Golisano Children's Hospital / Pediatric Nutrition / Enzymes Cystic Fibrosis - Taking Enzymes Why Your Child Needs Enzymes Your child won't gain enough weight or grow properly because he or she will not be able to absorb the foods he or she eats. Your child may have problems with bowel movements, and may have to go to the bathroom frequently, or his or her stool may be smelly and oily. Your child may have stomach pain. Your child may have stomach distention (large, rounded abdomen). Your child may have a lot of gassiness. Your child may develop a rectal prolapse or an ileal obstruction. How to Help Your Child Make sure your child takes their enzymes. Make sure your child eats a healthy, nutritious diet. Provide your child with vitamin supplements. Tips for Taking Enzymes If your child can't swallow capsules, open up the capsules and mix the contents into a small amount of food such as applesauce, yogurt, jelly, jam, ketchup or Jell-O. Don't choose foods that need to be chewed, or are hot, high in protein (meat, cheese, eggs) or are acidic, like oranges or tomatoes. Have your child take their enzymes before a meal or snack. If the meal or snack takes longer than 20-30 minutes to eat, your child should take more enzymes. High fat meals require more enzymes: meals like fried foods, cheese dishes, peanut butter or chocolate, or gravy or sauces that are added to foods. Some meals or snacks do not require enzymes: foods like juice, plain cereal, fruit, soda, or Kool-Aid type drinks.