Norton Children’s Ketogenic Diet Clinic

A ketogenic diet can reduce seizures in children with refractory epilepsy, which is a type of epilepsy that cannot be controlled by medications. Since 2005, the Norton Children’s Ketogenic Diet Clinic has offered a keto diet program for children with epilepsy.

What We Do

Once a child’s neurologist has identified the child as a good fit for the clinic, they will be referred to our ketogenic dietitian for a consultation and more education. After the education consultation, if the family wants to go ahead and the dietitian agrees the child is a good candidate, we run tests. These include metabolic testing and imaging studies to look for underlying conditions that could be made worse by the diet. While on the diet, if the child is taking liquid medication, which contains sugar, they will need to change to tablets.

Ketogenic Diet for Seizures – Phasing It In

The child comes to Norton Children’s Hospital for four to five days, and we slowly transition them from their usual diet to the ketogenic diet. Children are hospitalized so we can closely follow their blood sugar levels, ketone levels and clinical status.

The hospital stay also is an opportunity for education. Families learn how to prepare meals and monitor blood sugar and ketones, among other things.

The exact mechanism of how the diet works is still being investigated. The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, and protein is strictly controlled. The diet prompts the body to switch its fuel supply almost entirely to fat. When the brain’s primary fuel is ketones, which are generated from fat, it doesn’t seem to seize nearly as easily or as frequently as a brain fueled by sugar.

Most patients will have a significant decrease in their seizure frequency and/or intensity, and many become seizure-free. Families also report increased alertness and improved development in their children.

Other Diets That Can Be Effective

We also use the modified Atkins diet, in which carbohydrates are restricted but protein is not.

The low glycemic index diet also has been shown to reduce seizures.

It’s extremely important that before trying any of these diets, patients and families talk to their neurologist.


The Norton Children’s Ketogenic Diet Clinic core team consists of board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians, therapists, nurses and other health care professionals in various specialties, including:

  • Neurology
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Clinical social work


Norton Children’s Ketogenic Diet Clinic
Open bimonthly

Novak Center for Children’s Health, Level 6
411 E. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 588-9590

Ketogenic Diet Clinic – 9590

Norton Children’s Ketogenic Diet Clinic

Support and guidance in managing a veto diet for your child’s seizures.

(502) 588-9590

What are common sports injuries in kids? How are they treated?

There are many benefits to kids participating in sports, from confidence-building and physical health to boosting social skills and problem-solving ability. However, there are risks of sport-dependent injury in growing children. Sport-dependent injury There are […]

Read Full Story

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants can lead to respiratory conditions later

There is increasing evidence that severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in young children can have long-term effects such as wheezing and asthma, according to Ronald L. Morton, M.D.,  pediatric pulmonologist with Norton Children’s Pulmonology, […]

Read Full Story

Sunshine on a cloudy day

University of Kentucky freshman Said Zakaria certainly seems set up for success. Determined to one day be a dual-certified general and orthopedic surgeon, Said completed 21 hours of prerequisites through a dual-credit program at Butler […]

Read Full Story

Halloween still can be fun and safer

There are ways to have Halloween fun this year while taking precautions to keep your family and those around you safer. In general, you can be confident allowing your kids to trick or treat in […]

Read Full Story

Your child wets the bed? Here’s how to help stay dry through the night

For most families, having a child who wets the bed is a common part of childhood. But bed-wetting can be frustrating and uncomfortable for you and your child. It’s often difficult to know when bed-wetting […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.