Tips to encourage eating with Chronic Kidney Disease

Children with CKD often struggle to eat for many different reasons including having a poor appetite, suffering from nausea, vomiting, acid reflux and taking lots of medications. This can be an anxious time, however providing a safe, calm, happy environment for your child to eat will help him / her to have a positive association with food.

Eating out on a renal diet

Eating out is a lot of fun. With careful planning, it is possible to choose from most menus when following a renal diet and make eating out a fun experience. The suggestions below provide tips for eating out. It is important to discuss these suggestions with your dietitian to make sure they are suitable.

General Tips

Choose restaurants that serve fresh food to order.
Before eating out, contact the restaurant to discuss your dietary needs.
Many restaurants display their menus on their website, so it could be helpful to familiarise yourself with any of the meals that are suitable or could be easily adapted beforehand.
Always check with the dietitian regarding what options are suitable when eating out.
On the day you are eating out, be mindful of the meals eaten at home and consider reducing portion sizes of foods that are high in potassium, phosphate and sodium.
If a phosphate binder is needed remember to take this to the restaurant to have alongside the meal as the medical team have recommended.
Ask for your vegetables to be boiled as this helps to lower the amount of potassium they contain.
If a fluid allowance is in place, avoid soups and free refills of drinks. Soups are usually high in salt and potassium and are best avoided. Remember that any drinks, sauces or soups must still be counted when eating out.
Salt is used in cooking and to season in restaurants. Ask for meals to be prepared without salt and follow the tips below to choose lower salt alternatives.
Sauces can be high in salt and count towards fluid allowance. Order dishes without a sauce or ask for the sauce to be served separately so you can control the amount added.


We have developed recipes for children with kidney disease. It is important to always check with your dietitian regarding which recipes your child can have as individual needs can vary.

Please ask your dietitian if you are unsure about using any of the ingredients in these recipes. You can also ask your dietitian for further recipe ideas.