Efficiency is Life

Nora needs several supplements everyday, some multiple times a day. It’s tedious to crush tablets and add them to foods on a meal-by-meal basis, so here’s one of my time saving processes to ease the daily grind.

Peanut butter (B^3) and apples (10 g = 1.25 g carbs) is Nora’s morning snack, and nobody better mess with it. It’s also a great fat and supplement delivery system.

First, I make a big batch of B^3 (that’s B-cubed, aka, B*B*B for those not math-inclined). Peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, and butter. Give it a bit of body and fiber by adding some flax:

Nutrition for B^3

Nutrition information for 1 Tbsp B^3 from www.caloriecount.com

1 cup butter
1/2 cup Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Sunbutter Organic Sunflower Seed Spread
1/2 C Bob’s Red Mill flax meal

Soften by bringing all ingredients to room temperature, then blend well. I am careful not to whip too much air into the mixture, as I measure it by the tablespoon. Of course, it may also be weighed for precision.

I think this completely filled up a quart jar last time I made it. Refrigerate and it will keep a long time. At 1 tablespoon a day, it lasts a while.

The B^3 is now ready to be made into 1 tablespoon servings and loaded with supplements. It’s a great delivery system because the taste of the supplements is masked by the nut butters.

Adding supplements to B^3

Nora gets 1/4 of an adult Centrum every day (her diet does not guarantee her the required vitamins and minerals), 1 tablet of carnitine (an amino acid that helps with processing fats), and 200 mg of folic acid (helps with thinning hair due to the medication). She also gets calcium supplements, but we do not add them here. Any chewable kids vitamins have carbs to make them tasty, so those are out of the picture for Nora. Of course, we can’t expect a 3 year old to swallow pills, so we crush them into a powder with a small mortar and pestle and incorporate them into her food.

I start an assembly line process by measuring 1 tablespoon of B^3 into 4 small dishes. I crush 1 day’s supplement tablets into a powder and add it to each bowl of B^3. That way, she gets a consistent daily dose. I mix in the supplements and put the little bowls in the freezer to harden.

Frozen B^3 + Supplements

When the mixture is hard (it does not have to be frozen solid), I use a melon baller to scoop it all up into a little ball.

Then I put each ball into a container and keep it in the refrigerator. That keeps the mixture solid enough to stay separate, but gets pliable quickly when it is ready to eat.

It is a bit of work, but I love having little balls of B^3 to grab out of the fridge when I’m preparing each day’s meals. Meal preparation is enough of a chore without getting out 3 more supplements to add to Nora’s food. We can put a few week’s worth in the fridge and keep it on hand.

Finished B^3 + Supplements

Productivity is happiness. Maybe that statement is a little too strong. Concentrated tedium is preferable to daily tedium.



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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.

11 thoughts on “Efficiency is Life

  1. Hi! I love reading your blog – thanks for writing.

    We’ve been on the keto diet since Nov 2011. I’m still trying to understand all the ins and outs of it. Especially since it seems to be so different for every keto kid.

    My Ben is on a 3.5:1 ratio. Can you tell me about the B3 recipe? Could you convert that to grams for me so that I could figure out a snack? I’m still trying to figure out some sort of cracker or bread that I could use as well.

    It’s all so overwhelming at times. My dietitian is nice, but I really feel alone in this most of the time. Thanks for listening! Any advice would be so helpful!

    • Thanks for commenting, Laurie. It’s so nice to hear from other Keto parents. I guess we started in December 2011, so we are at about the same place.

      We feel very alone most of the time too. I’m really proud of how well we have figured everything out, but it’s a pretty limited range of things that we serve. Thankfully, that’s the ticket to success with feeding almost any 3 year old. How old is Ben? I will be checking out your blog next!

      As you probably read, we don’t do the keto calculator and dietician recipes, for better or for worse. Our dietician sent us a few recipes right away–but didn’t put in any nutritional information! I quickly realized that I needed tools to find the breakdowns of recipes. I’ve been putting everything into http://www.caloriecount.com. You can look up almost any food (and most brands, or if they don’t have a certain brand, you can enter the nutrition from a label as a “custom” food in their database). It has a few quirks that drive me crazy, but it seem quite complete and accurate.

      One great thing about it is that it converts from cups to grams (and other quantities) for individual foods from a drop down menu. So the B^3 recipe in grams would be:
      227 g butter
      128 g Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter
      129.6 g Organic SunButter Sunflower Seed Spread
      52.4 g Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal

      If you mix it all until smooth, everything should be equally distributed so each serving should be substantially the same. The nutritional information I reported is for a 12.8 gram serving, but we measure it by the tablespoon.

      Nora likes this as a peanut-butter and apple kind of snack. She usually gets 10 g of apple with it, cut into about 3 little slivers. But she will lick the bowl clean even after the apples are gone! I don’t have a good bread or cracker recipe, but I have been experimenting with a lot of baking. I’ve got a great scone recipe that I want to try again tomorrow. I will post the recipe and info then. Thanks for reminding me about reporting quantities in grams too. I don’t measure it on my gram scale–not for most things anyway–but I know that the strict keto diet would require it. When I’m adding something like berries, I definitely measure it out and try to get them equally distributed. That’s part of my scone challenge tomorrow.

      I also made a cheddar bread recipe last week that Nora really likes. I have been meaning to post that one too. Coming soon.

    • But it’s easier now. This is a Ted job and he came up with the new technique. Warm the PB/butter/coconut oil mixture until it’s a thick liquid. Measure out the amount (13.3 g for our new recipe, about 1 T) into small smooth-sided silicone bowls. Mix in the crushed supplements. Refrigerate until hard, then pop them out of the bowls into another container. No need for the “balling” step anymore.

  2. Could this MAD recipe be adapted to Keto? I’m not familiar w/ ratios of Keto but maybe it would give you a base to start with.

    Low Carb Quick and Tasty Bread

    1/4 Cup almond flour
    1/4 Cup flax meal
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    2 eggs beaten well
    4 tsp coconut oil or melted butter (or other)
    1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
    Sweetener to = 2 tsp. of sugar ( I uses 4 drops of liquid stevia and 10 drops of Sweet 10)
    Bake in micro for two to four minutes (depending on your microwave) in an 8×8 glass dish, slice into 4 slices. Toast lightly in toaster, butter takes only 5 minutes to make!! You can also use this for grilled cheese or French toast.

    Or Maybe this one:

    Chocolate Muffin in a Minute

    1 tsp butter
    1 egg
    1/4 cup Almond Meal (can substitute with flax, if you like)
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 pkt stevia
    1 Tbsp cocoa powder
    1 tbsp sour cream

    1. melt butter in a large coffee cup.
    2. whisk egg into butter.
    3. stir everything else into the cup.
    4. microwave 1 minute. (it will look like it is too much for the cup. don’t worry.)

    Voila! The best darned muffin you ever ate! Almost chocolate cake

    • Sure! And here’s the fab thing: as long as it’s low carb to start with, you can always add fat as a topping. Butter on the bread, or I do a cream cheese + English Double Cream or coconut oil, and you’re at ratio! I don’t use much almond flour because it is slightly more carby than other things, but flax and coconut meal are great substitutes. And I’ve made some great almond flour recipes too!

      I’m also converting things to grams now, and I like cooking on the gram scale. It is easy to measure things out on the scale, so it’s not really more fuss. If you trust yourself to measure into the same bowl, taring it after each addition, you even have fewer dirty dishes! Although I will admit that I had to toss out a small bowl of flax, baking powder and thyme because I dumped in too much thyme by accident and couldn’t separate it. I just started over.

  3. Oh, Holly, the bread recipe is soo wonderful. It’ tasty and really easy! I truely could cry. My 3 year old daughter is on the ketogenic diet and really having a hard time with the restrictions. She was really missing bread. I made your recipe today and she was so happy!! I am so grateful that you shared with us. A huge THANKS!!! Now I am on to search out double cream 🙂

    • Allison, the bread is the toughest part. Check out the pretzel recipe that I posted recently (I just re-made it tonight). I’m going to make another bread tomorrow that can be used as slicing bread. I will post the recipe soon. And have you seen the fiber rolls from ketocook.com? Nora loves them. Little PBJ bun sandwiches! There are so many options now–such a great time to be a keto-kid. Has your daughter been on the diet for long? Nora started when she was 3 also, and has really adjusted well now that it has been 1 year. You will get there. It gets easier.

  4. Dear madom, My Child age 13.5,Waight 30kg.(male baby).he is epilepsy patiant.Under Treatment by AIMS hospital, cochin, Kerala.two years back starting ”ketogenic Diet” I need your valuable advise for ketogenic diet indian food items list.so please send details in food items. God bless and with best regards, Anilkumar.

    • Best of luck with your baby boy. I can’t provide advice about traditional Indian foods–we are here in the United States. I would suggest that you reach out to others at your hospital and try to contact other parents in your area.

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