Real food for Tubies!

Our Blendtec blender arrived in the mail last week.  We are ready to begin Max’s blenderized diet!

When Max received his g-tube, I assumed I would pump for as long as I could stand it (my initial goal was 9 months – HA!) and then we would have to move him to Pediasure or another chemically derived liquid formula.  I just assumed that the only way to get food and nutrients through the tube was to feed him exclusively on an unnatural liquid diet.  I first heard about the blenderized diet from a friend who had a child with a g-tube.  She put me in touch with the Facebook group for parents of kids on the Blenderized Diet.  Since then, I have been observing, gleaning, and learning a ton!  The parents in this group had so many great things to say about blending real foods for their tube fed children!  Kids who had trouble gaining weight were back on the  growth charts.  Children who would vomit after almost every formula feeding would quit vomiting altogether.  There were parents of kids with g-tubes, j-tubes, peg-tubes, and even NG tubes!  There were even adult “tubies” in the group.  I was sold!  I knew that real food was what I wanted for Max.

We started small.  We got some jarred baby foods and added some to a couple of his feedings per day.  I was beginning to need to supplement his expressed breast milk with some formula (yes, I’m STILL pumping), so we tried to substitute the formula with baby food.  He started having less problems with gas and was more content to be laying down by himself.  As we increased the baby food that we were giving him and decreased the formula, Max started stooling much more consistently.  I tried a few other foods – homemade pureed beets, blended avocado, and garbanzo beans.  The beets and avocado worked fine (other than having some beet-stained diapers), but the garbanzo beans wouldn’t go through the tube.  So the next step was to get a professional blender.

According to the moms on the blenderized diet (BD) group on facebook, there were two options:  Blendtec or Vita-Mix.  These are the only two blenders that can blend pretty much any food fine enough to go through a tube.  So I contacted the companies to see if there were medical discounts available, and about a week ago our Blendtec showed up!  Surprisingly enough, I have not used the blender yet.  It’s just sitting on the counter looking great, building my excitement.  I think eggs will be the first thing to try.  I plan to blend all the food he would take for couple days at a time and then give him a balanced “meal” at every feeding rather than trying to balance his diet with one food at each feeding.

So we’re just starting.  I have no great recipes or advice to offer (keep checking back, I will post recipes when I get good at this), but I’m excited.  I think this is going to be great for our family and especially our son!