A huge part of life for a person with Cystic Fibrosis is monitoring weight gain, or the lack of weight gain. As you’ve read Meesha had her first run in with this issue at one of our CF Clinic visits in December. When we go to these visits they measure her weight gain by how much she gained per day in between the two visits. They of course told me that they were not that concerned with it but they wanted me to start beefing up her diet to help her gain more weight. When I left this appointment I seriously felt like a failed parent, I’ve known since day one that weight gain was going to be an issue and I guess I felt like I should have been paying more attention or something. But the truth is Meesha is a very healthy size. She has a chubby belly/thighs and at that appointment she also gained 3 inches! Furthermore Philip and I are small people, we don’t expect that Meesha is going to be a heavy child. Coming to terms with all of that I feel much better about her visit. I thought I would share a few things that I did to increase her calorie intake and help her gain weight. In the beginning I was looking at Total Fat but I later found out it’s more important to look at Calories.
Meesha gets 4 meals a day and 2 snacks. After dinner but before bed she gets a 4th meal which is usually very high in calories so like a peanut butter sandwich or waffles or something like that. When I am looking to buy her stuff I am always trying to find the highest calories. (she is also still bfing 5ish times a day) I’ve also found that I can get her to eat more if she isn’t in her chair, so when she eats her 4th meal i am normally handing her pieces of sandwich as she runs around and plays. By doing this she will eat a whole sandwich appose to when she is in her chair she will only eat half.
Here is some of the stuff I feed her:
~ I found that Silk Almond Chocolate milk has 120 calories per serving so she’s been drinking that lately. I have yet to find this coconut milk that has 250+ calories that the internet keeps telling me about. It’s not at our local grocery store.
~ I also quit giving her the toddler version of snacks. They have way less calories then the adult version. For instance she loves nutrigrain bars which have 140 calories per bar. But the Jammy Sammy toddler version is way lower than that.
~ You can add coconut oil,olive oil, sunflower seed oil, etc to anything you feed them to boost their calorie intake. It doesn’t really change the taste of the food that much but really increases the amount of calories they are getting.
~ Find stuff that you can grind up and sprinkle on/mix into their existing meal, such as nuts, cheese, and dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in calories (the pure kind) not that its appetizing to just eat a bar (not sweet at all!), but it could be ground up into bread or something.
~ Avocados have a ton of calories but once you turn it into guacamole it doubles, thank goodness meesha will eat that. (she will not eat plan avocados)
~ Yogurt, Meesha usually eats one container a day (vanilla, chocolate or coffee flavor seem to have the highest calories in the natural cow brand) It’s weird how it started out as a fat snack then turned into a health food. It’s so hard to find full fat yogurt!
~ Bananas have about 120 calories per large one.
~ Smoothies and shakes, you can add all kinds of calories to them that they won’t even know are there if you mask it with their favorite flavor. (lucky for us Meeshas is banana which will dominate anything lol)
~ I also just found these granola bars the last time I went to heb called Rickland Orchards Greek yogurt coated granola bars they have 160 calories per bar and they are so tasty! But i had to pick out the few whole almonds that were inside.
~ Some other things i’ve read about that have high calories are baked beans, eggs, potato salad, sausage, soy beans, brown rice, dried fruit, mangos, sweet potatoes, chili&beans, whole milk, trail mix, berries, beef, salmon.
Ok, so since high calorie diets are huge in cystic fibrosis there are a ton of websites with help on the topic so here are a few:
If you have any other tips for making them gain weight let me know! I’m always open to new ideas!