The BLENDS Project
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Day to Day Practicalities

How should I prepare, cook and store blended foods?

As with any food, it is important to prepare, cook and store blended food properly to avoid contamination with and growth of germs which can cause stomach upset and illness.

It makes you nervous, irrational even. I have seen people [on the Facebook group] ask if they need to cook this ingredient before blending or how long can they store a blend recipe for. You are literally giving your child the food they would have eaten orally, treat it as it they were going to eat it orally.

The UK Food Standards Agency provides advice on how to safely prepare, cook and store food. Food safety and hygiene | Food Standards Agency. Babies have an undeveloped immune system so there are some particular foods to avoid: Foods to avoid giving babies and young children - NHS

Avoiding the temperature 'Danger Zone'

Most harmful germs which cause illness grow rapidly at temperatures above 8°C and below 63°C — this is often called the ‘danger zone’. For this reason, the FSA advice is to keep food in the danger zone for the shortest amount of time possible. That is why the FSA advise that the safest way to defrost food is in the fridge overnight.


Getting the smooth consistency required can be a process of trial and error.

Getting the consistency of the blend right, I found very difficult and we wasted a lot of blends in the process. The right consistency is where it's thick enough that it's not like the milk, and therefore does them good but isn't too thick to be too risky pushing through the tube.

Some parents choose to use regular kitchen blender, others choose to invest in high- powered, expensive blenders. Some parents will choose to sieve the blend whereas others are happy not to.

We did perfectly well with a smaller blender for a long time, but decided we were going to go for it and make an investment [in a more powerful blender]

I will sieve and sieve because I just do not want to take the risk of blocking the tube.

I've never had a problem and I know that I can change his button, so I've kind of risk assessed and made that decision. I just do not have the capacity or time to do that.

How can I give blended diet through the tube?

There are three different ways in which parents choose to give blended food:

If the tube does become blocked, water (cold or warm) can be used to try and unblock it. Using a 60ml enteral syringe use a push/pull action to try to unblock the tube. If the 60ml syringe does not clear the blockage, try a 20ml enteral syringe. This needs to be done carefully to prevent any tube damage.

If you are unable to unblock the tube yourself you should contact your healthcare team for advice.