When a person is fed via g-tube for medical reasons, or due to a disability, there are several reasons homemade blended meals can be better than formula.
There is no question that formula is convenient. Pop open a can, pour it into a bag, turn on the pump. Period.
Here are reasons I prefer homemade blended meals:
- It feels less “medical”. It is a meal, not a prescription.
- It is more portable. No IV pole, no bag, no pump. We can go from room to room. She knows when I call “tummy time!” it means it is time for the next syringe and she comes to the dining room. It is easy to take along in the car or to the park. We have a few coolers – a soft-sided one with a shoulder strap (the kind designed to keep a six-pack cold at the beach), a soft-sided one on wheels for longer outings, and a hard-sided one for longer trips in the car. We feed her anywhere, without fanfare.
- She can eat what we eat. Smoothies for breakfast! Sometimes we just blend up what we’re having for dinner and feed that to her.
- Listen to the nutritionists: it is better to get your vitamins right from your food…. my interpretation of that: whole food is better than formula. It hasn’t been reduced, extracted, infused, etc.
- I can use organics for the fruits and veggies most likely to contain pesticides: nectarines, celery, pears, peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries, imported grapes, spinach, potatoes, bell peppers, raspberries, Mexican cantaloupe, green beans, apricots.
- I can avoid foods she has no tolerance for: dairy products, and add the vitamins she needs more of like calcium, omega-3, etc.
- No constipation. Eating real food includes naturally occuring real fiber. No constipation ever for us.
- When she burps, it smells like the food in her blended meals. She becomes accustomed to those smells and tastes and that makes her more open to eating those foods.
- No sour smelling, formula-stained clothing.
- It costs me far less to feed real food than formula.
- She gets to feel more “normal” since she isn’t attached to a pump.
- I get to actually make the food I feed her. I like that.