If your child has a G-tube and you want their diet to consist of whole, healthy food instead of formula, there is one way to go about doing it. You can choose to blend your child's food and give it to them through their feeding tube in liquid form. This specialized way of feeding your child is called a blenderized diet. In order to make this type of diet work, there are certain types of equipment you're going to need.
Here are three types of equipment needed for blenderized diets.
Commercial Grade Blender
When you're blending food to go through a G-tube, you'll need to ensure that it is blended finely enough so that the tube does not get blocked. This usually can't be done with a basic kitchen blender. Instead, you'll have to get a commercial grade high-speed blender that effectively turns whole food into liquid. Two of the most common brands that get used for blenderized diets are Vitamix and Blendtec.
While these blenders work great, they are expensive. If you can't afford one, you will have to do an extra step and strain the food after it's blended so that the feeding tube doesn't get clogged.
While some parents choose to use syringes to get the blenderized food into their child's feeding tube, other parents use a feeding pump. Parents who use a feeding pump find it advantageous to do so since they can set the dose and rate so that the child gets fed the same amount of food at the same rate during each feeding.
Most places that sell durable medical equipment sell feeding pumps. If something were to go wrong with the pump, most places that sell pumps offer medical equipment repair. If you do use a feeding pump for your child's blenderized diet, you will also have to get feeding bags and some extension tubes.
Many parents choose to make enough food that will last several days or even weeks, so that they don't have to blend every day. This means you are going to need plenty of high-quality storage containers. After you make a batch, you can divide it into storage containers and put them in the refrigerator.
It should be noted that food shouldn't be kept in the fridge longer than four days. If you do make enough food that will last longer than that, you should put it in the freezer. Glass canning jars, freezer bags, and containers made out of non-porous plastic work well for food storage.