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Gastroenterology and nutrition

Our approach to food-based tube feedings

What is a blenderized formula?

A liquefied or smoothly pureed food used instead of or as a supplement with, a commercial enteral formula for tube feedings. The food can be either commercially-prepared pediatric blended meals or homemade food-based tube feeding formula.

Why consider a blenderized product or recipe?

Increased:
Oral intake
Volume tolerance
Bowel regularity

Decreased:
Gagging/retching
Vomiting
Reflux
Constipation

Who is a good candidate?

  1. Medically stable (including labs)
  2. Gastrostomy tube (14F and above)
  3. Bolus feeding schedule
  4. >6 months of age for partial
  5. >12 months of age for full
  6. Motivation/compliance of caregiver
  7. Transportation/food accessibility

What are the pros and cons of a blenderized food diet?

Pros:

  • Increased sense of control over foods
  • Ability to avoid multiple food allergies
  • Fewer side effects (vomiting, bowel function)
  • Family meals

Cons:

  • Longer prep time
  • Need to plan ahead (meal adequacy, travel)
  • Higher risk of contamination
  • Bits of food may obstruct feeding tube if not blenderized to thin liquid consistency

Try a shelf-stable premade product, or make your own

What to consider for the parent:

  • Goals
  • Time available
  • Willingness

What to consider for the child:

  • Sensitivity to change
  • Allergies
  • Foods consumed

Sample recipe: Holiday dinner

2 c. whole milk, or any milk substitute
1 c. turkey or chicken (w/o skin)
1 c. mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
1 c. stuffing
1 c. cranberries
1 c. cooked vegetables (e.g. green beans)

  • Add and mix turkey (or chicken) and 1 c. milk in blender. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and the rest of the milk.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • The blend should be pourable and easy to bolus feed.