Important Facts for Your Infant with CF

Infant being fed
  • A balanced diet, which includes optimal calories, vitamins and minerals, is important for good nutritional health for your infant with EPI due to CF
  • Your infant with CF needs more calories, vitamins and salt when compared to infants who do not have CF. Infants with EPI due to CF need to be given supplemental pancreatic enzymes every time they are fed
  • Breast milk and/or infant formula is the best source of nutrition in your baby’s first year of life
  • If a baby’s weight gain is slow, your CF Center dietitian or care provider may suggest ways for you to add extra calories to breast milk or formula
  • Vitamin supplements are important for babies who have CF to help meet their nutritional needs. Your CF Center dietitian will prescribe the vitamins and minerals that are just right for your baby
  • All people who have CF, including babies, need extra salt. It is very important that you add the amount of salt your CF Center dietitian has recommended to your baby’s meals. Too much or too little salt can be a problem for your baby

Developing Positive Eating Habits in Infants with CF

  • Taking care of a newborn can be challenging. Newborns who are breast-fed may want to eat frequently throughout the day and night. Formula-fed babies may want to eat every three hours. Once you and your baby have a feeding routine, try to establish a feeding schedule that will make giving supplemental pancreatic enzymes a bit easier
  • For a breast-fed baby, keep track of how many times a day your baby is eating and how many wet diapers your baby has daily. This, along with weight gain, will help your CF Center dietitian know if your baby is getting enough breast milk
  • For a formula-fed baby, keep track of how many ounces of formula your baby is drinking with each feeding, how many wet diapers your baby has daily and how many times a day your baby is eating. Your CF Center dietitian will use the information to develop a nutrition plan
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that solid food be added to your baby’s diet at six months of age, but some babies may be ready for solids as early as 4 months. You can talk with your CF Center dietitian about adding solids
    • Single-grain infant cereals (such as rice cereal) are a good first choice, with the gradual introduction of high-calorie strained foods. Your CF Center dietitian can help you learn which strained foods are high in nutrition and calories

*These models are not cystic fibrosis patients.

The CFChef CF Nutrition Guide was developed with input from Registered Dietitian and CF Nutrition Specialist Suzanne Michel, MPH, RD, LDN, based on information and guidelines from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is not affiliated with, and has not endorsed, the AbbVie CFChef program. The content on is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.