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Nutrition and Care

Achieving Nutrition Needs

Calories - People with CF have calorie requirements that are higher than people without CF. They need to consume up to twice as many calories daily

Protein - People with CF need 1.5 to 2 times more protein in their diets

Fat - Due to poor fat absorption, people with CF need 10% more fat than the average person

Carbohydrates - Carbs are a great source of energy and calories and do not need to be avoided, even in the setting of diabetes

Salt and chloride (Table salt) - All people with CF need additional salt in their diet to replace higher than normal salt losses.

Vitamin and mineral supplementation - People with CF and pancreatic insufficiency have difficulty absorbing fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. CF specific vitamins were designed to offer higher levels of vitamins and minerals that CF patients need

Enzyme replacement therapy

90-95% of all CF patients have pancreatic insufficiency and will need enzyme therapy to boost absorption of

fat, calories, vitamins and minerals consumed.


Click here for more information on important nutrients.

Meeting Calorie and Nutrient Needs

High calorie, high protein, high salt diet

  • Calorie boosting starts at birth and will continue as needed throughout life
  • Making meals and snacks a priority takes additional time and attention
  • Oral Supplements and shakes can be an easy, healthy and convenient way to add calories to the day when you are too busy to think about making calorie dense snacks
  • Parents and children benefit greatly from taking a behavioral approach to feeding young children. See social and psychological issues for more information.
  • Tube Feeding is sometimes necessary in more serious cases of malnutrition or when people simply cannot meet their calorie needs orally. There are two types of tube feeding, nasogastric or gastrostomy. If this option is necessary, the team will discuss this with you at length and will involve our pediatric or adult GI specialists.

Learn about patient and family perspectives about tube feeding:

Understanding Tube Feeding:

  • Parenteral Nutrition is nutrition given through a large vein. This is only used in more serious cases of malnutrition when a G tube is not possible. There is a greater risk of infection with parenteral nutrition but it is closely monitored.


Age related guidance:


Toddlers: Nutrition for Your Toddler, Ages 1-3 years.pdf

Children 4-7 years: