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Abstract: FR-PO069

A Pilot Plant-Based Cooking Class to Improve CKD Patient Education

Session Information

  • Educational Research
    November 03, 2023 | Location: Exhibit Hall, Pennsylvania Convention Center
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Educational Research

  • 1000 Educational Research


  • Lavenburg, Linda-Marie Ustaris, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Letteri, Alayna L., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Jhamb, Manisha, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Diet has a crucial role in chronic kidney disease (CKD) management, but patients experience barriers such as limited knowledge, cooking skills, and conflicting dietary restrictions with other comorbidities. We previously designed and implemented a plant-based cooking class for nephrology providers to unify counseling to the updated Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative dietary guidelines. We adapted feedback from the provider classes to design and pilot a CKD plant-based cooking class for patients aimed at making CKD education more actionable compared to the conventional lecture-based format.


A renal dietitian and chef created a menu of plant-based meals and modified recipes to minimize sodium and ensure low to moderate phosphorus, potassium, and protein content. We recruited adult (age ≥ 18 years) patients and their support persons from a university-affiliated nephrology clinic and a local dialysis unit. We administered a pre-class phone survey to determine baseline cooking skills, meal planning, and understanding of a CKD diet. The 3-hour hands-on CKD cooking class was led by a chef and included a knife skills component. During the class, two nephrologists and a renal dietitian provided practical education on a plant-based kidney friendly diet. Recipe cards with nutrient content and estimated price per meal were provided. Participants completed a satisfaction survey at the cooking class. We present descriptive statistics of the baseline and satisfaction surveys.


Of 11 participants who completed two surveys and attended the pilot CKD plant-based cooking class, 9 were female, 6 were black, and 7 had CKD stage ≥ 3, which included 3 who are dialysis-dependent. At baseline, 73% of respondents reported intermediate to advanced cooking skills, but 45% were not confident in their ability to describe a diet good for kidney health. All 11 class attendees reported high satisfaction and 91% reported improved understanding of a CKD diet, a high likelihood of changing eating patterns and attending another class.


A hands-on plant-based cooking class is an accepted and effective method to improve understanding of a healthful CKD diet and provide actionable steps to adopt plant-based eating. A follow-up survey will assess if participants actually changed their diet, and future classes will provide opportunity to collect additional participant feedback.


  • Other NIH Support