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.
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. 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.
Ever feel like this guy? I have and quite often lately. After developing The Poopinator I was sure Matt’s problems were over…and for a while they were. Slowly it stopped working. Before I knew it, Matt was back on Miralax and then some. Each additional medication and technique would work for a while then stop working. At one point I told his GI doctor in exasperation, “I feel like I am doing CPR on his colon all day long!” The terms appendicostomy and colostomy began to circulate and I became worried. How could this be? He’s super hydrated and has the cleanest most fiber filled diet of anyone I know. What am I doing wrong? Answer: Absolutely nothing. Even the best blenderized diet can’t fix a mechanical problem.
Eventually he ended up back in the hospital for yet another clean out. I needed answers to questions that sometimes even doctors can’t answer. My thoughts became filled with “What ifs?”. Further tests were done that showed he did not have a specific area that had stopped working but that he was slow over all. So we left the hospital cleaned out and back to square 1. If the current regimen fails then we will have to carefully consider what is best for Matt. Even though the test didn’t show something that was an easy fix, I still feel better. Knowing is way better than not knowing. Now we can move forward to whatever the future holds for him. And always, I pray and hope. God had a plan for Matt’s life when He placed him in our family (Jeremiah 29:11). My job is to make that life the filled with as much quality as I can.
So, since quitting is not an option, I will blend on while listening to my new anthem “The Comeback” by Danny Gokey. Feeling defeated today? Click, listen and be revived.
Hemp milk is by far the easiest dairy milk substitute. There is no cooking and, with the Vitamix, there is no need to run it through a filtration bag. It is very calorie dense with lots of protein. It tastes great as is but I’ve added a couple of ingredients for folks who like their milk substitutes a little sweeter.
- 1 cup hemp hearts
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 4 pitted dates
- 1 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- Place hemp hearts, dates and 2 1/2 cups of water into the Vitamix into the container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
- Blend for 1 minute.
- Turn machine off and remove lid.
- Add the remaining cup of water and the vanilla and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and blend for 30 seconds.
- It is a good idea to slice the dried pitted dates lengthwise before putting them in the Vitamix. This will ensure that no part of the pit was left inside during processing at the plant. I have yet to find any literature that says they are dangerous but the pieces can clog g-tubes. Even if a piece gets through it could cause problems in the GI tract of someone who already has difficulty processing solid food.
- If you have time, soak the dates and hemp seed for 30 minutes before blending. This reduces the amount of sediment and completely removes the need for straining or filtering.
- One cup of fresh hemp seed milk has about 194 calories. It has 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat so, unless you have a high caloric need, I suggest sticking to the 1/2 cup serving size. Hemp milk will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Drink it straight or add it to smoothies. It is also a great base for blenderized meals.
- As with all “Super Foods” take the time to research and steer clear of the idea that “if less is good, more is better.” This is very important if you are dealing with specialized or restricted diets, on medications or have various health conditions.
Time Tip: Freeze any portion of the milk that will not be used in 3-4 days in ice cube trays. Store the cubes in labeled and dated freezer bags for up to 6 months. Since each cube is about an ounce, you can quickly grab what you need without wasting any.
Money tip: Shop around before buying hemp hearts. They can run as high as 12 dollars a pound in some stores and on line. Winco has the lowest price at $7.02 a pound. They can be found in the bulk food section for much less than the prepackaged bags. It is good to alternate seed/nut milks. If you are on a tight budget, alternate the types of nut/seed/bean milks you make to save money. This is also important especially for individuals on blenderized diets to insure balanced nutrition.