Content is loading...

Hide this page Easy read and translate

The use of blended diets with enteral feeding tubes

Healthcare worker in scrubs holding feeding equipment

This page has a series of online learning sessions that have been specifically created to support families and professionals learn about the use of blended diets with enteral feeding tubes. Please take your time to watch through each session.

Explore the topics in this session:

The use of blended diets with enteral feeding tubes

Objectives of the session

  • To be able to deliver the same standards of high quality care to all children and young people. 
  • To be able to provide care safely, to a high standard and to understand the relevance of the training. 
  • To feel confident and competent providing the care you deliver. 

The use of blended diets with enteral feeding tubes

A blended diet refers to any food or drink other than water, expressed breast milk, infant formula or commercial enteral formula being given via an enteral feeding tube. In recent years, the blending of everyday foods with liquid to be given through the enteral feeding tube, is becoming increasingly popular in practice. 

Considerations of starting a blended diet

Starting a blended diet is a shared decision. The aim of the decision is that the person and their healthcare professional work together to reach a joint decision and agree a plan of care.

  • change of tube
  • buying ancillaries
  • understanding a healthy well balanced diet and age appropriate portion sizes
  • understanding of food safety hygiene
  • blended diets being administered in settings other than the home

Risks and benefits

The risks include:

  • a tube blockage due to viscosity or thickness of some foods
  • the topic being under researched
  • nutritional deficiency

Physiological benefits include:

  • reduction in vomiting, reflux and bowel habits
  • brighter skin, glossy hair and growth of finger nails
  • improved immunity
  • improved social and emotional impact

Recommended practice

  • A balloon retained gastrostomy tube is preferable.
  • Use a mature gastrostomy stoma
  • The diameter of the tube should be ≥ 12Fr. 
  • It is possible to provide blended diet via the gastric port of a gastro-jejunal tube. 

Storage of blended food

Any blend which is to be used more than 2 hours after preparation should be stored and transported safely.

  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Blends can be stored in the refrigerator (below 5°C) for up to 24 to 48 hours.
  • Blends can be stored in the freezer (below -18°C) for 1 to 3 months. Defrost blends prior to use.
  • Blends should only be kept at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours.

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

For the Cambridgeshire Team call 01223 218061 

For the Peterborough Team call 01733 847060 

Have your say

Please tell us about your recent experience with any of our services by answering a few simple questions. We want to hear about what you felt went well and what you think we could do differently. 

Your voice makes a difference and helps us improve our services for you and other families.

Young boy with cerebral palsy laughing whilst sitting in a chair with a toy in front of him

You must log in to save content

Click below to log in or create a new account


You must log in to save content

Click below to log in or create a new account