Blenderized Formula Risks and Benefits

There are many blenderized formula risks and benefits for G-tube feeding. If you decide this is the right choice for your child, proceed with cautious optimism and hopefully you will be one of the parents that swear by this method.

Although met with much opposition from the medical community, the benefits of blended tube feeds for G-tube feeding are touted by many. Before making the decision to transition your child from traditional formula to a blenderized diet, consider the blenderized formula risks and benefits carefully. Also look at our article suggesting criteria for consideration of a blenderized diet. If in doubt just realize you can always reconsider it at a later time, and continue with your current plan now.

Benefits of a Homemade Blended Tube Feeding

Many parents talk about blenderized formula risks and benefits and say they have seen conditions such as constipation and reflux greatly improve or resolved. Here are the main benefits that have been found in children nourished by blenderized tube feeds:

  • The child is able to experience different foods by smelling, tasting, eating and burping the tube feed.
  • Related to the point above, transition from G-tube feeding to oral feeding is easier on the gastrointestinal tract because it is used to digesting real food, and easier on the child because they are already used to the smell and sight of the food.
  • May help parents become more involved in feeding their child, helping the parent/child bond become stronger.
  • Often decreases constipation.
  • Often decreases or resolves reflux.
blender for tube feeds http://www.flickr.com/photos/uscpsc/7303160688/

Risks of Blended Tube Feeds

Just as parents tout the benefits of blenderized feeds, many medical professionals are set against it due to additional risks not commonly associated with traditional formulas. Doctors who advise against homemade blended feedings have legitimate concerns as to the safety and efficacy of them and feel traditional canned, bottled or even powdered formulas are safer and more reliable than blenderized diets. The reasons the medical community is so cautious about these formulas is because:

  • There is significantly higher risk of bacterial growth
  • Decreased safety and increased contamination as a result of poor storage and preperation methods.
  • Inconsistent nutrient composition secondary to settling of larger, solid components.
  • When liquifying real food, it is very difficult to achieve a consistency thin enough to pass through the tube. As a result a larger, more uncomfortable tube is needed so the tube does not get clogged.
  • Blended formulas are only appropriate for people who have a fully functioning digestive system. If a specialized formula is warranted, a blended formula is probably not going to work.
  • Nutrient content varies depending on what is blended and a balanced diet is a challenge to achieve and is not guaranteed. Standard formulas meet the RDA requirements and contain the needed micro and macro nutrients.

By weighing the blenderized formula risks and benefits hopefully you can gain a clearer idea of whether or not you would like to try the blenderized diet. By weighing all the pros and cons you may come to a definite decision on weather this diet is for your child.