Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Blended diets for tube-fed children and young people: a rapid review update
  1. Gemma Phillips1,
  2. Jane Coad2
  1. 1 Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  2. 2 School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Gemma Phillips, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK; gemma.phillips10{at}


Background Many children and young people with complex health and care needs use enteral feeding tubes to optimise their nutritional intake in the UK and other countries. Blended diets as an alternative to the exclusive use of commercial formula are becoming more commonly used, and there is evidence to support the benefits of using a blended diet on the child or young person and their wider family.

A rapid review was published in 2017 exploring blended diets as a valid alternative to commercial formula for enteral feeding for children and young people. An update was necessary to ensure that professional practice is informed by the latest evidence, which has expanded significantly since the publication of the original article.

Methods A rapid review method was used and the PRISMA checklist formed the basis of the protocol devised ahead of data collection. Key databases included: PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Google Scholar.

Results 29 articles were included and four themes were identified from the collated data. (1) Symptom improvement and clinical outcomes, (2) nutritional content, (3) caregiver experiences and (4) blended diet practices. Findings showed that blended diets can have a positive impact on physical symptoms as well as social influences extending to families and carers.

Conclusion Nutritional content, food hygiene and viscosity of food blends are important considerations for professionals and families to ensure safe practice when using blended diets for enteral feeding.

  • Paediatrics
  • Child Health
  • Gastroenterology

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

View Full Text


  • Contributors GP and JC conceived the study. GP carried out the searches, data collection and drafted the article. JC contributed to the study design and data synthesis. Both authors provided critical feedback to shape the review and the manuscript and provided final approval. GP is the guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.