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HypoPara Life Impacts Assessment

Diet and Nutrition

Try some
HypoPara-friendly recipes

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Tofu, Broccoli, and Bok Choy Stir Fry    

Prep time: 20 minutes, cooking time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 2 12-ounce packages extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, ground (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 ½ cups bok choy
  • 1 ½ cups broccoli
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • Serve over white rice or cauliflower rice

Step 1
Prepare tofu: Press the tofu using a tofu press. If you do not have a tofu press, place the tofu on top of a paper towel or a dishcloth on top of a plate, cutting board, or sheet pan. Place another layer of paper towels or another dishcloth on top of the tofu and place another cutting board, sheet pan, or plate on top. Press hard against the tofu to remove as much moisture as possible. Replace dishcloth or paper towels if soaked through. Place a heavy object on top of the sheet pan, or cutting board covering the tofu and leave in place for 30 minutes. Remove the tofu from the dishcloths or paper towels and cut into cubes. Sprinkle with cornstarch and set aside.

Step 2
Prepare sauce: Combine 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil with scallions, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and chili flakes. Mix and set aside.

Step 3
Cook the stir fry: Heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in large frying pan (about one minute). Add garlic and sauté until toasty brown. Add broccoli and bok choy and sauté until both vegetables start getting soft. Add tofu, followed by the sauce in Step 2. Cook until vegetables are soft and tofu is also golden brown. Stir in the slivered almonds and sauté for one minute.

Step 4
Serve: Place over cooked white rice or cauliflower rice according to package directions. See notes below regarding use of brown rice or quinoa.


  • Look for tofu brands that are set with calcium sulfate, which you will find listed in the ingredients statement. The tofu should also contain at least 10% of the daily value for calcium
  • If using brown rice or quinoa, soak in warm water for at least 24 hours. Brown rice and quinoa have substances that can interfere with calcium absorption and the soaking will reduce them
  • You can use a ½ to 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, depending on your spice preference
  • If you want to use vegetables other than broccoli or bok choy, please choose ones with high levels of absorbable calcium such as Brussels sprouts or kale
Tropical Yogurt Parfait    

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1


  • 1 5-ounce container of non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ ounces (about 11 almonds) chopped or slivered (unsalted)
  • 2 dried figs, sliced or cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned mango and/or pineapple, no sugar or syrup added (if frozen, defrost and/or drain liquid from the fruit; if canned, drain liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon of almond butter (unsalted)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened coconut

Step 1
In an 8-ounce glass, spoon in half of the yogurt

Step 2
Layer on 1 dried fig

Step 3
Spoon on half of the fruit

Step 4
Sprinkle with half of the almonds and half of the coconut

Repeat Steps 1 through 4.
Dollop the almond butter on top.


  • For a vegan or lactose-free option, select alternative yogurts that have at least 10% of the daily value for calcium; for example, those made with coconut milk or soy milk
  • If you use dairy yogurt, note that Greek style yogurt provides higher levels of protein
  • Select any chopped nuts and nut butter of your choosing but note that almonds have the highest level of calcium
  • You can replace the dried figs with raisins, dates, or other dried fruits. Keep in mind that dried figs have the highest level of calcium
  • You can use any fresh, canned, or frozen fruit you prefer but softer fruits will mix best with the ingredients (eg, ripe bananas, peaches). Select canned fruit that is in its own juice and does not have added sugar or syrup
Broccoli and Cauliflower Mac and Cheese    

Prep time: 35-40 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 1 cup broccoli, steamed
  • 1 cup cauliflower, steamed
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (you can use any other short pasta), cooked al dente
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Step 2
Make the roux: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour in gradually while whisking. Continue whisking until there are no clumps and the flour has started to turn a light golden color. Cook for a minute or two, until fragrant.

Step 3
Make the sauce: Gradually whisk the milk into the roux and continue cooking until thickened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.

Step 4
Combine remaining ingredients: Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and vegetables and mix until thoroughly coated. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and then the breadcrumbs. Place in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese becomes bubbly and golden.


  • Broccoli and cauliflower are the best vegetables for this meal since they have highly absorbable forms of calcium. Other vegetables with highly absorbable forms of calcium, like kale and Brussels sprouts, may not mix in as well with the pasta
  • Pasta made with whole wheat or with beans may contain other ingredients that interfere with calcium absorption. Chickpea pastas may have high levels of phosphorus
  • You can use any type of cheese that melts (eg, gruyere, fontina). However, be sure the cheese you select does not have high levels of sodium as cheeses often do
  • You can use seasoned breadcrumbs or add spices and small amounts of herbs as desired
Apple Grilled Cheese    

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves: 1


  • 1 medium-sized sweet variety apple such as Fuji or Honeycrisp
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 slices Muenster cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

Step 1
Prepare the apple: Cut the apple into thin slices

Step 2
Assemble the sandwich: Place one slice of cheese on one side of the bread, and top with half the apple slices. Add the second slice of cheese and add the second slice of bread on top. Use 1 tablespoon butter to coat both sides of the sandwich.

Step 3
Cook the sandwich: Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Place the sandwich on the grill pan and cook until the cheese starts to bubble and melt and the bottom piece of bread is toasted. Turn over the sandwich and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the second slice of bread is toasted. Serve with remaining apple slices.


  • You can use any variety of apple you choose but a sweeter variety will go best with a sharp cheese like muenster
  • You can use another low-phosphorus cheese like Monterey Jack, cheddar, or mozzarella
  • Using bread other than white can interfere with calcium absorption. This is because they may contain phosphorus and other substances that affect calcium absorption
  • Adding other ingredients, like tomatoes, can increase the sodium content of this sandwich and should be avoided
Figgy Trail Mix    

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8


  • 1 cup almonds, roasted, unsalted
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 8 dried figs
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 ounces mini pretzels, unsalted

Step 1
Chop the figs: Cut the figs into small pieces and place them in a medium-sized bowl.

Step 2
Assemble the trail mix: Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix. Place in 8 individual snack-sized bags.


  • You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut, depending on your preference.
  • To keep the figs and raisins moist, store trail mix in airtight plastic bags or other container. You can store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks
  • Keep in mind that if you change the number of almonds, raisins, figs, and coconut, it will also change the balance of calcium and other substances in the snack. All ingredients have been measured out to limit phosphorus and other substances that can affect calcium absorption for people living with HypoPara
  • It is also best to use the specific fruit and nuts in this recipe. Doing so may add more phosphorus and other food substances that interfere with the absorption of calcium
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HypoPara=hypoparathyroidism; PTH=parathyroid hormone.