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Eating Right for Festive Holidays

Festive holidays like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Diwali and Christmas are joyous times to spend quality time with family and friends, and indulge in hearty feasts.

With mindful eating and portion control, dialysis patients can still maintain their health and minimise the chance that the holiday festivities will end with health setback such as face and limb swelling, breathlessness, skin itchiness and uncontrolled blood sugar level.

Here are some tips for both dialysis patients and their hosts to safely enjoy these holiday celebrations:

Practice portion control by following the dialysis plate concept
  • Communal holiday dinner should not be an excuse to “eat-all-you-can”.
  • Moderation is key and it is important to control the portion size of each side dish, especially when there are many varieties to choose from.
  • A good rule of thumb is to follow the My Dialysis Plate concept below to plan for your meals:

Disclaimer: Picture for illustration purposes only, actual portion on plate may look different with different foods.

Grains & Others

  • Fill ¼ of your plate with white rice, beehoon, etc.
  • Refined grains provide energy and have lower potassium and phosphate content compared to whole grains.

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Fill ¼ of your plate with *lower potassium fruit and vegetables.

*if you need to limit potassium intake.

Meat & Others

  • Fill ½ of your plate with good source of protein foods (e.g. fish, chicken, egg, lean meat).
  • Consume soy protein (e.g. tofu/tempeh) in moderation as they are higher in potassium and phosphate content.
  • Eating your food slowly and savouring each bite can also help control your portions and make you feel more satisfied. 

What is in my savoury dish?

Food Item Sodium Content (mg) Calories Brisk Walking*
Sayur lodeh (½ bowl, 117g) 550 76 kcal 20 mins
Assam fish (1 bowl, 184g) 532 123 kcal 32 mins
Beef rendang (4 pieces, 90g) 446 199 kcal 52 mins
Ayam panggang (1 piece, 171g) 140 287 kcal 75 mins
Satay with peanut sauce
(10 sticks with 100g sauce)
706 481 kcal 126 mins

*Estimated duration of brisk walking for calorie burning is based on 60kg individual walking at 3.5mph/5.5km/hr.

Tips: Limit sodium intake to no more than 2000mg (~1 teaspoon of salt) a day. Leaving gravy behind and removing chicken skin will help to reduce sodium and fat intake.

Beware of Potassium, Phosphate and Sodium in foods


  • Potassium is present in many fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes. Be aware of the list of higher potassium fruits and vegetables  and choose those with lower potassium content whenever available if you need to restrict potassium intake.
  • If you are cooking up the meal, remember to leach the higher potassium vegetables choices such as potatoes and yams by boiling them in plenty of water to reduce their potassium content.


  • Gravy and soup-based festive delicacies are often high in Phosphate, while the same goes to processed foods and beverages with phosphorus-containing additives. Be mindful to limit the amount consumed, and whenever possible, try to go for fresh food.
  • Most dialysis patients take phosphate binders to help control blood phosphorus level, do remember to take them with meals.  


  • Sodium is not only present in salt! It is also lurking in all the gravy and soup-based delicacies as well as processed foods just like Phosphate.
  • Limiting sodium intake is important as it helps control thirst, which will allow you to manage your fluid intake more easily.
Drink Sensibly
  • Keep your fluid intake within the daily limit by:
    • Asking for a smaller cup and always fill up less than half of your cup. Consult your nurse/dietitian/doctor to learn about your daily fluid allowance.
    • Plan for the amount allowed to be consumed during each meal of the day and each house visiting session.
    • If you are a diabetic patient, replace sweetened beverages such as 3 in 1 coffee/tea and canned drinks with unsweetened drinks (e.g. water, floral tea, fruit infused water).
Eat your favourite treats in moderation
  • You may over-eat all the festivities goodies with an empty stomach. Have some high protein snack (e.g. Egg or tuna sandwich / meat dumplings) before house visiting.
  • Festive goodies can be irresistible during this season! But watch out for the amount of calories, sugar, potassium and phosphorus that these goodies contain.

What is in my sweet treats?

Food Item Sugar Content (tsp) Calories Brisk Walking*
Kueh bangkit (12g) 0.5 70 kcal 18 mins
Kueh rose (20g) 1 100 kcal 26 mins
Bandung (250ml) 6.5 125 kcal 33 mins
Kueh lapis (50g) 2.5 240 kcal 63 mins
Pineapple tart (60g) 3.5 280 kcal 74 mins

*Estimated duration of brisk walking for calorie burning is based on 60kg individual walking at 3.5mph/5.5km/hr.

Tips: Limit sugar intake to no more than 25g (5 teaspoons) a day. If you are making holiday goodies, remember to reduce amount of sugar/ butter/ oil/ margarine by ¼ – ½.

  • Limit yourself to not more than 3 pieces and swap for other alternatives, if possible:
Eat this Not that
Kueh bangkit
Butter cookies
Kueh bahulu
Unsalted/ lightly salted popcorn
Peanut cookies
Chocolate chip cookies
Pineapple tart
Shrimp rolls

Hosting a dialysis friend

  • If you are serving meals by cooking or baking:
    • Lighten up your recipes and opt for the dialysis-friendly food choices when preparing the holiday feasts. No idea how to start? Fret not, click here to find a range of renal friendly recipes that are suitable for everyone, including dialysis patients.
    • During meals, serve dressings and sauces on the side. This will allow the dialysis patient to manage their food choice more easily while enjoying their favourite holiday dishes.
  • While making festivities goodies, remember to reduce amount of sugar/ butter/ oil/ margarine by ¼ – ½.
  • If you plan to cater meals this holiday season, click here for the checklist for you to use as a guide.
  • If you are buying gifts for a dialysis friend, click here to find out suitable gifts for them.

Don’t skip your workout routine

We understand that it can be tempting to spend the day veg out on the sofa watching your favourite TV shows after all the celebration. It is important to stick to your exercise routines, if you have one, as exercise plays a vital role in stabilising your blood pressure and blood sugar.

Many dialysis patients believe that they cannot exercise. The truth is—most dialysis patients is able to exercise. 

Click here to learn about the types and intensity of exercises that are best suited for dialysis patients.

Here are a few more benefits to fire you up!

If you are experiencing any chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or discomfort prior to and/or while exercising in the past months, you should stop immediately and seek proper consultation with a certified healthcare professional.

We wish you and your loved ones a happy and HEALTHY holiday season!

Download healthy holiday brochures for your dialysis friends/ loved ones

*The above information and recommendations are general guidelines, and should not be viewed as specific advice for any individual. Please consult your doctor or other health care advisors for personal health decisions and/or before attempting to increase your exercise intensity level if you have prior medical conditions.

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General Enquiries

As there are limited car park lots available at NKF Centre visitors may need to park at the nearby HDB car parks in the vicinity.

NKF HQ Mondays –Thursdays
PH / Weekends
8.30am –6.00pm
8.30am –5.00pm
Dialysis Centres Mondays –Saturdays
7.00am –11.00pm
7.00am –11.00pm

We are open on most public holidays except for the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

NKF does not provide ad hoc dialysis treatment. Our patients are on long-term dialysis treatment. You may wish to check with private dialysis centres for ad hoc dialysis treatments.

NKF does not have an outpatient clinic and hence, we are unable to arrange an appointment for members of the public. You may wish to contact a hospital of your choice for outpatient service.

Currently, NKF does not provide health report interpretation service. You may consult your General Practitioner who will be able to assist you.

Someone with kidney failure may not experience any signs and symptoms until it is too late. It is best to do a routine health screening to understand your health status better and detect any abnormalities as early as possible so that you can delay and manage the disease progression.

To know about the signs and symptoms please click here to learn more.

Decreased urination Swollen hands and ankles Sleep disturbances
Blood in the urine (tea-coloured or fresh blood) Puffiness around the eyes High blood pressure
Nausea and vomiting Itching Loss of appetite

All dialysis centres operate on 3 dialysis shifts –morning, noon and evening.

Morning Noon Evening
7.00am –12.00pm 12.00pm – 6.00pm 6.00pm –11.00pm
Timing of your dialysis schedule may vary for each dialysis centres.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday (1,3,5) OR Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (2,4,6)


Our Admissions Counsellor will contact you once your application is finalised. They will be in contact with you soon.

From the day we receive the application form, it will take approximately 3 working days to a week for us to get back to you if you have submitted all completed supporting documents together with your application form to us. Generally, the whole process will take 6 months for the approval.

The overall application review process will take approximately 6 months before the applicant can start the first dialysis treatment. However, if the applicant is able to provide all completed supporting documents and if there is a slot available at the dialysis centre with a right match to the time slot, the waiting time could be shorter.

Currently, we do not have status checking service online. NKF Admissions Counsellor will be in contact with the applicants regarding the status.

You may pick it up from the NKF main office at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836 or call us at 6506 2187 to have the forms sent to you.

Means Test is used to determine the amount of subsidies each person needing care is eligible for. Persons from lower income households will be granted higher subsidies under the means test framework.

Means Test subsidies calculation is based in accordance to MOH guidelines.

Our NKF Admissions Counsellor in-charge will contact you in regards to your means test status.

The Medical Social Workers at your hospital will be able to advise you on the different type of subsidies based on your financial situation.

Kidney Live Donor Support Fund

For information on kidney donation in Singapore, you may wish to contact the National Organ Transplant Unit at Tel: 6321 4390 or email

NKF’s Kidney Live Donor Support Fund covers annual health screenings and medical follow-ups; one-time reimbursement for loss of 2 months actual income of $8,500, whichever is lower: reimbursement of hospitalisation and surgical insurance premiums (capped at MediShield Life premiums); pre-transplant screening and evaluation costs for up to 2 potential donors per kidney recipient; and insurance coverage for Group Living. Policy based on sum insured of $200,000.

For more information and eligibility, please click here. 

Donation & Volunteering

You can make the donation through different platforms:

  1. For online donation: please visit
  2. Or you may like to issue a cheque made payable to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF” and mail it to us at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836.
  3. Alternatively, you may contact us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) or email us at to send you the donation form.
  4. Road Singapore 328836.

Thank you for your generosity. The cheque should be issued to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF”.

Thank you for bequeathing your CPF contributions to NKF. You can fill up the CPF nomination form which can be downloaded from the CPF website. NKF’s UEN is 200104750M.

Thank you for your generosity. You may like to visit the Ministry of Law’s website where you can find a list of lawyers based in Singapore. Please visit

Our UEN/ Company Registration No. / GST Registration No. is 200104750M.

Please send us an email at or call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) and we will assist you accordingly.

You may email your new mailing address to , Please include your full name, contact number, old mailing address and UEN or NRIC/FIN (last 3 digits)

You may email us at to get the donation form. Please fill up your new GIRO/credit card number, donation amount and sign the form. Thereafter, post the GIRO form back to NKF for processing.

For credit card, you may wish to scan the form and send it to NKF via either of these options:

Email –

Fax – 6253 0417

Mail – 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836

Please email us at with your full name, UEN/NRIC/FIN and mailing address.

Please email us at to have the termination form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us for processing and auditing purposes.

All outright cash donations to NKF are entitled to tax deduction because NKF is a registered charity with an IPC (Institutions of Public Character) status. We are able to issue tax deductible receipts for qualifying donations to our donors.

You are entitled to a tax deduction of 2.5 times the value of your donation in the preceding year.

You may sign up via our website at

If you do not have access to the internet, please call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) to have the application form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us at 81 Kim Keat Road Singapore 328836.

Once we receive your application, our colleague from the Donor and Volunteer Management Department will contact you for a phone interview. After which, you will be invited to attend our volunteer orientation. This is to allow you to have a better understanding of the volunteering activities.

The minimum age is 13 years old. For volunteers who are below the age of 21, you will need to get parental consent. You may download the consent form here.

We strongly encourage our volunteers to commit at least a year so that we can better support our patients. Our programmes and activities are flexible, you can choose your volunteering schedule according to your interest and availability.

You may volunteer with us basing on your availability. We will send a weekly email to our volunteers indicating the up-coming volunteering opportunities. You can then match your availability to the activity schedule.

We have an array of volunteering activities to suit your interest and availability. To learn more about the volunteering activities we offer, please visit

Anyone and everyone can join us as a volunteer. All applicants will be required to undergo a mandatory orientation session where you will gain insights into the Foundation’s cause, kidney disease as well as learn more about the volunteering activities we offer. Regular trainings are also conducted for all volunteers so that they can better perform their role.

Most definitely! We welcome schools, companies and community groups to volunteer with us as part of their Values In Action and Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Please get in touch with us on your interest by sending an email to

Can't find what you are looking for?


Thank you for visiting our website.

  1. All authorised procurement tenders or requests for proposal by NKF are exclusively posted on our official website. You may verify the information by visiting our official website or contacting us directly at

  2. Please be informed that our online donation services will be temporarily unavailable on Monday, 6th May 2024, from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM for maintenance.

    If you have any donation inquiries during this time, please feel free to email us at We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.