Garrett's House is dedicated to the support, advice, and education of a genetic skin condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB for short. Currently there is no cure or effective treatment for EB. Please take a moment to learn about EB, and how you can support others who struggle with EB everyday. Garrett's House also honors the memory of those who lost their brave fight against EB. Please check out the Garden of Angel to learn more about the precious butterfly angels.

October 25, 2015

Just say Pedisure

When a child with EB (or even without EB) get a G-tube it is very common for the child to be feed a diet of only (or mostly) Pedisure (or  another commercial high calorie formula).  It is a very convenient way to provide nutrition with a g-tube but how nutritious is it really?

Here are the ingredients in a bottle of Pedisure:

Water, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Isolate. Less than 0.5% of: Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Cellulose Gel, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Tuna Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Phosphate, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Potassium Hydroxide, m-Inositol, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.
Contains milk and soy ingredients.

Calories: 240
Calories from Fat: 80
Fat, g: 9 14 
    Saturated Fat, g: 1
    Trans Fat, g: 0
    Polyunsaturated Fat, g: 2
    Monounsaturated Fat, g: 6
Cholesterol, mg: 5
Sodium, mg: 90
Potassium, mg: 350 10 
Carbohydrate, g: 33 11 
    Dietary Fiber, g: 1
    Sugars, g: 18
Protein, g: 7 14 
Vitamin A: 10 
Vitamin C: 40 
Vitamin D: 40 
Vitamin E: 20 
Vitamin K: 20 
Thiamin: 40 
Riboflavin: 30 
Niacin: 10 
Vitamin B6: 30 
Folate: 15 
Vitamin B12: 25 
Biotin: 15 
Pantothenic Acid: 25 
Choline: 15 
Calcium: 25 
Iron: 15 
Phosphorus: 20 
Iodine: 15 
Magnesium: 10 
Zinc: 10 
Selenium: 10 
Copper: 10 
Manganese: 20 
Chromium: 10 
Molybdenum: 10 
* Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.

The following excerpts were taken from an article called:

Why PediaSure Is The Worst Thing You Can Do For Your Picky Eater?

"After water, the most prominent ingredient is sugar! How is that considered a nutritional supplement?! According to the nutrition label, one cup of serving has 240 calories – 80 calories are derived from fat, 25 from protein, and the remaining 135 are from carbohydrates. Now, here’s where it gets interesting – the carb breakdown is just 1 gram of fibre, and 18 grams of sugar! That’s the equivalent of 4.5 teaspoons of sugar per one bottle of PediaSure."

After sugar, it is followed by Corn Maltodextrin (GMO), which is used as a thickener in soft drinks, salad dressings and soups. The fats in this drink are derived from Safflower oil and Canola oil (which are also GMOs). Can you imagine your child drinking genetically modified oil as a source of their nutrients?

The proteins are derived from milk, soy, and peas as isolates and concentrates. This means that the original, whole food is deconstructed and highly processed, losing its beneficial nutrients."

How on Earth can that be considered a HEALTHY, nutritional meal for a child with constant open wounds?!?!?   Most kids with EB get 4 cans of that over a 24 hour period.  18 grams of sugar per can, times 4 cans, equals 72 grams of SUGAR A DAY!!!!!!  That is about the equivalent of two 12-oz cans of Coke PER DAY.  And that is pretty much the entire daily diet for many kids with EB who have G-tubes.

Sugar is one of the main causes of inflammation within the body.  And EB wounds are often causes by chronic inflammation.  So only eating or being feed nutrition that is is known to cause chronic inflammation just creates a vicious cycle of non-healing wounds and chronic inflammation.  I truly believe that these commercial,  high sugar, inflammatory causing "nutritional" beverages are contributing to the rapid decline of so many kids with EB.

There is however, an alternative that is slowly catching on within the EB community!!  And that alternative is something called The Blended Diet.  It is what is sounds like, normal food that normal people eat but blended into a liquid or puree state that allows it to be pushed thru a g-tube using a syringe.    We have been going the blended diet route for almost 3 years now and the results have been overwhelming positive.  My son is a healthy, happy, very active preschooler who has ZERO chronic wounds, does not have any of the chronic complications that arise in EB such as anemia, constipation, vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

This week I plan to create a multi-part series about all the things one needs to know before start down the blended diet road.  It is not as complicated as it sounds either.  It can be time consuming, but once you get the basics down, it becomes an easy thing to incorporate into your daily routine! 

*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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