Sunday, 27 May 2012

Learning about a blended diet

It is so hard to know what is the right diet to give your child, there is so much advice on what is best, what will help my child grow, it will do this and that. Formula offers a complete solution where calories are controlled and a specific quota is allocated and we aim for that. But I miss Faith having the real food, making cookies for example or going out together and having fun out eating but our aim is to get her back onto real food. She was so much better when she was on purees, there was no vomiting or nausea. When Faith ate pureed foods recently she developed a food aversion so now it all goes down her NG tube. So we started looking at what was out there for us. In our situation there doesn't seem to be many options. We have tried infatrini, nutrini, the main stream formula's, pepti junior and our current formula energivit and it seems to be the best of all so far. We give Faith a combination of energivit and zymil milk, the protein component. We have food play and let's eat food sessions each day and so far she lets me put a tiny bit into her mouth happily so that is a great success. But Faith still vomits and there are days which are a lot at the moment, I spend my time attempting to distract her from rubbing her face which makes her possibly vomit because she wriggles the NG tube and oxygen prongs. Then someone on a forum suggested a blended diet.

Firstly, what is a blended diet, the idea is to put a home-cooked meal through the blender, strain it, and then ingest it through the tube.  From what I have read blenderized food can be cheaper than formula unless you are purchasing a special supplement to go in the mix. It can be commercial formula with a small amount of baby food added or vegetable added or blended meals throughout the day with commercial formula at night. There are so many options of working it. My thoughts is it would have to be more appealing as with being able to taste the food through smelling and even burping. It would have to be better than formula particularly if it is vomited up as formula's can taste so bad, but I guess that would have its negatives too. 

When I have spoken to some Australian health professionals about a blended diet they have said that it may not provide all the vitamins, minerals, fibre, hydration, and calories Faith needs. Some don't know much about it and are interested to learn more where others don't want to know as it isn't an option in their work. Also, a big concern was blended food may clog Faith's NG tube and need to be replaced more regularly. I can completely understand there reasoning's but if it can reduce or get rid of all Faith's vomiting I can see the benefit. She would be so much happier, as the vomiting and nausea takes so much out of her. When she has less vomiting, she develops at a better pace and gets stronger, she is more interested in food and drink and wishes to play more. It has to better than cleaning up vomit where ever we go. We are not looking at getting a G-tube yet as the plan is to get Faith back onto purees.

Of course we are considering that making the transition to a blended diet is slow as we need to rule out allergies and in tolerance. From what we have read off various websites and other families experiences to start the blended diet we add a small amount of baby food each day and work from there to making our own blended diet. I am finding learning more about nutrition very beneficial even now when we have started yet. I think it is a very exciting time as this could be a good balance between formula and a blended diet.I have been looking around for information in Australia about blended diets and haven't had much success so far but have found some helpful information in the US and it has all been so positive.

I have been looking into what type of blender to use and it seems that an industrial type blender purees the flood small enough so that it go easily go down a tube. I have looked into the Vitamix blender and in Australia they offer a medical discount like in the US so that is great. Most people put the blended diet through a G-tube as there is more room than in an NG tube, but I read read about families putting a blended diet down a NG tube, just have to be more creative. At this stage it won't be all her food anyway, it will only be a small amount. If it is better for Faith then it is worth trying. I read a story about a lady whose son became 'more interested in food through a blended diet and there seems to be so many success stories. It is hard to know where to start and where to get these recipes. I ordered a book called Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health and it seems to be very helpful in regards to nutrition and homemade formula. I found out about it on a forum, nothing like a recommendation from someone else. I have also been to the website Mealtime Notions and it seems to be a very useful, informative and a helpful site. They have also advertised a book of a blended diet and I hope to purchase the book if they will ship to Australia. Faith has had such a hard time gaining weight so we will be extremely careful.

Link to sites that I have found informative

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