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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blenderized Diet - How Naomi Gets Fed...Feeding Tube Awareness Week - Day 3

Addressing Misconceptions:  What do you want other people to know about feeding tubes?  Naomi can have real food.  It takes a little more work but Naomi now mostly gets blended up real food in her tube and today we're going to show you how.

So this is what Naomi ate at first.  On the left is a 1.5 formula (1.5 calories per milliliter).  The  four boxes a day equaled 1420 calories, this blew Naomi up from below the growth curve to the 50th percentile so we cut back to a 1.0 formula on the right  this was 948 calories.  But on both formulas Naomi had lots of tummy troubles.  We also really wanted to give Naomi real food.  When I read the ingredients of both formulas corn syrup solids was right near the top of the list.  We'd also been told by our feeding therapist and members of our local feeding tube support group that children were more willing to eat on a blenderized diet, so we scoured the Internet for the little information there is, found a great online group of people who were already doing a blenderized diet and jumped in.  So this is how we prepare Naomi's food and give it to her.
First we get everything ready.  This is everything that went into today's blend, except I forgot to include the almond butter and black beans in the picture.

 Then we throw everything in the Vitamix, our high speed blender.

And blend, it usually takes about 3-5 minutes of slowly walking up the speeds and then 2 minutes on high to make sure everything is well blended and broken down so there are no large particles to block her tube.
Then we pour the blend into 8 ounce glass baby bottles.  This blend filled 3 bottles.  Do you have to use these bottles? No, but we like them.  I prefer glass to plastic and these are a good size for storing.  We either store in the fridge or freezer depending on how soon we're going to use it.
Now it's time for a feeding.

We put the baby to bed, just for the mid afternoon feeding though.

Then we get everything ready.  We put a towel on the couch for Naomi to sit on, we grab baby wipes, her blend which I warmed up to room temperature in sink of hot water, a bottle of water, a 10cc syringe, a bottle of whole milk, an extension set and a 60cc syringe with plunger.  The little table was $20 at IKEA and well worth it.
Then we attach the extension to Naomi's button and plug the 60cc syringe into the extension.

We pour the blend into the syringe.

Use the plunger to push the blend into Naomi's tummy.  Some people gravity feed, let the blend run into the tummy.  We make Naomi's blends too thick to do this.  When we first started we plunged really slow but now we do three syringes full in about 5-7 minutes.
Then we pour about an ounce of milk into the blend bottle and shake it up and pour the last bit through Naomi's tube.

Sometimes we make a mess, this is why the towel and baby wipes are the most important part.

Last we flush the tube with water.
All done!
Sam, my photography assistant.

Elijah, who offered much instruction during our demonstration.
And Bethany, chief editor.  She told us which pictures NOT to include.


  1. Love it. What an excellent family. :)

  2. You are mommy-extraordinaire. <3

  3. Fabulous tutorial. I'm gonna ask you if I can borrow it....

  4. Hey, I just hopped over to your site via Stumbleupon. Not somthing I would normally read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for making something worth reading.

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  5. Hi! Thanks for blogging about your blenderized experience. I am going to start dabbling with it for my 2 year old son next week. Do you mind sharing what brand the glass bottles you use are? I'm having a hard time, for some reason, finding 8 oz glass bottles for this purpose that has lids and measurements on the side as well. Thanks so much! w r i t e j e n n i f e r @ g m a i l . c o m

  6. I'm glad that a blenderized diet is working so well for you. And nice blender! There is a 100% real food option that is shelf stable available. Check out justfoodblends.com.