Auntie Carrie’s corner: 6 healthy, tasty, robust recipes for toddlers with cystic fibrosis

Aunt Carrie just stepped up her game.

Aunt Carrie, stepping up her auntie game. Fierce.
Aunt Carrie, stepping up her auntie game. Fierce.

Carrie is Mark’s smart and savvy sis who happens to sell nutritious baby foods to hospitals. She’s a dietitian with a Master’s in business, people. A seriously smart and driven gal! We feel so lucky to have Aunt Carrie, and all of our aunties and uncles, in ours lives.

She sent me a list of tot-friendly recipes for kids with cystic fibrosis yesterday. Her timing was perfect! Eli has been pulling toddler stuff lately, refusing to eat some of his old favorites, like blueberry pancakes slathered in butter. What gives, little man? As with every phase of his development, I wonder: Tot stuff or CF stuff? Is he losing his appetite due to some complication from disease, or is he just being picky ’cause he’s 18 months and learning how to control his world. Kids are really good at exerting control through food – namely, by refusing to eat it!

Concerned about his appetite shift, I called our CF Clinic nutritionist, Danielle, this week. She’s sending me some helpful PDFs with more ideas. She also let me know that Eli now needs 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day. Um, that’s what I need as a grown woman trying to shed some baby weight!

Keeping Eli good n hearty, in the 50th percentile, will help him ward off all kinds of health threats. He needs the extra calories because, even with the help of digestive enzymes, his body doesn’t absorb fat right on account of his wonky cellular behavior caused by his genetic disease. You’d never know he had any issues by the size of his gut, though. He’s rather jolly.

Here are 6 amazing recipes from amazing Aunt Carrie. We love you so much!

Kid and CF Friendly Recipes

1. Mini Veggie Pancakes
12 ounces broccoli slaw or zucchini and carrots or any combination of the three
2 large eggs
½ C. finely chopped onion (I grated it to eliminate any chunks)
¼ C. all purpose flour
½ C. grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ t. salt (I bumped it up to ½ t.)
ground pepper to taste
2 T. olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or butter
Extra butter for spreading

In a microwave safe bowl, cover broccoli/zucchin/carrots with plastic wrap and steam until soft (about 5 minutes). Cool slightly.
Beat eggs and add onion, flour, parmesan, salt, pepper, cooked veggies.
Heat oil in skillet. When hot, drop heaping teaspoons of batter into pan. Cook until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side)
I spread butter on top while hot and serve with sour cream or softened cream cheese
Recipe courtesy of

2. Easy Cheddar Cheese Puffs
These are a cross between cheese crackers and a super cheesy biscuit and perfect for little fingers!
1 C. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
3 C. grated cheddar cheese
6 T. salted butter, chilled and chopped
½ t. salt (I would try the recipe as is before adding additional salt)
1-3 T. whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor or mixer, combine first 5 ingredients until crumbly
Add the milk a small bit at a time until the mixture just forms a ball
Using a 1 teaspoon scoop (or eyeball it), scoop and roll dough into balls
Bake for 15 minute or until golden brown
I use these as a higher calorie replacement for crackers or cereal. They also freeze really well!
Recipe courtesy of

3. Avocado Chicken Salad
1 C. finely shredded chicken breast
1 avocado
2 T. Cream Cheese
2 T. plain full fat yogurt or mayonnaise
½-1 t. salt
1 T. ground flax (optional)
¼ C. salsa (optional)
Ritz crackers (or similar)
Mash together avocado, cream cheese, yogurt/mayonnaise, salsa, salt, flax, and salsa. Mix in chicken breast.
Spread onto Ritz crackers
To make into balls (easier for younger kiddos): crush ritz and add into mixture until it becomes a rollable consistency. Form balls and serve.

4. Peanut butter balls (for kids older than 1)
1 C. Peanut or Almond butter
½ C. Honey
4 packets Carnation Instant breakfast of your choice OR 1 C. dry milk powder
1 t. Salt (optional)
Combine all ingredients and roll into teaspoon sized balls. Refrigerate until firm.
Great to freeze as well, thaw before serving

5. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
1 medium sweet potato
1 T. melted coconut oil/olive oil/avocado oil
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, line sheet tray with parchment paper
Peel sweet potato. Cut into approx. ¼ inch wide fries.
Toss sweet potato fries with oil, salt, and sugar
Spread in one layer on sheet tray
Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning fries half way through baking time
The fries will be soft and not super crispy, unless cooked longer.

6. Green Smoothies
1 C. spinach or any preferred greens (I’ve found spinach to be the most mild)
½ C. full fat plain or flavored greek yogurt
1 carrot
1 C. fresh or frozen fruit—I use banana, strawberries, pineapple, and mango mostly
1 T. Chia seeds soaked in ¼ C. water or juice
1 T. flax seeds, ground
½ C. liquid (water, juice, whole milk)
1-2 T. Coconut Oil
Layer softer ingredients in the bottom and frozen on top. Blend until smooth. We use a blendtec and it completely pulverizes everything, including the seeds and solid coconut oil. You can also melt the coconut oil.



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