Recipe Modification

CONCEPT: Modifying Recipes, Cooking with PKU



Participants complete an activity to practice changing recipes to fit into a low phe food pattern.



After completing this activity, participants will be able to:

  • suggest reasonable low phe alternatives for ingredients high in phe
  • modify a recipe to fit their tastes and also be lower in phe than the original recipe
  • explain why no alternative exists for some ingredients (such as beef, chicken, nuts...) and so they must be avoided



Explain: "We all make choices about the foods we choose to eat. We can do the same with recipes. Most recipes can be modified (changed) to decrease the phe content of the food."

Distribute the worksheet. Have participants complete page 1 of the worksheet. This is a short "quiz" to see how much they already know about recipe modification.

When participants are finished with page 1, pass out the "Alternative Food Choices" list.

Explain: "This list provides some examples of recipe ingredients that can be substituted for high phe ingredients. This list is not complete and you may certainly add your own ideas."

Review page 2 of the worksheet, including the four options for modifying recipes. Explain: "For some foods, there are no truly good substitutions and therefore, they must be eliminated altogether (like beef, chicken, fish, pork, nuts, etc...). Sometimes you can use less than called for of a moderately high phe food such as corn, tomato juice or Miracle Whip."

Review the directions on page 2 and distribute the Low Protein Foods List. Assign one recipe to each person, or group of 2 or more (depending on how many participants you have). Each individual or group modifies their recipe then shares their changes with the rest of the group. Review the old and new phe values for each recipe. Wow!

If an overhead projector is available, give the participants an overhead copy of their recipe and an overhead marker to make their changes and then present them to the group.

When finished with the recipe activity, participants complete the last two pages of the worksheet: "How much did you learn?" Review the answers to this section, as well as the first page.



    • Answers: page 1 "How much do you know?": T, F, T, T, T, T, a, a or c, d
    • last 2 pages "How much did you learn?": low protein rice, Nucoa margarine, decrease amount, GW broth or vegetable broth, decrease amount, T, F, T, F, F, T, F, c, d
  • acrobat reader logo Alternative Food Choices
  • acrobat reader logo Low Protein Foods List
  • Pencils
  • Calculators
  • Phe content of recipes both before and after modification
  • If available: overhead, overhead markers, transparency copy of each recipe



Use the recipe modification techniques reviewed in this activity at home. Take a look at a new recipe (or a family favorite) and change it to a low phe recipe that you can make at home.


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