C has always had difficulties with food, and I wanted what little food he would eat to be the best food I could afford to offer him. I started buying organic snacks for him when he was little. When he had his g-tube placed at age 2, he was put on Pediasure. Four bottles of Pediasure per day through his tube. I was mortified by how much sugar he was getting, but I felt helpless because he needed those calories to gain weight and catch up on growth.
After six months of watching him experience behavioral issues associated with sugar highs and sugar crashes, I learned of the blended diet (or blenderized diet, the term I first discovered). Other parents and caregivers were also tired of seeing these behavioral problems, frustrated with the ingredients in formula, and believed in the power of real food; and they were blending real food and providing it via tube. It didn’t take long for me to be convinced that this was the answer for my son.
We found a blender, started his blended g-tube diet and noticed an almost immediate change in his behavior. His mood was steadier. Within weeks, his nails were growing quickly, his skin looked healthier, his hair grew thicker than it ever had, and he acted better than he ever did on formula. It was clear that real food was the best choice for him!
A couple of months after starting his blended diet, I switched him to an entirely organic blended diet. As I learned more about pesticides and antibiotic-laden meats, I grew uncomfortable with pouring that directly into my son’s stomach. I don’t know what the difference is, but to me that visual made it feel worse than feeding conventional food to him orally. At any rate, we bought and blended only organic meats, dairy, produce, grains and oils.
Again, we noticed a positive change in him. He was healthier, happier, and making strides in therapy for his sensory processing disorder (SPD). The changes were amazing and I haven’t looked back! Yes, blended diets require a significant time commitment. Yes, an organic blended diet is more expensive than a conventional blended diet. I look at it as an investment in my son’s health, therapy and future. I am so glad that we made this change! He really is a different child than he was on formula.
When we’re unable to provide him with a blended meal from home – whether we’re traveling, running errands, or have a long day of doctor appointments – we use Real Food Blends. They don’t require refrigeration, so they’re easy to store and travel with. You can open and pour it straight from the package. He gets real food with quality nutrition and I don’t lose my mind trying to travel with a fresh blend that can get messy to pour. The g-tube took away our family’s spontaneity and ease of travel, and Real Food Blends gave that back to us. It’s fun to be able to schedule outings around activities, not feedings.
Have you tried a blended g-tube diet? What changes have you noticed?