I have recently received some feedback about our food plan that impels me to add a few details. The food plan has been the backbone of treatment at the Kartini Clinic for many years, but there are some things you should know about it.
- It was developed to enable families to feed their children without resort to counting calories or exchanges. The child chooses among real food items that have been counted already (by us). Many different food choices are available.
- Within the confines of the food plan parents can cook traditional American food, if that is what their family likes, or Chinese food or Indian food or Russian food or German food, nouvelle-cuisine, French food, Japanese food…you get the picture.
- It IS true that our meal plan does not support fast food.
- It IS true that we want parents in charge of the food.
- It IS true that we don’t allow low-calorie, low-fat, or diet options or drinks.
- It IS true that we require family dinners (not a problem for some, a big adjustment for others)
- It is NOT true that our patients must always stay on the meal plan. In fact, at one year post the onset of re-feeding we sit down with the family of a child who is doing well and discuss: “is it time to stop recording what is eaten?”; “Is it time to add desserts, etc.?”; “Is it time to continue recording, but eat without restriction?”
- It is NOT true that the meal plan is rigid; it is limited only by a cook’s (parent’s) imagination. You can eat meat, nuts, milk, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, cream cheese, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, French toast, homemade pancakes or waffles, olives, beans, cheese, olive oil or any other oil, ghee, butter, mayonnaise, bread, pasta, rice, bagels, granola, cereal, grits, couscous, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread and every imaginable vegetable and fruit, to name a few things. You can even eat pizza with a big vegetable-y salad and full fat dressing, as long as pizza doesn’t become all that you eat.
- The time to leave the meal plan behind is very variable and individualized to a patient’s progress.