Mothers Intuition

Have you ever had an instinct? An instinct that begins as a gnawing...Then grows into a raging burn; a burning instinct that something is wrong...

Your baby continues to get sick from the very foods he is supposed to thrive on. I did. I am a mom of a little boy just diagnosed with FPIES.

And that burning feeling now? Extinguished. My instincts? Stronger than ever. Guiding me, with my faith, as we navigate through the murky waters of our new world created by something called FPIES.

"Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Blenderized Diet for Tube Feeding

Little Man has a G-tube.  This tube was surgically placed in his stomach in March of 2012, by the fall of 2012, we were beginning to use it for his blenderized feedings...."feeds" as we call them.  His safe foods get blenderized with a commercial grade blender and this is his 'diet' - his 'safe' diet.  This is what assures he thrives.   A blenderized diet has become a necessity for him due to his multiple allergic 'triggers', his corn 'trigger' being the most detrimental to his ability to tolerate pre-made, complete nutrition, formulas.  His FPIES triggers from minuscule amounts of his allergen - from contamination to trace ingredients, to hydrolyzed proteins.  All result (for him) in severe inflammation, and often villi damage, in his intestines causing malabsoprtion of nutrients.  A bit counterproductive to achieving optimal nutrition for growth.  A blenderized diet of his 'safe' foods- foods that his body accepts as nutrition instead of perceiving as an invader (as the body is capable of doing with this allergic syndrome called FPIES).

I wanted to take this week of honoring Feeding Tube Awareness Week, to provide a peek into what his blenderized diet looks like.

It starts here, well- it starts at the store or from our farmer supplier but here is where his daily diet starts.  A freezer full of foods ready to be prepared for his 'feeds' (or 'blends').   This is mostly peaches.  Processed and purred to be ready to be defrosted and then added to his daily feed. Peaches are a safe food for him but not shelf stable, canned, jarred or other prepacked frozen peaches.  All of those peaches have additives, additives that cause Little Man to have symptoms.  So, we get the safest source- fresh from Georgia in early summer.

 The top of the freezer is some foods we have purchased, and have planned 'trials' for.  There is also some papaya in there- that has been off and on "safe".   Papaya itself is safe but papaya (among other tropical fruits) are frequently 'gassed' to help in their growing and that 'gassing' is where corn is introduced and we have seen symptoms that disrupt his quality of life from even this seemingly small amount of corn, so we have to limit how much we give him and ration it when we feel his body can handle these symptoms -- he tolerates papaya itself and it provides Vit.C so we find ourselves bargaining with FPIES this way some times.  But that is another post, for another day.   Today, we're talking about his blenderized diet for his tube feeding.

On the bottom of the freezer is his safe pork- ready to be roasted in the crock pot (as pictured to the left). We purchase a half a hog at a time, and have the butcher process it into varying size of bone-in roasts.  I leave the bone in for the roasting time and I give it a long roasting time to help some of the components of the marrow to leach into the broth that I use for the liquid of the blend. These nutrients provided in the bone/marrow are providing Little Man with some essential nutrients he can't otherwise get (doesn't have enough safe foods).
Looks yummy huh?  His brothers tease that it looks like a chocolate milkshake! Not quite....

There are several reasons for a blenderized diet, it has several advantages and a few disadvantages and may not suit everyone.  It is perfect for our Little Man, and it is what is keeping him thriving. We are grateful for his tube to provide his much needed nutrition this way.  I am daily reminded of this and, during Feeding Tube Awareness Week, I honor this means of providing optimal nutrition to keep this little boy allergic to so many foods, thriving.

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