For years most people that need a feeding tube have been given the same artificial formula feed for every meal. When using formula many people report side effects like vomiting, reflux, diarrhoea, and constipation. However, there is an alternative called the blended diet, which more and more people are turning to. Very simply this is where people take real food and blend it to a consistency that allows it to be given through the feeding tube.
As well as a reduction in side effects, having real food is much less medicalised. A blended diet allows people to be included in important social events like sharing a meal or birthday cake with friends and family, simple but important things we all take for granted when eating orally.
“The impact of starting a blended diet has been life changing for us. Oliver’s reflux is much more settled, he’s no longer in discomfort and the vomiting is minimal. He’s has more energy, and is so much healthier and happier.”
(Louise, who turned to the blended diet for her son Oliver)
The move to blended diet has been largely driven by parents and carers who wanted a better option for their tube fed children. But now, many doctors and dietitians are championing the blended diet as a better option for their patients, backed by more evidence being published in medical journals supporting its benefits and more guidance on its use such as the Blended Diet Toolkit being made available by dietitians.
Although the benefits of real food for tube feeding are clear, there is no getting away from the fact it also brings some challenges. Planning, preparing and storing real food meals can be very time consuming and can require specialist equipment like expensive high-powered blenders. It becomes even more difficult when away from home, on days out, a holiday or even a hospital appointment.
However, help is on hand through a pioneering new company called Wilbo’s Blends. Wilbo’s Blends have created 100% real food meals that are certified organic. Designed specifically for tube feeding they can be stored on your shelf at home ready to be used at your convenience, whenever needed. One customer said:
“When I heard about Wilbo’s it was a magical day! Evie sadly has a lot of hospital admissions and blended food is somewhat of a nightmare. NOT ANYMORE!!”
To find out more about Wilbo’s Blends and the blended diet please visit www.wilbosblends.co.uk.