Liquid diet for G-tubes

A family member has been on a liquid diet for a few months due to needing a gastronomy venting tube (also called a g-tube).  Food goes in by eating as usual, but must leave via a 4.67mm tube.  In this case, getting enough nutrition is not an issue because the person gets supplemental nutrition through TPN.  Eating is only for pleasure, but how do you make a liquid diet pleasurable?

When we got that news, I couldn’t find good advice for what foods would work.  The hospital dietitian was unhelpful, as was the internet.  The existing advice is usually for weight loss or for people with jaw problems who just can’t chew.

I decided to write up some things that we have found viable.

  • Buy a good blender.  You will use it a lot.  We like our Ninja-brand one.
  • Pasta does not seem to get thin enough no matter how much you blend it (though I think it might if you cooked it a long time first.)
  • You can puree a lot of something and freeze it in ice cube trays.  Keep the cubes in bags in the freezer, then thaw however many you want.
  • Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell cartons of good pureed soups.

Foods that work:

  • Whatever other people are having for dinner, pureed (e.g. chicken, rice, and spinach with broth, water, or milk to thin it. )
  • Pureed soups, curries
  • Purees of foods with distinctive spices (falafel, apparently, still tastes falafel-y without the texture)
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Yogurt
  • Flan/creme caramel
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream/sorbet/Italian ice
  • Popsicles
  • Smoothies/milkshakes
  • Coffee/tea
  • Alcohol (drains out quickly enough that it doesn’t have much effect, but check with doctor about liver function first)

Foods that are not liquid, but seem to work okay if you chew a lot and drink fluid with them:

  • Avocado
  • White bread/toast
  • Cheese
  • Hummus
  • Baba ganoush
  • Soft cookies and cakes
  • Saltines

Birthday cake ideas (again, chew a lot and drink a lot of fluid):

  • Tiramisu
  • Icebox cake
  • Cheesecake
  • Soft regular cake
  • Ice cream sundaes with whipped cream, syrups/sauces, fruit purees

Passover on a liquid diet:

  • Matzo ball soup, pureed
  • Gefilte fish, pureed with broth
  • Charoset, pureed with apple juice or water
  • Borsht

Thanksgiving/Christmas:

  • Mashed potatoes, thinned with milk
  • Turkey, pureed with broth or gravy
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry jelly
  • Stuffing would probably work if you chew it well

A pinterest board with more ideas.

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