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Typically, babies can begin eating solid foods between 4 and 6 months of age. Your CF care team will work with you to determine a good time to start introducing solids based on your baby's individual needs. To help your baby continue to gain weight and grow, you may want to try the following1:

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  • Single-grain infant cereal (such as rice) mixed with infant formula or breast milk is a good start
  • Baby food, such as strained fruits, vegetables, and meats
  • Adding different types of food to your baby's diet over time makes for a balanced meal and encourages good eating habits
  • Plain strained meats. Your baby will get more protein when meats are mixed with other foods
  • Breast milk or infant formula before meals

As your baby gets older, soft or pureed table foods may be added to their diet at about 6 to 8 months of age. Your CF care team will work with you to determine a good time to start adding table foods to your baby's diet.1

Things to consider2

  • Be sure table foods are soft enough for your baby to digest. Cook longer if need be
  • Cut foods into small pieces your baby can handle to prevent choking
  • Buy baby foods that offer new tastes and textures. Fork-mash, cut up, or grind whatever foods the rest of the family is eating
  • Babies are usually ready for cow's milk at 1 year old. Talk with your dietitian before giving milk to your baby
  • Have your baby join the rest of the family at meals; they'll enjoy being at the table
  • Never leave your baby alone while eating in case he or she chokes. Avoid foods that can be a choking hazard (whole grapes, raw vegetables, hard fruits, raisins, white bread, hard cheese, popcorn, hot dogs, and hard candies)

Adding salt1

Babies with CF lose a lot of salt in their sweat, especially in hot weather. When it is hot, it may be recommended that a small amount of salt be added to your baby's formula or food. This can help make up for what was lost. Talk to a member of your CF care team to determine the right amount for your baby.

What if my baby isn't gaining weight?1

If your baby is slow to gain weight, talk to your CF care team. They may suggest adding extra calories to breast milk or infant formula and can teach you how to give extra calories to your baby.

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References: 1. Nutrition: for your infant with cystic fibrosis (birth to 1 year). Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/PDF-Archive/Nutrition-for-Your-Infant-(Birth-to-1-Year)/. Accessed May 1, 2016. 2. Feeding your 8- to-12-month-old. KidsHealth website. http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/feed812m.html. Accessed May 1, 2016.
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