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October 26, 2015

Blended Diet Basics

There are many things you need to figure out before you start down the blended diet path.  

First you need to determine how many ounces per day your child needs.  Your doctor or nutritionist is the best person to get that number from.  Next you need to determine how many ounces per serving your child can tolerate at a time.  Then once you figure that out you can come up with a feeding schedule. My son has volume issue.  Meaning he can only tolerate small amounts at a time. So we feed small amounts many times a day.

For him we give five 6-ounce servings of blended diet per day for a total of 30 oz. He gets feed a 7am, 11am, 2pm, 6pm and 9pm  He also does eat and drink by mouth on his own so we mostly use blended diet to supplement what he eats on his own.  But there some days he eats nothing and on those day he is on 100% blended foods.  Every kid is different.  Some will tollerate 8-10 oz three times day.  While others need smaller amounts more often.  We try to stick to the same meal/snack as someone without a g-tube would.   

Once total amount is determined, next the nutritional values need to be determined. How many calories does your child need?  How much iron?  How many grams of fiber, protein, carbs, etc.  If your doctor is unable or unwilling to help with that here is a great interactive calculator based on your child's age, weight, height and activity level.  The only thing it doesn't take into account it having EB.  But our doctor has us add 500 calories to what is recommended based on his age, weight, height and activity level.  For my son he needs between 2300-2500 calories a day to gain, grow and heal.  I know that seems like a lot for a 4 1/2 year old bit it is working for him.  

So your check list so far:
1) quantity
2) number of feedings
3) nutritional values needed per day

Next you need a blender.  If you are just starting out a basic kitchen blender will be just fine.  We have a Vitamix that was donated to us from the company to use since my son has a g-tube.  We contacted the company and provides medical documentation and they sent us a refurbished blender free of charge!  But when we first started out, we used a regular blender with no issues. 

Types of high quality blenders:



Once you have determined:

1) quantity
2) number of feedings
3) nutritional values needed per day
4) blender

You are now ready to move into preparing the foods!!   

*Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.   This is not medical advice.  i am just sharing what I have learned along the way with the hope it makes things easier for others. 

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