Monday, October 9, 2017

The Ridiculous Lines You Hear If You Want To Make A Blended Diet

Photo Credit
When we have children food becomes a huge part of our daily lives. We have to decide, from day one, how and when and where to feed our children. When our kids have a hard time eating and need a feeding tube that doesn't change. We still need to feed our kids quality foods for their health and safety. 

Many tubie parents are starting to wake up to the reality that their children would still thrive and do very well on real foods instead of formula. The problem is, the medical system as a whole has gone very backwards in their thinking and will often poo-poo this idea if a parent brings it up, though this is the way tube feeding started. 

Photo Credit: ME! I grew those.
In fact, they have gone so backwards I have heard of parents being threatened with CPS if they dare say they are going to feed their children a blended diet through their feeding tube. It's ridiculous. 

Today I had one of those silly experiences myself, though not threatening (thankfully). Our GI was insistent on us seeing the dietitian before we moved to a fully blended diet. Ha, yeah, we already do it. But I wanted to make sure our sons had no gaps in their nutrition. I stupidly thought the day we got our sons feeding tubes that their nutritional needs were calculated and had been kept updated all this time. Instead I was told the dietitian only ever figured out their calorie need and nothing else. To say I was dismayed is an understatement. 

I showed up today to our appointment and was told the dietitian had read our entire chart, knew what we needed, etc. I was pumped thinking we were finally getting somewhere. She went on to tell me she had NOT figured out any nutritional needs so she would have to do that and it would take another week.

Then came the silliest part of our appointment. I was actually told the biggest reason why she's not fond of blended diet is the sanitation issues. It seems amazingly horribly hard for a parent to wash their hands before prepping food and not using raw meat in a blend. 

And there you have it folks. We should not blend food for our tubie because you have to wash your hands and not use raw meat. BUT, if we feed formula all this goes away? No! I have to still wash my hands. And, for the rest of my family that eats by mouth, I have to still not feed them raw meat. I was taken back. I wanted to laugh in her face. I wanted to say, "I have been married 16 years, have two sons who are 12 and 9, and have managed to never kill any of them or even make them sick with my food (any food poisoning we ever got was from a restaurant). 

It's insulting to parents to pretend they are too stupid to blend food for their tubies. If the same child didn't have a tube, these doctors and dietitians wouldn't care one tiny bit what went into their mouths. Don't believe me? When MY sons didn't have their tubes, this game GI team told me it was perfectly OK if my child ate ice cream 3 times a day, ate chocolate each day, and had hot dogs all day for each meal as long as they got their calorie goal met. They never asked if I cooked those hot dogs. They never asked if I washed my hands before scooping the ice cream. They just cared that my children were fed enough calories each day. What has changed just because there is a straw as the entry point?

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So, for all tubie parents out there, stand up and stand strong! There is no reason for most tubies to not have real food. The logic is on our side, not theirs. If you let them talk and share all of their thoughts, you can almost always easily find the errors of their thinking as I did above. It rarely makes sense. You will hear lines like "clog the tube", "g-tubes aren't made for blended diets", "you don't have the skills to make a nutritionally complete diet", and the list goes on. Laugh on the inside and then show them the studies that show a clogged tube is not the issue, show them the documentation that comes WITH THE TUBE that says it IS made for a blended diet, and stand up to show how much you have grown since infancy to prove you have the skills. If all else fails, do what's best for your child no matter what the GI team says. 


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