Treatment-resistant epilepsy affects 30% of children with epilepsy and results in significantly reduced quality of life. The ketogenic diets offer a chance for significant seizure reduction and seizure freedom. Compliance is strongly linked to the effectiveness of these treatments. The high-fat and low-carbohydrate content of the ketogenic diets makes creating and cooking palatable meals challenging. Keto centers typically support caretakers with recipes, but do not have a kitchen to provide hands-on education. Hence, our program built a ketogenic kitchen in 2013. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of the kitchen on the quality of our education and confidence of caretakers during both initiation and ongoing outpatient support of the ketogenic diets. An anonymous survey of 37 questions was created using Survey Monkey, with a 5-point scale or yes-no responses. Families whose children have been a part of our dietary treatment program from 2014 to 2016, reachable by e-mail, were asked to take the survey. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Seventy-seven families completed our survey. The overall quality of the classes taught by the dietitians improved with the use of the Ketogenic Teaching Kitchen. Hands-on cooking classes enhanced the learning experience, making our new ketogenic diet families noticeably more confident preparing meals at the time of discharge. The Keto Teaching Kitchen has greatly enhanced our dietary treatment program. We believe that all keto centers would benefit from access to a teaching kitchen.
Keywords: epilepsy; ketogenic diet; medical chef educator; teaching kitchen.