Silhouette of a mother adding snacks to a glowing lunch box as daughter watches

CF Snacks My Five Year Old Loves

I have yet to meet a parent whose child has a perfectly balanced and healthy diet 24/7.  Sure, we would love that for our kids, but they also have minds of their own. My daughter is five years old and has CF. She is the definition of a picky eater and gives me quite the challenge when it comes to eating a diet that meets the calorie dense, high fat and salty diet required for CF. Would I love her to drink a green smoothie packed with nutrients and healthy fats every day? Sure. Is that likely? Nope.

The biggest lesson I have learned in the past five years of her CF nutrition goals are to keep things simple, consistent and build off of what she already likes.

For example, if she really likes yogurt, I can add a dash of salt or a couple teaspoons of hemp seeds to the yogurt she loves to make it higher in calories and salt.  If she's having a CF flare up and has lost her appetite maybe I can drizzle a little maple syrup or sprinkle colorful sprinkles on top of the yogurt to make it more appealing.

I love hearing what other kids love to eat daily, so here are a few tried and true favorites of my five year old with CF.

Foods she loves

Uncrustables

You can find reduced sugar and whole wheat versions of these yummy, consistent and easy to pack sandwiches.  The thing my daughter loves  about Uncrustables is they are the same, every single time. What I love about them is they are easy and have 9g of fat per serving.

If your little one has a peanut allergy, you can make an at home version with uncrustable cutters sold online, pop them in your freezer and pull them out about 30 minutes before snack time.

Whole milk cheese and cheese sticks

This may not seem revolutionary as most kiddos enjoy cheese, however many cheeses marketed towards kids are made with skim milk and low in fat and calories. When shopping check the back of labels and choose a cheese made with whole milk. I typically find grass fed, whole milk cheese by the block near the deli of our grocery store and grate it down at home to make shredded cheese as a side to her meals. 

I've also managed to find whole milk cheese sticks at both Target and Whole Foods!  This can be an easy switch your kiddo won't notice but adds a few more calories and grams of fat to their diet.

Oatmeal

Again, not a new favorite for a child but oatmeal is a great way to sneak in calories, fat and salt. Adding sea salt, hemp seeds, and grass fed butter are a few of our favorite ways to make oatmeal a powerhouse for her body. Drizzle some maple syrup or honey on top and My daughter doesn't even notice the extras. I have also cooked an egg white into her oatmeal and she didn't even blink.

I also found I could transitioned her from the quick oats oatmeal packets to steel cut oats and old fashioned rolled oats to get in more fiber, protein and make it easier to mix in things like hemp seeds without her noticing.

Sweetened peanut, seed or nut butters

My daughter can eat peanut butter by the spoonful if it’s just sweetened up a bit. It's the perfect snack before long clinic days. There are a few pre-made options we love, but you can also DIY a peanut butter bowl by taking two tablespoons of PB and drizzling some honey or maple syrup on top, hand them a spoon and let them go for it. Again, this is a snack I noticed my daughter liked so I find ways to make it appealing for her to eat more often.

Juice & Mary Ruth's liquid multivitamin

What I love to use as backup for Caroline’s nutrition is a daily, high-quality multivitamin which we mix into diluted juice. Our favorite that is easy to absorb and yummy is Mary Ruth’s liquid multivitamin. My daughter specifically loves the raspberry version in about 2-4 oz of apple juice. Remember to take multivitamins with a fat containing food for the best possible absorption of those vitamins.

Also, speak with your doctor or pharmacist before adding any new supplements to their routine.

A few additional favorites

  • Simply Crunchy White Cheddar Cheetos: These are high in fat and salt, making them a great snack for summer days.
  • Simple Mills Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies: These are made with almond flour and coconut sugar. I can let my daughter eat as many of these as she wants.
  • Yogurt: Silk, SO Delicious and Siggi’s brands for yogurt.
  • Annie’s Vegan Mac n Cheese: We add a handful of shredded cheese into any version of boxed mac n' cheese Caroline likes to add extra calories, fat and protein. She loves a vegan one which includes pea protein in the ingredients.

What are snacks your child with CF loves? Connect with other CF parents in the comments below!

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