By Amy Rogers, RN-BSN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Blenderized foods pack a punch: they are easy to administer and provide a powerhouse of nutrition. Those who tube feed or caregivers want natural, whole foods which are also easy to deliver. When making the leap from formula to a blenderized diet, it is important to make the transition slowly and make sure you are adequately prepared.
Questions to ask your healthcare professional:
Will I need a larger tube when transitioning to a blenderized diet?
Because blended diets have a thicker consistency, larger tube sizes, such as a 14 French, are often used. Kitchen Blends offers a thinner consistency over other commercial blends, without dilution, and may be used in as small as a size 6 French.
Do I have the correct syringes for a blenderized diet?
It is recommended to use specific syringes for a blenderized diet. Standard ENFit and catheter tip feeding syringes will work depending on your tube type.
Is my blender appropriate for blending?
Typically it is suggested that a commercial blender or a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix® is used to achieve desired consistency. If you do not have access to a high-speed blender it is recommended to strain your blend before feeding. Straining can always be done for extra precaution even when using a high-speed blender.
How should I monitor my hydration?
Extra fluid is typically needed when switching to a blended diet as formulas add water or liquid to their formula. It is important to track water intake when transitioning to a blended diet and speak with your healthcare team to ensure adequate hydration. Flushing is recommended before and after, between meals to ensure adequate hydration.
What if I have food allergies or intolerances?
A blenderized diet provides variety and allows for any necessary modifications depending on food allergies or intolerances. Having a list of foods to include and avoid can be helpful when starting.
Prepare your tubes, blender and plan your meals.
Tip: When making your blended meals, meal planning and grocery lists can be handy. When starting to introduce a whole-foods diet and coming from a formula, introducing foods slowly is recommended. To begin, it is recommended to choose 3-4 food choices which are already known to be well tolerated.
Day 2 - 3
75% Formula / 25% Blended Food
Tip: When blending foods it can be tricky to make sure the consistency is correct: broths, milk, water, and juice can all be added to thin the blend.
Day 4 - 5
60-50% Formula / 40-50% Blended Food
Tip: If using a pre-made formula such as Kitchen Blends, be sure to shake well before opening the package. It is important never to microwave the blend as this can create “hot spots” and can cause burning. If taking blend out of the refrigerator, container can be placed in a bowl filled with warm water for a few minutes. Blends should always be served at room temperature as serving cold can cause stomach discomfort.
Day 6 - 7
40-25% Formula / 60-75% Blended Food
Tip: Some individuals may experience some mild gastrointestinal symptoms when first adding high-fiber foods into their diet. If this occurs, it is important to reduce the amount of fiber temporary until symptoms resolve and then add in at a slower pace.
Transition 100% to whole-foods. If caloric intake is low, continue to use formula until preferred caloric intake is achieved.
Tip: At this point, a wider variety of foods can be introduced into the diet. A food journal or log is recommended to note digestive comfort when introducing new foods. When planning your plate, be sure to choose from colors of the rainbow to ensure you’re receiving all necessary nutrients..
Please note: it is important to talk with your healthcare team when making the transition to blended foods. For some, it may take longer than eight days to make this full transition.