By JULIE MATEL, RD, Stanford University CF Care Centre
One of the challenges of living with cystic fibrosis is consuming enough calories to meet growth and weight gain goals. People with CF need 20 to 50 percent more calories than people without CF. For active teens and adults this can be as many as 3000 to 5000 calories: whereas someone without CF might require 2000 calories per day. Why so many calories?
People with CF may not absorb all of the calories from their food, even when taking enzymes with all meals and snacks. People
with CF may need more calories to breathe and to fight infections. Getting enough calories can feel like an insurmountable task
for people with CF. Below are some tips that may help.
1. Be an informed consumer
• Read labels
when you shop find the brand with the highest
amount of calories per serving. For example, one brand of
ice cream may have as many as 300 calories per ½ cup serving
versus 130 calories per serving in another brand!
2. Be consistent
• Avoid skipping meals.
Missing breakfast, for example can
leave you short calories for the day.
• Aim for three meals plus two to three snacks per day.
Eating multiple times during the day makes it more likely to
get the nutrition and calories you need.
• Bed-time snack.
Make this a routine. Choose comfort
foods such as whole milk and cookies or granola with full-fat
yogurt as a snack to look forward to before bed
3. Make your calories count
• Choose calorie dense foods
at meal and snack times.
• Avoid beverages between meals and snacks,
such as juice or soda. These can hinder appetites. Consume water between
meals and snacks instead.
4. Look for creative ways to add calories.
Below are some high calorie ideas:
* Trail mix in place of chips
* Muffins or croissants instead of plain bread
* Whole milk or half-and-half in place of low-fat milk
*Add cheese or guacamole or mayonaise to burgers and sandwiches
*Add crumbled bacon to rice, soup, pasta, eggs, or
* Include a milkshake or smoothie each
day as a snack
* Add peanut butter or whole-fat yogurt
* Butter all toast, bread and sandwiches thickly with salted butter