Working with Raiden’s mom was an amazing experience. She was highly motivated which was crucial in taking on a blended diet for Raiden. A blenderized diet takes time and commitment and we were working together with 3000 mile and 2 time zones in between us. The fact that we both owned a Vitamix made it easier for me to create a blend for her and have her repeat it seamlessly step by step. My joy comes from seeing little ones with g-tubes grow and thrive on real food and helping other families experience the same success. So, without further ado, here’s Raiden’s story:
Brechae and Raiden’s Testimonial:
My son Raiden has been tube fed since he was 4 months old. He was fed breast milk fortified with formula for extra calories. As he got closer to a year old and my milk supply began to decrease I sought out his options for nutrition. I spoke to his G.I. and he wanted to put him on Pediatric Compleat. I’m the kind of person who does her research, especially with regard to my child, so I looked up the formula. Upon reading the ingredient list I quickly discovered that the product was mostly sugar. I didn’t want that for him. I remembered reading about a blended diet in a feeding tube group on Facebook. At the time I had no idea what it was but I wanted to learn more. I was directed to “Blenderized RN” group on Facebook and that is where I met Tina!
We bonded over both having tubie sons who also have Down syndrome. She helped/taught me to slowly start the transition from fortified breast milk to real food through his tube. Raiden doesn’t have dietary restrictions/sensitivities or G.I. issues. His aversion to food is mostly sensory so I was able to trial all kinds of baby food, baby cereal, eggs, whole milk, etc. with no problem. Once we learned what he tolerated, Tina created a breakfast blend just for Raiden (Raiden’s Breakfast Blend)! It had oatmeal, eggs, an apple and whole milk. It was my go to meal and gave me the confidence to create blends for him on my own with my Vitamix.
Initially he was fed via Infinity pump and could only handle small amounts at a time. I was worried it would always take hours and hours of him being connected to his feeding pump to get him to grow. Tina assured me that based on his medical history we would one day be able to bolus feed via syringe and that he would be able to handle more volume and she was right! When I started blending Raiden was 18lbs. Now he is 27 lbs! We are two years into our blenderized diet journey and I can honestly say that it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my son. Tina’s wisdom and guidance along the way has been such a blessing!
1. Select Variable 2.
2. Turn machine on, remove the lid plug and slowly pour the olive through the lid.
3. Blend 3-5 seconds or until all of the olives are evenly chopped.
Food tip: You can adjust the variable speed up or down 1 speed at a time to get the desired texture. This technique also works well for chopping whole Jalapeno peppers. Split them lengthwise and remove the seeds by scraping them off with a spoon then cut the peppers in thirds before dropping them through the lid.
Time Tip: Chopping a whole can of olives by hand can take up to 10 minutes (I know. I’ve done it). Using the Vitamix it takes about 10 seconds and that’s counting opening and draining the olives!
Money Tip: When I’m chopping large quantities for my Nine Layer Bean Dip (you’ll find the recipe in the dip category here in my blog), I buy a 33oz bag of sliced olives.
This is the recipe that started it all. After I blend this in the Vitamix, my family comes into the kitchen looking for the apple pie because that’s exactly what it smells like. Even if you or your child has never liked oatmeal, give this recipe a try. You will be amazed at how good it tastes. The apples and raisins add natural sweetener. If you like your cereals a bit sweeter you can always add your favorite sweetener to the bowl but try it first. Enjoy!
4 cups of steel cut oats (cooked)
1 cup fresh coconut milk
2 cups of water
1 large apple (cut in quarters & seeds removed. DO NOT PEEL!) or 1 banana
1/3 cup raisins
2 tbs chia seeds (hydrated in 2/3 cup of water)
2 tsp cinnamon (substitute 1 tsp of vanilla if using banana)
Bring 1 cup of dry steel cut oats, water and coconut milk to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Place the chia seeds, apple, raisins and 1 cup of the cooked cereal into the large Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
Select Variable 1.
Turn machine on and quickly increase speed toVariable10, then to High. Blend until completely smooth.
Turn off machine and remove lid.
Add remaining cereal and replace lid.
Select Variable 1.
Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until desired consistency is reached.
Pour into ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
Food Tip: This recipe can be reduced by 1/2 and made in smaller containers. This oatmeal is best suited for older babies and individuals on a pureed diet that can handle a bit of texture. For younger babies and individuals with gag reflex problems it is best to start with basic oatmeal made from oat flour (see recipe in whole grains). When making this recipe for younger babies, add 1 ingredient at a time with at least 4 days in between additions to test for allergic reactions. This recipe tastes so good the whole family will love it!
Money Tip: Watch your prices. I use Steel cut oats instead of whole oat groats, old fashioned oats or quick oats. Oat groats and Steel cut oats have a more robust flavor and more fiber because of the oat bran. Other than that, they are pretty much the same nutritionally. Steel cut oats run about 65 cents a pound if you buy them in bulk. Since you are grinding or blending, why not save some money.
Time Tip: Each cube is approximately 1 once. Storing you cubes in labeled freezer bags will save lots of time and your servings will always be fresh. To serve, simply put the desired portion in a microwavable bowl the night before and heat for 15-30 seconds on high. If the cubes have not been defrosted, it will take 30-60 seconds to heat. 4 frozen cubes takes approximately 45 seconds.