Standard Formula or Homemade Blended Meals?
My philosophy on tube feeding after 15 years of clinical nutrition practice-
Standard tube feeding formulas will always have a place in clinical nutrition practice as they provide reliable and convenient nutrition for tube feeding. Are they best source of nutrition for all tube fed individuals? In my opinion-- no. I feel that the foundation of a healthy diet is fresh, unprocessed food, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high quality protein. To me, this doesn't change when a person requires tube feeding. Certainly there are cases where standard formulas are most appropriate, but when tube feeding is required long term, the benefits of using homemade blended food cannot be ignored. Blended food for tube feeding is well tolerated, effective for weight maintenance and supports a more diverse intestinal microbiome.
According to an anonymous survey of Mayo Clinic patients on tube feeding at home, 55% were using blended food for tube feeding, despite having been prescribed standard formula. This is evidence that tube fed individuals and their loved-ones are turning away from standard tube feeding products, and choosing a food based tube fed diet.
Increasingly, tube fed individuals wish to use homemade blended food for tube feeding. I believe in supporting this desire and sharing my knowledge to help those in the home tube feeding community make nutritious homemade blended meals.