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Shopping for the Diet

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On this part of the site we have prepared some suggested shopping lists for you together with some other information that you may find useful. 

Basic Requirements

Double Cream
Back Bacon
Tuna in oil
Cheddar Cheese – Mature will give a more flavour.
Oil – vegetable or olive oil (whichever you prefer)
Sugar Free Jelly
Sweeteners – Hermesetas liquid or tablets.
Squash/water/diet fizzy drinks – whichever your child prefers.
Mince (you will only need a small pack)
Mushrooms – absorb fat very well and also good on quantity.
Vegetables/salad that your child likes. – frozen or fresh.
Mixed Herbs & garlic powder (great as a bit of flavouring)
Toothpaste – Baking Soda variety.

Hermesetas liquid is a very easy to use sweetener which can be used for cooking, baking etc and has no real aftertaste.  Local Pharmacies should stock it – Unichem chemists do and if not, should certainly be able to order it in from the wholesalers Jenks.  It is available in 200ml and 125ml bottles. If you have real problems getting hold of this then you can dissolve some of the sweetener tablets in a little boiling water and use that as your liquid sweetener, or you can buy some from us here at Matthew's Friends - see the Resources section.

Garlic is also good as a natural ‘cleanser’ and adds some good flavour.  

Toothpaste - If your child does not like the mint baking soda toothpaste (some can be really strong flavoured) there is also Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry Flavour.  Some Health Food Shops stock it or you can get it from www.goodnessdirect.co.uk . The reason baking soda toothpaste is recommended is because it is lower in carbohydrate and is therefore more Keto friendly.

When Your Confidence Grows!

Add to/change the above list to include:

Coconut oil                                                                            Duck - good fatty meat to use.
Ground Almonds                                                                   Quorn - good for 'quantity' meals if you want them to look bigger. weighs less than meat.
Brazil Nuts                                                                             Sausages - Black Farmer variety or the gluten free ones are the best to use.
Peanut Butter                                                                         Frankfurters - Herta variety
Vanilla and other flavourings                                                 Pepperami - good for keto pizza
Rhubarb                                                                                 Spring Onions - less waste, lower in carb than ordinary onions
Cranberries (stock up when you see them – they are seasonal!)
Chinese Leaf
Curly Kale – looks a lot on the plate!
Other different types of vegetables.


The nuts are excellent for making cookies and cakes. (check out recipe section)

The flavourings are good for mousses or adding some vanilla to the cookies and cakes.

Chinese Leaf is a good source of fibre and is great in salads and stir fry.

As your child progresses on the diet, you might find that their tastes change and they are more willing to try new things.  They may have hated any type of green vegetable before the diet, but it is worth trying them again every so often.

Check out the fibre favourites as well – this will help avoid any possible constipation issues.

Cranberries and Rhubarb are good because they are lower in carbohydrate than other fruits.  You could stew them with some sweetener for a pudding.  On the recipe section Wendy will be putting a recipe on for Keto Rhubarb Crumble.  So keep looking on there for new ideas.

We try to update the recipe section regularly and all our members send in photos and recipes.

Note about Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is an MCT oil and is actually a healthy oil.  It can be used on the classical version of the diet as well as the MCT diet.  As this is an MCT oil it can help to increase ketones – so it might be wise to discuss this with your dietician.  

Omega Nutrition make an organic version but that is quite expensive (£10.90p per pot!) – your health food shop should stock it or at least be able to order it in for you.  The other make is KTC and it is not organic – but then again, neither is the price being only about £1.10p for a pot!  Both are odourless, tasteless and solid at room temperature.  It is great for using in the keto cakes and cookies and also good for frying mushrooms in.  Wendy also suggests using it to grill vegetables with – but see the recipe section for more details on that.

All the following products are made by Nutricia.


This comes in a bottle and is a white emulsion type liquid.  You can get this in different flavours, but the plain one is more useful as it doesn't have any carbs in it. You can use it in the sugar free jellies or in quiche recipes.  This product helps get the fat into the diet without using as much of the carb allowance as cream does.  You can even use it to pour over jelly or berries, although it is a lot thinner than double cream.

If you want to use it as a sauce for a dinner – when you have cooked everything take it off the heat and just pour over the top.  Don’t ‘fry’ it or it will separate.

Calogen flavoured with some flavour extract or with the Da Vinci flavoured syrups can be added to make a kind of ‘milkshake’ drink to go with a meal, some families have added it to a fizzy drink and others have actually given their child the calogen as a 'medicine' shot with each meal.  They will measure out the calogen in an oral syringe or in a small medicine cup and make the child have this as their 'medicine' which of course it is!

LIQUIGEN - Normally used on the MCT diet but can be used to boost ketones for the Classical/MAD/LGIT if needed.

Again, this is a white emulsion type liquid that does have a slight aftertaste.  Again it is completely carb/protein free and is purley MCT fat.  You can use liquigen in exactly the same way as calogen above.

Again, do not boil this product as it will then separate and this one stinks when you do that.  If you use in a quiche recipe and bake it with egg/double cream/veg etc then that is fine - there is no separation or smell - it is just when you boil it on the a hob that the problem seems to arise.

NB – Both Calogen and Liquigen need to be stored in the fridge once opened.  Once opened do not keep it for longer than 14 days.  Write the date you opened the bottle in black marker pen on the label – that way you won’t forget and you won’t go over the 14 days.


This is the pure oil form of MCT unlike Liquigen which is an ‘emulsion’ type white liquid.  MCT oil is clear and you can use it as you would an ordinary oil although be careful because this oil has a lower flashpoint than ordinary oils - so don't let it get too hot and you cannot deep fat fry with it.

This oil can be very useful for those on the MCT diet, especially if they don’t like the liquigen OR they have problems getting the amount of liquigen down that they have to for each meal.  Liquigen has 50% MCT oil in it whereas the oil is obviously 100% MCT – so you only need to use half the amount.  For Example:  if your child needs to have 50g of Liquigen at every meal time, that could be replaced with 25g of MCT oil which some of his food could be fried in and it is far easier to lose in this way.

It is just a question of finding which one works best for you -  you can use a mix of the two.


Ketocal is a ketogenic meal in a powder form that comes in a tin and you mix it up with water - similar to a baby milk formula.  It comes in orginal and Vanilla Flavour and was orginally designed for tube fed children.  However, it is now used as a meal replacement/emergency keto shake and in cooking as an ingredient, which was originally started by Emma, the founder of this charity.

Emma started using ketocal in cooking when she was testing the product for Nutricia and found that adding it to baking made lovely cakes and biscuits for Matthew, as well as being a great way to add the fat into these items.  As she used it more and more in cooking, she shared her recipes and ideas with Nutricia and now there is a Nutricia chef that is cooking and developing recipes with ketocal.  He and Emma have been known to go out on the road doing presentations on keto cooking and demonstrations are now held at the Matthew's Friends Conferences.

You can also visit www.myketoplanner.com for more ideas on cooking with ketocal.

 Hope all the above proves useful – if there is anything you think we are missing or you discover better ways of doing things than we have – please let us know – we want to make our lives easier too!!!



Items Prescribed for use by your Doctor/Dietitian.

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