Research focus

Blended feeds in children and young people

Aspects of blended feeds in children and young people are explored through the following three studies.

Enteral feeding has significantly increased over past 30 years but the use of blended ‘real’ food is gaining increasing public interest. Enteral feeding in children and young people (CYP) unable to tolerate an oral diet or maintain an adequate body weight is used to promote growth, health and well-being. It is mainly used in CYP with neurological dysphagia and complex healthcare needs, gastrointestinal disorders or life limiting conditions.

In the UK only commercially prepared enteral feeds, fluid and liquid medications are recommended for administration through any enteral feeding device. Debate among professionals has prompted the release of several policy/position statements and guidance recommendations. Aspects of these issues are explored through the following three studies.

Key points:

  • Blended diets may have potential medical and emotional benefits.
  • A blended feed is described as everyday food and fluids blended to a consistency of stage

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