Eat Well

Build Your 7-Day Meal Plan for Kidney Disease: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Everything in Between

Author:

Author:

Author:

Araminta David, RN, BSN

Published:

Published:

Published:

July 1, 2024

Medical review:

Medical review:

Medical review:

Stephanie Brown, MS, RD, LD

7 Day Meal Plan for Kidney Disease
7 Day Meal Plan for Kidney Disease
7 Day Meal Plan for Kidney Disease
7 Day Meal Plan for Kidney Disease

How can a meal plan help you manage kidney disease? 

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have been told to change your diet. Eating well for kidney disease can help give you energy, support a healthy body weight, and prevent muscle loss. Good nutrition can also help slow down kidney disease progression.

Your kidneys help keep nutrients and minerals in balance. But having CKD causes your kidneys to work harder to keep this balance. As CKD progresses, your kidneys will not be working as well and diet changes can be needed to help.

This recipe plan is designed for support people with kidney disease. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian if you are not certain if a recipe is suitable for you

How a dietitian can help

Are you confused about how to eat for your chronic kidney disease? A renal dietitian can help!

A renal dietitian is a registered dietitian (RD) with specialized training in kidney disease. They are nutrition experts who can take your blood tests, health conditions, and recommendations from your medical team and create a nutrition plan that is just for you. They will also work with you to put together meal plans that take the guesswork out of your daily diet.

Since chronic kidney disease is progressive, your nutrition needs can change overtime. Having a renal dietitian on your health team can help you keep up with these adjustments as your kidney health evolves. They’ll also be there to give you ongoing support and accountability to help you stick to your diet and lifestyle changes.

Changing your diet can feel hard, but working with a renal dietitian can make managing kidney disease so much easier! Click here to see if you’re eligible to meet with a Season Dietitian for free.

General rules for maintaining a kidney-friendly diet 

You may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in your diet in order to help support your kidneys. Your medical team will be keeping an eye on your blood test results to help find out what changes you may need to make to your diet. Blood tests can also let you know if the diet changes you’ve made are helping to support your kidney function.

Here’s a sample 7 day meal plan for kidney disease to give you some inspiration. Talk to your medical team to see if this plan is right for you. You should also work with a renal dietitian to create a personalized meal plan for your unique health situation.

Day 1 meal plan  

Day 1 breakfast 

Dairy-free yogurt parfait, veggie scramble, and toast

Start your morning off with a small bowl of berries (fresh or defrosted from frozen) and top with dairy-free yogurt. Cook up sliced bell peppers and mushrooms and scramble with eggs. Serve this with a side of toasted whole-grain bread.

Day 1 lunch

Baked chicken with couscous salad

Bake a boneless, skinless chicken breast and season with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Dice up carrots and cucumbers and toss with pre-cooked couscous to make an easy salad. For your veggies, include a serving of steamed cauliflower on the side.

Day 1 dinner

Lemon-dill cod, turnips, and kale salad

Low sodium? No problem! Mix chopped fresh dill into lemon juice and pour over a filet of cod. Bake in the oven until fully cooked and serve with a side of mashed turnips (a lower potassium swap for mashed potatoes!)

When it comes to leafy greens, some choices are better than others if you have kidney disease. Raw kale is lower in potassium than other greens like spinach and swiss chard. Make a kale salad and dress it with olive oil and vinegar for a nutrient-packed side.

Day 1 snacks 

Sliced bell peppers and unsalted almonds

If you need a boost in-between meals, slice up the rest of the bell pepper from breakfast and eat along with a small handful of unsalted almonds.

Day 1 desserts 

Homemade rice pudding

End the day on a sweet note with a small cup of homemade rice pudding. Cook up rice, almond milk, and a hint of vanilla. Eat warm or cold topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Day 2 meal plan 

Day 2 breakfast 

Apple cinnamon oatmeal and tea

For a cozy breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy with a cup of decaf herbal tea. You could also add a source of protein here like eggs, depending on your protein needs. This is where a renal dietitian can help!

Day 2 lunch

Tuna salad on crackers

Make tuna salad using low-sodium canned tuna, light mayonnaise and mix in chopped celery and carrots. Spread over low sodium whole-grain crackers.

Day 2 dinner

Turkey burger with arugula salad

Make a turkey burger (either choose a premade low-sodium version or make your own!) and serve on a whole-grain bun with sliced red onions.

Add veggies with a side salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar.

Day 2 snacks 

Carrot sticks with guacamole and pear slices

Avocado is a source of potassium, so guacamole should only be eaten in small portions as a snack if you’re limiting potassium. You can cut up some carrots and celery for dipping. Include a few slices of fresh pear to add a little sweet at the end of your snack.

Day 2 desserts 

Poached pears

Put those fresh pears to good use for dessert! Poach a pear (or bake in the oven if that’s easier) and top with a little honey and sprinkle with crushed walnuts for a bit of crunch.

Day 3 meal plan 

Day 3 breakfast

Buckwheat pancakes and fruit

Make simple buckwheat pancakes (you can use a low-sodium box mix or make from scratch). Top with lower potassium fruits like apples or blueberries.

Day 3 lunch

Grilled shrimp salad

Grill or saute shrimp and serve over a salad made with chopped lettuce and shredded carrots. Make a vinaigrette using olive oil and apple cider vinegar. For a carbohydrate source, serve toasted whole grain bread or a lower potassium fruit on the side.

Day 3 dinner

Roasted pork loin, green beans, sweet potato

Roast pork loin with rosemary and garlic and serve with a side of sauteed green beans and sweet potatoes. Be sure to soak and boil the sweet potatoes (this lowers the potassium content). Your renal dietitian can help show you other ways to enjoy higher potassium foods in moderation.

Day 3 snacks

Veggies with cauliflower hummus and berries

Make your own low-sodium cauliflower hummus (here’s a kidney-friendly recipe!) and have a small serving with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes for dipping. Enjoy with a small bowl of strawberries and raspberries on the side.

Day 3 desserts

Jello cup

Make your favorite jello flavor (or purchase premade cups) and top with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh mint.

Day 4 meal plan 

Day 4 breakfast

Steel-cut oats with peaches and yogurt

Get a burst of fiber with steel-cut oats cooked with sliced peaches. Top with dairy-free yogurt.

Day 4 lunch

Chicken Caesar salad

Put together a chicken Caesar salad using romaine lettuce and a spoonful of low-sodium Caesar dressing (or make a homemade kidney-friendly ranch!). Top with grilled chicken strips and whole-grain croutons.

Day 4 dinner

Almond crusted baked trout

Coat trout in a mixture of crushed almonds and dried parsley and bake until fully cooked. Serve with steamed green beans and brown rice.

Day 4 snacks

Garlic and onion popcorn snack mix

Ditch the high-sodium bagged popcorn and make your own kidney-friendly version using this recipe for Garlic & Onion Popcorn Snack Mix!

Day 4 desserts

Baked apple crisp

Dice up an apple and bake with a crumble of oats and chopped almonds. Add a small drizzle of optional honey.

Day 5 meal plan 

Day 5 breakfast

Tofu scramble

Add in a plant-based breakfast of tofu scrambled with spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Serve with a side of whole-grain toast.

Day 5 lunch

Chicken wrap with soup

Fill a whole-grain tortilla with shredded chicken and roasted veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Eat with a side of low-sodium soup.

Day 5 dinner

Grilled salmon with roasted asparagus and couscous

Grill (or bake) a salmon filet with a squeeze of lemon and serve with a side of roasted asparagus and couscous.

Day 5 snacks

Nuts and seeds with orange slices

Make a trail mix with nuts and seeds (see here for help choosing which ones are best for you) and pair with orange slices on the side.

Day 5 desserts

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

Follow this recipe to make homemade Watermelon Lime Sorbet. A perfect way to end the day with a sweet treat!

Day 6 meal plan 

Day 6 breakfast 

Smoothie and English muffin

Make a smoothie with frozen low-potassium fruits and veggies of your choice plus non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of chia seeds for some added fiber. Serve with a toasted English muffin on the side.

Day 6 lunch

Beet and goat cheese salad

Make a beet salad with goat cheese (a great kidney-friendly cheese option!). Top with walnuts, grilled chicken breast slices, and a few toasted walnuts. Add brown rice for a side carb.

Day 6 dinner

Baked chicken with mashed cauliflower

Bake chicken seasoned with thyme and garlic. Serve with a side of mashed cauliflower and steamed peas.

Day 6 snacks 

Raw Veggies and Dip

This recipe for Raw Veggies and Dip combines herb seasoning and sour cream for a delicious snack!

Day 6 desserts

Lower potassium fruit sorbet

End your day with a scoop of sorbet made using lower potassium fruits. If you choose a premade sorbet, be sure to check the labels or ask your renal dietitian for a recommendation. You can also make your own (like this Raspberry Sorbet!)

Day 7 meal plan (you made it!)

Day 7 breakfast 

Poached egg on toast

Feeling fancy? Poach an egg and put it on a slice of whole-wheat toast with a thin slice of tomato. Sip on a cup of caffeine-free green tea on the side.

Day 7 lunch

Wild rice salad

Make a wild rice salad with cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes, and dress it up with lemon juice and olive oil. Top with some shredded chicken or canned tuna.

Day 7 dinner

Tofu stir fry with veggies

Saute tofu with bamboo shoots, cauliflower, or other kidney-friendly veggies of your choice along with low-sodium soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Day 7 snacks 

Dairy-free yogurt with berries

Top a handful of berries with dairy-free yogurt for a nutrient-packed midday snack.

Day 7 desserts

Popsicles

Popsicles are one of the few kidney-friendly frozen desserts that you can find in a store. Talk to your renal dietitian for help choosing the best options for you. You can also make your own using popsicle molds and juices made from lower potassium fruits (like apple, cranberry, or pineapple).

Foods to avoid on your diet-plan

You’ll want to keep an eye out for sources of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

To cut down on sodium, avoid processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats. Canned soups and canned vegetables often have a lot of sodium added to them unless they specifically say “low sodium”. You’ll also want to skip high-sodium snack foods like potato chips and pretzels.

Fruits and vegetables all contain some potassium, so the key is to limit the highest sources. These include bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

If you need to reduce your phosphorus intake, cut down on dairy products, certain nuts/seeds, and dark colored sodas.

Diet plans for stage of kidney disease 

Your renal dietitian can put together a food plan for you based on what stage of kidney disease you’re in. These guidelines can vary widely depending on your bloodwork, but here are some general guidelines:

Food plans for Stage 1 kidney disease 

The focus in this stage should be on eating balanced meals with controlled levels of sodium, based on the recommendations from your team. If you’re restricting potassium at this time, include as wide a variety of lower potassium fruits and vegetables into your diet. Choose lean proteins and whole grains.

Food plans for Stage 2 kidney disease 

As kidney disease progresses, there is an increased concern for changes in blood pressure and blood sugar. Your diet should emphasize keeping these under control. Continue to eat based on the sodium and potassium recommendations provided by your team.

Food plans for Stage 3 kidney disease 

Depending on your bloodwork, you may need to start reducing phosphorus at this point (or possibility earlier). You may also be given specific directions about avoiding excess fluid intake and for limiting protein intake. Your team can also determine if you need more calcium in your diet or from supplementation.

Food plans for Stage 4 kidney disease 

At this stage, you’ll need to follow strict guidelines for nutrient and fluid intake. You’ll likely also be eating a much lower protein diet at this point.

Working with a renal dietitian at any stage of kidney disease can help make sure you’re eating based on your bloodwork and unique needs. This can help slow down the progression of kidney disease and support your overall health.

How can a meal plan help you manage kidney disease? 

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have been told to change your diet. Eating well for kidney disease can help give you energy, support a healthy body weight, and prevent muscle loss. Good nutrition can also help slow down kidney disease progression.

Your kidneys help keep nutrients and minerals in balance. But having CKD causes your kidneys to work harder to keep this balance. As CKD progresses, your kidneys will not be working as well and diet changes can be needed to help.

This recipe plan is designed for support people with kidney disease. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian if you are not certain if a recipe is suitable for you

How a dietitian can help

Are you confused about how to eat for your chronic kidney disease? A renal dietitian can help!

A renal dietitian is a registered dietitian (RD) with specialized training in kidney disease. They are nutrition experts who can take your blood tests, health conditions, and recommendations from your medical team and create a nutrition plan that is just for you. They will also work with you to put together meal plans that take the guesswork out of your daily diet.

Since chronic kidney disease is progressive, your nutrition needs can change overtime. Having a renal dietitian on your health team can help you keep up with these adjustments as your kidney health evolves. They’ll also be there to give you ongoing support and accountability to help you stick to your diet and lifestyle changes.

Changing your diet can feel hard, but working with a renal dietitian can make managing kidney disease so much easier! Click here to see if you’re eligible to meet with a Season Dietitian for free.

General rules for maintaining a kidney-friendly diet 

You may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in your diet in order to help support your kidneys. Your medical team will be keeping an eye on your blood test results to help find out what changes you may need to make to your diet. Blood tests can also let you know if the diet changes you’ve made are helping to support your kidney function.

Here’s a sample 7 day meal plan for kidney disease to give you some inspiration. Talk to your medical team to see if this plan is right for you. You should also work with a renal dietitian to create a personalized meal plan for your unique health situation.

Day 1 meal plan  

Day 1 breakfast 

Dairy-free yogurt parfait, veggie scramble, and toast

Start your morning off with a small bowl of berries (fresh or defrosted from frozen) and top with dairy-free yogurt. Cook up sliced bell peppers and mushrooms and scramble with eggs. Serve this with a side of toasted whole-grain bread.

Day 1 lunch

Baked chicken with couscous salad

Bake a boneless, skinless chicken breast and season with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Dice up carrots and cucumbers and toss with pre-cooked couscous to make an easy salad. For your veggies, include a serving of steamed cauliflower on the side.

Day 1 dinner

Lemon-dill cod, turnips, and kale salad

Low sodium? No problem! Mix chopped fresh dill into lemon juice and pour over a filet of cod. Bake in the oven until fully cooked and serve with a side of mashed turnips (a lower potassium swap for mashed potatoes!)

When it comes to leafy greens, some choices are better than others if you have kidney disease. Raw kale is lower in potassium than other greens like spinach and swiss chard. Make a kale salad and dress it with olive oil and vinegar for a nutrient-packed side.

Day 1 snacks 

Sliced bell peppers and unsalted almonds

If you need a boost in-between meals, slice up the rest of the bell pepper from breakfast and eat along with a small handful of unsalted almonds.

Day 1 desserts 

Homemade rice pudding

End the day on a sweet note with a small cup of homemade rice pudding. Cook up rice, almond milk, and a hint of vanilla. Eat warm or cold topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Day 2 meal plan 

Day 2 breakfast 

Apple cinnamon oatmeal and tea

For a cozy breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy with a cup of decaf herbal tea. You could also add a source of protein here like eggs, depending on your protein needs. This is where a renal dietitian can help!

Day 2 lunch

Tuna salad on crackers

Make tuna salad using low-sodium canned tuna, light mayonnaise and mix in chopped celery and carrots. Spread over low sodium whole-grain crackers.

Day 2 dinner

Turkey burger with arugula salad

Make a turkey burger (either choose a premade low-sodium version or make your own!) and serve on a whole-grain bun with sliced red onions.

Add veggies with a side salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar.

Day 2 snacks 

Carrot sticks with guacamole and pear slices

Avocado is a source of potassium, so guacamole should only be eaten in small portions as a snack if you’re limiting potassium. You can cut up some carrots and celery for dipping. Include a few slices of fresh pear to add a little sweet at the end of your snack.

Day 2 desserts 

Poached pears

Put those fresh pears to good use for dessert! Poach a pear (or bake in the oven if that’s easier) and top with a little honey and sprinkle with crushed walnuts for a bit of crunch.

Day 3 meal plan 

Day 3 breakfast

Buckwheat pancakes and fruit

Make simple buckwheat pancakes (you can use a low-sodium box mix or make from scratch). Top with lower potassium fruits like apples or blueberries.

Day 3 lunch

Grilled shrimp salad

Grill or saute shrimp and serve over a salad made with chopped lettuce and shredded carrots. Make a vinaigrette using olive oil and apple cider vinegar. For a carbohydrate source, serve toasted whole grain bread or a lower potassium fruit on the side.

Day 3 dinner

Roasted pork loin, green beans, sweet potato

Roast pork loin with rosemary and garlic and serve with a side of sauteed green beans and sweet potatoes. Be sure to soak and boil the sweet potatoes (this lowers the potassium content). Your renal dietitian can help show you other ways to enjoy higher potassium foods in moderation.

Day 3 snacks

Veggies with cauliflower hummus and berries

Make your own low-sodium cauliflower hummus (here’s a kidney-friendly recipe!) and have a small serving with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes for dipping. Enjoy with a small bowl of strawberries and raspberries on the side.

Day 3 desserts

Jello cup

Make your favorite jello flavor (or purchase premade cups) and top with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh mint.

Day 4 meal plan 

Day 4 breakfast

Steel-cut oats with peaches and yogurt

Get a burst of fiber with steel-cut oats cooked with sliced peaches. Top with dairy-free yogurt.

Day 4 lunch

Chicken Caesar salad

Put together a chicken Caesar salad using romaine lettuce and a spoonful of low-sodium Caesar dressing (or make a homemade kidney-friendly ranch!). Top with grilled chicken strips and whole-grain croutons.

Day 4 dinner

Almond crusted baked trout

Coat trout in a mixture of crushed almonds and dried parsley and bake until fully cooked. Serve with steamed green beans and brown rice.

Day 4 snacks

Garlic and onion popcorn snack mix

Ditch the high-sodium bagged popcorn and make your own kidney-friendly version using this recipe for Garlic & Onion Popcorn Snack Mix!

Day 4 desserts

Baked apple crisp

Dice up an apple and bake with a crumble of oats and chopped almonds. Add a small drizzle of optional honey.

Day 5 meal plan 

Day 5 breakfast

Tofu scramble

Add in a plant-based breakfast of tofu scrambled with spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Serve with a side of whole-grain toast.

Day 5 lunch

Chicken wrap with soup

Fill a whole-grain tortilla with shredded chicken and roasted veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Eat with a side of low-sodium soup.

Day 5 dinner

Grilled salmon with roasted asparagus and couscous

Grill (or bake) a salmon filet with a squeeze of lemon and serve with a side of roasted asparagus and couscous.

Day 5 snacks

Nuts and seeds with orange slices

Make a trail mix with nuts and seeds (see here for help choosing which ones are best for you) and pair with orange slices on the side.

Day 5 desserts

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

Follow this recipe to make homemade Watermelon Lime Sorbet. A perfect way to end the day with a sweet treat!

Day 6 meal plan 

Day 6 breakfast 

Smoothie and English muffin

Make a smoothie with frozen low-potassium fruits and veggies of your choice plus non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of chia seeds for some added fiber. Serve with a toasted English muffin on the side.

Day 6 lunch

Beet and goat cheese salad

Make a beet salad with goat cheese (a great kidney-friendly cheese option!). Top with walnuts, grilled chicken breast slices, and a few toasted walnuts. Add brown rice for a side carb.

Day 6 dinner

Baked chicken with mashed cauliflower

Bake chicken seasoned with thyme and garlic. Serve with a side of mashed cauliflower and steamed peas.

Day 6 snacks 

Raw Veggies and Dip

This recipe for Raw Veggies and Dip combines herb seasoning and sour cream for a delicious snack!

Day 6 desserts

Lower potassium fruit sorbet

End your day with a scoop of sorbet made using lower potassium fruits. If you choose a premade sorbet, be sure to check the labels or ask your renal dietitian for a recommendation. You can also make your own (like this Raspberry Sorbet!)

Day 7 meal plan (you made it!)

Day 7 breakfast 

Poached egg on toast

Feeling fancy? Poach an egg and put it on a slice of whole-wheat toast with a thin slice of tomato. Sip on a cup of caffeine-free green tea on the side.

Day 7 lunch

Wild rice salad

Make a wild rice salad with cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes, and dress it up with lemon juice and olive oil. Top with some shredded chicken or canned tuna.

Day 7 dinner

Tofu stir fry with veggies

Saute tofu with bamboo shoots, cauliflower, or other kidney-friendly veggies of your choice along with low-sodium soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Day 7 snacks 

Dairy-free yogurt with berries

Top a handful of berries with dairy-free yogurt for a nutrient-packed midday snack.

Day 7 desserts

Popsicles

Popsicles are one of the few kidney-friendly frozen desserts that you can find in a store. Talk to your renal dietitian for help choosing the best options for you. You can also make your own using popsicle molds and juices made from lower potassium fruits (like apple, cranberry, or pineapple).

Foods to avoid on your diet-plan

You’ll want to keep an eye out for sources of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

To cut down on sodium, avoid processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats. Canned soups and canned vegetables often have a lot of sodium added to them unless they specifically say “low sodium”. You’ll also want to skip high-sodium snack foods like potato chips and pretzels.

Fruits and vegetables all contain some potassium, so the key is to limit the highest sources. These include bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

If you need to reduce your phosphorus intake, cut down on dairy products, certain nuts/seeds, and dark colored sodas.

Diet plans for stage of kidney disease 

Your renal dietitian can put together a food plan for you based on what stage of kidney disease you’re in. These guidelines can vary widely depending on your bloodwork, but here are some general guidelines:

Food plans for Stage 1 kidney disease 

The focus in this stage should be on eating balanced meals with controlled levels of sodium, based on the recommendations from your team. If you’re restricting potassium at this time, include as wide a variety of lower potassium fruits and vegetables into your diet. Choose lean proteins and whole grains.

Food plans for Stage 2 kidney disease 

As kidney disease progresses, there is an increased concern for changes in blood pressure and blood sugar. Your diet should emphasize keeping these under control. Continue to eat based on the sodium and potassium recommendations provided by your team.

Food plans for Stage 3 kidney disease 

Depending on your bloodwork, you may need to start reducing phosphorus at this point (or possibility earlier). You may also be given specific directions about avoiding excess fluid intake and for limiting protein intake. Your team can also determine if you need more calcium in your diet or from supplementation.

Food plans for Stage 4 kidney disease 

At this stage, you’ll need to follow strict guidelines for nutrient and fluid intake. You’ll likely also be eating a much lower protein diet at this point.

Working with a renal dietitian at any stage of kidney disease can help make sure you’re eating based on your bloodwork and unique needs. This can help slow down the progression of kidney disease and support your overall health.

How can a meal plan help you manage kidney disease? 

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have been told to change your diet. Eating well for kidney disease can help give you energy, support a healthy body weight, and prevent muscle loss. Good nutrition can also help slow down kidney disease progression.

Your kidneys help keep nutrients and minerals in balance. But having CKD causes your kidneys to work harder to keep this balance. As CKD progresses, your kidneys will not be working as well and diet changes can be needed to help.

This recipe plan is designed for support people with kidney disease. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian if you are not certain if a recipe is suitable for you

How a dietitian can help

Are you confused about how to eat for your chronic kidney disease? A renal dietitian can help!

A renal dietitian is a registered dietitian (RD) with specialized training in kidney disease. They are nutrition experts who can take your blood tests, health conditions, and recommendations from your medical team and create a nutrition plan that is just for you. They will also work with you to put together meal plans that take the guesswork out of your daily diet.

Since chronic kidney disease is progressive, your nutrition needs can change overtime. Having a renal dietitian on your health team can help you keep up with these adjustments as your kidney health evolves. They’ll also be there to give you ongoing support and accountability to help you stick to your diet and lifestyle changes.

Changing your diet can feel hard, but working with a renal dietitian can make managing kidney disease so much easier! Click here to see if you’re eligible to meet with a Season Dietitian for free.

General rules for maintaining a kidney-friendly diet 

You may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in your diet in order to help support your kidneys. Your medical team will be keeping an eye on your blood test results to help find out what changes you may need to make to your diet. Blood tests can also let you know if the diet changes you’ve made are helping to support your kidney function.

Here’s a sample 7 day meal plan for kidney disease to give you some inspiration. Talk to your medical team to see if this plan is right for you. You should also work with a renal dietitian to create a personalized meal plan for your unique health situation.

Day 1 meal plan  

Day 1 breakfast 

Dairy-free yogurt parfait, veggie scramble, and toast

Start your morning off with a small bowl of berries (fresh or defrosted from frozen) and top with dairy-free yogurt. Cook up sliced bell peppers and mushrooms and scramble with eggs. Serve this with a side of toasted whole-grain bread.

Day 1 lunch

Baked chicken with couscous salad

Bake a boneless, skinless chicken breast and season with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Dice up carrots and cucumbers and toss with pre-cooked couscous to make an easy salad. For your veggies, include a serving of steamed cauliflower on the side.

Day 1 dinner

Lemon-dill cod, turnips, and kale salad

Low sodium? No problem! Mix chopped fresh dill into lemon juice and pour over a filet of cod. Bake in the oven until fully cooked and serve with a side of mashed turnips (a lower potassium swap for mashed potatoes!)

When it comes to leafy greens, some choices are better than others if you have kidney disease. Raw kale is lower in potassium than other greens like spinach and swiss chard. Make a kale salad and dress it with olive oil and vinegar for a nutrient-packed side.

Day 1 snacks 

Sliced bell peppers and unsalted almonds

If you need a boost in-between meals, slice up the rest of the bell pepper from breakfast and eat along with a small handful of unsalted almonds.

Day 1 desserts 

Homemade rice pudding

End the day on a sweet note with a small cup of homemade rice pudding. Cook up rice, almond milk, and a hint of vanilla. Eat warm or cold topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Day 2 meal plan 

Day 2 breakfast 

Apple cinnamon oatmeal and tea

For a cozy breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy with a cup of decaf herbal tea. You could also add a source of protein here like eggs, depending on your protein needs. This is where a renal dietitian can help!

Day 2 lunch

Tuna salad on crackers

Make tuna salad using low-sodium canned tuna, light mayonnaise and mix in chopped celery and carrots. Spread over low sodium whole-grain crackers.

Day 2 dinner

Turkey burger with arugula salad

Make a turkey burger (either choose a premade low-sodium version or make your own!) and serve on a whole-grain bun with sliced red onions.

Add veggies with a side salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar.

Day 2 snacks 

Carrot sticks with guacamole and pear slices

Avocado is a source of potassium, so guacamole should only be eaten in small portions as a snack if you’re limiting potassium. You can cut up some carrots and celery for dipping. Include a few slices of fresh pear to add a little sweet at the end of your snack.

Day 2 desserts 

Poached pears

Put those fresh pears to good use for dessert! Poach a pear (or bake in the oven if that’s easier) and top with a little honey and sprinkle with crushed walnuts for a bit of crunch.

Day 3 meal plan 

Day 3 breakfast

Buckwheat pancakes and fruit

Make simple buckwheat pancakes (you can use a low-sodium box mix or make from scratch). Top with lower potassium fruits like apples or blueberries.

Day 3 lunch

Grilled shrimp salad

Grill or saute shrimp and serve over a salad made with chopped lettuce and shredded carrots. Make a vinaigrette using olive oil and apple cider vinegar. For a carbohydrate source, serve toasted whole grain bread or a lower potassium fruit on the side.

Day 3 dinner

Roasted pork loin, green beans, sweet potato

Roast pork loin with rosemary and garlic and serve with a side of sauteed green beans and sweet potatoes. Be sure to soak and boil the sweet potatoes (this lowers the potassium content). Your renal dietitian can help show you other ways to enjoy higher potassium foods in moderation.

Day 3 snacks

Veggies with cauliflower hummus and berries

Make your own low-sodium cauliflower hummus (here’s a kidney-friendly recipe!) and have a small serving with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes for dipping. Enjoy with a small bowl of strawberries and raspberries on the side.

Day 3 desserts

Jello cup

Make your favorite jello flavor (or purchase premade cups) and top with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh mint.

Day 4 meal plan 

Day 4 breakfast

Steel-cut oats with peaches and yogurt

Get a burst of fiber with steel-cut oats cooked with sliced peaches. Top with dairy-free yogurt.

Day 4 lunch

Chicken Caesar salad

Put together a chicken Caesar salad using romaine lettuce and a spoonful of low-sodium Caesar dressing (or make a homemade kidney-friendly ranch!). Top with grilled chicken strips and whole-grain croutons.

Day 4 dinner

Almond crusted baked trout

Coat trout in a mixture of crushed almonds and dried parsley and bake until fully cooked. Serve with steamed green beans and brown rice.

Day 4 snacks

Garlic and onion popcorn snack mix

Ditch the high-sodium bagged popcorn and make your own kidney-friendly version using this recipe for Garlic & Onion Popcorn Snack Mix!

Day 4 desserts

Baked apple crisp

Dice up an apple and bake with a crumble of oats and chopped almonds. Add a small drizzle of optional honey.

Day 5 meal plan 

Day 5 breakfast

Tofu scramble

Add in a plant-based breakfast of tofu scrambled with spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Serve with a side of whole-grain toast.

Day 5 lunch

Chicken wrap with soup

Fill a whole-grain tortilla with shredded chicken and roasted veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Eat with a side of low-sodium soup.

Day 5 dinner

Grilled salmon with roasted asparagus and couscous

Grill (or bake) a salmon filet with a squeeze of lemon and serve with a side of roasted asparagus and couscous.

Day 5 snacks

Nuts and seeds with orange slices

Make a trail mix with nuts and seeds (see here for help choosing which ones are best for you) and pair with orange slices on the side.

Day 5 desserts

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

Follow this recipe to make homemade Watermelon Lime Sorbet. A perfect way to end the day with a sweet treat!

Day 6 meal plan 

Day 6 breakfast 

Smoothie and English muffin

Make a smoothie with frozen low-potassium fruits and veggies of your choice plus non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of chia seeds for some added fiber. Serve with a toasted English muffin on the side.

Day 6 lunch

Beet and goat cheese salad

Make a beet salad with goat cheese (a great kidney-friendly cheese option!). Top with walnuts, grilled chicken breast slices, and a few toasted walnuts. Add brown rice for a side carb.

Day 6 dinner

Baked chicken with mashed cauliflower

Bake chicken seasoned with thyme and garlic. Serve with a side of mashed cauliflower and steamed peas.

Day 6 snacks 

Raw Veggies and Dip

This recipe for Raw Veggies and Dip combines herb seasoning and sour cream for a delicious snack!

Day 6 desserts

Lower potassium fruit sorbet

End your day with a scoop of sorbet made using lower potassium fruits. If you choose a premade sorbet, be sure to check the labels or ask your renal dietitian for a recommendation. You can also make your own (like this Raspberry Sorbet!)

Day 7 meal plan (you made it!)

Day 7 breakfast 

Poached egg on toast

Feeling fancy? Poach an egg and put it on a slice of whole-wheat toast with a thin slice of tomato. Sip on a cup of caffeine-free green tea on the side.

Day 7 lunch

Wild rice salad

Make a wild rice salad with cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes, and dress it up with lemon juice and olive oil. Top with some shredded chicken or canned tuna.

Day 7 dinner

Tofu stir fry with veggies

Saute tofu with bamboo shoots, cauliflower, or other kidney-friendly veggies of your choice along with low-sodium soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Day 7 snacks 

Dairy-free yogurt with berries

Top a handful of berries with dairy-free yogurt for a nutrient-packed midday snack.

Day 7 desserts

Popsicles

Popsicles are one of the few kidney-friendly frozen desserts that you can find in a store. Talk to your renal dietitian for help choosing the best options for you. You can also make your own using popsicle molds and juices made from lower potassium fruits (like apple, cranberry, or pineapple).

Foods to avoid on your diet-plan

You’ll want to keep an eye out for sources of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

To cut down on sodium, avoid processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats. Canned soups and canned vegetables often have a lot of sodium added to them unless they specifically say “low sodium”. You’ll also want to skip high-sodium snack foods like potato chips and pretzels.

Fruits and vegetables all contain some potassium, so the key is to limit the highest sources. These include bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

If you need to reduce your phosphorus intake, cut down on dairy products, certain nuts/seeds, and dark colored sodas.

Diet plans for stage of kidney disease 

Your renal dietitian can put together a food plan for you based on what stage of kidney disease you’re in. These guidelines can vary widely depending on your bloodwork, but here are some general guidelines:

Food plans for Stage 1 kidney disease 

The focus in this stage should be on eating balanced meals with controlled levels of sodium, based on the recommendations from your team. If you’re restricting potassium at this time, include as wide a variety of lower potassium fruits and vegetables into your diet. Choose lean proteins and whole grains.

Food plans for Stage 2 kidney disease 

As kidney disease progresses, there is an increased concern for changes in blood pressure and blood sugar. Your diet should emphasize keeping these under control. Continue to eat based on the sodium and potassium recommendations provided by your team.

Food plans for Stage 3 kidney disease 

Depending on your bloodwork, you may need to start reducing phosphorus at this point (or possibility earlier). You may also be given specific directions about avoiding excess fluid intake and for limiting protein intake. Your team can also determine if you need more calcium in your diet or from supplementation.

Food plans for Stage 4 kidney disease 

At this stage, you’ll need to follow strict guidelines for nutrient and fluid intake. You’ll likely also be eating a much lower protein diet at this point.

Working with a renal dietitian at any stage of kidney disease can help make sure you’re eating based on your bloodwork and unique needs. This can help slow down the progression of kidney disease and support your overall health.

How can a meal plan help you manage kidney disease? 

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have been told to change your diet. Eating well for kidney disease can help give you energy, support a healthy body weight, and prevent muscle loss. Good nutrition can also help slow down kidney disease progression.

Your kidneys help keep nutrients and minerals in balance. But having CKD causes your kidneys to work harder to keep this balance. As CKD progresses, your kidneys will not be working as well and diet changes can be needed to help.

This recipe plan is designed for support people with kidney disease. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian if you are not certain if a recipe is suitable for you

How a dietitian can help

Are you confused about how to eat for your chronic kidney disease? A renal dietitian can help!

A renal dietitian is a registered dietitian (RD) with specialized training in kidney disease. They are nutrition experts who can take your blood tests, health conditions, and recommendations from your medical team and create a nutrition plan that is just for you. They will also work with you to put together meal plans that take the guesswork out of your daily diet.

Since chronic kidney disease is progressive, your nutrition needs can change overtime. Having a renal dietitian on your health team can help you keep up with these adjustments as your kidney health evolves. They’ll also be there to give you ongoing support and accountability to help you stick to your diet and lifestyle changes.

Changing your diet can feel hard, but working with a renal dietitian can make managing kidney disease so much easier! Click here to see if you’re eligible to meet with a Season Dietitian for free.

General rules for maintaining a kidney-friendly diet 

You may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in your diet in order to help support your kidneys. Your medical team will be keeping an eye on your blood test results to help find out what changes you may need to make to your diet. Blood tests can also let you know if the diet changes you’ve made are helping to support your kidney function.

Here’s a sample 7 day meal plan for kidney disease to give you some inspiration. Talk to your medical team to see if this plan is right for you. You should also work with a renal dietitian to create a personalized meal plan for your unique health situation.

Day 1 meal plan  

Day 1 breakfast 

Dairy-free yogurt parfait, veggie scramble, and toast

Start your morning off with a small bowl of berries (fresh or defrosted from frozen) and top with dairy-free yogurt. Cook up sliced bell peppers and mushrooms and scramble with eggs. Serve this with a side of toasted whole-grain bread.

Day 1 lunch

Baked chicken with couscous salad

Bake a boneless, skinless chicken breast and season with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Dice up carrots and cucumbers and toss with pre-cooked couscous to make an easy salad. For your veggies, include a serving of steamed cauliflower on the side.

Day 1 dinner

Lemon-dill cod, turnips, and kale salad

Low sodium? No problem! Mix chopped fresh dill into lemon juice and pour over a filet of cod. Bake in the oven until fully cooked and serve with a side of mashed turnips (a lower potassium swap for mashed potatoes!)

When it comes to leafy greens, some choices are better than others if you have kidney disease. Raw kale is lower in potassium than other greens like spinach and swiss chard. Make a kale salad and dress it with olive oil and vinegar for a nutrient-packed side.

Day 1 snacks 

Sliced bell peppers and unsalted almonds

If you need a boost in-between meals, slice up the rest of the bell pepper from breakfast and eat along with a small handful of unsalted almonds.

Day 1 desserts 

Homemade rice pudding

End the day on a sweet note with a small cup of homemade rice pudding. Cook up rice, almond milk, and a hint of vanilla. Eat warm or cold topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Day 2 meal plan 

Day 2 breakfast 

Apple cinnamon oatmeal and tea

For a cozy breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy with a cup of decaf herbal tea. You could also add a source of protein here like eggs, depending on your protein needs. This is where a renal dietitian can help!

Day 2 lunch

Tuna salad on crackers

Make tuna salad using low-sodium canned tuna, light mayonnaise and mix in chopped celery and carrots. Spread over low sodium whole-grain crackers.

Day 2 dinner

Turkey burger with arugula salad

Make a turkey burger (either choose a premade low-sodium version or make your own!) and serve on a whole-grain bun with sliced red onions.

Add veggies with a side salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar.

Day 2 snacks 

Carrot sticks with guacamole and pear slices

Avocado is a source of potassium, so guacamole should only be eaten in small portions as a snack if you’re limiting potassium. You can cut up some carrots and celery for dipping. Include a few slices of fresh pear to add a little sweet at the end of your snack.

Day 2 desserts 

Poached pears

Put those fresh pears to good use for dessert! Poach a pear (or bake in the oven if that’s easier) and top with a little honey and sprinkle with crushed walnuts for a bit of crunch.

Day 3 meal plan 

Day 3 breakfast

Buckwheat pancakes and fruit

Make simple buckwheat pancakes (you can use a low-sodium box mix or make from scratch). Top with lower potassium fruits like apples or blueberries.

Day 3 lunch

Grilled shrimp salad

Grill or saute shrimp and serve over a salad made with chopped lettuce and shredded carrots. Make a vinaigrette using olive oil and apple cider vinegar. For a carbohydrate source, serve toasted whole grain bread or a lower potassium fruit on the side.

Day 3 dinner

Roasted pork loin, green beans, sweet potato

Roast pork loin with rosemary and garlic and serve with a side of sauteed green beans and sweet potatoes. Be sure to soak and boil the sweet potatoes (this lowers the potassium content). Your renal dietitian can help show you other ways to enjoy higher potassium foods in moderation.

Day 3 snacks

Veggies with cauliflower hummus and berries

Make your own low-sodium cauliflower hummus (here’s a kidney-friendly recipe!) and have a small serving with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes for dipping. Enjoy with a small bowl of strawberries and raspberries on the side.

Day 3 desserts

Jello cup

Make your favorite jello flavor (or purchase premade cups) and top with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh mint.

Day 4 meal plan 

Day 4 breakfast

Steel-cut oats with peaches and yogurt

Get a burst of fiber with steel-cut oats cooked with sliced peaches. Top with dairy-free yogurt.

Day 4 lunch

Chicken Caesar salad

Put together a chicken Caesar salad using romaine lettuce and a spoonful of low-sodium Caesar dressing (or make a homemade kidney-friendly ranch!). Top with grilled chicken strips and whole-grain croutons.

Day 4 dinner

Almond crusted baked trout

Coat trout in a mixture of crushed almonds and dried parsley and bake until fully cooked. Serve with steamed green beans and brown rice.

Day 4 snacks

Garlic and onion popcorn snack mix

Ditch the high-sodium bagged popcorn and make your own kidney-friendly version using this recipe for Garlic & Onion Popcorn Snack Mix!

Day 4 desserts

Baked apple crisp

Dice up an apple and bake with a crumble of oats and chopped almonds. Add a small drizzle of optional honey.

Day 5 meal plan 

Day 5 breakfast

Tofu scramble

Add in a plant-based breakfast of tofu scrambled with spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Serve with a side of whole-grain toast.

Day 5 lunch

Chicken wrap with soup

Fill a whole-grain tortilla with shredded chicken and roasted veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Eat with a side of low-sodium soup.

Day 5 dinner

Grilled salmon with roasted asparagus and couscous

Grill (or bake) a salmon filet with a squeeze of lemon and serve with a side of roasted asparagus and couscous.

Day 5 snacks

Nuts and seeds with orange slices

Make a trail mix with nuts and seeds (see here for help choosing which ones are best for you) and pair with orange slices on the side.

Day 5 desserts

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

Follow this recipe to make homemade Watermelon Lime Sorbet. A perfect way to end the day with a sweet treat!

Day 6 meal plan 

Day 6 breakfast 

Smoothie and English muffin

Make a smoothie with frozen low-potassium fruits and veggies of your choice plus non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of chia seeds for some added fiber. Serve with a toasted English muffin on the side.

Day 6 lunch

Beet and goat cheese salad

Make a beet salad with goat cheese (a great kidney-friendly cheese option!). Top with walnuts, grilled chicken breast slices, and a few toasted walnuts. Add brown rice for a side carb.

Day 6 dinner

Baked chicken with mashed cauliflower

Bake chicken seasoned with thyme and garlic. Serve with a side of mashed cauliflower and steamed peas.

Day 6 snacks 

Raw Veggies and Dip

This recipe for Raw Veggies and Dip combines herb seasoning and sour cream for a delicious snack!

Day 6 desserts

Lower potassium fruit sorbet

End your day with a scoop of sorbet made using lower potassium fruits. If you choose a premade sorbet, be sure to check the labels or ask your renal dietitian for a recommendation. You can also make your own (like this Raspberry Sorbet!)

Day 7 meal plan (you made it!)

Day 7 breakfast 

Poached egg on toast

Feeling fancy? Poach an egg and put it on a slice of whole-wheat toast with a thin slice of tomato. Sip on a cup of caffeine-free green tea on the side.

Day 7 lunch

Wild rice salad

Make a wild rice salad with cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes, and dress it up with lemon juice and olive oil. Top with some shredded chicken or canned tuna.

Day 7 dinner

Tofu stir fry with veggies

Saute tofu with bamboo shoots, cauliflower, or other kidney-friendly veggies of your choice along with low-sodium soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Day 7 snacks 

Dairy-free yogurt with berries

Top a handful of berries with dairy-free yogurt for a nutrient-packed midday snack.

Day 7 desserts

Popsicles

Popsicles are one of the few kidney-friendly frozen desserts that you can find in a store. Talk to your renal dietitian for help choosing the best options for you. You can also make your own using popsicle molds and juices made from lower potassium fruits (like apple, cranberry, or pineapple).

Foods to avoid on your diet-plan

You’ll want to keep an eye out for sources of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

To cut down on sodium, avoid processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats. Canned soups and canned vegetables often have a lot of sodium added to them unless they specifically say “low sodium”. You’ll also want to skip high-sodium snack foods like potato chips and pretzels.

Fruits and vegetables all contain some potassium, so the key is to limit the highest sources. These include bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

If you need to reduce your phosphorus intake, cut down on dairy products, certain nuts/seeds, and dark colored sodas.

Diet plans for stage of kidney disease 

Your renal dietitian can put together a food plan for you based on what stage of kidney disease you’re in. These guidelines can vary widely depending on your bloodwork, but here are some general guidelines:

Food plans for Stage 1 kidney disease 

The focus in this stage should be on eating balanced meals with controlled levels of sodium, based on the recommendations from your team. If you’re restricting potassium at this time, include as wide a variety of lower potassium fruits and vegetables into your diet. Choose lean proteins and whole grains.

Food plans for Stage 2 kidney disease 

As kidney disease progresses, there is an increased concern for changes in blood pressure and blood sugar. Your diet should emphasize keeping these under control. Continue to eat based on the sodium and potassium recommendations provided by your team.

Food plans for Stage 3 kidney disease 

Depending on your bloodwork, you may need to start reducing phosphorus at this point (or possibility earlier). You may also be given specific directions about avoiding excess fluid intake and for limiting protein intake. Your team can also determine if you need more calcium in your diet or from supplementation.

Food plans for Stage 4 kidney disease 

At this stage, you’ll need to follow strict guidelines for nutrient and fluid intake. You’ll likely also be eating a much lower protein diet at this point.

Working with a renal dietitian at any stage of kidney disease can help make sure you’re eating based on your bloodwork and unique needs. This can help slow down the progression of kidney disease and support your overall health.

How can a meal plan help you manage kidney disease? 

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have been told to change your diet. Eating well for kidney disease can help give you energy, support a healthy body weight, and prevent muscle loss. Good nutrition can also help slow down kidney disease progression.

Your kidneys help keep nutrients and minerals in balance. But having CKD causes your kidneys to work harder to keep this balance. As CKD progresses, your kidneys will not be working as well and diet changes can be needed to help.

This recipe plan is designed for support people with kidney disease. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian if you are not certain if a recipe is suitable for you

How a dietitian can help

Are you confused about how to eat for your chronic kidney disease? A renal dietitian can help!

A renal dietitian is a registered dietitian (RD) with specialized training in kidney disease. They are nutrition experts who can take your blood tests, health conditions, and recommendations from your medical team and create a nutrition plan that is just for you. They will also work with you to put together meal plans that take the guesswork out of your daily diet.

Since chronic kidney disease is progressive, your nutrition needs can change overtime. Having a renal dietitian on your health team can help you keep up with these adjustments as your kidney health evolves. They’ll also be there to give you ongoing support and accountability to help you stick to your diet and lifestyle changes.

Changing your diet can feel hard, but working with a renal dietitian can make managing kidney disease so much easier! Click here to see if you’re eligible to meet with a Season Dietitian for free.

General rules for maintaining a kidney-friendly diet 

You may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in your diet in order to help support your kidneys. Your medical team will be keeping an eye on your blood test results to help find out what changes you may need to make to your diet. Blood tests can also let you know if the diet changes you’ve made are helping to support your kidney function.

Here’s a sample 7 day meal plan for kidney disease to give you some inspiration. Talk to your medical team to see if this plan is right for you. You should also work with a renal dietitian to create a personalized meal plan for your unique health situation.

Day 1 meal plan  

Day 1 breakfast 

Dairy-free yogurt parfait, veggie scramble, and toast

Start your morning off with a small bowl of berries (fresh or defrosted from frozen) and top with dairy-free yogurt. Cook up sliced bell peppers and mushrooms and scramble with eggs. Serve this with a side of toasted whole-grain bread.

Day 1 lunch

Baked chicken with couscous salad

Bake a boneless, skinless chicken breast and season with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Dice up carrots and cucumbers and toss with pre-cooked couscous to make an easy salad. For your veggies, include a serving of steamed cauliflower on the side.

Day 1 dinner

Lemon-dill cod, turnips, and kale salad

Low sodium? No problem! Mix chopped fresh dill into lemon juice and pour over a filet of cod. Bake in the oven until fully cooked and serve with a side of mashed turnips (a lower potassium swap for mashed potatoes!)

When it comes to leafy greens, some choices are better than others if you have kidney disease. Raw kale is lower in potassium than other greens like spinach and swiss chard. Make a kale salad and dress it with olive oil and vinegar for a nutrient-packed side.

Day 1 snacks 

Sliced bell peppers and unsalted almonds

If you need a boost in-between meals, slice up the rest of the bell pepper from breakfast and eat along with a small handful of unsalted almonds.

Day 1 desserts 

Homemade rice pudding

End the day on a sweet note with a small cup of homemade rice pudding. Cook up rice, almond milk, and a hint of vanilla. Eat warm or cold topped with a dash of cinnamon.

Day 2 meal plan 

Day 2 breakfast 

Apple cinnamon oatmeal and tea

For a cozy breakfast, make a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy with a cup of decaf herbal tea. You could also add a source of protein here like eggs, depending on your protein needs. This is where a renal dietitian can help!

Day 2 lunch

Tuna salad on crackers

Make tuna salad using low-sodium canned tuna, light mayonnaise and mix in chopped celery and carrots. Spread over low sodium whole-grain crackers.

Day 2 dinner

Turkey burger with arugula salad

Make a turkey burger (either choose a premade low-sodium version or make your own!) and serve on a whole-grain bun with sliced red onions.

Add veggies with a side salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar.

Day 2 snacks 

Carrot sticks with guacamole and pear slices

Avocado is a source of potassium, so guacamole should only be eaten in small portions as a snack if you’re limiting potassium. You can cut up some carrots and celery for dipping. Include a few slices of fresh pear to add a little sweet at the end of your snack.

Day 2 desserts 

Poached pears

Put those fresh pears to good use for dessert! Poach a pear (or bake in the oven if that’s easier) and top with a little honey and sprinkle with crushed walnuts for a bit of crunch.

Day 3 meal plan 

Day 3 breakfast

Buckwheat pancakes and fruit

Make simple buckwheat pancakes (you can use a low-sodium box mix or make from scratch). Top with lower potassium fruits like apples or blueberries.

Day 3 lunch

Grilled shrimp salad

Grill or saute shrimp and serve over a salad made with chopped lettuce and shredded carrots. Make a vinaigrette using olive oil and apple cider vinegar. For a carbohydrate source, serve toasted whole grain bread or a lower potassium fruit on the side.

Day 3 dinner

Roasted pork loin, green beans, sweet potato

Roast pork loin with rosemary and garlic and serve with a side of sauteed green beans and sweet potatoes. Be sure to soak and boil the sweet potatoes (this lowers the potassium content). Your renal dietitian can help show you other ways to enjoy higher potassium foods in moderation.

Day 3 snacks

Veggies with cauliflower hummus and berries

Make your own low-sodium cauliflower hummus (here’s a kidney-friendly recipe!) and have a small serving with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes for dipping. Enjoy with a small bowl of strawberries and raspberries on the side.

Day 3 desserts

Jello cup

Make your favorite jello flavor (or purchase premade cups) and top with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh mint.

Day 4 meal plan 

Day 4 breakfast

Steel-cut oats with peaches and yogurt

Get a burst of fiber with steel-cut oats cooked with sliced peaches. Top with dairy-free yogurt.

Day 4 lunch

Chicken Caesar salad

Put together a chicken Caesar salad using romaine lettuce and a spoonful of low-sodium Caesar dressing (or make a homemade kidney-friendly ranch!). Top with grilled chicken strips and whole-grain croutons.

Day 4 dinner

Almond crusted baked trout

Coat trout in a mixture of crushed almonds and dried parsley and bake until fully cooked. Serve with steamed green beans and brown rice.

Day 4 snacks

Garlic and onion popcorn snack mix

Ditch the high-sodium bagged popcorn and make your own kidney-friendly version using this recipe for Garlic & Onion Popcorn Snack Mix!

Day 4 desserts

Baked apple crisp

Dice up an apple and bake with a crumble of oats and chopped almonds. Add a small drizzle of optional honey.

Day 5 meal plan 

Day 5 breakfast

Tofu scramble

Add in a plant-based breakfast of tofu scrambled with spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Serve with a side of whole-grain toast.

Day 5 lunch

Chicken wrap with soup

Fill a whole-grain tortilla with shredded chicken and roasted veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Eat with a side of low-sodium soup.

Day 5 dinner

Grilled salmon with roasted asparagus and couscous

Grill (or bake) a salmon filet with a squeeze of lemon and serve with a side of roasted asparagus and couscous.

Day 5 snacks

Nuts and seeds with orange slices

Make a trail mix with nuts and seeds (see here for help choosing which ones are best for you) and pair with orange slices on the side.

Day 5 desserts

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

Follow this recipe to make homemade Watermelon Lime Sorbet. A perfect way to end the day with a sweet treat!

Day 6 meal plan 

Day 6 breakfast 

Smoothie and English muffin

Make a smoothie with frozen low-potassium fruits and veggies of your choice plus non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of chia seeds for some added fiber. Serve with a toasted English muffin on the side.

Day 6 lunch

Beet and goat cheese salad

Make a beet salad with goat cheese (a great kidney-friendly cheese option!). Top with walnuts, grilled chicken breast slices, and a few toasted walnuts. Add brown rice for a side carb.

Day 6 dinner

Baked chicken with mashed cauliflower

Bake chicken seasoned with thyme and garlic. Serve with a side of mashed cauliflower and steamed peas.

Day 6 snacks 

Raw Veggies and Dip

This recipe for Raw Veggies and Dip combines herb seasoning and sour cream for a delicious snack!

Day 6 desserts

Lower potassium fruit sorbet

End your day with a scoop of sorbet made using lower potassium fruits. If you choose a premade sorbet, be sure to check the labels or ask your renal dietitian for a recommendation. You can also make your own (like this Raspberry Sorbet!)

Day 7 meal plan (you made it!)

Day 7 breakfast 

Poached egg on toast

Feeling fancy? Poach an egg and put it on a slice of whole-wheat toast with a thin slice of tomato. Sip on a cup of caffeine-free green tea on the side.

Day 7 lunch

Wild rice salad

Make a wild rice salad with cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes, and dress it up with lemon juice and olive oil. Top with some shredded chicken or canned tuna.

Day 7 dinner

Tofu stir fry with veggies

Saute tofu with bamboo shoots, cauliflower, or other kidney-friendly veggies of your choice along with low-sodium soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Day 7 snacks 

Dairy-free yogurt with berries

Top a handful of berries with dairy-free yogurt for a nutrient-packed midday snack.

Day 7 desserts

Popsicles

Popsicles are one of the few kidney-friendly frozen desserts that you can find in a store. Talk to your renal dietitian for help choosing the best options for you. You can also make your own using popsicle molds and juices made from lower potassium fruits (like apple, cranberry, or pineapple).

Foods to avoid on your diet-plan

You’ll want to keep an eye out for sources of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

To cut down on sodium, avoid processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats. Canned soups and canned vegetables often have a lot of sodium added to them unless they specifically say “low sodium”. You’ll also want to skip high-sodium snack foods like potato chips and pretzels.

Fruits and vegetables all contain some potassium, so the key is to limit the highest sources. These include bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

If you need to reduce your phosphorus intake, cut down on dairy products, certain nuts/seeds, and dark colored sodas.

Diet plans for stage of kidney disease 

Your renal dietitian can put together a food plan for you based on what stage of kidney disease you’re in. These guidelines can vary widely depending on your bloodwork, but here are some general guidelines:

Food plans for Stage 1 kidney disease 

The focus in this stage should be on eating balanced meals with controlled levels of sodium, based on the recommendations from your team. If you’re restricting potassium at this time, include as wide a variety of lower potassium fruits and vegetables into your diet. Choose lean proteins and whole grains.

Food plans for Stage 2 kidney disease 

As kidney disease progresses, there is an increased concern for changes in blood pressure and blood sugar. Your diet should emphasize keeping these under control. Continue to eat based on the sodium and potassium recommendations provided by your team.

Food plans for Stage 3 kidney disease 

Depending on your bloodwork, you may need to start reducing phosphorus at this point (or possibility earlier). You may also be given specific directions about avoiding excess fluid intake and for limiting protein intake. Your team can also determine if you need more calcium in your diet or from supplementation.

Food plans for Stage 4 kidney disease 

At this stage, you’ll need to follow strict guidelines for nutrient and fluid intake. You’ll likely also be eating a much lower protein diet at this point.

Working with a renal dietitian at any stage of kidney disease can help make sure you’re eating based on your bloodwork and unique needs. This can help slow down the progression of kidney disease and support your overall health.

Create a comprehensive 7-day kidney-friendly meal plan with our guide. Explore daily recipes designed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts to manage kidney disease effectively. Perfect for maintaining a balanced kidney diet.

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