For Nutrition Month, we’re highlighting BC Children’s Hospital ketogenic diet program that supports infants, children and teens with seizure disorders. It’s one of the many ways BC Children’s provides specialized care to children and youth.
The ketogenic diet program was established to treat seizures that have not been successfully controlled with medications; results have been so positive that today, neurologists are using it earlier in treatment as an effective way to avoid repeated medication options.
For patients to begin the program, families are provided with detailed information to help them become familiar with the diet. Next, families spend a week at BC Children’s with the ketogenic diet team to receive hands on training in all aspects of the ketogenic diet. Dietitians spend several hours a day with patients during their stay to provide practical training and experiential learning.
To make the most of each appointment, dietitians in BC Children’s neurosciences department have come up with an innovative way to prepare patients before their first visit. Family stories about reading the complex learning materials inspired ketogenic diet program dietitian Alex Ferguson and dietitian professional practice leader Heather Lovelace to think of new ways to support learning and give families access to user-friendly materials that can be accessed from home before and after formal education is provided. Using online resources, including presentations, interactive Q&A’s and videos, patients can now educate themselves well in advance. These new tools were a result of collaboration between the ketogenic diet program dietitian, feedback from patients and patient and family advisors.
“This is a great example of dietitians using innovative education approaches to provide medical nutrition therapy that positively impacts the patient and family learning experience and health outcomes,” said Heather.
The ketogenic diet is customized to each patient by a registered dietitian and is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. Patients on the diet require careful medical supervision and direction from both a physician and dietitian, and are closely monitored for positive and safe results. Patients requesting ketogenic diet therapy must be referred to BC Children’s pediatric neurology program
Learn more about how BC Children’s neurosciences department
is caring for children and youth with disorders of the nervous system.