If you've ever been curious about how to blend food for your tube-fed child, check out this YouTube video. This video only covers the mechanics of blending food (blenderized diet). Other aspects will be covered in additional videos.
Links and instructions mentioned in the video below:
Blending directions (all instructions for a Vitamix Classic Series):
The user interface has three controls. On the left, is the toggle which switches you from variable speed to high speed. In the middle is the variable speed control which controls the blade from low speed to high speed. The toggle switch on the right turns the machine on and off. Always make sure you start in the OFF position on the right, and VARIABLE position on the left, with the middle control on “1” or the lowest speed.
Once your solid and liquid ingredients are in the pitcher and with your hand pressing down on the lid of the blender, start by turning the blender on and the slowly turning the middle dial, making sure that the food in the blender is moving well, for at least 60-90 seconds. If you notice that the food toward the top is not moving, you may need to use the tamper, which is like a rod that you insert through the blender lid which pushes the top food toward the bottom of the pitcher. When you slowly turn the dial and there should be lots of movement in the pitcher from the bottom to the top.
Once you turn the variable dial all the way up, move to the left toggle, and flip the switch from VARIABLE to HIGH. You will want to set a timer (on your watch, your stove or just use a kitchen timer) for two minutes.
At this stage you want to make sure that you can still see movement of the mix through the entire pitcher. If you don’t, likely there is not enough liquid in the pitcher, so switch the left toggle back to variable, turn the middle dial back down to 1 and turn the blender off. Then add 1-2 cups more of liquid and go through the sequence again.
While you are going through the two minute sequence on high, you want to remove the clear portion of the lid and check to make sure you have a funnel. The funnel indicates that the blend is going well and that all food is being processed through the blades. If you do not see the funnel, again, turn the blender down, add more liquid and then blend back up.
Waiting the full two minutes to get through the blending phase is critical for liquidfying the food. If this portion of the blend is cut short, you could end up with chunks that can clog a feeding tube. I also don’t recommend straining the food- not only is this a huge mess, but it can strip the fiber and pulp out of the food.
Once the two minute high speed portion is over, you want to flip the left toggle from HIGH to Variable, and turn the middle dial slowly back down to 1. Then you want to flip the on/off toggle to the off position, and then flick it on and off slowly several times- if you remove the clear part of the lid, you can see that each time you turn the machine on and off slowly, you are pushing excess air in the blend to the surface- this avoids having too much air incorporated into the blend.
When the blend is complete it should be the consistency of a thin puree soup or gravy.
Links or products mentioned in the video:
Vitamix Classic C Series
Food scale: (note that the “tare” button zeros out the scale)
Link to studies showing benefits of a blended diet
More feeding tube and blended food information and support-link here
Important note: Our Special Lives does not provide medical advice. Engaging in any ideas or instruction contained herein should be discussed with your health practitioner first.
Being a caregiver to a child with significant special needs for over a decade, Laura McGrath wants to provide support and information to the special needs community.
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