Ketogenic Diet Therapies: Robyn Blackford, RDN, LDN

Lurie Children’s Ketogenic Diet Program is one of the country’s largest and most comprehensive care programs of its kind. The combined efforts of our dietitians, nurse practitioners and social worker, provide care and support that extends beyond the hospital walls, not only for your child but for your entire family.

There are three essential components of all food: fats, carbohydrates and protein. The ketogenic diet is a carefully prescribed ratio of fats to carbohydrates and protein. This ratio causes the body to convert fat into substances called ketone bodies (thus the name). These ketones are then used for fuel in many cells of the body, including the brain. When this happens, the brain goes into a higher energy state and is better able to protect itself against seizures.

The ketogenic diet works in a fundamentally different way than medications. Scientists have found many different mechanisms of action which contribute to the diet’s success, but one common theme is that instead of causing sedation, a common side-effect of medication, the diet can actually make a child more alert and focused.

All of our diets are developed with each individual child in mind. We focus on what the child likes to eat and try as much as possible to incorporate their favorite foods into their diets, and many children actually enjoy their keto food. Even if your child is already on a special diet due to allergies or food intolerances, our team can still incorporate these special needs into your child’s ketogenic diet.

We also understand that kids are constantly growing and their tastes are constantly changing, so menus are always being revised. Our team also makes sure to appropriately change calorie levels and make the proper food ratio adjustments to keep seizures under control.

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