Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blending our own Homemade 'Formula' - The Blenderized diet

In our seemingly endless quest to find a solution to Mr Boy's digestive/eating issues, we have finally settled with the best possible solution till Mr Boy gains the ability to eat food on his own. And that is called the Homemade Blenderized diet. 

Mr Boy is physically able to eat, but because of vomiting 10 times a day his first year and about 5 times a day ever since, he is just afraid to swallow anything other than creamy things. He plays well with food and will try anything and hold it in his mouth for a period of time, but everything gets taken back out and handed back to me after the flavor is gone. He just will not swallow hard foods. It's basically like learning to swallow a pill and just not getting the nerve. Every time solid food gets too close to his throat, his gag reflex kicks in and won't let it pass. 

We have tried endless brands of the specialty formula through the feeding tube to stop the vomiting and we have tried everything to get him to just eat... weekly therapy, fun tools, junk food, but nothing has worked quite yet. So while we wait for Mr Boy to grow, mature, and finally take the big step toward eating, we want to make him the most comfortable possible, by eliminating his daily vomiting, creating a safer environment to swallow.

Dave's Parents came to visit!
While trying to find just the right formula to feed Mr Boy through the feeding tube, we found that lo and behold, you can actually blend up your own food and put it through the feeding tube. It's called the Blenderized Diet. Sounds pretty obvious, but we've been too focused on what the doctors' prescribe and tell us to do, which typically doesn't involve trying something 'natural.' Thankfully we got the tip from a seasoned G-tube mommy, and the nutritionist at the hospital helped us with some recipes to ensure Mr Boy gets all the proper nutrition. We blend up nuts, beans, grains, yogurt, milk, avocado, meats, fruits and veggies, etc. And put it through the tube. Thanks to Dave's parents, we have a professional grade blender so we can literally pulverize anything into liquid, so it fits through the tube. 

The mighty Vitamix
It would probably grind wood into mulch if need be. 

There are several medical reasons as to why this is much, much better for Mr Boy, whole foods are always going to be better for you than commercial formula.  A 'normal' two year old shouldn't be only drinking formula, and neither should Mr Boy. Formula was just the only option we thought we had, but we can just take what a 'normal' two year old would eat, (except even more healthy, because he can't refuse all the veggies!) and grind it up to fit through his tube. We started this diet for Mr Boy about 3 months ago and Mr Boy seems to feel better all-round. There have also been a lot of better changes to his stools, but you don't want to hear about that! :) He also only vomits about twice a day, so that's an improvement! It just feels better knowing we are giving him whole foods, and that his tummy is tolerating it and thriving. If he is vomiting less, his stomach must be feeling better. Since his tummy feels better, he is more interested in food!

We were also able to put his backpack and feeding pump into storage because we no longer have to pump the food into his tube slowly, over hours at a time and through the night to keep him from puking. Now, we just squirt the food into his G-tube port with a 2 oz syringe, 16 times a day (4 times for breakfast spread out over an hour, 4 for lunch, 4 for dinner, and 4 late in the evening). Seems like a lot, but it is honestly a lot easier than dealing with tubing, backpacks, pumps and formula. And since we no longer keep him hooked up to the pump at night, I have been able to actually sleep through the night! And Mr Boy sleeps better since he isn't getting tangled up in his tubing all night long. We both agree: sleep is good.

Thank the Lord, we were able to find out about the Blenderized Diet and get Mr Boy a few steps closer to healing.

Matthew 6:25-27, 31-34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.