Thank you very much for your question. I understand that your child has cerebral palsy, although feeding tube questions are beyond the scope of my neurology expertise. I think you may find that reposting this question in either the "Nutrition", "Child Nutrition", or "Gastroenterology" expert forums may help you to acquire the information you seek.
My son also has a feeding tube (Mickey button). I simply cannot afford Pediasure. I, with the help of a dietician, cook food, mostly vegetables, sardines, tuna, fruit etc and then make it into a pureé. I feed that to him and of course juice and milk etc. Works well as long as the food is COMPLETELY pureéd (no hard pieces that can get stuck or damage the tube) and avoid pineapple juice, for some reason it eats through the tube.
Ironically my experience with feeding tubes was because my daughter, Kelly, had Juvenile Huntington's Disease and had a tube for over 3 years. Back then there wasn't a lot of resources for people on tubes so I did a lot of researching.
One of the first things you should do is check with your child's pediatrician and request support from a clinical dietician. If your child's tube was placed in a hospital, that hospital also might let you consult with their dietician. They can help access the nuitritional needs of your child as well as let you know if they are getting adequate amounts of clear fluids. A critical thing to watch for with tube feeding is dehydration. Most people think because a person is being fed liquid foods through a tube their hydration has to be good. Wrong!
After my daughter got a tube I wrote an article on how to care for a tube in layman's language which was about 13 years ago. I still get many requests each week for information and support on feeding tubes. Between those requests, and my continuing support to Huntington's Disease families with a loved on one a feeding tube I put most of the information I had on feeding tubes on this website, however I do NOT keep it up-to-date anymore so some of links might not work:
There is one short article on there, Feeding Tubes & Baby Foods that might interest give you some ideas: http://huntingtondisease.tripod.com/feedingtubes/id12.html
Today there are some excellent resources for families living with a feeding tube! One of THE best is the Oley Foundation www.oley.org
Below are a couple of links on Oley's site that may help you find an answer to your question or give you a phone number to call. I hope these help!
PS - Nathan's Mom - I bought Pedialyte by the case but bought the Wal-Mart brand. It contains all of the same benefits as the well known brand but cost [or did cost] about 2/3rd's less!
Jean E. Miller
HD Patient Outreach
HDSA HD CoE at USF~Tampa, FL.
HD Links: http://get-me.to/hdlinks
Tube Complication Charts - http://www.oley.org/charts.html
Every person living with a feeding tube should download these charts and have them on hand!
Tube Feeding Tips http://www.oley.org/tubetalks.html
You'll find some posts on how to make your own food for feeding tubes and other tips for caring with someone who has a tube.
Regional Volunteers http://www.oley.org/volunteers.html
Regional Coordinators are an integral part of the Oley Foundation’s outreach efforts. These coordinators are patients/caregivers who have accepted these volunteer positions. If you need someone to speak with, or are interested in a get-together, contact the volunteer nearest you (even if he or she is not in your region). To make speaking with fellow lifeliners more affordable, Oley also circulates two toll-free numbers to experienced HPEN consumers on a monthly basis. A schedule of the toll-free numbers are also posted on our web page or available by calling the Oley office at (800) 776-6539.
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