What is a Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet for children is the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet specifically developed to assist in the management of specific medical disorders, such as epilepsy, in pediatric patients. It is frequently employed as a therapeutic alternative for children with epilepsy, especially those whose seizures are inadequately managed by medicine.

Neurological disorder: Epilepsy

Pediatric epilepsy is a medical disease marked by the incidence of seizures in young individuals. This neurological disease is prevalent among children globally. Seizures in pediatric patients with epilepsy can present in diverse symptoms, ranging from short episodes to more severe convulsions or unconsciousness. There is a wide range of variation in both the frequency and intensity of seizures among children with epilepsy, and this can have a substantial influence on their daily activities.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

Following are the typical symptoms of the Epilepsy

  • Seizures
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Development delays

How the Ketogenic Diet help Epilepsy patients?

The ketogenic diet, characterized by its high-fat and low-carbohydrate approach, has shown promising results as a therapy for managing epilepsy, especially when conventional medications are insufficient. The diet induces the body to generate ketones, which are alternate fuel sources generated from fats, by limiting carbohydrate intake. The major objective of the ketogenic diet for children is to initiate and sustain a state of ketosis, in which the body utilizes ketones, obtained from the breakdown of fat, as its primary energy source rather than glucose. This is accomplished by significantly limiting the intake of carbohydrates while boosting the consumption of nutritious fats and moderate quantities of protein. Under the supervision of medical experts, persons with epilepsy can adopt this dietary strategy, closely monitoring its effectiveness and treating any nutritional issues to enhance seizure management and enhance overall health.

Effectiveness of Ketogenic Diet

Several studies share that opting for ketogenic can achieve seizure reduction by >50%.

Types of Ketogenic Diet

  1. Classic Ketogenic Diet

    It is one of the oldest dietary therapies. This diet is typically very high in fat, low in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. It is calculated by your dietitian. The key difference between the classical ketogenic diet and the other diet is they are less restrictive but all diets aim to control seizures and require commitment from parents and the family.

  2. Medium Chain triglycerides:

    The MCT (Medium-chain triglyceride) uses a specific type of fat called the medium-chain triglyceride oil. but focuses on a specific type of fat called MCT and it can be used as a supplement instead of normal fat.

  3. LGIT (low glycemic index treatment)

    The LGIT (low glycemic index treatment) uses carbohydrates that are less likely to raise blood sugars. The foods do have to be weighed and do not require admission to the hospital for the initiation of the diet.

  4. The Modified Atkins Diet

    The modified Atkins diet limits the number of carbohydrates to usually 20 grams each day. The diet allows for a variety of foods and does not require a specific plan to be followed.

Role of RDNs

Registered Dietician plays a crucial role in improving the condition of epilepsy patients. They

  • Monitor patient's meals
  • Keep a closed eye on intake of macronutrients
  • Keep a closed eye on intake of micronutrients
  • Provide the family with the right information regarding the ingredients
  • Decide the right portion size of food for patients.

Factors on which the Ketogenic Diet depends

The ketogenic diet may vary for every child as it depends on the following factors

  • The age and child’s weight
  • Food choices of the family (veg/non-veg)
  • Diet prescription (amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.)

Procedure Details

When your child starts a Ketogenic diet, it's not a single-step process. The patient needs to be observed by the neurologist and dietician for that patient needs to be admitted to the hospital. The procedure will be:

  • Blood and Urine samples are tested to ensure that the ketogenic diet is safe for the patient.
  • Medical review is done
  • Initially, your child will be given water or sugar-free liquid
  • For infants sugar-free formulas are given.
  • Blood sugar level will be observed for the next 48 hours.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D levels are continually asset.

Diet varies for every patient according to the above discussed things.

Risk of Ketogenic Diet

Despite being so effective with seizures Ketogenic diet do have some risks:

  • Low bone density
  • Constipation
  • Kidney Stones
  • High cholesterol level
  • tiredness
  • Slower growth

Ketogenic Diet risky for:

It is not suitable for the patients having following diseases:

  • severe liver disease
  • pyruvate carboxylase deficiency
  • organic acidurias
  • fatty acid oxidation defects
  • hypoglycaemia under investigation
  • defects in ketone metabolism
  • disorders that require high dietary carbohydrates as part of their treatment
  • primary carnitine deficiencies

Food list for Ketogenic Diet

Food to eat Fruit
  • Healthy oil
  • Legumes
  • Healthy oil
  • Low-carb veggies
  • Meat
  • Sugary food
  • Eggs
  • Grain
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Starches
  • Fatty fish
  • Root vegetables

All fruits and vegetables are not healthy in the Keto diet as some of them contain high sugar levels. Concern your doctor to get the right knowledge of the food items.


Supplements on a ketogenic diet serve to enhance overall health and treat any potential deficits in nutrients. Typical supplements consist of electrolytes to restore minerals lost due to increased urination, magnesium to prevent muscle cramps and fatigue, vitamin D for bone health and immune function, omega-3 fatty acids for heart and brain health, fiber to aid digestion, and multivitamins to address nutritional deficiencies. Before starting any supplement regimen, particularly while adhering to a ketogenic diet, it is crucial to get guidance from your doctor to ensure safety.

How is diet monitored?

Ketogenic diet monitoring requires regular visits to neurologists and dietitians. Patients and caretakers may keep thorough food intake records. Monitoring seizure activity helps determine the diet's effectiveness in treating epilepsy. Regular blood tests and nutritional assessments guarantee that the diet offers critical nutrients and metabolic balance.

Duration of diet

Epilepsy patients frequently adhere to the ketogenic diet for a prolonged duration, perhaps spanning many years, depending upon its success in managing seizures. The duration of the treatment varies depending on the individual's response and ability to control seizures. It involves continuous monitoring and changes in consultation with healthcare professionals.

Cheating in diet

Cheating on a ketogenic diet can harm epileptic patients. Exceeding ketogenic diet carbohydrate limits may affect seizure-controlling metabolism. Cheating can alter blood ketone levels and increase seizure activity, eliminating the diet's benefits. Cheating may require time and effort to return to ketosis, which may affect seizure control. For optimal seizure control and health, the ketogenic diet must be followed consistently.

Helping your kid cope

Educating the children about their condition, encouraging open communication, equipping them with knowledge and skills, establishing a support network, ensuring consistency and organization, diminishing social stigma, offering positive reinforcement, and referring them to professionals are all components of coping with epilepsy in children.

The Food Balance to the Rescue

From the comfort of your own home, The Food Balance provides virtual sessions devoted to assisting children with epilepsy with the ketogenic diet. Our nutritionist specializes in ketogenic nutrition for children and offers individualized needs-based recommendations. Book now and get virtual consultation with us.


The Food Balance provides customized ketogenic nutrition advice for children diagnosed with epilepsy, guaranteeing successful seizure control and overall wellness via individualized consultations.


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