Some children have certain medical conditions that require them to be fed through a feeding tube instead of by mouth. A few examples of conditions that might warrant a feeding tube include cerebral palsy, congenital heart defects, dysphagia, and a myriad of others. Some children may only need a feeding tube temporarily, but others might need one for the rest of their life.
While there are many high-calorie formulas on the market that are used for those with feeding tubes, some parents choose to put regular food into a blender and feed their child that way. This is called a blenderized diet. Here are three things to make sure of before starting your child on a blenderized diet.
1. Make Sure You Have a Commercial Quality Blender
One of the first things you'll need before starting your child on a blenderized diet includes a commercial quality blender. In most cases, buying a typical blender at your local department store isn't going to suffice. The reason for this is because the average blender does not adequately break down solid foods like seeds and nuts. If the food isn't broken down into a completely liquid form, it will get stuck in your child's feeding tube. The types of blenders that are able to do this include those that are commercial quality and high-speed.
2. Make Sure Your Child Doesn't Have Food Allergies
If your child has never eaten real food before, you will want to make sure your child isn't allergic to any kinds of food. This is usually done by starting out with one food, then by continuing to add foods until you have reached a good blend with enough calories. For this reason, the transition from formula to real food can be slow.
Some common symptoms of food allergies include:
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
Instead of trying foods one at a time, you could also ask your child's pediatrician what food allergy testing services are available.
3. Make Sure You Have Support
Blenderized diets are a relatively new thing that are becoming increasingly popular for parents of children with feeding tubes. Some doctors and registered dieticians might not have a lot of experience in this area, which is why it's important that you have adequate support, including someone you can turn to if you have any questions. Many parents have found blenderized diet groups on the internet and social media, and some of the people in these groups are dieticians and nurses who have experience with this type of diet.
For more information, visit websites like http://www.nwasthma.com.