So I gave you a little background as to why we wanted to start a blenderized diet and where to find info if you are looking to start as well. We have now been working on this for about a week and I’ve seen IMMEDIATE improvement!! Braxton has not vomited once!! [Might be a little premature to call this a success since the corn starch thing worked two weeks before it fell apart, but I’m hopeful this will work!] Speaking of work….holy cow! A blenderized diet is SO MUCH WORK! I’m officially more disciplined than I have ever been. You thought our medical binder was a big deal? Pffttt. I have a journal keeping track of our recipes and what worked and didn’t work, I’m counting calories, checking labels, creating and updating spreadsheets, scheduling time to make Braxton’s food, and somehow managing at least a few hours of sleep. Several other parents have this down to a science, and I’m sure I’ll get there eventually, but for now it’s a lot of work.
We do have a prescription from our doc for “Compleat Pediatric,” which is a blended diet formula available commercially. Since a lot of it is still processed and it has added chemicals and whatnot I opted for the homemade route. There is NOTHING wrong with using the formula, my speech therapist and GI both highly recommended it and said it was just as nutritious, I just thought I’d try the homemade route instead. We have it on hand for the days I can’t make the homemade blend or for traveling, but I’m trying really hard not to give in yet!
Currently, it takes me about an hour and half from start to finish (including cleanup) to mix Braxton’s food and put it in containers for the next day. I haven’t started making very large batches and freezing as we’re still working out the kinks so to speak. Don’t want to store a lot that we can’t use! So this week, we’ve tried 3 different recipes that I will share with you. As a reminder, I’m using already pureed jars of baby food until I get this down and then I’ll try using fresh/frozen fruits and veggies. I’m also using a regular blender instead of a high speed blender. Right now it is working just fine for us 🙂 Lastly, Braxton was feeding orally prior to starting this diet so we’ve already introduced most foods so didn’t need to do the normal introduction process. Since he’s already been introduced to many foods I’ve had a little more freedom in changing recipes around.
Here’s our first recipe we tried (along with some pics for clarification)
- 2 C Mixed Grain Gerber Infant Cereal
- 7 ounces Happy Naturals Squash Baby Food
- 5 ounces Gerber Green Beans Baby Food
- 4 ounces Happy Naturals Pears Baby Food
- 4 ounces Happy Naturals Applesauce
- 2.5 ounces Happy Naturals Beef w/Gravy Baby Food
16 ounces 8 ounces Water
- 16 ounces Whole Milk
- 4 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Karo Syrup
- 15 mL Lactulose [This is a prescribed laxative from his doctor, we added it just to make sure he didn’t get backed up]
Some notes about this recipe: The original recipe called for 16 ounces of water, as I started mixing this in my blender, my blender got full awfully fast so I decided to just use half the water since it didn’t add any calories anyway. Also, this being my first attempt, I made a big mess! I also mixed everything started portioning out bottles and realized I FORGOT TO ADD THE CEREAL!!! Geez louise! An hour into it and I screwed up. I poured all the bottles BACK into the blender and added the cereal then re-portioned out the feeds. It was very messy. Pretty sure I lost a few ounces of this mix. My first attempt took at least 2 and half hours to figure everything out. At the end I seriously questioned this whole process.
Here’s some nutritional facts about this recipe:
Nutritional Facts on 1st Recipe
Here are a few pics from my first trial…
Ingredients I used for the first trial
Finally got everything (but the cereal, doh!) in the blender
Mix it all up
6- 8ounce bottles of food ready to go
First feed, I think he likes it.
Being silly during feeding time
Here’s how the feedings go:
With his previous feedings we had to feed Braxton over an hour and a half on his feeding pump. With this diet, it’s a little too thick for the pump (could add water to thin and use pump) so we decided to use our syringe to feed him instead. This part we took pretty slow at first. We gave him 2 ounces of food from one syringe over about 5 minutes. I waited 5 minutes and gave him about 15mL of free water to wash out his tube and get some water in him. I waited about 15 minutes and then did this same process again until the feed was gone. Our first feed took about an hour just because we wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to throw it up all over us. He didn’t. 🙂 Not only did he not throw up, he tolerated 10 ounces actually because of the extra water. WAY more than he ever has. We’ve worked our way up now and I can feed him in about 15 minutes. I do 2 ounce increments of food until the feed is gone and then give him 2 ounces of water. What’s with the water?? Our body requires a certain amount of water to stay hydrated. While he is getting his nutritional needs, he still needs water to balance out the diet and keep his body working regularly, so we give him at least 2 ounces with every feeding and offer some between feeds as well. As this has been my main focus, I haven’t worked on oral feeds too much yet, but as I’m getting the hang of this we will definitely work on it!
So the first trial took for-ev-er and I made a huge mess. This one is gonna be better! Ha, took less time and I made less mess, but definitely not figured out yet. Here’s the recipe I used for this batch:
- 2 Cups Mixed Grain Gerber Cereal [I did NOT forget to add it this time! – Ugh but don’t add it first, blend takes forever!]
- 4 ounces Happy Naturals Sweet Potato Baby Food
- 4 ounces Happy Naturals Squash Baby Food
- 4 ounces Happy Naturals Vegetable Turkey Baby Food
- 4 ounces Gerber Apples & Cherries Baby Food
- 4 ounces Gerber Pear Baby Food
- 2.5 ounces Happy Naturals Turkey w/Gravy Baby Food
- 8 ounces of water
- 16 ounces Organic Whole Milk
- 4 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Karo Syrup
- 30 mL Lactulose [no BM the past 2 days so we doubled the dose since this makes enough for 2 days]
Notes for this round: This makes A LOT!! Perhaps I lost more than I thought on the first batch. I portioned out enough feeds for 2 days and STILL had enough to freeze! Think I came up with 64 ounces from this feed. Decided that next time I’ll use NO water to try to decrease the volume it makes and increase the calories per ounce. Oh, and don’t put the cereal first, takes too long to blend. I had to use a rubber spatula to mix it in all the way. Oh, and the volume was way too much, I had to pour the mix into a large mixing bowl and use our stick blender to finish it. Worked well, but just a lot – portioned some into our Baby Bullet to help pour into the bottles and make less mess! 😉 No pics, mostly because they all would have looked the same! ha!
But, here are the nutritional facts for this one:
Nutritional Facts for Trial 2
Things are getting better each time around! Taking less and less time as I figure my way around everything. Here’s the recipe we used. [If you’ve noticed, they are all pretty much the same, I’m just trying out different fruits and veggies]
- 2 C Mixed Grain Gerber Infant Cereal
- 6 oz Gerber Broccoli and Carrots w/ Cheese Baby Food
- 6 oz Gerber Mixed Veggies and Turkey Baby Food
- 8 oz Gerber Apple Blueberry Baby Food
- 2.5 oz Happy Naturals Turkey w/Gravy Baby Food
- 16 oz Whole Milk
- 4 tsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Karo Syrup [Tummy troubles, so increased the amount]
- 30 mL Lactulose
Notes for this round: If you noticed, I did not include any water in this recipe. Mostly because it thinned the mix out so much and decreased the calories per ounce so Brax hadn’t been getting the calories he needs to maintain/gain weight. We decided to supplement by offering water between feeds.
Nutritional Facts for this recipe:
Nutrition Facts for 3rd Recipe
** Other Notes **
I have been e-mailing my recipes and notes to our dietitian so she can help track Braxton’s progress and offer me some guidance as this is all new to me and I am not anywhere near being an expert on this stuff. I heard back from her today and she told me we’ve been doing ok, but with the recipe I’m using she felt it was too much cereal for Braxton. Baby cereal is fortified with iron and very constipating so might be too much for him to handle. She gave me a few other recipes to try instead. [They are pretty similar, so I’m not too deflated about the progress we’ve made] I’ll be trying those this weekend. For now, I’ll leave you with the additional recipes she gave me.
Recipe #1: Easy to Make
- 12 oz whole milk
- 213 g strained chicken (3-71 g jars of baby food)
- 1 small jar (113 g) strained peas
- 1 small jar (113 g) strained carrots
- 3.5 oz strained peaches
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Add all ingredients to blender. Blend well, until about the consistency of milk or formula.
- Calories: 925, Protein: 43 g, Carbohydrate: 104 g, Fiber: 6 g, Fat: 40 g,Volume: 1000 cc = 1000 ml (~33 ounces), 28 kcal/oz
Recipe #2: Low Cost
- 16 oz reconstituted instant non-fat dry milk powder (2/3 cup non-fat milk
- powder + 2 cups water)
- 1 scrambled egg (cooked well)
- 1 cup enriched macaroni (cooked tender)
- ½ cup mashed yam
- 1 cup apple sauce (sweetened, canned)
- 2 Tbsp. corn or vegetable oil
- Prepare milk, egg, macaroni, and yam. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend well, until about the consistency of milk or formula.
- Calories: 955, Protein: 31 g, Carbohydrate 135 g, Fiber: 7 g, Fat: 34 g,Volume: 1000 cc = 1000 ml (~33 ounces), 29 kcal/oz
Here’s a spreadsheet of recipes based on the calorie goal you are looking for:
Spreadsheet based on calorie intake
Until next time, Happy Blending! 🙂