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Celebrating Tube Feeding Awareness

Our dietitians ready to talk with staff about blenderized diets

Blend Your Brunch

Feeding tubes play a big role in the lives of many of our patients, giving them the nutrition and strength to live their lives to the fullest extent. So when we heard February 10-16 was Feeding Tube Awareness Week, not only did the dietitians get excited – our whole office joined in on the fun and partook in “Blend Your Brunch”, where we enjoyed fruit smoothies while learning about feeding tubes and the blenderized diets that our dietitians assist PHS patients with. Check out pictures from the event here on our Facebook page!

Passport to Feeding Tubes

We don’t just focus on feeding tubes one week a year – our dietitians spend time leading all of the new PHS private duty nurses through an interactive, hands-on class called Passport to Feeding Tubes, where participants spend time learning about different types of feeding tubes, from enteral to nasal. With each type of tube representing a ‘country’ that they get a stamp in their passport for visiting, they will soon have a full book and a better understanding of the different types of feeding tubes they may work with in our patients homes. And that kind of learning ensures our nurses are the most confident in their skills, which leads to the best care for our patients.

Nutritional Resources

If you’re looking for ways to talk with your child about their great feeding accessories, we were recently introduced to a fantastic activity book that Abbott Nutrition has put together for children who are tube fed. Tube Feeding at Home talks to kids who have feeding tubes, with each page including an activity your child can do as you read stories about Emma, her family and her friends. Print this book out for some fun learning and coloring!

Abbott has also put together a resource packet for parents filled with general information on tube feeding at home, covering topics like the feeding process, types of formula, methods, and infection prevention. Of course, your PHS dietitian is always the best resource for any questions or concerns you might have, but this provides great tips and general processes related to tube feeding at home.

Added 2/26/2013: The parENtalk Program, which was created to provide an educational resource for parents and caregivers who are new to the tube-feeding journey, has created a parENtalk kit. This kit includes a tube-feeding guide, nutrition guide, tube-feeding at home DVD, and a children’s book about a tube-fed child. To learn more, you can visit the parENtalk website where there are additional resources and support from other parents of tube-fed children, or call Nestle HealthCare Nutrition at 1-800-315-9795.

All of us at PHS are thankful for the amazing opportunities that feeding tubes afford our patients. What opportunities has your child had thanks to their feeding tube?

Originally published: February 13, 2013