If you or your child was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), you know how it impacts every part of an individual’s life. CF makes it difficult to breathe and take in nutrients you need to thrive, and it can be taxing to endure CF complications at every turn. To help you stay healthy, we’ve listed our top three tips for living with Cystic Fibrosis. 

1. Eat a high-calorie diet. 

People with CF need more calories than those without CF because it requires more effort for them to breathe normally. They need more energy from the calories they consume to maintain a steady supply of oxygen to their body.  

It should also be noted that individuals with CF have trouble absorbing the vitamins needed to grow and fight off infection. We recommend talking to your physician about the proper nutrition to include in your diet and if vitamin supplements are necessary. 

We know it can be difficult to get your kids to eat a full meal, let alone a healthy one! So, we put this list together of fun games to get your child interested in healthy foods. 

  • Choose a letter of the week. Each week taste and discuss healthy foods which start with the chosen letter of the week. For example, for the letter ‘C’ try carrots, cucumbers and cantaloupes. 

  • Play with your food! This may sound crazy but loosening up the rules for healthy foods at mealtime can make them more exciting for your kids. For example, build a ‘fruit man’ like you would a snowman! You can use an apple for the body, carrots from the arms and legs and a watermelon ball for the head and put it all together with toothpicks! 

  • Take your child on food excursions to make learning about food and eating it an adventure. You can go to a farm, food market, bakery or seafood shop to show them where the food comes from and let them choose what you take home. 

2. Exercise regularly to develop healthy lungs.  

We know you likely have busy schedules going to work and chasing after your kids, so it can feel like a daunting task to fit exercise into your routine. You can start small by choosing daily  exercise-friendly tasks, such as: 

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator 
  • Park at the back of the parking lot to walk further into school or the store 
  • Challenge your child to race back to the car (or any nearby destination) 
  • Draw and play hopscotch in the driveway 

Many adults also find accountability very important for their fitness journey. It’s a great idea to ask someone in your support system to be your fitness buddy! The two of you, or a group of you if you choose, can follow a fitness program together or set up specific days of the week to get together and work out. 

3. Establish a daily CF treatment routine. 

Anyone with a chronic illness, or has a child with a chronic illness, will tell you that the most important part of CF treatment is sticking to a routine. But some people are simply not prone to routine. You get up at a slightly different time every day, don’t have a specific order for how you get ready and definitely don’t have a detailed schedule written out on your calendar. However,  this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stick to your CF treatment routine! Here are a few tips to fitting your CF treatment into your day. 

  • Do your first treatments right when you wake up, before your day gets hectic. 
  • Set an alarm for when you need to take your medications throughout the day. 
  • Multi-task! Do your treatments during daily activities like doing your hair/make-up and getting ready for bed. You can even do your treatments while you watch TV. 
  • Create daily checklists in your planner 

If you have any questions about the equipment required for your CF treatments, please don’t hesitate to reach out! You’ll be met with patience and kindness from our staff of experts because caring for you and your children is our top priority.