At cooking camp, kids with chronic kidney disease learn to cook food catered to their diet

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Kids with chronic kidney disease learned how to make delicious foods that they could actually eat as part of a week-long specialized cooking camp that focused on mastering the renal diet.

The camp was created through a collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. 

Janaiya Reason with CHOP explained the program focuses on cooking meals that cater to the kids’ specific dietary restrictions. 

"Our program seeks to motivate youth to prepare healthier meals, but also keeping in mind that these patients are teenagers or young adolescents and they like to make meals that are appealing given their restrictive diets that they typically have to follow," Reason said. 

The program focuses on low-sodium, kidney-friendly recipes, which 12-year-old Adrian Rodrigo said opened up a world of options that he didn’t even know existed for him.

“I’ve learned how to make a lot of stuff like barbecue meatballs and I just made garlic bread," he said. 

He was surprised by some of the items he could eat. 

"I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat garlic bread because I always thought it had a lot of salt." 

For 10-year-old Cailyn Jones, what made her comfortable was that she wasn’t the only one with a dietary restriction.

“I’m not used to everyone that’s like the same as me. So it’s kind of easier because we have like an understanding.”

The annual cooking camp takes place during the first week of August and is funded through various grants, and 14 kids participated this year. 

The camp is geared for children between the ages of 10-19. 

Anyone interested in enrolling their child in the program next year can reach out to Janaiya Reason at 267-425-3934 or