CSN Login
Members Online: 19

You are here

Food for Feeding tube?

Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2013


I had a feeding tube put in over the weekend and have two more weeks of treatment left.  The doctor only suggested I used the gravity drip prescribed nutrient formula for me.  I asked about other options such as Ensure or blended juices for the feeding tube.  The doctor does not want me to pump anything in the tube except for the gravity dripping nutrient.  It seems it is not enough for me.  The doctor said he does not want the tube to be clogged and that the formula given to me is premade so the stomach won't reject.  So far I have not tried anything else to see how the stomach respond.

Does anyone has experience with the feeding tube and give recommendations?  I tried clicking on the "Food for Tubies" in the thread but the page does not open.  Is it safe to pump in additional Ensure or / and high calorie juiced drinks in addition to the doctor's recommended nutrient?  I need to gain more weight before my next bout of chemo in about one week.  I have lost 50 lbs and ribs are sticking out.

I can swallow liquid but very difficulty.  I spend the whole day struggling to get down some calorie and the best I was able to do was 3 Ensures so that's why I decided to have the tube installed. 

The gravity drip nutrient is on 24/7 and seems to only provide about 2000 calories. 

Can I pump water into the tube to stay hydrated?


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4669
Joined: Mar 2012

pump water and ensure into your tube.....and with the water, I suggest you do so (didn't they tell you to flush your tube with water before and after each feeding?).....you need all the hydration you can take in, and if water through the tube is more comfortable then do so.  If all your Dr. is worried about is clogging, then I can attest that Ensure (or Boost VHC) will not clog your tube....I used Boost exclusively all through treatment.  Did they give you one of those big suringes when you got your tube to use before you got the pump?  You can get them at a medical supply store, if you don't have one.  I don't know about juicing....something in there might end up clogging the tube.....but anything liquid....milk, Ensure, water....they all go through no problem.  Flushing the tube before and after also clears the tube and helps keep it cleaner.  I flushed my tube about every 3 days with coke (cola) to keep it extra clean....

You do need to get something down by mouth everyday....be it water or an Ensure...just to keep your swallower moving....


Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2013

Thank you P.

I will try the Boost VHC.

Posts: 839
Joined: May 2013

I pumped a LOT of water through my tube (in addition to flushing before and after "eating"),  and I used Nutren 2.0.  It kept me feeling completely satisfied and "full".  I was able to maintain a healthy weight during my time with a PEG.  My oncologist ordered it from Home Healthcare and it was delivered (by the case) to my door.  

Ruben and Jude's picture
Ruben and Jude
Posts: 155
Joined: Apr 2013

Before treatment, my husband was 270 lbs, and had a huge appitite. Who would have thought he couldn't tolerate Ensure or Boost??? But he couldn't. He was loosing weight pretty fast.

If you are bloating after ingesting Ensure or the like, then maybe it's not for you. Ruben is on Osmolite 1.2, 3 cans 3 times a day, and is maintaining a weight of 220 lbs since August. He also ingests a minimum of 1000 ml of water either by mouth or by tube... as long as it get in.

Our nutritionist told us not to put anything in the tube except the formula, as regular food may clog it... I really think that's a disclaimer type of statement...seriously. She and I have talked about the chicken soups I make and blend to put in Ruben's tube, and has even commented on what a good idea this is... go figure! I have found if I blend anything and add water to it, as long as it's thin enough, it gets through the tube just fine. And ALWA YS flush with water before and after use. Once it did clog, my fault, but I unclogged it with Coke.... it works great. (We use it in the hospital as well!!!)

Are you being seen by a nutritionist??  I hope so. Most MD's don't 'do' nutrition, they leave that up to the professionals!

Best wishes and prayers coming your way.  Take care.    Jude (and Ruben)


Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2013

Thank you Jude and Ruben.

Yes, the nutritionist made the formula recommendation for me.  How is it that coke work best to "unclog" the tube if it gets clogged?


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4669
Joined: Mar 2012

...and I mean totally clogged, it's likely to need replacing.  Coke only clears out the gunk that seems to adhear to the sides....As time passes, tubes kind of take on a sour smell, too.....coke takes that away.  I think it's a mixture of whatever is in Coke plus the carbination that makes it a decent tube cleaner. 

As lornal said, tho....all things room temp....nothing cold, nothing hot....


lornal's picture
Posts: 424
Joined: Sep 2013

I've only had the tube for 6 weeks, but have learned quickly to use warm water instead of cold.  Cold water, and refridgerated formula caused me bloating and gas.  So, be sure to try warm water to see if that helps.

robswife87's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Mar 2013

in our Blendtec blender. Boneless chicken breasts, sauteed asparusus, water and broth. made sure it was this as milk.

Carnation instant breakfast with milk and benecalorie

Skandishake mixed with milk 

As long as no lumps it is good to go

Also added protien powder and hemp oil into all of them.

once we got the Blendtec he gained weight.

Everything should be luke warm or room temp going in, easier on the stomach.

he would take in about 240 ml on a real meal and be full. Don't rush it in either. 

Somethings went in the bag and drip feed for 40 minutes.

These are just some of the things we did.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009


I am not sure why some doctors only want us to live off milk. I blend everything there is and put into my tube. Question what French size is your tube I have a 24fr and never had a plug up yet. Ask your doc about getting a larger tube size and eat like a man they can keep the baby food. Just make sure you rinse the tube after each uses.



cid817's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: Oct 2013

My hubby has a size 16 tube.  It's about the size of a thin straw.  I would love to blend food in my Vitamix to put through it but am afraid that it's too thin.  He had it placed when they put in his port and we did not know anything about different sizes...should have researched that first.  Would you try blending with such a small tube?  Also have a heavy duty juicer (Hurom).  I would like to use that but am also afraid that residue will stick on the sides of the tube.  I may try it and use Fran's trick of the Coke to clean it. 


Subscribe to Comments for "Food for Feeding tube?"