If medicine does not control your child’s seizures, they may benefit from nutrition therapy — either the ketogenic diet or the modified Atkins diet. Diet therapy can lessen or stop seizures for some children. Usually, children still take medicine, but they are able to take less.
The nutrition team will help you decide if 1 of the diets is the right choice for your child. On both diets, children eat foods that are high in fats and low in carbohydrates. The team helps to make sure your child is receiving nutrients they need to grow and keep a healthy weight. Children on these diets should always be under a doctor’s care.
The ketogenic diet includes eating foods that are high in fat and very low in carbohydrates and proteins.
In general, children following a ketogenic diet must avoid:
- Most fruits and vegetables
All meals and snacks must be weighed on a scale, and recipes are planned in advance.
To start the ketogenic diet, your child will stay in the hospital so the nutrition team can care for them while they adjust to their new diet. Once on the diet, your child will have routine follow-up appointments to make sure they are doing well. Many children are on the diet for 2 years or more.
Modified Atkins diet
The modified Atkins diet (MAD) includes eating foods that are high in fat and very low in carbohydrates.
Unlike the ketogenic diet, children do not need to stay in the hospital to start the diet. It does not require that food be measured with a scale.