October 17, 2009

Review: "Keto Kid"

Keto Kid: Helping Your Child Succeed on the Ketogenic Diet is by Deborah Snyder. It was one of the few ketogenic diet books still in print on Amazon.com. At only 160 pages, I accidentally finished it in about two hours last night. You'll find what I liked and didn't like about the book below. If I could do it over, I'd try finding it at the library or buy a used copy online instead. The parent of an older child with a more conventional seizure disorder may find this book helpful, but, as the author makes many assumptions which do not apply in Bertrand's situation, I did not.

What I did like:
  • The appendix contained useful templates of notes for a variety of situations to involve and inform stakeholders in your child's situation (friends, neighbors, teachers, grandparents, etc.). These ranged from dealing with classroom parties to dealing with trick-or-treating.
  • There is a section on ketogenic recipes which would really help with an older child, including a one that Matthew is looking forward to: cooking with bacon. :)
  • The book brought up that you can't use processed foods. I hadn't heard of this before, but at least initially with the diet, everything must be made from scratch. Even Matthew's beloved "bacon" is actually sliced side pork from a butcher because it cannot be salted or smoked like the store bought variety.

What I did NOT like:
  • Even though it was published fairly recently in 2007, a lot of the information in it, product information in particular, was a bit outdated. (At least it points you in the right direction and google can do the rest.)
  • The book does not cover the ketogenic diet in babies or very young children (under age 5 years).
  • There is no mention at all of KetoCal, which is a standard formula used on the ketogenic diet.
  • There are no ketogenic baby food recipes in the book, but there are some that could be modified for baby.
  • The book does not cover the ketogenic diet with substances other than food--toothpaste was the only exception. In very young children on the ketogenic diet, there are concerns with the carbs in soaps, wipes, lotions, etc., especially given the amount of carb those items contain relative to a young child's size and weight.
  • Before reading the book, Matthew and I had discussed going on the Atkins diet in solidarity, even if Bertrand is completely unaware of our sacrifice. However, it is not be safe for pregnant women or people with other health issues to limit their carbs! So the author's repeated insistence and deriding of parents who do not assume at least part of the diet with their child was hurtful and potentially dangerous.


  1. If you knew more information about the book, and the lady who wrote the book then you would understand where she is comming from. She wrote the book because her child has epilepsy and like many other children he was druged and basically like a guinea pig. She was writing this book to let other parents know what she went through and what her child went through. Besides if you had a good dietitian your dietitian would tell you that you don't read the book until you fully understand the ketogenic diet and see the interview of the lady who wrote the book!!! Futhermore, Every child is different her child had a different case of epilepsy your child is different from that child. When she wrote the book she wrote about her experiences and what she did to make the holidays better for her child and in hopes to give parents more info. The lady who wrote the book is a Neurologist herself. I think she is a wonderful lady who is a devoted mother!! Besides if she didn't help in the research of the ketogenic studies there would be no such thing as the ketogenic diet.

    Thank You.


  2. Um, wow?
    A) My review was a review of a BOOK not the PERSON Deborah Snyder. She comes across as a very nice, thoughtful and caring lady in the book.
    B) Did you not see or read any other part of this blog? Bertrand has devastatingly, intractable epilepsy among his symptoms. His EEG is 100% abnormal, and in his current state even without all the drugs, will never walk, talk or crawl. His only hope is the ketogenic diet--which is working!
    C) I stand by my review of this book. I clearly say that for parents with older (school age) kids, "KetoKid" would be a helpful book. But, for parents starting the ketogenic diet with babies or kids with G-tubes this book is not nearly as helpful as "The Ketogenic Diet" by the KetoTeam at Johns Hopkins.