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Your Guide to Choosing Healthy Kidney-Friendly Snacks

Snacking between meals isn’t just a treat — it can be a great way to support your healthy kidney-friendly diet. If you are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you can still enjoy tasty kidney-friendly snacks, desserts, and sides. The key is to make kidney-conscious choices and consider how food impacts your health. Here are some tips and tricks to choosing healthy snacks for kidney disease and making the most of your mini-meals.

Snacking — when done right — is a great way to control hunger and help you stay on your kidney-friendly meal plan. If you have other health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, choosing the right snacks can also keep your blood sugar steady and support a healthy blood pressure.

Thoughtful snacking helps fill in nutritional gaps, too. If you’ve been eating a little less wisely than you should, a healthy fruit, veggie, protein, or high-fiber snack can add vitamins to your diet and help meet the daily nutrition goals you’ve set with your doctor.

Make Smart Choices

If you are living with CKD, your kidneys work harder than normal to maintain a nutrient balance. Because everything you eat impacts your health, you want to be sure that you make kidney-friendly snack choices that do not affect your kidney function. Plan your snacks just as you would meals, and keep kidney-friendly eating in mind. Talk to your doctor or dietitian to help you find the right nutritional balance.

Savor not-so-salty snacks

When you’re living with CKD, it’s important to avoid adding salt to your food. This helps with both kidney function and blood pressure, where high blood pressure is a common cause of kidney disease. Choose low-sodium snacks for kidney disease and don’t be fooled by sodium substitutes — they are often made with potassium, which people with CKD should minimize. Instead of salty snacks, try a treat that’s bursting with flavor from herbs, spices, or citrus.

Pick your protein wisely

Everyone needs protein, and with kidney disease, finding the right balance will help you feel your best. You may be asked to raise or lower your protein intake depending on your stage of CKD and how it’s being treated. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much protein is right for you. Whatever your requirements, avoid highly processed foods like chicken nuggets or meat snacks — they are often packed with sodium and phosphorus. Try plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds, and beans to put less stress on your kidneys.

Choose thoughtful portions for snacking

Like most things in life, healthy snacking is all about moderation. Keep portion sizes reasonable and avoid mindless munching. Packaged foods have nutrition labels that tell you the calories, vitamins, minerals, and fats in each serving. It’s generally recommended that people with CKD limit sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, so it’s important to take a moment to read and understand the nutrition facts every time you reach for a treat. It’s also a good idea to premeasure the serving amount instead of eating directly out of the bag or package. Check with your doctor to determine the right balance for you.

Tips on how to read nutrition labels

Instructional nutritional facts label shows people living with chronic kidney disease what to look for when shopping. The best options should have no trans fats, less than 10% of the daily value of saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars, as well as more than 10% of the daily value of dietary fiber.

Explore Healthy Snacks for Chronic Kidney Disease

Looking for some kidney-friendly snack inspiration? Fresh fruits, veggies, and protein are great everyday choices. You can also enjoy low-sodium chips, crackers, or fruit-based desserts for a treat on the go. Explore our library of recipes to find your next favorite.

Sweet treats

Most kidney-friendly diets permit sweets in moderation, so you may be able to indulge now and then. Balance sweet treats with healthy protein, fiber, or nutritious fruits to make the most of your dessert.

Savory snacks

Choose savory fresh vegetables, nuts, and protein-rich kidney-friendly snacks on the go or at home. Mix and match textures for a satisfying snack.

Appetizers & mini-meals

Beat the summertime heat with refreshing salads or enjoy a thoughtful snack between meals to keep hunger under control.


Hosting a party or bringing a dish to a potluck? Everyone can appreciate sweet or savory appetizers and snacks with a healthy twist. 

Enjoy a Variety of Healthy Kidney-Friendly Snacks

Thoughtful snacking is a great way to support a kidney-friendly diet, and you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. The trick to adding treats to your diet is understanding how to make good choices and which nutrients to monitor with CKD. When in doubt, reach out to your doctor or dietitian for advice on eating well.

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