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Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is important for teens with CF. Doing so will help you grow and be active. Try and eat something from each food group every day – Protein, Fruits, Vegetables, Carbohydrates, and Healthy Fats. Remember to hydrate with water and electrolyte-enhanced beverages. If you have any questions, talk to your CF Care Center dietitian. Every teen is different and has different needs, so serving sizes will change based on what is best for you. If you are physically active, you will require more calories, protein, and fluid. Here is an example of what a balanced diet looks like1:

The information in this section is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always speak with your physician and dietitian to figure out what diet will work best for you.

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Members of the program are eligible to receive:

  • Free Vitamins & Supplements
  • Copay Assistance
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Dairy products

  • 3-4 servings minimum
  • Serving = 1 cup milk (dairy or soy)*, or whole milk yogurt, 1 oz. hard cheese, 6 oz. full-fat pudding or ice cream

*almond, coconut, and rice milk (among others) are inadequate in protein.

Meat, poultry, fish, or meat substitutes (eggs, tofu or tempeh, and cheese)

  • 5 servings minimum
  • Serving = ½ cup cooked vegetables, 1 cup raw vegetables, ¼ cup dried fruit, ½ cup cut fruit; or 1 of the following: apple, pear, peach, plum, kiwi, orange, small banana

Fruits and vegetables

  • 5 servings minimum
  • Serving = ½ cup fruit; ½ cup vegetables (cooked or raw), ¼ cup dried fruit

Carbohydrates (starchy foods: grains, cereals, potatoes, rice)

  • 7 servings minimum
  • Serving = ½ cup rice, potatoes, pasta; 1 slice wheat bread, 1 oz. crackers (choose whole grains/whole wheat foods when possible)

Healthy fats

  • 5 servings minimum
  • Serving = 1 tsp. oil (such as olive, coconut, hemp, flaxseed), 2 Tbsp. salad dressing, ¼ cup nuts or whole seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin), 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, ¼ avocado, 1 serving fatty fish (salmon, ), 2 tbsp. ground flax or hemp

Now that you have an idea of what a balanced diet looks like, let's put it all together. Whether you're at school or out with friends, you can usually find a meal that will meet your needs. If it doesn't, don't be shy about asking for extra protein, cheese, bacon, avocado, salad toppings, etc. Below are some examples of high-energy lunches and snacks.

High-energy lunches:

  • Double cheeseburger, French fries, apple, ice cream
  • Fried chicken, potatoes with gravy, vegetables
  • Pizza with sausage or hamburger, side salad
  • Macaroni with extra cheese, grapes
  • Double ham, cheese, and veggie omelet
  • Deli sandwich with extra cheeses and meats, apple or orange

High-energy snacks:

  • Chicken Tenders with dipping sauce
  • Trail mix (nuts, raisins, dried apricots/fruit)
  • Apple pie with ice cream or cheese
  • Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream
  • Fruit (apple, banana) with 4 tbsp. peanut butter
  • Full-Fat Cheese with whole wheat crackers
  • Nuts (such as almonds, cashews) with string cheese
  • Crackers or Bagel with peanut butter
  • Muffin and Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt or ice cream with nuts and/or candy
  • Grilled Cheese sandwich with avocado, bacon, tomato
  • High-protein snack/granola bars (at least 20g protein)
  • Milkshakes with ice cream, heavy cream, powdered milk, and/or instant breakfast powder and fruit
  • Store-bought, calorie-rich nutrition supplement shakes

Recommendations provided by: Zachari Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN.

Patient Introductions, Teens & Young Adults
Diet and Nutrition, Teens & Young Adults

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