by transplant dietitian Caroline Brantley, MS, RD, LDN

We know that nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s overall health, but it’s especially important for transplant patients. Following transplant, smart lifestyle choices — such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly — can help keep your child’s new organ healthy. They can also protect against any nutrition-related problems such as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.

A balanced diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains — foods that may seem difficult to incorporate into your child’s diet when summer’s busy schedules call for quick, travel-friendly snacks. The following snack recipes fit all transplant diets and are tasty, too.

Banana sushi: Spread peanut butter on a whole-grain wrap. Place a banana on top and roll up wrap. Slice to create little “sushi” pieces.

PB&J smoothie: Blend vanilla or strawberry Greek yogurt with 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 cup of milk for a delicious and refreshing smoothie.

Greek yogurt pops: Fill Popsicle molds with Greek yogurt and pureed frozen berries, then freeze for a yummy and healthy treat.

Trail mix: Combine whole-grain cereal or popcorn (such as Boom Chicka Pop or Skinny Pop), nuts and unsweetened dried fruit in a sandwich bag for a snack on the go.

Need more ideas? Make sure you’re a part of our community on Facebook, and keep an eye out for new recipes we’ll post there. Reach out to your transplant dietitian for help on healthy foods and snacks that will work for you!