DIY Meal Replacement Shakes – like ” Pediasure ®”

If you or someone you love is unable to eat solid foods for awhile due to swallowing issues, illness, or they just don't want to eat, try these DIY Meal Replacement Shakes like

{Please welcome Angela from Grassfed Mama.  She is sharing a fabulous recipe for DIY Meal Replacement Shakes – like “Pediasure®”.  What a GREAT idea for those who want to eat Real Food but have an eating challenge.  LOVE it.}

As a speech therapist, part of my job (about 60% in the nursing home) was swallowing evaluations and rehabilitation. As we age, sometimes we lose the ability to eat real food and swallow safely. This difficulty could be related to age, strokes, mental diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Eating issues aren’t only for the older community. In my family, I have two nephews who had swallowing issues at birth. They had feeding tubes placed within their first year of life.

They are both still primarily fed through feeding tubes at ages 10 and 3.

According to Endonurse.com, about half a million people in the US rely on feeding tubes for their nutrition.

Who Uses LiquidMeal Replacement Shakes?

Even when your child can eat, sometimes they choose not to.

I hear all the time about parents who are encouraged to feed their toddlers or picky kids Pediasure to make sure they are getting all the essential nutrition they need to grow.

Maybe your child falls into one of these categories:

– Picky Eater
– Labeled Failure to Thrive
– Kids with Oral Aversions
– Dealing with Sickness (When they are too weak to eat)

What is in Pediasure?

Pediasure is full of highly processed ingredients and is full of sugar. Here are the ingredients in Pediasure:

Water, Sugar (Sucrose), Corn Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Soy Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Medium-Chain Triglycerides. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Soy Protein Isolate, Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Cellulose Gel, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Phosphate, Artificial Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Phosphate, Salt (Sodium Chloride), Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, C. Cohnii Oil, m-Inositol, Potassium Hydroxide, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Phylloquinone, Cyanocobalamin, and Vitamin D3. Contains milk and soy ingredients.

YIKES!!!

Sugar is the second ingredient… And this is a healthy food?

It is common knowledge that sugar is bad for us, and yet this is the main ingredient we are giving to kids and adults who are needing food supplements. Wellness Mama also shares the Harmful Effects of Sugar

One issue with sugar is that it makes us even more sick and fuels diseases…

It is also well researched that placing a feeding tube in an individual does not guarantee ” improving nutrition, maintaining skin integrity by increased protein intake, preventing aspiration pneumonia, minimizing suffering, improving functional status, or extending life.” (To PEG or Not to PEG–PEG is using a feeding tube)

Could this research be a result of what we are feeding these people who are unable to eat real food?

There is another option – Making Your Own Meal Replacement Shakes

My sister, Aleecia, began to research on her own after finding no support for feeding real food for her boys through their tubes. They needed nutrition, but canned Pediasure was not going to be her answer.

She found information on using a high quality blender for making blends that were full of vitamins and nutrients that she could make herself using whole foods. She has been blending their own food since the fall of 2006.

My sister’s boys are healthy. They are rarely sick, despite their disease process (PMD). Having a healthy immune system is very important when you are dealing with compromised strength and tone.

Please note that there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on one and make a purchase, a commission might be earned.  Your support is very much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

This is my sister’s blend for her boys. She makes this 4x a day to feed both of them.

For more recipes check out FoodforTubies.com and MealtimeNotions.com

What are the benefits of making your own meal replacement shakes?

1) Customized diet

If your child is showing deficiencies or needs more fat, you can add those into the blend easily. My sister will add extra coconut oil, avocado or even liver to her boy’s blends. The customized nutrition makes sure they are getting the vitamins and minerals they need.

2) Knowing what you are feeding children

You can make a blend of whole foods using food you are feeding your whole family. Did you cook sweet potatoes for dinner? Add those into the blend. Did you make fried eggs cooked in coconut oil? You can add that to the blend too! There is no need to worry what preservatives or additives are in the food.

3) No added sugar Remember the second ingredient was sugar in the ensure? When using whole foods, the energy comes from natural sources like vegetables, protein and fat.

4) Improved health Since you are able to customize their diet and limit sugar, you should be able to see the improvement in your kid’s health as well. Here is a real life example of how feeding a child a whole foods blend improved her health:

5) Saves Money

As with most things you can make yourself, making your own food supplements at home is also cheaper. You don’t have to pay the manufacturing cost and you are already buying food for your family.

What about convenience?

Yes, blending your own food does take more time than opening a can.

My sister has been blending her own Real Food meal replacements since the fall of 2006. She uses a Blendtec blender. On the road, she brings an ice chest and her blender everywhere she goes.

If you are unable to blend your own whole food for your kids or need a portable option there are companies who make whole food meal replacements. You can buy Whole Food Meal Replacements from Functional Formularies (not an affiliate) and even Whole Foods carries a Real Food line of supplements now.

When you have to make the choice to supplement, know that there is another option other than Pediasure or Ensure. It could help improve your child’s health and give you the peace of mind of knowing you are still giving them the best nutrition.

Learn more about feeding whole foods to kids with feeding tubes here: Laura of Ancestrialize Me wrote her Master’s Paper on “The Use of Blenderized Tube Feeding in Pediatric Patients: Evidence and Guidelines for Dietetic Practice.” She explains in her research how families are able to blend their own food and use whole foods successfully.

Please note – Angela and Adrienne are not doctors.  Please check with your physician before making changes to your diet, supplement, or exercise regimen.

Have you ever needed to supplement your child’s diet? What method did you choose?

Angela BioAngela Parker, SLP, CCC is head writer of GrassfedMama.com. She was born and raised in Louisiana, but moved to Richmond, Va recently for a new adventure. She has been married for almost 10 years to her high school sweetheart and has two little girls: Aidalyn and Annaleigh. She’s a speech therapist by trade, but decided to be a stay at home mom while her girls are little. Her passions include health, wellness, healing through nutrition, natural medicines, cooking with whole foods, and natural parenting.  Check her out at Grassfed Mama. Follow her on PinterestGoogle +InstagramTwitter and Facebook

 Shared at The Nourishing Gourmet, We Are that Family, Crystal and Co., Real Food Forager, Chef in Training, The Prairie Homestead, Skip to My Lou, Food RenegadeTip Junkie, and Frugally Sustainable.

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  1. This is really interesting. My sister’s three boys have metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and are tube fed. I’ll have to share this with her!

    • I’m so glad I could share this information! I know it is a small community of parents who blend their own food, but it is there. There really does need to be more education in this area for practitioners to let their patients know that there is another way. Thank you so much for reading : )

  2. Message Hi,
    I looked at the ylang ylang bottle sold by doTERRA and I did not see “complete distillation” that you indicated was on it.
    I emailed their product support team and got this response:

    doTERRA Product Support

    2:14 PM (1 hour ago)

    Dear Glinda,

    Thank you for your email. We partner with the world’s expert distillation chemists. 1st distillation, 2nd distillation, etc. terms are sometimes used by those not familiar with the distillation process. However, they are not technical classifications that are used by distillation experts. These experts work closely with the specific plant to determine the appropriate time, temperature, and pressure of the distillation to ensure the highest purity and potency of each essential oil. A quality oil is not defined solely by when or how long you continue or when you stop a distillation. We find and partner with experts that have developed a methodology that produces an oil that meets high and consistent standards. These standards include certain consistent levels of constituents and excellent organoleptic qualities (aroma and therapeutic potential).

    The reason we partner with experts is because quality of our oils is so important, and learning the unique distillation parameters requires time and practice. For example, if you cut a distillation short you may lose key chemical components of that oil. Thus it is not appropriate to define distillation generally; it is a specific process that is developed by each producer.

    Best Regards,

    -David-

    doTERRA Product Support Services

    I believe if you just called customer service at doTERRA you only received the customer service rep’s opinion and not the expert teams answer.
    Have a blessed day,
    Glinda
    P.S. I hope this is where you wanted me to post (I am not to familiar with blogs and computers) thank you!!!!

    • You got the right place :).

      I am really confused by their response b/c it is very common knowledge that ylang ylang is distilled in different stages.

      Here is info from Aura Cacia: http://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/aclearn/eo_ylang.html

      And you can find similar info on it on many many sites. I am honestly in disbelief. It is peppermint where most oil companies won’t talk about it but ylang ylang is very commonly referred to in this way. I wonder if they gave you a canned response.

      Did I state that ‘complete’ was on their bottle? If so, please tell me where. If I wrote it, it was the case. It might have changed. Thanks!

  3. Dionne Marcellin-Lewis says:

    Hi

    This comment is for Grassfed Mama

    I have been eating a whole-foods diet for many years, however, I had and continue to have significant health challenges. One of these are very weak adrenal glands – I don’t know anyone in today’s world and society that does not have that problem. My boys have for the most part inherited these challenges – my oldest boy is pre-diabetic and the youngest one is deaf – not speaking. The reason for sharing this is that I read about your sister’s story with her boys. I am trying Nutritional Balancing for the youngest one. Once I start working, I will initiate this program for my oldest boy. Nutritional balancing means working with someone via hair analysis and taking a targeted group of supplements in order to heal the adrenal glands. It will take at least 2 years, but this can possible help your nephews. Adrienne from Whole New Mom has also talked about her experience with Nutritional Balancing for her oldest boy who has Asperger’s.

    Just a suggestion,

    Take care,

    Dionne

    • Hi Dionne, Just a note – I have stopped doing NB. I plan to write about it soon, but I hit a wall. I do have some supplements for sale if you are interested. I don’t want to throw them away :).

      • Thank you so much Dionne! I know my sister takes her boys to a naturopath or chiropractor who specializes in nutritional supplements. They used a hand scan to see where the body was taxed and needing support. She has seen a real different in her one son who does not have the genetic disease. He was having speech and language delays as well as social issues. We go to a naturopath here in Virginia who we have been really pleased with. She uses this same sort of hand scan with us. I’m not too familiar with Nutritional Balancing exactly, thanks for the tip!

  4. There is a yahoo group specifically for those who are feeding someone with a feeding tube and prefer not to use canned formulas. You can find it under Blenderized Diet. Great group of people to learn and get encouragement from.

    • Thank you Kathy! I know my sister is in a Facebook group that is fairly active for a Blenderized Diet. I’m so glad there is support out there for families. Thank you so much for sharing about the Yahoo group.

  5. My oldest son is almost 4 years old. He hasn’t been labeled failure to thrive but he is so picky when it comes to eating. He loves fruit and most vegetables, but we have hard time getting him to eat the protein and good fats he needs. My question is: When your sister makes these shakes what kind of taste do they have? I’m afraid my son won’t even drink one of these if it has a strange taste. He is only 26 lbs and the doctors would like to see him at 30+ lbs. Thanks

    • I know that it depends on the shake she makes for sure. White beans and Black beans can easily be added with much change in flavor with berries and such. I know right now, she is adding yogurt too for some extra protein. I think it is just to keep your proportions right.

      I personally love making smoothies for my daughter. I will do yogurt, some almond milk, crushed ice, protein powder, berries and throw some Greens and vegetables in for extra vitamins – just blend away.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

  6. Ironic that there’s a medifast ad in the middle of the article and 2 meal replacement ads on the side of something promoting HOMEMADE meal replacements…? weird.

    • So sorry Kayla. I am trying to make money to pay for all of my expenses (and make something on the blog) and am trying out a few different ad options. I am going to be making some decisions in the next month or so. If it troubles you enough I am open to trying to remove those. Thanks for telling me. The system for sure picked up that someone was reading a post on replacement shakes .

  7. Is the rice or oatmeal supposed to be cooked first?

  8. How many servings does this shake make?

    • I’ve emailed the author to see if she can drop by to respond. Thanks!

    • Hi Laura!
      My sister says it is about 2-4 servings depending on the age of your child. Her boys have increased their shake size as they have gotten older.

      Thank you so so much!

      We are really loving white beans, pumpkin, and orange in smoothies right now!