Let’s see, 9 years of blended meals for g-tube feeding… the last handful of years have been pretty steady. Just since Natalie has turned 13 she has been telling me a few times a day that she is hungry!! On a typical day, she is fed 4 times. One of those times she self-feeds with a pizza “lunchable” and that is supplemented (lack of calories) with a few syringes of her blended meals.
In the past, I have just added more nuts or more olive oil to bump up the calories and that has been adequate. I can see this being a long-term increase in calorie requirements for her and I want to not just give her more fat, but more protein, veggies, etc. In other words, I want to keep the ratios in balance.
I am starting to give her nine 2-oz syringes per feeding instead of eight. I wait 10 minutes after her 8th syringe before giving the final one. This is to allow her tummy some time to be able to accommodate the additional food. After a week of that, I will just do the 9th syringe in a typical 3 minute interval with the first eight syringes. (see here if you want to know more about my timing system)
Since most of my recipes are in the 25 – 30 calorie per ounce range, that means I am giving her another 200 – 240 calories per day. I will see how her weight goes and if she complains about being hungry still. If she still complains about being hungry, I will have to see about what to do next. I don’t want to go to five feedings a day – that would be really cumbersome!
I have also been increasing her self-feeding opportunities – if she is hungry, I want to use that to help her increase her independence when it comes to eating!