One of the objections health professionals have for not using home blended meals is food-born illnesses. Though they are justifiably concerned, it need not be a road block to good nutrition. Individuals who must or choose to use a feeding pump don’t have to be excluded from enjoying the benefits of a whole food blenderized diet. Where there is a will, there’s a way.
That being said, many of us may have some idea about what proper food storage is but not have the whole picture. So I took a look at what the FDA had to say. Even though it was a confirmation, it felt good to see it in writing. When it comes to blends, I don’t keep them in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours. That’s why I freeze in small portions.
Still not convinced? Take this scenario, for instance. You have to go to work or school and you choose to bring your lunch. Do you get to your lunch break and toss your nutritious lunch in the trash? No? Why not? Because it’s been in your lunch box with an ice pack all morning, you say? Exactly! We don’t think twice about for those that eat orally. So, when I was faced with the same issues, here’s what I came up with:
- Find a lunch box that will fit your feeding bag.
- Cut a whole in the top of it to thread the loop through so that you can hang it on the IV pole.
- Cut a whole in left side to allow the tube to exit and connect to the pump.
- Add Bag filled with the feeding and ice packs front and back.
- Zip up the lunch box and start you feed.
It is best to start with a cold blend if you can-by. That way the food stays fresher longer. Depending on how long the feeding runs, you may need to replace your ice packs.
If your pump came with a mini backpack, you may use it but I had a hard time fitting ice packs in with the feeding bag. If anyone reading this has figured it out, feel free to add your idea to my comment section. If you need something more portable, you can get a regular backpack that has sections to hold the lunch box and the pump so the tubing doesn’t get kinked. Nowadays they usually have an opening for headphone wire. If not, adapt it yourself.
At first I was afraid to do this thinking the blend would upset Matt’s stomach because it was too cold. Then I realized that, by the time the food got to the extension tube, it was room temperature. Besides, we eat cold food all the time without even a thought. He as not had any issues. As with anything you do with your tubie, when you try something new, watch them closely. Look for signs of discomfort and stop the feed if there are any.
I hope, pray and dream of the day when manufacturers of feeding pumps get on board with those of us who choose food over formula.