If you guessed #2, you were right. Sticky syringes can be annoying if not down right disastrous. Has it happened to you or is it just me and the mom of this baby? I have had to clean walls, ceilings and floors because I forced a syringe filled with medication or oils. You know the drill. You use a syringe, wash it, let it dry and forget about it until it’s time to reload it. When bolus feeding a blenderized diet it can cause a sticky syringe within in 1 to 2 uses. We all know tossing our syringes after so few uses is out of the question. You have to use those syringes 5-6 times a day minimum for up to a week so what do you do? The answer: Lubricate the plunger.
I use coconut oil for 2 reasons: 1) It was recommended to me by another Tubie mom and 2) when I used olive oil it still got stuck. So here’s the process:
Starting with a dry syringe and plunder, dip the plunder into a bowl containing slightly warm coconut oil.
Make sure to coat all surfaces of the plunger.
Insert the plunger into the syringe and move the plunger up and down inside the syringe several times while turning the plunder.
For the 60cc syringe, I sometimes use my finger to lubricate the inside in addition to the plunger. This is helpful if the blend is fairly thick or the syringe has been reused a number of times.
Now you are ready to load your feeding. It is very important to give the feeding immediately after loading it. It has been my experience that, if you set the syringe down and come back to it, the plunger will be stuck. And what happens when you have a syringe full of a blend and you try to force into the extension tube? Refer to picture 1.
If you are feeding on the go, I suggest you carry the coconut oil with you in a small vial. It is solid at and below room temperature so you will want to keep it somewhere that is fairly warm. If you can’t do that, you can still use it on the plunder but you have to do step #3 until the friction in the syringe melts it.
I would love to hear what works for you. Please leave a comment. The more information we have the fewer, “Nooooo!” situations we will have.
Time to toss the grater, folks! This is the fastest and easiest way to process ginger.
3 cups of fresh ginger root
Wash (no need to peel) and cut 2-3 cups of fresh ginger root.
Place into Vitamix container and secure lid.
Select Variable 1 and turn machine on.
Quickly increase speed to variable 10, then High.
Using the tamper, press the ginger into the blades and blend for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
Food Tip: As most of us know, ginger root makes an excellent tea and seasoning for a wide variety of dishes. When using it in tea, make sure to stir occasionally. Mixed in, the particles go unnoticed. But, if you leave it sitting and then drink it, you will find that the particles settle to the bottom making your last sip pretty grainy.
Time Tip: Freeze ginger puree in “mini cube” ice cube trays and store them in labeled freezer bags. Each cube is about 1/2 teaspoon so there no guessing when it comes to measurements. Don’t bother peeling it. The Vitamix is powerful enough to blend the root and the skin so smooth that there are no fibrous strands in the puree. Plan ahead and keep some on hand in the refrigerator for easy mixing.
Money Tip: I looked up Ginger puree on line and it was going for $9 a pound. Fresh ginger root runs about $6-7 . Because of its strong flavor, only a small amount is needed. Keeping it in the freezer means less waste in the refrigerator and the convenient cubes are ready when you are.
Yes, even veteran tubie moms can struggle from time to time. Matthew can’t handle large volumes because of his slow emptying issues. He is a growing teenage boy who is now more active than he’s ever been in his life. It has been quite a challenge getting him the additional calories he needs without increasing volume. Recently I had to add another carton of formula to his daily routing because his weight was dropping. I have been hesitant to try coconut oil and/or milk because of extreme food allergies in the family. For years I have been making his oatmeal with formula. Helping a transitioning little one has given me the courage to try adding 1/2 tsp of organic coconut oil in his immune system cocktail (given through the g-tube) to see how he reacts. It’s been 2 days and so far so good. If he continues to show no allergic reaction I will make his next batch with fresh coconut milk instead!
ATTENTION: Make sure to get clearance from your doctor before trying any blenderized diet.
1 cup of peppermint or chamomile tea
2 oz of Avocado
2 oz of fresh Aloe Vera (optional)
3 cups of greens
Makes 2 cups
1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to 10, then to High.
Blend for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth (no visible leaves).
Food Tip: When using this smoothie in the enteral feeding pump, it is vital that there are no leaf particles. Because the bag tubing, extension tubing and g-tube are all small in diameter, small bits of leaves can get caught and cause the pump to alarm and stop the feeding due to “No flow out”. Green smoothies do not work well without some type of fat in them. Outside of the health benefits, that’s why the avocado is added.Also, if formula is normally given, it is best to combine the smoothie with the formula and mix well. It has been my experience that straight green smoothies without the formula mixed in tend to separate. The pureed greens are lighter than the water so the water will go though the pump leaving the greens stuck in the feed bag. If Aloe Vera is used it must be food grade. Do not use fresh Aloe Vera unless you know how to properly prepare it.
Time Tip: How much smoothie to give depends on total volume and tolerance. It is best fresh within 2-3 days so I store the remaining smoothie in a container that allows me to shake it up before pouring.
Money Tip: Since they are going to be blended, buy greens in bulk and freeze any portion you do not use within 3-5 days. That way there is no waste from greens gone bad in the refrigerator. Fresh frozen greens such as kale and spinach break up easily once frozen allowing for easy measuring and blending.