Get Your Summer Sizzling: A Guide to Kidney Friendly Summer Fare

Written by: Rhonda Derkatch RD, Leanne Bradley RD & Megan Naturkach RD

As Manitoba temperatures soar, so do the back yard BBQs! Keep your dinner easy breezy with these sure to please summer eats!

Entrées: Meat is often the centre of our meals. Skip the processed meats to lose the sodium and phosphorus based preservatives in these foods. Choose healthier, fresh, unprocessed meats and fish instead! Enjoy steaks, homemade hamburgers, pork chops, fish and chicken, instead of sausages, smokies or hot dogs. Try homemade BBQ skewers with marinated meat and vegetables such as colorful peppers, mushroom, red onion and pineapple, served over white rice.
Homemade rubs, marinades and condiments are a great way to pop the flavour of otherwise plain meats. Most store bought seasoning salts, tenderizers, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, marinades and relishes are full of sodium. Remember to compare the sodium content on the nutrition facts label. Less than 10% Daily Value of Sodium indicates a better choice. Even better, make your own to have control over the sodium content. Make a tangy marinade using lime juice, vinegars, wines, oils, herbs, spices, maple syrup and low sodium soy sauce.

Potassium can add up quickly from side dishes made with ingredients such as potatoes and tomatoes. Enjoy great summer flavour with these lower potassium ideas: grilled corn on the cob, pasta salad, coleslaw, lettuce salad, grilled vegetables including bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and onions.

Traditional summer-time sweet treats can be full of potassium, phosphorus, extra fat and sugar! Lighter options that will help keep the potassium and phosphorus count in check include grilled pineapple rings and peaches, popsicles, dairy-free sorbets, berries or Jell-O® with Cool-Whip®.
If you feel creative, try low phosphorus Homemade Berry Ice Cream which was July’s recipe of the month (found through renal dieticians and on If you don’t have berries, substitute any fruits such as rhubarb, peaches, or mango.

Fruit juices, smoothies, and iced coffees are full of potassium! Lighten it up by picking lower potassium choices in the chart below. If you choose to drink an alcoholic beverage limit to one drink per day and check with your doctor for recommendations on alcohol intake. Remember that beer contains phosphorus and wine contains potassium. Spirits and hard liquors are lower in these minerals, but choose appropriate mixes.

Find great summer recipes in the MRP cookbook “Let’s Eat: Kidney Friendly Recipes” or at,, and