Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Salt & Calories

One of the quirky things about having a child with CF is the nutritional side, and there are many, many things we'll be learning as Judith gets older.  Right now, I feel weird doing some of the things we need to do, because we would seriously be judged out in public by strangers that have no clue why we're doing it.

Funny/random side note: I have Judith in the Ergo right now, and as I'm typing about nutrition, she's sitting here alternating between licking my shirt, the Ergo strap, and gnawing on said strap.  Either she's telling me she needs more fiber, she's teething, or is orally exploring.  Whatever it is, it's gross.

Back to my original thought.  One thing we need to do is add salt to her formula.  Right now, she gets 1/4 tsp mixed into her pitcher each day.  People with CF shed salt like crazy when they sweat (more than a normal person), and it has to be replaced - this is why when you kiss Judith, especially if she's warm and sweating, she'll taste salty.  Salting down her food or formula helps with this replacement.  It's especially critical for her to get enough salt right now because we're in the hot summer months.  The interesting part is she won't have to worry about hypertension and all of the other things that happen from too much salt - apparently people with CF are immune to this happening because of the amount of salt they lose.  I thought that was interesting.  :)

For some strange reason, I'm a little paranoid about adding salt to Judith's bottles when we're out in public.  I try to remember to add the salt either to the water in the bottle or to the powder in the travel case before leaving the house so I can avoid people seeing me do it.  I don't know - maybe I'm worried about people judging, and maybe it's a defense mechanism against having strangers walk up to me and give me an unsolicited lecture.  I'm hoping that I can get over this paranoia in time, because there will be a day in the near future where we'll be in a restaurant or something and I'm going to have to salt her food or drink for her.

The other thing we need to do is boost her calories in her food.  People with CF need high calorie diets to make sure they're getting all the nutrients their bodies need.  We're keeping her on the NeoSure (22 calorie formula) until we transition her to whole cow's milk.  Our bank account is weeping at this news, because the cost for that stuff is insane, but if it's going to give her what she needs I'll gladly give it to her.

I wish we could give her straight purees, but we have to add some sort of cereal to boost calorie content of those as well.  So I mix rice cereal in with her veggies, and oatmeal in with her fruit.  If you remember, I posted a while ago about the rice cereal being a no-go; well, if it's masked by another food, Judith will eat it with no problems!  And she absolutely loves the oatmeal.  The cereal has a bonus effect: it thickens some of the runnier purees, and Judith likes her purees on the thicker side.

I'm interested to learn how all of this is going to change as Judith gets older. :)

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