I wanted to wrap up Feeding Tube Awareness week by talking about what we feed Teddy.
Most people with a feeding tube are fed a liquid formula.
I believed there was a better option.
First, we kept Teddy on breastmilk for as long as possible, and 100% breastmilk until he was 1 year old. Just like his siblings.
Then, I started him on solid foods. Just like his siblings.
Except Teddy got his food blended up into a liquidish form and put directly into his belly.
It’s entirely possible (despite what your doctors may tell you) to feed a person regular foods through their feeding tube.
Some families blend up whatever everyone else is having. I figure, I’m in 100% control of what he eats without having to worry about preferences or flavor… I’m stuffing him with super nutritious foods! He does not eat what the rest of us are eating. 🙂 (and we eat pretty good… I just prefer Teddy to have a more nutrition-focused diet while I’m still in control of it.)
It’s not super hard. It’s not a super lot of work. It’s not dangerous. As long as it’s blended smooth, it’s not going to get stuck in the tube. There are a million reasons doctors have for not recommending a blended diet, but the fact is that most of them just aren’t familiar with it, and the unfamiliar is scary.
“What if I want to try blended foods, but our doctor won’t let us?”
I chafe a little at this question, to be honest, because your doctor doesn’t have that kind of power.
When I made the decision to do this with Teddy, both his doctors and his nutritionist had been pushing formula for months and months. I asked them what they would recommend I feed him if he were eating orally. Would they recommend I put him on formula? Or at this age (1 year), would they recommend I start feeding him CKF-appropriate foods?
Then, after the answer to that was a bunch of stuttering and stammering, I calmly explained that I had decided to start feeding him regular foods through his tube. I didn’t ask. I didn’t open the floor for discussion. I just told them this was what I was going to do. And after a year of working with me… they possibly knew better than to argue, lol.
We went through three nutritionists after that. Bam, Bam, Bam. Then we landed with Susan, our current nutritionist. We were, at that time, her only patient on a blended diet, but she was willing to learn and follow our lead. 🙂 After a lot of initial uncertainty, she now brags about his diet to her fellow nutritionists (including our old ones, lol), and advocates for them to support other families if they show an interest in blended diets.