Yayyy, Everyone is on board with Braxton starting a blenderized diet! We saw his GI last week and spoke with him and a dietician about making the change and the doctor felt it was a great idea to change Braxton to a Blenderized Diet since he was having so many problems with the formula. GI is also sending Braxton to have another abdominal ultrasound and Upper GI Scan to make sure that nothing in his anatomy has changed that is causing the vomiting and also to be sure he hasn’t developed a hernia because he has been vomiting so much. We’ll do that next week, for now we are working on the new diet.
What is a Blenderized Diet?
A blenderized diet is essentially blending up REAL food into a liquid consistency so that we can still feed Braxton through his G-Tube. With this new diet we could basically blend up anything we are eating and feed it to Braxton instead of that icky formula.
Why a Blenderized Diet?
There’s no definitive you HAVE to do this for your child answer out there. Every parent has the right to choose how to feed their child. We decided to give a try because Braxton has such a hard time with the formulas we have tried. For one, how would you like to be on a liquid diet? It just didn’t make sense to continue to make Braxton stay on a completely liquid diet. We want to maintain some sort of “normal” with him, and “normal” 18 month olds are already eating hamburgers and hot dogs! While we aren’t blending up hamburgers and hot dogs just yet, you get the idea. We want Braxton to start having REAL food. My research has shown me that several other parents started for the same reasons we have: formula intolerance, vomiting, gagging, retching and so forth – almost all of those parents said those issues stopped almost completely on the blenderized diet. It also helps kids to be able eat by mouth faster. A lot of parents have said their children are more willing to try oral feeding once they start with a blenderized diet, and at the end of the day, THAT is the goal! We want Braxton to learn to eat by mouth so we can eventually take the G-Tube out. Other reported benefits include faster hair growth, healthier skin and nails, and better intestinal health.
There is a TON of information out there! Here are a few sites I checked out to gather some information:
- Blenderized Food for Tubies – They have a fb group and website with a searchable forum. Lots of getting started tips and recipes from other parents.
- Feeding Tube Awareness– All things tubie! They have a page of links and info on getting started as well
- You Start With a Tube – A man WITH a feeding tube started this site and has a book “Complete Tubefeeding” Which is another great resource
- Mealtime Notions – “Homemade Blended Formula Handbook” Everything you need to know about homemade formula
After reading everything and talking to our GI and Dietitian I decided on a simple recipe to begin with until I’m comfortable moving up to more elaborate recipes. Also, many will mention that you need a high speed blender like the VitaMix or BlendTec Blender (both companies offer discounts if you are purchasing for medical reasons). We do not have a high speed blender, so we are currently using our regular blender or our hand blender. So far it’s worked just fine since we are using already pureed foods. If this is something that works well and we have success with we’ll look into the high speed blenders. No point in spending $400 for something if it might not even work! The point is, don’t be discouraged to try if you don’t have one of these blenders.
Here is the starter Recipe I used: (Said it was a 1,000 cal recipe, but I came up with a different figure) Following this recipe exactly also yielded about 60 ounces of food! I’ll explain more in the next post about adjustments
- 2 Cups Mixed Grain Infant Cereal
- 12 oz Vegetable Baby Food
- 8 oz Fruit Baby Food
- 3 oz Pureed Meat
- 16 oz Water
- 4 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Karo Syrup
With any of the recipes you find, you can use any fruits and veggies, but you have to follow the regular guidelines for “normal” oral feeding babies. You should introduce one food at a time for 3-4 days before switching to the next just so that IF there is a food allergy it’s easy to rule out what food caused the allergy. Since we’ve already gone through that process when Brax was eating by mouth, we have been able to mix foods pretty easily.
Our trials will be a separate post, just wanted to put out some info on the new diet we are trying.