Blended diet (BD) is increasingly being requested by parents and carers of home-enterally fed children, yet it remains a relatively new space for many healthcare professionals.
To help provide an open forum for discussion, learning and education, Nestlé Health Science brought together a panel of trusted dietitians from the likes of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the BDA, to discuss all things BD. The Chair was NHD's columnist Priya Tew, RD. Topics included everything from current research, pros and cons, as well as supportive product innovations like food-derived Compleat® paediatric, which can bridge the gap between other commercial enteral feeds and fully BD feeds.
Some highlights and outcomes from the discussion included:
- The increased need for research and evidence, particularly for further large-scale, randomised controlled trials to establish the safety, efficacy, and long-term impact of BD on children.
- The logistics and implications of BD feeds vs commercial enteral feeds that use food-derived ingredients, and how healthcare professionals can use these as a stepping stone to support families wanting to implement a BD at home.
- How BD can be seen to improve quality of life for children, from reducing unwelcome symptoms, supporting increased tolerance, and the emotional and social benefits offered as part of the family meal occasion.
- Advice to support families in keeping them safe and avoiding these issues around BD such as food safety concerns, hygiene and tube blockages.
- Implications of BD and enhanced gut health.