What is a blended diet?
Many children who have feeding tubes receive commercially available formula as a source of complete nutrition. Some children don't tolerate commercially available formulas well because of significant vomiting, diarrhea, retching or growth issues. As a result, your clinician may recommend a blended diet, which is a diet made from table food that is put in a blender, turned into a puree, and fed to your child through a feeding tube.
When is a blended diet recommended?
Blended diets may be appropriate for a wide variety of patients but they are commonly used in those with significant gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms. These diets can be customized for children with food allergies. Because of the complexities of blended diets, it is important for you to consult with your gastroenterologist or nutritionist to ensure that your child is receiving the appropriate balance of nutrition and that the composition of the diet takes into account your child's individual gastrointestinal and pulmonary needs.
What are the benefits?
Blended diets may improve symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, retching, vomiting, poor growth, gastroesophageal reflux disease or respiratory symptoms that are triggered by vomiting or gastroesophageal reflux. They also may help improve symptoms in children who have had gastrointestinal surgery.
Blended diets at Boston Children's Hospital
The skilled clinicians in the Aerodigestive Center at Boston Children's Hospital recommend blended diets to eligible children who we believe will benefit from them. Because of the success we have seen from blended diets in many patients, we are one the largest groups in the U.S. to routinely use this approach. As a result, we are at the forefront of research into the use of blended diets in children and can apply this knowledge and experience to our care of your child.
New to blended diets or just want to learn more? Watch our “Blended Diets 101” series with Toni Solari, RD, LDN, a clinical nutrition specialist in the Aerodigestive Center.