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Understanding CF Nutrition

The benefits of fat in your loved one’s diet

Because of the way cystic fibrosis (CF) affects the body, people with CF need a diet that’s high in calories and fat. Here are some of the benefits of fat:

  • Foods that are high in fat have more calories, and that means more energy
  • Some fatty foods are a source of naturally occurring nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamin E
  • According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, unsaturated fats and oils are part of “healthy eating patterns” that also include fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and grains

Types of fat

All fats in food are a mix of unsaturated (polyunsaturated or monounsaturated) and saturated fatty acids.

  • Unsaturated fats (a.k.a., what you may want your child to have more of) include vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon
  • Saturated fats (a.k.a., what you may want your child to have less of) include fatty beef, bacon, and coconut oil

Kid-friendly fats

Have a child or a picky eater? Here are some kid-friendly food suggestions that are easy to grab on the go:

  • Whole-milk yogurt
  • Whole-milk string cheese
  • Peanut butter packets
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Whole-milk fruit smoothies

Try to get younger children involved in meal prep. Next time you make their favorite dish, put them in charge of adding 1 or 2 ingredients. This is a great way to keep an eye on their diet while teaching them a valuable skill that will serve them well into adulthood.

Find recipes that are fun to make with your child in Cooking with kids: Simple recipes for young chefs.