Ella’s mum Emily is a very active and supportive member of our Ketogenic Facebook Forum for families and her fantastic pictures of Ella’s meals (and the lovely Ella of course) together with the ingredients she uses are really inspirational for others, so much so, that they needed to be shared with everyone and not only our forum members. We are delighted that Emily and Ella are going to share their ketogenic journey with us and we hope that you enjoy sharing their journey as well.

Founder/CEO Emma Williams MBE says “Emily and Ella are Keto Hero’s in every sense of the word and I am delighted they have joined the Matthew’s Friends Team.
Emily and Ella have been instrumental in gaining publicity for the diet in Wales resulting in an agreement for the funding of a long overdue Ketogenic dietitian in Wales for children.  Our next task will be to get an adult centre in Wales and with Emily as our Regional Co-ordinator for this area, she will be a huge asset in this fight and I am very much looking forward to working with her in this regard.
As you will read from Ella’s story below – this is a lifelong treatment for her which also means that for Emily, the Ketogenic Diet is here to stay for her too and I cannot put into words how inspirational this lady is, I just love her passion and drive for the Ketogenic diet and Glut 1 Deficiency.  I know that if you are starting out on your Ketogenic diet journey or you are thinking about starting the diet or even if you are well established – there will be something in this blog for you”

This is Ella…

and I am her
mum Emily

Ella loves craft time, mini beast hunts and jumping on her trampoline.

I am Ella’s Mum, Emily.

I love helping others, live music and drinking my body weight in tea!

Ella has GLUT1 Deficiency which means her brain is unable to use glucose for power.  Ella therefore is powered by ketones through a classic ketogenic diet.

Ella has sensory food aversions and is a grazer which means her poor Mum (yes, that’s me!) is forced to work extra hard to ‘normalise’ her ketogenic meals.  Ella is a true slave driver and also eats less if the food doesn’t look‘pretty’.  This all means I am, in my mind at least, creating culinary masterpieces which I hope will prove useful to you and many other families.  Please note, if your ketogenic superstar is anything like mine, ketogenic masterpieces are still likely to be rejected often.  If that happens, you are not alone!

Ella and I will be sharing our adventures with you all through our blog.

I hope our adventures and ketogenic ‘masterpieces’ inspire you and make you laugh!

Until next time….

Emily and Ella ❤

Emotions of this SEND Mum

  1. isolation


the process or fact of isolating or being isolated.

  1. frustration


the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.

  1. courage


the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery. “she called on all her courage to face the ordeal”

* strength in the face of pain or grief.

For me, these words sum up my experiences as a Mum of a child with unique challenges.
The isolation has often been all consuming, the frustration has led to extreme anxiety and the courage has been thrust upon me thanks to a special little girl who looks at me with so much love in her eyes that I will always fight for her.

Ella created the fire in my belly to keep battling but what saved my sanity was not looking at my beautiful girl who needed me.  What saved my sanity was knowing I am not alone in feeling alone.

Through social media platforms, Google searches, websites and face to face groups, I have been able to build connections with others who are just like me.  Parents, carers, family members and the superstars who keep going, through hospital visits and investigations, all unite through their isolation.

Emma, Mum to the incredible Matthew, plus her team continue to work hard to ensure other families feel hope and connection despite the isolation.  The Matthews Friends Parent Forum brings families together.  It holds out a virtual hand and wraps around a powerful family hug.

The forums and support networks help families like mine connect with other familes walking the same rare pathway to ensure we never feel alone, despite the isolation.

Through these forums, Ella and I were able to connect with and meet another GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome family in person!  The relief felt by two parents who have been able to share a journey and two little girls who were finally able to play with someone the same is priceless.  These smiles were created because of charities like Matthews Friends who bring families together.

If you are reading this and are feeling alone, overwhelmed or unable to cope, please reach out.  Don’t ever suffer in silence.

Much love,
Emily and Ella

Special thanks to Lou and Grace for the wonderful memories and photographs
Please, if you are able, support Matthews Friends to enable them to continue to support families who are feeling isolated. It really does turn lives around.

Emily and Ella ❤

August 2020 – School Lunches

Ella is a grazer and always has been. Pre keto that meant she ate breakfast on the way to school, or at snack time. Her lunchbox contained yoghurt, lots of fruit and sandwiches and without fail, the sandwiches were only ever slightly nibbled when I collected her at the end of the day. Of course, back then I popped the left overs in the recycling, made a cup of milky tea and some carbohydrate heavy nibble for an afternoon snack, or we popped to Costa for a babychino and some cake and she was content.

As us keto mums, dads and carers know, that approach simply will not do! Food has to be eaten… no picking and choosing the good stuff only and rushing out to play. No, sir.

So, where do we go from here? I have spent a lot of time creating meal plans full of quick nibbles and known favourites to trial in my kitchen for Ella to taste test over the past few weeks, on a timer, to make sure they were school lunch friendly! As a result, I have mastered a weeks worth of keto picnic lunches to suit Ella’s taste buds and sensory needs ready for the first “new school year” since 2018!

I hope these ideas inspire you and help remove any return to school lunchbox jitters you may have! I look forward to feasting my eyes on your tasty creations over the coming months too.

Much love,

Emily and Ella ❤

BENTO BOX 1 – 2.56:1

Fat: 41.25
Protein: 8.09
Carbohydrate: 8.05
Calories: 439

  • Tuna Pasta
    6g Conchigliette Pasta
    16g Tuna Chunks in Water
    15g Hellmans Real Mayonnaise
    10g Baby Sweetcorn
  • 50g Cucumber
  • 10g Hellmans Mayonnaise
  • 18g Homemade Chocolatessee recipe
  • 16g Chocolate Shortbread see recipe
  • 25g Kiwi Fruit

BENTO BOX 2 – 2.84:1

(2.42:1 including Malitol)
Fat: 42.05
Protein: 7.1
Carbohydrate: 7.71 (10.21 inc.Malitol)
Calories: 440

  • Mini Bagels
    24g MCT Procal Bread Rolls
    5g Waitrose Honey Roast Ham
    5g Cathedral City Cheddar
    3g Hellmans Mayonnaise
  • 50g Cucumber
  • 20g Carrots (Raw)
  • 15g Hellmans Mayonnaise
  • 18g Homemade Chocolates– see recipe
  • 7g Diablo Wafer (1)– contains Malitol
  • 10g Satsuma

BENTO BOX 3 – 3:1

Fat: 37.78
Protein: 6.62
Carbohydrate: 5.99
Calories: 393

  • 50g Cucumber
  • 17g Red Pepper
  • 20g Hellmans Mayonnaise
  • 20g Peperami
  • 18g Homemade Chocolates– see recipe
  • 30g Raspberries
  • 2.5g Quavers

BENTO BOX 4 – 2.99:1

Fat: 40.2
Protein: 7.6
Carbohydrate: 5.86
Calories: 416

  • 20g Peperami
  • 18g Blueberries
  • 20g M&S Strawberry Clotted Cream
  • 18g Homemade Chocolates– see recipe
  • 14g Chocolate Shortbread – see recipe
  • Werthers Sugar Free Toffee

BENTO BOX 5 – 2.6:1

Fat: 41.86
Protein: 8.68
Carbohydrate: 7.44
Calories: 444

  • 52g MCT Procal Pancakes
  • 40g Raspberries
  • 10g Cathedral City Cheddar
  • 18g Homemade Chocolates– see recipe
  • Werthers Sugar Free Toffee


(5.32:1 if counting sweetener)
100g Macronutrients:
Fat: 66.60
Protein: 2.65
Carbohydrate:5.70 (plus 4.15g Sweetener)

  • 50g Cacao Butter (Sevenhills)
  • 50g Cavalier Dark Berries Chocolate
  • Melt Cacao Butter and Chocolate in separate bowls using a Bain Marie method.
  • Allow Cacao Butter to cool slightly before mixing in Chocolate.
  • Pour mixture in to chocolate moulds of your choosing.


(2.5:1 if counting sweetener)
100g Macronutrients:
Fat: 68.05
Protein: 2.65
Carbohydrate:4.70 (plus 19.3g Sweetener)

  • 50g Cacao Butter (Sevenhills)
  • 50g Cavalier White Chocolate
  • Melt Cacao Butter and Chocolate in separate bowls using a Bain Marie method.
  • Allow Cacao Butter to cool slightly before mixing in Chocolate.
  • Pour mixture in to chocolate moulds of your choosing.


(2.7:1 if using chocolate- including sweetener in carb total)

This recipe is to make a batch of 10-14 shortbread depending on cutters used

Macros noted are for 100g using 4g chocolate per biscuit if a batch made 10 meaning each biscuit would weigh 18.8g before adding chocolate.

  • 118g Almond Flurry Flour (Holland & Barrett)
  • 43g Butter (Unsalted) – softened
  • 27g Sweetener (We used Truvia)
  • 1g Vanilla (we use Gourmet Spice Company Vanilla Powder)
  • Optional
  • 40g Dark Berries Cavalier Chocolate (You can use the white chocolate but would me lower ratio)Please note, these biscuits are fragile so bit fiddly for little hands to mould.
  • Mix all ingredients (minus chocolate) in a bowl until combined.
  • Roll out using hands and use cutters or make rounds using your hands.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on a greased tray or silicon baking sheet.
  • Allow to cool for 30 minutes before adding slightly melted chocolate to the top.

All gadgets and lunch box fillers are from Amazon. Links to products below but please remember to use Amazon Smile and select Matthews Friends so they can continue to help families like yours and ours.