Toronto SickKids Hospital – Ketogenic Diet – Brain Food: Recipe Development for a Therapeutic Epilepsy Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a proven medical therapy for the treatment of Drug Resistant Epilepsy. The high-fat, low-carb diet has been shown to reduce the frequency of these seizures in children for whom medication is not effective. For some, it may even eliminate seizures altogether. 

At the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the Epilepsy Ketogenic Diet team works with approximately 70 children and their families to implement this diet and prevent life threatening seizures. Unfortunately, the diet can be very difficult to implement. It is complicated to deliver and sometimes not that tasty. 

So, George Brown College’s Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt) conducted detailed research to develop, test and evaluate 10 recipes and menu plans for these families at home, using medium chain triglycerides (MCT) to balance fat and nutrients. The recipes had to be affordable, easy to prepare and — most importantly — tasty enough for kids to eat. We believe that families will welcome the solutions, leading to improved adherence to the MCT Ketogenic Diet and its beneficial health outcomes. A cookbook containing the menu and recipes will be launched, though the long-term plan is to disseminate the content through other important epilepsy-focused organizations such as the SickKids Centre for Brain and Mental Health, Canadian League Against Epilepsy, Canadian Pediatric Epilepsy Network and Matthew’s Friends Canada.