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What will he eat when he grows up? Recipes for special metabolic diets

Some metabolic diseases require lifelong dietary therapy, but restricted diet can make eating a frustrating experience that affects family and society. For this reason, AISMME (Italian Association for Inherited Metabolic Diseases) has launched the project “What will we eat when we grow up?” Recipes for special metabolic diets”, created in collaboration with a cooking school, which offers a series of cookbooks dedicated to children, adolescents and adults with metabolic diseases, to enable them to approach vital diets in a positive way

Button mushrooms with “chicken” and parsley: this is one of the many recipes offered by AISMME in the volumes produced so far

People affected by some metabolic diseases must observe lifelong diet therapyTheir meals should be free of fat or protein or fructose, or other nutrients that their body cannot metabolize and which can cause problems with growth and functioning of the body. Thus, thanks to the evolution of medical and nutritional knowledge, and of the services intended for people suffering from an inherited metabolic disease, these people can lead an almost completely normal and satisfying life thanks to a dietary-nutritional therapy started early.
Unfortunately, however, a limited diet can be practiced serious consequences on the quality of lifemaking the meal a frustrating experience that affects the family and social environment and making this moment very complex to manage and very different from a spontaneous experience of conviviality and taste.

On this question theASMME (Italian Association of Hereditary Metabolic Diseases) started the project called What will he eat when he grows up? Recipes for special metabolic dietsconceived by Alice Dianindietitian of the Regional Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of the Integrated University Hospital of Verona, and in particular of the Unit for Hereditary Metabolic Diseases, directed by Andrea Bordugo. The initiative was developed in collaboration with a cooking schoolto achieve a real cookbook series dedicated to families of young patients and adult patients, a tool that can be useful for them to positively approach life-saving diets, making food a pleasure to share together.

“In our profession – he underlines Cristina Vallotto, president of AISMME – we have always worked to improve the quality of life of patients and their families, with particular attention to children. On the subject of metabolic children’s diets, we have created for example The blue elephantan illustrated fable that lightly addresses the issue of hereditary metabolic diseases and the relationship of these little patients with food [se ne legga ampiamente anche sulle nostre pagine, N.d.R.]. The latter is certainly a tool for children, but also for parents, teachers and all those, including friends, who populate the world of a child with an inherited metabolic disease, forced into a strict diet for life. “.
Well, to this positive – and equally rewarding – experience is now added What will he eat when he grows up? Recipes for special metabolic diets“A series of cookbooks unique in Italy – he explains Manuela Vaccarottovice-president of the AISMME – which wants to be a concrete support for families who every day have to face the limits of a diet, a tool to help make the relationship with food, in particular with children, less problematic and improve the quality of life of families, trying to ease the obstacles and difficulties of managing diets”.

“I have always believed in education – says the aforementioned dietitian Alice Dianin – as a fundamental tool for the management of metabolic disease diets by families, patients and personalities who accompany them on a daily basis. Over time, thanks to the fundamental support of the Reference Centers, families discover new foods, new ways of cooking and well-being together, whatever the limits that exist in these regimes. But this series of cookbooks wants to represent an additional tool to discover the pleasure of eating together, by offering basic preparations and cooking tips that can help you cook tasty and healthy dishes”.

All recipes, as mentioned, have been researched and tested by professional chefs from èKitchena cooking school based in Verona founded by Martina Cortellazzo And Alessandro Lasferza, who state: “AISMME’s proposal to work together on a series of cookbooks for different diets immediately enthused our school, which deployed all its resources to seek alternative and satisfying methods of making classic and creative recipes. Of course, if for a cook the challenge is to make a good – and eventually beautiful – dish, for a cooking teacher the intention must also be that this dish results in a reproducible recipe at home“.

The necklace therefore consists of exactly five cookbooks, which specifically address the dietary needs of many known inherited metabolic diseases. The first two are already available and concern respectively Low protein or low protein recipes, suitable for alimentary phenylketonuria, leucinosis, homocystinuria, tyrosinemia type I, propionic acidemia, methylmalonic acidemia, glutaric acidemia type I, isovaleric acidemia, urea cycle defects, protein intolerance with lysinuria, and other diseases treated with protein restriction; Low fat or low fat recipessuitable for the diet of long or very long chain fatty acid beta oxidation defects, carnitine palmitoyl transferase deficiency, multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency and other diseases treated by fat restriction.
Instead, they are in progress and will be built by summer 2024: Recipes without lactose or galactosesuitable for the diet for galactosemia and lactose intolerance (hereditary non-metabolic diseases); Fructose-free recipessuitable for diet for fructosemia, fructose intolerance (hereditary non-metabolic diseases); Ketogenic diet recipessuitable for diet for GLUT 1 transporter deficiency, pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency, drug-resistant epilepsy on ketogenic diet.
The common characteristics of each volume and each recipe are the use of diet foods for special medical purposes, where appropriate, and the reworking of traditional dishes with readily available ingredients. All recipes, it must be repeated, designed not only for children, but also for patients teens and adults.

The series, it should be noted in conclusion, enjoys the patronage of SIMMESN (Italian Society for Metabolic Diseases and Neonatal Screening), MetabERN, the European Reference Network for Inherited Metabolic Diseases) and the Integrated University Hospital of Verona, as well as the unconditional support of Alexion and Astrazeneca Rare Diseases.
The volumes will come distributed free of charge AISMME to families and patients in collaboration with the treatment centers for hereditary metabolic diseases in Italy, but also on request, by accessing the Association website. They will also be used by AISMME, in collaboration with the Regional Center for the Treatment of Hereditary Metabolic Diseases of the Hospital of Verona, to create cooking workshops for special diets with groups of parents and patients. (SB)

For further information : [email protected] (Giuliana Valerio).


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