Article Text

other Versions

Blended foods for tube-fed children: a safe and realistic option? A rapid review of the evidence
  1. Jane Coad1,
  2. Alex Toft1,
  3. Susie Lapwood2,
  4. Joseph Manning3,
  5. Mark Hunter4,
  6. Huw Jenkins5,
  7. Clare Sadlier5,
  8. Julie Hammonds6,
  9. Ailsa Kennedy7,
  10. Simon Murch8,
  11. David Widdas9
  1. 1Children and Families Research (CFR), Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research (CTEHR), Coventry University, Coventry, UK
  2. 2Helen and Douglas House, Oxford, UK
  3. 3The University of Nottingham/Nottingham Children's Hospital, Nottingham, UK
  4. 4Acorns Children's Hospices, Birmingham, UK
  5. 5Department of Child Health, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  6. 6Hope House Children's Hospices, Morda, UK
  7. 7Liverpool Community Health, Liverpool, UK
  8. 8Warwick University Hospital, Coventry, UK
  9. 9South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Warwick, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jane Coad, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Children and Families Research (CFR), Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research (CTEHR), Coventry University, Security House, Mile Lane, Coventry CV1 2NL, UK; aa9737{at}


With the growing number of children and young people with complex care needs or life-limiting conditions, alternative routes for nutrition have been established (such as gastrostomy feeding). The conditions of children and young people who require such feeding are diverse but could relate to problems with swallowing (dysphagia), digestive disorders or neurological/muscular disorders. However, the use of a blended diet as an alternative to prescribed formula feeds for children fed via a gastrostomy is a contentious issue for clinicians and researchers. From a rapid review of the literature, we identify that current evidence falls into three categories: (1) those who feel that the use of a blended diet is unsafe and substandard; (2) those who see benefits of such a diet as an alternative in particular circumstances (eg, to reduce constipation) and (3) those who see merit in the blended diet but are cautious to proclaim potential benefits due to the lack of clinical research. There may be some benefits to using blended diets, although concerns around safety, nutrition and practical issues remain.

  • blended diet
  • gastrostomy
  • children
  • young people
  • enteral

Statistics from


  • Twitter Follow Jane Coad @CovUni_CTEHR

  • Contributors JC: principal investigator; JC and AT: substantial contribution to conception, design, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of the data; drafting and revision of the work; final approval was given. JC, SL, JM, MH, CS, HJ, JH, AK, SM and DW: substantial contribution to conception and design of the data and are accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding South Warwickshire Foundation Trust.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

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.

Linked Articles

  • Atoms
    Martin Ward Platt