Monday, February 7, 2011

My Miracle Grow Formula

I wanted to take a moment to re post, what I call my MIRACLE grow formula for Henry.  Even the doctors are amazed at how much this has helped Henry and said that I should "bottle" it.  I wont claim that your underweight child will suddenly pork out to sumo wrestler--however, this formula has done much more for my son than add weight--I truly believe it has given him the nutrition he needs to thrive--all though in medical terms he is still considered "failure to thrive."  Failure to thrive is such a broad term.  Doctor's use it to describe a child who has "fallen off" their normal growth curve.  However, as a pediatric nurse myself, I believe there is a HUGE difference between a thriving child and a child who is FAILING to thrive.  So I would venture to say that my little Henry is THRIVING, and I believe that nutrition is the reason for this.  Is Henry small?  Yes he is, but since I started him on this feed, he is no longer pale and tired--he is a happy, climbing, running, baby boy with a beautiful skin tone, far from the way he appeared when he was anemic and on formula. 

I hope that others can tweak this formula to meet their child's needs.  This formula is NOT intended for infants but is it is considered a COMPLETE FORMULA for children who can not eat, and Henry survived on this formula ALONE for several months when he was not eating any solid food.  Of course if you have to eliminate items it would not be nutritionally complete so talk with your pediatrician or GI doctor if you are unsure. 

To this day, Henry does not drink anything else but this formula.  I do not give him plain water, juice or milk to drink, as our doctor said that we should ONLY give him this to drink so he is always getting extra calories.  I attempted to put him on Neocate, but his stomach blew up like a balloon, he had horrible diarrhea and rashes, and he was refluxing and coughing and I feared all his respiratory problems would return if I kept him on something he could not tolerate.    That being said, I know some people have to use Neocate, but I think due to Henry's issues with corn, he just could not handle it.  If you have any questions for me please don't hesitate to ask.  I hope this can help others as it has been the life saving food for my son!

Approximately 1000 cal G-tube feed, or Infant formula (33 cal per oz)

2 cups milk (soy, hemp, coconut, almond)--typically rice milk is too low in calories, but you could use it for a short time until you trial other milks.

1 cup juice (make sure you buy REAL 100 % fruit juice. Read the labels because some are all sugar and only 15% juice)--or make your own if you are that savy!

3 tablespoons of sugar (honey, white, or black strap molasses) I use the black strap because it is high in iron and calcium
3 tablespoons of oil ( rotate olive, or safflower)
6 tablespoons of infant rice or oat cereal (store bought can be contaminated with other allergens so I make my own rice, you can try Qinoa, millet, gluten free oats.  If your child cannot tolerate grains you can try equal amounts of a starchy food such as yams or potatoes)

2 2.5 oz jars of baby food meat (or about 2 ice cubes of any homeade meat or fish--rotate for variety)

2 4oz jars of baby food veggies (or about 4 ice cubes of  homade prepared veggies rotate for variety)
I add half an avacado for extra calories and  good fats

liquid baby vitamin supplement (dose per baby's doctor or per weight specifications on bottle read carefully for allergens)

liquid baby omega oil supplement (cod liver oil is the best source, dose per baby's weight/age specifications on bottle) be careful if your child has intolerance to fish--you could use flax seed oil if you know your child can tolerate flax--but look for gluten free

Optional secret ingredients (I believe these do wonders to heal the gut and boost the immune system)

pro biotic powder (obtain from pediatrician--dose per instructions.  Get one that is milk free if needed)

Braggs Apple cider vinegar (2 tsp)

for premaking meat and veggies, check out link to home made baby food

For those of you who have to thicken your feeds due to swallowing issues or having a laryngeal cleft--I use xanthum gum (same ingredient in the product SIMPLY THICK)--but it is a derivative of corn.  Other option would be to use Guar Gum which is derived from beans.  Start with small amounts and increase until you get the thickness desired--a little goes a long way so be careful--make sure you blend for about a minute to get the desired thickness.


Disclaimer: This advice is not medical in nature and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. All children who are failure to thrive or have swallowing problems should be followed closely by a doctor and may need to be evaluated by an occupational therapist of speech pathologist.

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