Mary Judd, Paediatric Respiratory Dietician at the Royal Brompton has put together this blog, including some ideas for how to mix it up a bit when packing your child's lunch.
Every child with cystic fibrosis has different nutritional needs and requirements. Generally speaking their nutritional requirements may be higher than their friends because they need extra calories and nutrients to help them fight infection and keep their lungs strong, particularly if they get sick with colds or the flu.
Lunch is an important meal as it helps children maintain their energy and concentration levels through the school afternoon. With the right balance of nutrition, extra fat and calories, and prescribed supplements, children, teens and adults alike can all help to keep themselves healthier.
Here are some ideas that our patients and their families have told us work well in lunch boxes, especially when you get bored of the traditional sandwich!
- Think about pasta and pesto, salads or cheese and crackers to mix things up a bit.
- Gone are the traditional days when people wanted to just have chocolate bars and crisps (although these are good too). Flapjacks or shortbread can have as many calories as a chocolate bar. Also, add Mini Cheddars, Twiglets, pastry and cheese straws.
- Mix any wrap or potato filling with mayonnaise or olive oil to increase the calories – such as tinned tuna or salmon, egg, or chicken (sliced or left over roast).
- Babybels, cheese strings or cheese triangles can be thrown into any lunch box as an extra.
- Dessert pots (Cadbury do different versions) or mini rice and custard pots. These are great because they tend to be high in calories. Don't forget to pop a spoon in!
- Scone, malted fruit bread or hot cross bun with butter or cream cheese and jam.
- Peanut butter can be tasty and high in calories but check the school’s policy on nuts.
- Left over pizza or quiche.
- Picnic plate – salami/ham, cheese cubes, crackers, dips, vegetable sticks.
- Dried fruits – especially yoghurt or chocolate-covered.
- Bagels (cinnamon and raisin or blueberry; with cream cheese works quite well too).
- Fruit juice or yogurt-based smoothies are a great way to add some vitamins or minerals. Also milkshakes (Frijj, Nesquik or Yazoo) are usually welcome additions. However, the dietitian may sometimes recommend a higher calorie version of milkshake on prescription.