Healthgrades for Professionals

4 Kidney-Friendly Breakfast Ideas Your Patients Will Love

  • woman eating breakfast and looking at journal
    Kidney-friendly food can still be taste-friendly.
    It can be discouraging for patients with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) or other types of chronic kidney disease to learn they need to modify their diet. Depending on their stage of disease, they may have to limit their intake of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, or protein. But by being mindful of certain ingredients, they can still enjoy delicious and healthy meals. To help your patients start their day off right, consider recommending the following kidney-friendly (and easy-to-make) breakfast options.

  • cracking raw egg into bowl
    1. Egg White French Toast
    Reassure your patients they can follow a diet for kidney disease AND satisfy a sweet tooth with this recipe. Spread 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter over one slice of bread or half of an English muffin. Cut into cubes and place into a microwave-safe bowl. Pour half a cup of egg whites and 2 tablespoons of sugar-free syrup over the top. Microwave for 1 minute. Use a spatula to push in the edges to help distribute any uncooked egg. Microwave for another minute.

  • close up of scrambled eggs with fork
    2. Egg Scramble
    Eggs are a great kidney-friendly breakfast option, especially with fresh vegetables and herbs to add flavor. For a quick breakfast option, sauté 2 tablespoons of diced onion, 2 tablespoons of diced bell pepper, half a cup of cauliflower, and half a clove of finely chopped garlic in one tablespoon of oil. Cover and turn heat to medium-low for 5 minutes. Add 2 beaten eggs (or egg whites for patients who must limit phosphorus) and stir to combine. Garnish with fresh parsley or chopped scallions.

  • woman-holding-smoothie-in-glass
    3. Mango Smoothie
    Patients who tend to eat breakfast on the go may like this nutritious smoothie. All it takes is 1 cup of mango, 2½ cups of kale, 1 cup of oat milk, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend for about 1 to 2 minutes to make two servings. This recipe is low in both sodium and protein but contains medium amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Keep this in mind for patients who have advanced polycystic kidney disease and may have more dietary restrictions.

  • Bagels
    4. Veggie Bagel Sandwich
    Who doesn’t like a classic bagel for breakfast? Your patients can still enjoy a lightly toasted bagel with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese. Add vegetables of choice such as tomato slices (if the patient is not potassium restricted), red onion, sliced bell pepper, or chives. Top it off with a cup of healthy microgreens or sprouts for an easy and nutritious kidney-friendly option.

  • woman-looking-at-package
    Diet for Kidney Disease Rules of Thumb
    Even without a specific recipe, your patients can learn to make good breakfast choices by following some simple guidelines. For example, many pre-made frozen breakfast items are high in sodium. They should look for low-sodium alternatives, or even better, use a low-salt recipe to make a similar option from scratch using fresh ingredients. Dairy products can be high in phosphorus and potassium, so milk substitutes may be a more appropriate option. Encourage patients to read food labels. Consider a referral to a registered dietitian as needed for patients with significant dietary restrictions.

Kidney-Friendly Breakfast | Polycystic Kidney Disease Diet

About The Author

Erin Azuse, RN, has been a registered nurse for 18 years, working in neonatal intensive care and pediatrics. She specializes in creating educational materials for patients, consumers, and other healthcare providers, as well as content marketing for private physicians’ practices, medical device companies, and nursing schools.
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