Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Dietitian Creates Blenderized Tube Feed Recipe Builder to Help Families with Tube-Fed Children Provide Real Food, Meet Nutritional Needs

Published on in CHOP News

Parents of children who are exclusively tube-fed have longed to offer a wider variety of food to meet their children’s nutritional needs. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is proud to launch the Blenderized Tube Feeding Recipe Builder web tool, an innovative approach to offering whole foods-based, nutritionally complete recipes for tube-fed children, ages one to 13, in collaboration with Nestlé Health Science.

Robin C. Cook, MS, RD, CSP, LDN Robin C. Cook, MS, RD, CSP, LDN The team behind the collaboration includes Robin Cook, MS, RD, CSP, LDN, a registered dietitian in CHOP’s Department of Clinical Nutrition; CHOP’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Technology Transfer; a patient family; a group of students at Temple University’s Fox School of Business; and Nestlé Health Science, who all came together to create a unique, online tool that makes it easier for families to give their feeding-tube dependent children real food, under the guidance of the child’s healthcare provider.

For a variety of reasons, including gastrointestinal disease, altered gut anatomy, genetic conditions, or an inability to swallow, some children need to receive their nutrition from a feeding tube. Cook, who works with patients in CHOP’s Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery, supports many patients who have a prolonged need for a feeding tube, often requiring a gastrostomy tube, or G-tube, placed directly into their stomach.

“Decades ago, table food was blended and given through a G-tube, but once commercially-prepared formulas were introduced that were nutritionally complete, sterile and easily delivered, the practice shifted to giving children of all ages these formulas,” said Cook. “Originally, I designed a spreadsheet to act as a roadmap for parents who wanted to give their tube-fed child a homemade, blenderized diet that met their child’s nutritional needs.”

“This collaboration with Nestlé Health Science, coordinated through our team in CHOP’s OEI, allowed the spreadsheet to evolve into an online Recipe Builder that eliminates the trial and error families experienced when the spreadsheet was their only resource,” added Cook.

“At Nestlé Health Science, we understand and support parents who want to incorporate more real, recognizable food into their child’s diet, regardless of how they eat,” said Krysmaru Araujo Torres, MD, MSPP, Head of Medical Affairs. “Blenderized tube feedings can promote growth and are often well-tolerated by pediatric patients. We are thrilled to collaborate with CHOP to take the Recipe Builder online, facilitating nutrition care planning for patients and caregivers.”

The Recipe Builder enables nutritionally complete recipes to be created from scratch. The tool can be customized to each child’s unique needs, including calories, volume limitations, and allergies. It contains numerous features, including the ability to save recipes and meal plan for up to seven days, print or email shopping lists, and create a summary document containing the child’s last recipe (complete with nutrition information) which can then be sent to the child’s healthcare team.

The tool is available at www.compleat.com.

Contact: Joey McCool Ryan, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6070 or mccool@email.chop.edu


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