialysis diet.

crunchy lemon-herbed chicken


Avoid overfilling your plate by leaving some space between foods. Eating to excess not only makes you feel stuffed, but can lead to dangerous blood levels of potassium and phosphorus; too much sodium will make you more thirsty.
pesto-crusted catfish