Have you thought about using a homemade tube feeding or blenderized diet instead of a commercial formula?
When people start tube feeding, most are given orders for commercial formulas that are tailored to their specific dietary needs. However, people who rely on tube feeding can make blenderized formulas at home with the guidance of a Registered Dietitian.
Homemade tube formulas can be a great option for some tube-fed patients. Patients can customize formulas according to personal taste preference and it can be more affordable than commercial formulas.
A blenderized diet consists of pureeing real food (i.e. fruits, veggies, carbs, protein, and fats) which is then fed via a feeding tube.
6 Tips for a Homemade Tube Feeding Formula:
1. Start slowly
Commercial formulas are specifically designed to provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. A slow transition is important when making your own formulas to ensure that you are meeting your nutritional needs.
2. Work with a dietitian
Working with a Registered Dietitian will allow you to have leverage over taste preference while ensuring you’re receiving the proper nutritional and caloric requirements for your body.
Navigating the process of making your own tube feeding formula can feel like a big responsibility but your dietitian can answer your questions and make the process less daunting.
3. Invest in a high-quality blender
While you definitely can use a cheap blender for a blenderized formula diet, investing in a high-quality blender can save you time and will last longer than a cheaper alternative.
By using a high-quality blender, you won’t have to strain the puree, which is good since training can cause you to lose some valuable fiber. Here’s one of our favorites: Ninja Blender.
Some high-quality blender brands, such as Vitamix, offer discounts to individuals and families who can prove that they use their blender for medical reasons. If you’re interested in finding out if you’re eligible for a discount on a Vitamix High Performance blender, visit this page for more information.
4. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed
Making formula for a blenderized diet can be time-consuming and feel overwhelming at times. It’s okay not to be a superstar formula chef right off the bat, it takes time and practice to learn the ins and outs of making homemade formula.
Remember, your Registered Dietitian is there to help you every step of the way!
5. Canned fruits and veggies are more affordable
Oftentimes, recipes for blenderized formulas call for either fresh fruits and vegetables or for baby food. Fresh produce and baby food can be expensive but can easily be replaced by canned produce.
Canned produce will provide you with the same nutrients but at a less expensive price.
6. Be sure to thoroughly puree food before feeding and thoroughly flush tube after feeding
If the food is too thick and not pureed enough, it will result in a clogged tube (which no one wants to deal with!).
Be sure to flush the tube properly and thoroughly after use.
If the tube does get clogged, don’t freak out — there are many techniques that will help you unclog it. If you need some tips on unclogging a feeding tube, click here for some helpful tips.
Interested in more information or personalized tube feeding help? Contact us to schedule an appointment!
Check out our other tube feeding blog!
-Blog reviewed and updated by Rebecca Bitzer MS RD LD September 1, 2021
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.