Homemade blenderized food is growing in popularity for tube feeding. You may choose to do this to help provide variety in you or your child’s feeding schedule, or for other reasons such as allergies to traditional formula ingredients or the high cost of commercial formula, which can be expensive if not covered by insurance.
Before you start your child on a blenderized diet, here are some considerations to think about:
- Consult a professional: To be sure you’re creating the appropriate nutrition, consult with a registered dietician/nutritionist before you get started. Blenderized foods may not provide all the nutrition or fiber you need. Also, people with malabsorption or digestive issues may be unable to use blenderized food, so consult your physician.
- Choose a high-speed blender: The success of blenderized food is in the device you use to process it. The Oley Foundation recommends the Vita-Mix or Blendtec blenders as the most effective at liquefying foods. You may still have to strain your blend for seeds or chunks.
- Select easy-to-blend foods: Such foods include avocado, banana, lentils, nut butters, quinoa, sweet potatoes and other soft foods. Avoid foods that are more prone to becoming lumpy or too thick for feeding tubes such as white pasta, breads, muffins and even olives.
- Start slow: While you may be excited to begin your new regimen, it’s probably a good idea to start slow. Rather than switching over completely to blenderized foods, add in one new fruit or veggie at a time to see how you tolerate it.
- Administer as usual, but with caution: Blenderized foods can be administered the same way as commercial formula—through gravity, bolus, or pump. However, be aware of the potential for clogging and food separation that is not as common in commercial formula. Always be sure to clean blenders and syringes immediately after use.
- Feed within 24 hours: Blenderized foods are fresh foods and should be administered within 24 hours to avoid spoilage and refrigerated when not in use.
Do you use blenderized foods? If so, what are your favorite foods that blenderize most easily? We’d love to hear on Facebook!