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Nutritional Management of Cystic Fibrosis

Managing the nutritional aspects of cystic fibrosis can be a challenge. It requires focused effort to administer enzymes and vitamins; plan meals and snacks; add calories; and navigate around work, school, and exercise.

But, the time you put in will have positive consequences! Nutrition plays an important role in how you feel every day. Food is medicine, and the right diet gives your body what it needs to help build strong lungs and a strong immune system so you can fight infections. Our cystic fibrosis dietitians will work closely with you to design a food plan that helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Breakfast Tips

Morning routines can be stressful. Leaving the house hungry isn’t a good idea. With a little planning, you’ll be able to make meals you can just grab and go.

  • Scramble an egg or two with cheese, wrap it in a tortilla, and take it with you when you leave the house.
  • Microwave a breakfast sandwich while you're getting dressed.
  • Keep canned shakes, yogurt drinks, and other high-calorie beverages in your backpack or briefcase.
  • Buy giant muffins in bulk and wrap and freeze each in its own bag.
  • Before you go to bed, fill a water bottle with your favorite beverage or shake each night. Grab it before you head out in the morning.
  • Make a batch of French toast or pancakes, wrap individual servings and freeze. In the morning, pop a serving in the microwave.
  • Keep single-serving oatmeal (in a packet or a pre-packaged insulated bowl) in your pantry or cupboard. Just add hot milk and take it with you.
  • Buy cold cereal in individual containers (bowls or boxes) or pour your favorite cereal into a plastic container. Take along single servings of boxed liquid milk (the kind that does not need to be refrigerated).
  • Keep a bowl of fruit by your house or car keys. Grab a banana, orange, or apple on your way out the door.
pizza bagel

Easy Mini-Meals

  • Top bagel halves with spaghetti sauce and shredded cheese for a pizza bagel.
  • Make sandwiches (PB&J, ham, turkey) at the beginning of the week and freeze them. Toss one in your bag and let it thaw during the day. You can also look for frozen sandwiches at the grocery store.
  • Try refrigerated wraps or burritos. Buy microwavable burritos, wrap one in a paper towel, heat it, and run.
  • Pack microwavable instant soup, instant noodles, small containers of spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, or SpaghettiOs®.
  • Try a tuna kit that comes with tuna fish, crackers, and mayo.

Snack Ideas

Please note: enzymes must be given with these snacks!

Super Snacks!

  • 2 string cheese
  • Apples slices dipped in peanut butter
  • Peanut butter on crackers or celery
  • 8 ounces chocolate milk (try Darigold Old Fashioned chocolate milk)
  • English muffin with butter or peanut butter (could add banana slices to PB version)
  • 8 ounces yogurt (aim for high/full-fat versions)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 can/bottle Ensure, Pediasure, Boost, etc
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • Avocado toast (thickly sliced avocado)
  • Wheat Thins dipped into tuna mixed with mayo
  • Carrots dipped into ranch dressing
  • Pita bread dipped into hummus
  • 1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.)
  • PB&J or PB and Honey sandwich

Articles & Resources

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  • Article

    Vitamins and Cystic Fibrosis