Henry's Homemade Formula

Our journey towards adding "real" foods into Henry's Homemade Blended G-Tube Formula

Henry’s Menu

Updated June 15, 2012

Here’s a quick outline of Henry’s current menu.  For a description of the foods I typically include and the steps to blend it together, see below.

Grains – 1.5 cups

Veggies – 1 (roughly measured, often heaping) cup

Fruit – 1 (roughly measured, often heaping) cup

Dairy & alternatives – 1.5 cups

Meat & alternatives – 2-3 ounces

Fats – 3 tbs

Extras

  • 2 tbs molasses
  • He also gets one tablet of CoQ10, to help with muscle function and one tablet (1000 IU) of Vitamin D.

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Updated August 9, 2011

Here’s an outline of Henry’s current menu:

Grains – 1 cup

  • Because of Henry’s allergy to wheat, I often rotate between 2 – 1/2 cup servings of either rice (wild or brown), quinoa or oatmeal (I recently “discovered” quinoa and love it!  We’re all eating it more and more :)).

Veggies – 1 cup

  • Basically whatever is ready in the garden or looks yummy at the store.  Same as the grains,  I try to do 2 – 1/2 cup serving and try to have a mixture of colours (I love my grandma’s philosophy… a colourful plate means healthy eating!).  Currently there’s lots of beets, beet leaves, broccoli, peas, carrots, spinach, swiss chard, tomato, cauliflower.
  • Allergies: squash & cucumber

Fruit – 1 cup

  • Again, I try for 2 – 1/2 cup servings and mix up the colours.  With the local fruit in the market, that’s what I usually pick up, but bananas are a constant around our home too.   I’ve also got a few cans of pineapple and peaches in the cupboard, just in case.
  • Allergies: apple

Dairy & alternatives – 1 cup

  • Since Henry is allergic to both cow and goat’s milk, we use Ryza brown rice milk.  It has the calcium he needs without too protein.  I sometimes use soy milk, but in limited quantities.  Our dietician said the soy can have estrogen like qualities and may not be appropriate for young boys.

Meat & alternatives – 2 ounces

  • Chick peas and egg yolk are a constant for us.  Rotated with whatever meat we’re having for dinner.  I’ve always got a few cans of tuna in the cupboard too.

Fats – 3 tbs

  • Right now I rotate between olive, flax, canola, and sunflower.  I don’t follow any strict pattern, just try to mix it up a bit.  3 tbs is higher than “usual”, but it’s an easy way to increase the calories Henry gets without adding too much volume.  Plus since Henry’s still a little guy, extra fat is good for brain development.

Extras – as needed

  • I’ll often add in a tbs or two of molasses if he’s short on calcium for the day.  Depending on what fruits and veggies are included, he may need some extra calories too.
  • He also gets one tablet of CoQ10, to help with muscle function.

Steps to Blend:

  1. Steam / Cook any individual ingredients in advance.
    • I often make a large pot of grains and then freeze into 1/2 cup “chunks” – that way I can just grab a couple from the freezer each day.  I’ll sometimes do this with the chickpeas to.
  2. Measure rice milk into Vitamix Blender (add liquid ingredients first as this makes it easier to blend.  I made the mistake of adding the milk at the end last time, and it was very hard to get it incorporated into the drier ingredients).
  3. Add pre-cooked items:
    • rice – cooked per package directions;
    • chick peas – bulk dried peas, soaked overnight, cooked until tender approx 45 minutes;
    • meats, hard-boiled eggs, etc.
  4. Add fruits & veggies – I tend to leave the fruits and veggies raw now, especially stuff from our garden.  If it’s a very “hard” veggy, like yams or beets, then I’ll steam them slightly.
  5. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated into a smooth mixture, using the tapper to help get all the ingredients down into the blades.  This could take several minutes depending on items.
    • my one semi-complaint is that the Vitamix blender is REALLY loud!  I can blend for a minute or two with Henry in the same room, but more than that and he starts to cry (plus I’m sure it’s bad for both of our hearing).  So, it’s hard to make his food when he’s awake, but it’s too loud when he’s napping.
  6. Measure finished food into 125ml mason jars- based on amount he is eating per meal at the time.

7 responses to “Henry’s Menu

  1. stefanie brown says:

    Hi there, I would love to pick your brain a bit, mom to mom, about tolerance and your choice of ingredients. I have a 16 mo. Boy, tube fed since birth…gtube at 2 mo. We are about 100 days into the blended diet.He is the king of vomiting his feeds. Breastmilk was always the best and he continues to receive in his base. Of course we are under the care of a diatician, but experience comes from us, not them….as I have learned the hard way….in all facets of his care. My email is Sdred3@gmail.com when you have a second. Many thanks….

  2. Joy says:

    thanks for sharing your experience with the blended diet, we are only a week into it with our 23month old daughter and think it is going to make a big difference, we can see small improvements already. Our biggest thing is figuring out what calories are in foods, where did you find your information on that? It is nice to find other mums out there who are doing the blended diet. 🙂

    • henrysmama says:

      Hi Joy,
      Thanks for your comment! I am so happy you have noticed a difference since staring the homemade diet… how wonderful!

      To learn about calories, I started off using the Homemade Blended Formula Handbook, by Marsha Dunn Klein. Here is a link to the website it can be purchased from: http://www.mealtimenotions.com/HomemadeBlendedFormulaHandbook.htm. There is a whole chapter focused on nutrient information. This was enough for me to get started with.

      Once I started expanding the foods we used, I started using the USDA Nutrient database. Here is that link: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/. There is also a link on the Useful Websites blogroll on the right side of my blog. This website is a bit more scientific focused (aka… annoying at times!), but I can get the information I need. It is nice because it lists a whole range of nutrient information, so if there are other targets you are trying to meet (like protein, calcium, etc) all this information can be found in one place.

      When I started, I used excel spreadsheets to keep track of what foods were in each menu. This way I could keep track of the nutrient information I needed and was not always looking things up online. Now that I am more confident and the homemade food is definitely successful for Henry, I no longer track like I used to.

      If you have any other questions I could help with, please do not hesitate to let me know! Congratulations again :).
      Cheers, Shelley

  3. […] and steps to blending the food, see the posts on preparing his food (a series of 3 posts), and his daily menu.  In the “lessons learned” category, there are other posts related to his menu […]

  4. Kandace says:

    What pump and sets do you use? The hospital set us up with a Joey pump and feeding bags. I have been preparing homemade “formula” for almost 3 years and get so frustrated when the feeds get clogged. Seems like you are able to get in some pretty thick blends through the G-tube which I would love to do.

    Thanks,

    Kandace

    • henrysmama says:

      Hi Kandace,

      We use the Entralite Infinity pump and bags from Moog (formerly Zevex). They’re not perfect by any means, and we’ve had our share of clogs, but we’ve gotten a lot better at blending and unclogging the bags. For some tips on what I’ve learned so far, check out the “Things I’ve learned” category of posts and you’ll find a few different posts regarding both the bags and unclogging them.

      I’ve never used the Joey pump… when Henry first got his ng tube we were given an older model Kangaroo pump to use temporarily when we left the hospital. Our local children’s hospital uses them too. We found it to be a good pump, and actually thought about going back to it when we first started having so many problems with the Infinity. But back then we were using commercial formula. The only time I used a Kangaroo pump with Henry’s blended formula was in the hospital for a couple of days… and we ended up switching back to our own pump and not using the hospital one. I posted about this experience too.

      When we first started using blended foods, we had ongoing problems with clogs. The first “menu” I used contained 1 cup of milk, and this resulted is a blend that was slightly thicker than what we use now (now I include 1.5 cups milk). Amazingly enough, the addition of an extra 1/2 cup liquid makes a world of difference! In the beginning, Henry couldn’t tolerate much volume, so we didn’t have much choice but use a thicker blend in order to get the nutrition he needed. Once he got a bit bigger and we could increase his volume slightly (he now averages about 270-300ml/ meal, 5X per day), I thinned out his blend a bit. I didn’t realize at the time what a difference it would make, but it was clearly much easier to blend; took less time to blend; and resulted in less clogs.

      The other big difference is the Vitamix blender. If you don’t have one, then I would highly recommended looking into it. It has it’s downsides, but in terms of blending power, it’s the best we’ve used. Having said that, I have found that the blades do dull, so if you’ve been using the same one for that last years without ever replacing the blade assembly, this is also something I’d recommend looking into. I haven’t had the chance to post about this yet, but we’ve replaced the blade assembly twice now (for other reasons) and both times the noticed how sharp the new ones are compared to the older ones.

      Have you thought about using a syringe? Would this work for your little one? Right now we use our pump almost exclusively, but I have used a syringe the odd time. We have already maxed out the rate on the Infinity (we feed Henry bolus feeds over a 30 minute period: the pump is set at a dose of 300 ml and a rate of 600ml/hr), so as he grows we either need to find a new method, or take longer to feed him, which we don’t want to do. I’ve been reading a lot about syringes and will be posting in the future about what I learn.

      I hope all this rambling is helpful! Please feel free to write again if I can be more help :).

      cheers, Shelley

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