I have already written on a new product coming out made by Nestle. Abbott has a new product coming out, too. There is plenty to say about this product, but first, I’d like to share some important information about Abbott as a company.
Abbott, like Nestle, has aggressively campaigned against home blended diets. If tube-fed people started making their own food instead of consuming the sugar loaded formulas made for tube feeding, Abbott would stop making money. So, of course, they’ve done what they can to discourage the use of blenderized diets and encourage the use of their own products instead.
In so doing, Abbott conducted some very shady “research” (I use quotations because the studies they did hardly pass as legitimate research). For example, Abbott went to Iran to a handful of hospitals already well documented to have kitchen food contaminated with large amounts of pathogenic bacteria. They tested their blended food prepared for tube-fed patients. Of course, since the food being blended was prepared in a kitchen full of contaminated food, the bacterial content of the blended food was not surprisingly rather high. Abbott has conducted other similar studies.
Abbott then sent pharmaceutical reps to doctors and dietitians to explain how horribly contaminated blended food has been shown to be, never mentioning where these studies were conducted. They made a ridiculous document explaining how dangerous consuming food is (the cover of this document ironically contains pictures of people eating food). There is a great video that talks more about this here.
In the document, Abbott makes multiple false and/or unsupported claims about enteral formulas and blenderized diets. For example, at the very beginning of the document, they claim that new formulas are improving tolerance and patient outcomes. There is no data to suggest this, especially in comparison to diets of real food. First, the formulas have changed very, very little since their introduction in the 1950s. In truth, every time blenderized diets and enteral formulas have been compared through case studies or research studies, the data enormously favored blenderized diets showing dramatic reduction in GI complications in over 90% of participants when they began a blenderized diet instead of consuming enteral formula. You can read more about these research studies and many others in my book, Stand for Food.
Abbott references “specialty formulas” that have been manufactured in the past decade, yet, they fail to mention that essentially none of these specialty formulas have ever been a part of a single clinical trial. Meanwhile, they continue to make their claims about how dangerous blenderized diets are, citing their flawed research in the process. Let me be clear. Blenderized diets have absolutely never been shown to increase the risk of infection or other health complications in a single properly conducted scientific study. Ever.
A survey, which you can learn about toward the end of this video, showed that less than 3% of respondents reported any incidents of foodborne illness in their child while feeding a blenderized diet. This is very far below the incidence of foodborne illness experienced by the general population, according to data from the CDC.
Abbott claims in their document that it’s unsafe to feed a person blended food with a feeding pump because the food is sitting at room temperature. A fellow BD mom friend of mine who is trained in food safety and sanitation and is even certified to teach classes on the subject, feeds her son a blended diet on continuous feeding not just through a g-tube, but through a j-tube and has done so successfully for a long time. She has tested the temperature of her son’s food in the feeding bag when it is surrounded by ice packs and the temperature of the food after it passes through the pump line and comes out of the extension tube and found that for a full 12 hours, the food remained at a safe temperature using this method.
Has Abbot even tested these things? Of course not. They just made this stuff up to keep themselves relevant in a market where people are losing interest in their products more and more as time passes. But, we BD moms are testing things all the time, and we are consistently finding the claims made by Abbott are simply untrue. Trustworthy company? No.
Now, let’s move on toward the actual product, PediaSure Harvest and the marketing pamphlet they are passing out to dietitians.
They note that 59% of parents of tube-fed children feed their child a home blenderized diet. Abbott, of course, does not like that because it means we aren’t buying their products. They then list 6 steps a parent must go through to feed their child a blenderized diet in their attempt to make it sound utterly dreadul.
Step 1: Shop for the right ingredients. In other words, the parent must go grocery shopping, an activity that parents of orally-fed children around the world must do. I don’t see Abbott trying to market this product to replace food for orally-fed children so parents no longer have to go to the grocery store. Are they suggesting tube-fed children are not worth the effort of going to the grocery store?
And what are the “right” ingredients? Both Abbott and Nestle have tried to make it sound like blenderized diets require lots of specialty ingredients and weird concoctions of 34 perfectly measured ingredients in order to attain “complete nutrition.” Bradley has had pancakes, tacos, spaghetti, sandwiches, soup and much more through his feeding tube. I did not calculate every single nutrient to make sure his diet was “complete.” No one eats this way. A blenderized diet is not an attempt to make a formula out of food. It’s just feeding food like all other humans everywhere eat.
Step 2: Rinse and clean the food. Yes, if you buy fresh produce, it must be rinsed and cleaned. Just like all orally-fed people do. Eating orally doesn’t mean you don’t need to wash fresh produce. Everyone needs to do so. They are suggesting again that this effort is worth it for an orally-fed child, but that tube-fed children simply are not worth the same effort.
Step 3: Measure everything. Just like everyone does when preparing a recipe, whether they are preparing food for oral consumption or through the tube. Apparently, they are under the impression that tube-fed children are not important enough to bother with measuring food while orally-fed children are. Preparing nearly any meal requires most people to measure their ingredients.
Step 4: Blenderize. Yeah, you put food in the blender and turn it on for 2 minutes. This literally takes less than 5 minutes. Sure, you don’t have to do this for orally-fed people, but seriously. It’s 5 minutes. Our children are worth 5 minutes of effort.
Step 5: Divide into serving sizes. When my best friend made a pot of soup for her family the other day, she had to divide the soup into serving sizes in bowls. This was not cause to stop feeding her family food and to begin feeding them cans of formula instead. Yet again, the implication here is that tube-fed children are not worth the same effort given to orally-fed children every day.
Step 6: Clean equipment for next use. Just like everyone else must wash their dishes after preparing a meal for their children and feeding it to them. I spent a month in Cambodia once. I will never forget sitting alongside the river and watching a man carry a bin of dirty plates and cups and washing them in a river less than 10 feet from where someone else was bathing in the river. He had no soap. Just a scrub brush. Like many living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, that river was the only source of water he had.
If he can manage to wash dishes, at least as well as he can, in such circumstances, surely the average parent of a tube-fed child living in an industrialized country is capable of washing dishes in their kitchen sink or in their dishwasher. Besides, the only additional equipment that needs to be washed is the blender, which is the easiest dish to wash if you have a high powered blender (and most people that feed a blenderized diet do). You simply fill the blender jar with water with a dab of soap and run it briefly before dumping the soapy water out and rinsing it. Occasionally, I have to take a bottle brush and scrub the sides, which takes very little time. Some like to do a second run with water and vinegar or even water and a touch of chorine for added measure. Though most do not do so.
After this horrifyingly offensive statement that Abbott doesn’t think tube-fed children are worth the same energy and effort as orally-fed children, it claims that their PediaSure Harvest is a good source of antioxidants. It has a little asterisk next to that and lists vitamin C, E, and selenium as the antioxidants. This is a “good source” of antioxidants? Hardly. There are so many antioxidants and phytonutrients that can be found in abundance in a varied diet of real food that PediaSure Harvest does not offer. Yet, they call this “nutritionally complete.” Just…no.
Here, we find pictures of spinach, mango, broccoli, and such. Ironically, after making a big deal about how hard it is for parents to find the “right ingredients,” they then list ingredients in their formula, and all of those ingredients are easily found in almost any grocery store. Who has a hard time finding bananas at the grocery store? To get these products into a form that works in their liquid-y formulas, a lot of processing has to be done. As does super heating to make it shelf stable. This destroys much of the nutrients that can be found in this food. I notice they fail to mention this.
They mention their protein source is from soy, chicken broth, and rice. I have to wonder how much research Abbott did when developing this product. I’ve spoken with thousands of parents of children with feeding tubes and/or GI disorders. While soy is a great source of protein for many people, it is an ingredient that children with digestive disorders commonly have difficulty with. This was a very poor choice of a protein source for a product designed for tube feeding children.
First of all, the title of this page is “Real Food Formula Nutrient Comparison.” Yet, neither of the formulas listed here are actually real food formulas. These are both formulas with a little bit of food added to them. They’re still loaded with sugar like every other enteral formula. These are absolutely not real food formulas. This is important to keep in mind because as Abbott and Nestle are making these terrible products and claiming they are the same as a blenderized diet, when children try them and have complications, dietitians and doctors may tell parents their child “failed” at the trial of a blenderized diet and should return to a more traditional formula. This would be entirely incorrect because a real blenderized diet is what would likely reduce or even eliminate the symptoms.
This page is just a comparison of PediaSure Harvest to Compleat Pediatric, made by Nestle. This is hardly a product to be comparing your product to. It has an enormous amount of sugar in it with really only trace amounts of food. Nestle markets this as a real food product, but it has ingredients that are terrible for health.
Nestle used to use corn syrup as their primary carbohydrate source in their Compleat Pediatric, but after enough complaints from parents, they switched to brown rice syrup. They did this because brown rice syrup sounds healthier. This is sadly not reality. Brown rice syrup has an extremely high glycemic index, far higher than even table sugar. It also can contain levels of arsenic inappropriate for a pediatric population. It is not a healthful ingredient, yet it is the most abundant ingredient in Compleat Pediatric after water. They don’t care if their product actually is healthier. They just care if it sounds healthier so people will buy it. Abbott is doing the exact same thing.
When we talk about a diet of real food, we are talking about food that people actually eat. No one sits around drinking glasses of brown rice syrup. If they did, they’d get sick. Abbott is showing that PediaSure Harvest is similar to Compleat Pediatric here. Not exactly a positive endorsement of PediaSure Harvest. I notice as much as Abbott talks about the “dangers” of bacteria in home blenderized diets, they never mention the dangers of long term high sugar diets (which virtually all of their enteral formulas consist of). Diets with these ingredients are strongly correlated with decreased immune function, increased inflammation, poor gut function, cardiovascular problems, and much more. These formulas are far from safe and their long term use has never been studied in a single clinical trial.
This page continues the comparison to Compleat Pediatric. Notice rice maltodextrin is a carbohydrate source in PediaSure Harvest. This, like brown rice syrup, has a high glycemic index and isn’t going to do anyone’s health any favors.
The source of fat for PediaSure Harvest isn’t something that’s going to promote health, either. Tuna oil in every can? Is it even safe for children to consume fish oil over and over again every single day? I can guarantee Abbott has not checked prior to adding this to their product. They added it because, as you can see, Compleat Pediatric has no DHA in it, an extremely important fatty acid necessary for brain growth and development (so much for it being “complete nutrition”). Abbott wanted this upper hand on Compleat Pediatric.
While adding DHA to a child’s diet is a very good thing to do, adding fish oil every single day is in complete contradiction to the nutritional recommendations for children due to its potential for mercury content and blood thinning effects. Many children with heart defects have a feeding tube and are also on blood thinning medication due to their heart defect. I have serious concerns about any child being fed fish oil all day every day, but I am even more concerned for children with heart defects that are on blood thinning medication being fed this ingredient.
A far better source of DHA would have been from algae (in fact, the only reason fish contain DHA is because they either eat algae that has DHA or they eat other fish that have eaten algae with DHA). This is a much more safe source of DHA to be consuming on a daily basis. But, it is also more expensive and this would mean decreased profit margins for Abbott. It seems while they harp on the extreme “dangers” of blenderized diets and express such terrible concern for our children’s health, that concern stops quite abruptly as soon as it starts affecting their profit margins.
“Real food parents want, nutrition children need. Now you can give them both with new PediaSure Harvest.” Parents that feed their children a blenderized diet have been giving their children both of these things for decades. Real food has the nutrition children need, and it has been giving children the nutrition they need for a very long time. And freshly blended food has far more nutrition in it than any canned preparation ever will. Now we can give both? We’ve been giving both all along.
If they want to imply that tube-fed children fed real food all this time haven’t been getting the nutrition children need, they are seriously misinformed. In fact, a study showed that children fed blenderized diets have perfectly normal blood levels relevant to nutrition. Our children are absolutely thriving on blenderized diets, and they are far more nourished than children being fed PediaSure Harvest could possibly be.
They think this has the “real food” parents want? No. It absolutely does not.
I’d like to end this with a quote from my book, Stand for Food:
“Stemming from this general recommendation is the question many parents of tube-fed children have been asked by medical professionals: why go through all the trouble of making food when you can just feed formula? No medical professional would ever ask the mother of an orally-fed child, ‘Why do you bother making your child food? Why don’t you just feed formula?’ Yet, parents of tube-fed children are asked this question regularly.
“So, I will answer this question for anyone wondering. We don’t “just feed formula” because the ingredients in commercial enteral formula contribute to chronic illness and poorer health outcomes. Our children deserve natural fiber. Our children deserve carbohydrates from actual grains, fruits and vegetables rather than sugars. Our children deserve phytonutrients, natural enzymes, cofactors, beneficial bacteria and all of the other wonderful benefits real food brings that cannot be found in commercial enteral formula. And our children are absolutely worth the effort to provide this for them. That is why we don’t ‘just feed formula.”
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11 thoughts on “Abbott’s Pediasure Harvest”
Thank you for writing this. Abbott and Nestle are evil and should be called out for it. There is no other explanation for how they promote their “”food”. We started our journey with a blenderized diet a few months ago, but the results have been dramatic. I will NEVER go back to that crappy stuff in a can they call food. Doctors and nutritionists need to wake up as well and give parents the information they need instead of blindly recommended these canned formulas.
Thank you for this post. A dietician tried getting us to use this for our child today who is reacting horribly to Pediasure, which we never wanted to use but had to in order to get out of the hospital w our child. We are switching to a blended diet tomorrow. I did a quick Google search & the link to your post came up.. so I quickly skimmed your post while on the phone w the dietician & was able to quickly say that soy won’t work for her either after reading it is in Harvest, and the dietician immediately backed off… so grateful! I came back & read it word for word once I finally got off the phone and am SO grateful to have been able to decline this formula & risk our child reacting again.. enough is enough! Keep sharing & educating.. you are changing children’s & families lives each time they read this!
Hi there, I’m so glad this was helpful for you!
While I understand your frustrations with Nestle and Abbott, I can’t help but also feel that you are being a little unfair as well. I am a pediatric dietitian and work with several families who are using homemade blenderized tube feedings, as well as those who are unable to do so (for various reasons). I am always willing to work with families on what works best for them and also meet the child’s nutritional and healthcare needs. Sometimes, these commercial formulas are the only option for a family and I don’t think it is fair to shame them for making that decision. We all have to agree that the invention of commercial formulas has, in certain situations, saved lives. I don’t know if you are or have ever been a healthcare professional, but not every patient fits into one box. There are many circumstances to consider and you should not fully condemn the companies that are trying to offer some solutions. I can’t speak for doctors, but I know that many dietitians will research a product before they recommend it. Not all of us simply start giving something to our patient just because a formula company says it’s good. And to be fair, I have fortunately never encountered a representative from Nestle or Abbott that has encouraged me to switch a child from a homemade blenderized diet or an infant from breastmilk to one of their formulas. If they did, I would tell them to never come back to my office again.
Unfortunately, from my position, upon hearing from so many of the nearly 50,000 parents who have visited my blog, I strongly disagree.
I will never shame a family, however, I will point out how often they are grossly misinformed. With healthcare facilities refusing to allow any food through feeding tubes, forcing parents to feed their hospitalized child a formula that makes their child vomit, with doctors and dietitians calling child protective services on a mother for refusing something like Pediasure because her child was writhing in pain day and night on it, and so many, many stories I could share with you, you will never convince me that these companies are seeking to provide solutions.
Why are they doing such poorly done research if they truly desire to help? Why aren’t they doing any research at all on the vast majority of their formulas if they want to provide the best? Why are they making claims about their formulas that are not supported by the medical literature? And why are so many doctors and dietitians believing everything they say?
The medical literature does not support the use of these products. So if someone frequently recommends them, they have not done their research.
As I mention in my blog, Abbott has a booklet talking about how dangerous Blenderized diets are. It’s available to anyone on the internet and they have presented this to the medical community at large. Just look it up. That’s all the evidence I need to see they have done all they can to discourage Blenderized diets. They have statements right on their website condemning the use of Blenderized diets as dangerous. In both of these cases, they cite extremely poorly designed research that does not in any way support what they are saying. Also, Abbott themselves conducted the research, and they do not reveal this in their article, which is a major ethical violation.
Their marketing for their Pediasure Harvest implies home Blenderized diets do not contain proper nutrition.
I have read over 300 scientific studies relevant to this subject. These formulas are well documented to contain ingredients that contribute to chronic disease. These formulas are well documented to increase GI complications. And most of these formulas have never been studied through a single scientific study ever.
You do not have all the information you need to understand the history of this company. They are out for money and they’ll gladly make children sick to do it. That is simply clear from all of the evidence.
I have met parents whose children were literally dying while being fed these formulas. And everything changed after stopping the formula and feeding real food. Children were on hospice care and no longer required it because their health improved that dramatically after eliminating enteral formula.
While there are rare cases where a specific formula is needed, these are extremely rare cases. They are far overused and prescribed and the medical community as a whole needs to wake up and understand how many children have been harmed by the current approach to enteral feeding. Abbott has not earned a place in the world of enteral nutrition. There is no room in the medical field for companies that do improper research or even no research to advance their profits.
And while I will never shame a family, I will absolutely shame any medical professionals who makes recommendations to families without doing the proper research. Because it’s unacceptable. Recommendations should be based on properly done research, not the marketing scheme of a pharmaceutical representative.
My son’s medical team belongs to a group that decided together that they will not speak to pharmaceutical representatives. They aren’t allowed to call or visit. And it shows in how much more we’ll rounded their knowledge is about enteral feeding, nutrition, medications, and these companies as a whole. More doctors and dietitians need to follow their lead.
The medical field should be based on science, not marketing schemes.
You know, most of our nutritionists would probably say the same things about being supportive of BD families, etc. etc. But the fact is that most have been supportive only to the extent that families are willing to fight. When DS was turning 1 and I told our doctors what I had planned for him (introducing solids one at a time through his tube just like I’d done for my oral eaters), they PLUS the nutritionist expressed their doubts. Then the nutritionist came back a few days later (we were inpatient) and brought me a can of formula Similac. I sent her away. Then she came back with another can. And explained how it would be better. She denied it was heavily sugar based. She said it was full of real food. It was Compleat – the Compleat of 5 years ago -m and it was NOT any of the things she said it was. Then came the lies. You will clog the tube (good thing they’re so easy to change). His food needs to be sterile (his food hasn’t been sterile up to that point, did that suddenly change?). You can’t possibly follow food safety standards at home (tell me what standards to follow – I have a long track record of not poisoning people). He’ll have to have formula when inpatient (do oral eating kids have to switch?) We won’t support a blended diet in the hospital (that’s just being a jerk). You’ll have to switch after transplant because the risk of food poisoning is too high (could you show me a study of how many oral eating transplant kids die from food poisoning compared to oral eating kids without transplants? No.) How will you know what to feed him? (I mean, I thought that was the nutritionist’s job, but turns out I was wrong.) I asked for guidelines. I was told they didn’t have any for me. I ended up looking at the macronutrients that he would’ve gotten with the Similac they were recommending to get an idea of calories, protein, etc. that he needed and I used Google for micronutrients, guessing at amounts for the things he needed to have restricted because of his medical needs. Information I SHOULD HAVE gotten from the nutritionist.
The next nutritionist was much the same. Then we had a nutritionist who’d never had a BD patient, but was fascinated and in love with the idea. She wasn’t really much practical help, but she did at least stick up for us against the rest of the team, and made inpatient stays easier. She also was finally able to provide me with guidelines for nutrient needs – but it was just a page she printed off the internet. Nonetheless, after 3 years completely on our own, it was nice to finally have some guidance from the professional.
Our current nutritionist inherited us, already feeding a homemade blended diet. The first time we met her, she implied that making his food was too hard for me and wondered if we’d considered any of the blended formulas out there – Compleat is just like a home blended diet, she said. She didn’t have answers to any of my questions or concerns about Compleat. She didn’t want to see my recipes and give me feedback. She really just wanted us on formula.
Everything was fine until I asked for orders for Real Food Blends, which is something our nutritionist should be able to do for us. I had found a supplier, and had already switched the rest of our supplies to this supplier. I had verified that it was covered by both of his insurances. I did all the work, I just needed the orders. She said that was fine, but she recommended Nourish instead, and she would find us a source. A month later, she still hadn’t been able to find a source for Nourish. Then she called to recommend Compleat instead. It was basically the same, she said. It would be easier. What about Real Food Blends, I asked? Well, she said, it isn’t complete. What’s it missing? Sodium. It’s missing sodium, so Compleat is better. I just, honestly…. I don’t understand how one even gets to that conclusion. I could add a bit of salt to RFB, but it’s hard to take all the crap out of Compleat.
I turned down the Compleat. A few days later, I got an email pushing Kate Farms. So did a few friends. All on the same day. I asked her a few questions about Kate Farms and she didn’t know the answers, and said she’d only recently learned about it and hadn’t had a chance to look into it for herself. (Reading between the lines, it sounds like she just got some marketing materials and decided to recommend it to all of her families currently feeding BD without really reading up on it – which is the opposite of what you said happens.)
I had to lobby for RFB for two solid months – and get Continuity of Care involved – before Nutrition would just give us orders for RFB, which she had verbally agreed to in the first place.
You said, “Sometimes, these commercial formulas are the only option for a family and I don’t think it is fair to shame them for making that decision.” Let’s address that. First, yes, sometimes commercial formulas are the only option. But that’s rare. RARE. Ask yourself, if this person didn’t have a feeding tube, would I be recommending formula as their only oral intake? Second and more important, how is providing factual information at all “shaming”? It’s like when people cry over presenting the facts about breastfeeding because it’s “shaming” mothers who choose formula. It’s not. Feelings don’t trump facts. Breastfeeding is objectively better. A whole foods diet is objectively better. There’s no shame there.
Where there SHOULD BE shame is in the very poor support provided for families in both situations. More mothers would be able to breastfeed if given the proper support (from the communities and from their providers). More families would be able to feed real food to their tubies if given the proper support. How many prvolumoviders even let their tubie patients know that feeding real food is an option, let alone offer them actual help? (And I’ve seen the “recipes” provided by hospitals like CHOP – the recipes typically create either hopelessly thick blends, or blends that are simply too voluminous. The only thing worse than no help is fake help. It’s hard not to wonder if these suggested recipes are created to be unworkable on purpose.
Why do nutritionists lose their courage when faced with tubies? How many nutritionists would avoid recommending healthy alternatives to unhealthy foods for oral eaters? Faced with a kid with some chronic health conditions obviously exacerbated by his poor diet and high sugar intake, would nutritionists avoid suggesting his parents make some changes to his diet just because they perceive that change to be hard? It’s hard making a teenager give up pop and switch to whole grains instead of Wonder Bread. It is. It’s harder than changing a tubie’s diet, that’s for darn sure. But my perception is that doctors make those recommendations all the time. I personally know people who have been referred to a nutritionists who have suggested difficult but necessary changes to their oral eaters’ diets to improve their health – both kids with chronic conditions and kids who are just overweight. But why do nutritionists balk when it comes to making the SAME recommendations to their tubie patients? It’s really NOT that hard. Reduce formula by one meal and substitute instead some actual food. Stick to soft cooked veggies and other things that blend very smooth in a low power blender if you need to. Use baby food. It’s kind of discrimination when you think of it. If you wouldn’t recommend that much sugar for an oral eater, why would you recommend it for a tubie? (this was a question our nutritionist chose not to answer, after I pointed out the primary ingredients in Compleat and Kate Farms.)
“There are many circumstances to consider and you should not fully condemn the companies that are trying to offer some solutions.” MAYBE. But shouldn’t their “solutions” be presented honestly? Shouldn’t they have full disclosure on the quality of the ingredients, on whether or not they’re being sued by the state of CA, on the sugar content? Instead of trying to pretend that brown rice syrup is health food? If they’re really trying to offer some solutions, why not actual whole foods? RFB and Functional Formularies have both managed. Nestle just wants a piece of the action – which is fine, actually. But instead of making a quality product, it’s like they’re selling cheap knockoff versions.
“I can’t speak for doctors, but I know that many dietitians will research a product before they recommend it. Not all of us simply start giving something to our patient just because a formula company says it’s good.” “Many” and “not all of us.” It should be ALL and NONE. And how do you know? First, do you think lots of nutritionists are going to admit that they do that, to other nutritionists? Do you know all of the nutritionists in this country well enough to really be able to categorically state that “Many” do research first? And by “research,” what do you mean? I’ve had five nutritionists and NONE OF THEM knew more than I did about the formulas they were offering me, and that was before I had even heard of CrunchyTubieMama. Their research seemed to be limited to reading marketing materials. Even my 14 year old knows better than that.
And how is your average parent to know whether they have one of the nutritionists who do tons of research and are only offering what they genuinely believe to be the very best nutrition for their child’s situation, vs one of the ones who don’t do that? I know for a fact I have one of the ones who recommends stuff because the formula company materials were very very pretty, but how many of her other patients know that?
Maybe you are all you say you are. But, in my experience and reading the experiences of others, if you are – you are pretty unique. Keep advocating for your families and encouraging them to use a blended diet – that’s awesome.
Sara, our dietitian never gave us an option of a blended diet. My little guy was on Nestle Peptamin Jr for over 2 years before I found out about Nourish. We switched him to that a couple months ago (after a huge debate with the dietitian, because she felt Peptamin jr was perfect for him!) He has changed so much since the switch. His therapists and other people have been amazed at the change in him! I am gong to start blending real food within a few days, without any help from the dietitian who won’t help me with recipes, calories etc. although the fear is real that I could get in trouble for not following medical advice, but at the same time I have to think of my child first. Formula should not be a choice for our children. Especially when the medical field can order Nourish and Real foods breads but rely on formulas only.
Sorry, but one s at the proves that their products are not healthy and honestly shouldn’t be consumed by anyone, much less a sick child. And considering Nestle’s extremely shady campaigns against blended diets for tube feeding makes me not trust their product as it’s obvious to anyone who bothers to dig deeper that they are only in it for the money and don’t care how it affects the children. My son would projectile vomit 24/7 when on formula (any type of formula) and he didn’t stop until I put him on a blended diet. Also, commercial formula only uses folic acid in their products so I shouldn’t give him formula even if I wanted to because his body cannot process solic acid and it is literal toxic to him. So anyone with a similar gene mutation as him shouldn’t consume commercial formula as it would negatively affect their health as well. And even if my son didn’t have those issue I still wouldn’t give it to him because their products are crap with crap ingredients.
Sara, I so wish you were our deitician…. not only did we have to say “I’m switching off Compleat and blending with your help or without your help”, but we also have been given samples of Compleat organic at our last appointment “to consider” even though we have been growing beautifully on a mixture home blends and Nourish for over 2 years. I was also told that Compleat organic had a lot less protein than Nourish as the reason I should consider switching. On a per calorie basis, Nourish has less protein.
I’m glad that you are on board will all options. That’s fantastic, but please understand that you are not the whole dietician community. We have encountered a lot resistance from pretty much every dietician we’ve ever seen. The articles Crunchy Tubie Mama has written helped me connect and identify with other parents struggling the same way I do, feeling gaslighted by medical professionals about how dangerous food is. Please don’t take it personally if it doesn’t apply to you, but she’s far from unfair.
Sara, you sound like a great dietician
Sadly, most are not like you. The only option we were given was formula. Once I learned about BD and brought it up to our RD and GI, they both said no and gave a bunch if he reasons why I couldn’t. Instinctively it didn’t make sense to me why it was such a huge deal. I found this blog and other resources for BD families, and did all the research myself. I went back to them and said I’m doing it with or without you. They basically said, “fine, but we’re not helping and you have to have weight checks and lab work done every 3 months.” Yeah, no. My kid’s not getting poked by a needle 4 times a year just because you don’t think I am capable of feeding him a balanced diet. Not every patient is the same. What you said is exactly right. It’s the formula pushers who treat every kid exactly the same. A blended diet can literally be tailored to suit almost everyone’s needs. Formula is the same exact product for everyone. Also, Nestle is one of the worst companies on the planet. I hated them before I realized how bad their formulas are. They have ZERO ethical standards. I don’t buy anything Nestle if I can help it at all.
My daughter was switched to peptomen jr after she turned 1. Since then she had no weight gain and was dehydrated from having diarrhea. She was admitted to the hospital and stayed in the hospital for 30 days . They tried 4 different formulas (she kept having diarrhea) only to bring her home on the same thing that hurt her . After being re admitted they switch to compleate pediatrics . Once release from the hospital she continued to have diarrhea. Enough was enough. I stared blending 3 months ago and never looked back . We have weight gain , beautiful skin color and a more Playful baby . I was threatened with cps and a hospital stay . They had a Dietition come in to try and help but seem like she tired to set me up for failure. When I followed their instructions we had no weight gain , since doing things on my own , we have gained . I said all this to say that giving her real food saved her!!!! With the risk of having my child taken this was the best decision ever !!! Formula almost killed my baby . Her stomach Couldn’t handle it