The ketogenic diet is a carefully calculated diet that should be initiated only under the supervision of a physician familiar with it and a dietician experienced with the calculation of the classical ketogenic diet and with the subtleties of adjustment needed for each individual.
We have trained a few people to serve as "ketocoaches" for parents embarking on the diet. The ketocoaches are trained to help parents starting their child on the diet through their period of greatest anxiety. They can help parents with questions such as "Where can I find sugar-free toothpaste?" "What do I do if..." questions are also readily answered by the ketocoach.
This is not the place to discuss the ketogenic diet in great detail. There are two principal sources of information: First, the videotape for parents, "The Ketogenic Diet," which discusses the diet in parents' own words and those of older children on the diet, can be obtained free from the Charlie Foundation, 501 10th Street, Santa Monica, California 90402. Second, a book has been written for parents, describing how the diet is done. It is The Epilepsy Diet Treatment: An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet, by John M. Freeman, Millicent T. Kelly, and Jennifer B. Freeman. A copy can be obtained at many bookstores or from Demos Publications, 386 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10016 (tel. 800-532-8663). Before we begin a child on the diet, we require the parents to watch this videotape and read this book.
Other sources of information include a videotape made for dieticians about how to calculate the diet. This, too, can be obtained from the Charlie Foundation, for a small fee. A physician's prescription is required to obtain the tape. There is also a computer program for calculating the diet and for modifying menus, and this can be obtained from the Epilepsy Association of Maryland, 300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 1103, Towson, Maryland 21286-3018 (tel. 410-828-7700). A physician's prescription is also required to obtain this resource.