September 30, 2010

Hi-Cal blend foods

One of the things folk often struggle with at first doing BD is cramming 'enough' calories into a smallish volume of BD.  I think a lot of that comes down to the, er, interesting ways doctors and dietitians have of making statistical analyses of needs and averages, in combination with the incredibly high calorie count per volume of commercial formula.  Which is mostly sugar, in its various guises.

It's very common to find that when you move to BD, a much larger volume is able to be ingested (I really don't like the word 'tolerated') compared with commercial formula, meaning you can make it less calorically dense for the same value.  You will probably find that the body absorbs nutrition far better from food than from formula too, although it can take some time in transition.  There are, of course, lots of variables.

Anyway, I thought I'd do a list of the commonly used calorie fortifiers: please send me your own favourites too and I'll add them to the list.

FATS (mostly)
Olive oil
Coconut oil
MCT oil (generally a blend of coconut and palm oils, these are absorbed in the intestine rather than actually digested)
Various other vegetable oils
Coconut milk/cream
Half-and-half (an American thing; half milk, half cream)

CARBS/SUGARS (watch the GI of some of these, but they're mostly lower GI than usual sugars)
Agave Syrup
Maple Syrup
Dark Chocolate

PROTEINS (mostly)
Chia seed
Hemp seed powders
Tree nuts (too many kinds to list, really)
Meats of all kinds
Legumes (again, too many to list)

These are just short lists of things especially high in certain types of calories.  Many of them could easily be in another category too - sardines have great oils, as do most nuts, and avocado and the dairy products have good proteins.  There are tons more you can add, these are just the ones I recall seeing over and over on the forums and lists.  You can help by sending me yours to share too!  Leave a comment or mail me HERE.

September 17, 2010

Dawn's pre-Vitamix blend

Lots of folks start out without an expensive blender - for many reasons - so prefer to rely for that time on easier-to-blend foods.  Here's a simple one from Dawn that uses regular baby foods and smoother-textured things to make life easier without something like a Vitamix.  I believe Dawn has one now though.

1 jar each - bananas and plums (#2 baby food)
2 jars meat or 1 hardboiled egg and jar of meat
1 jar applesauce, pears, green beans, mixed vegetables or carrots (#2 baby food)
1 jar sweet potatoes, apricots, peaches, or squash (#2 baby food)
Note: I usually use one veggie and 1 fruit from the previous 2 lines
1/2 C yogurt or cottage cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 serving of starch - cream of wheat, oat bran, grits, or oatmeal – grits and
oatmeal need to be ground up in coffee grinder first cooked in 1 c whole milk
1 serving of wheat germ or flax seeds (ground up in coffee grinder) - if you do
decide to use either, start slow
4 tsp cornstarch – don't use with oat bran or oatmeal
½ tsp salt

this is about 1,000 cals and makes about 4- 150ccs of food. 

I only use 2 of them a day and then make a morning puree of:
1/3 c yogurt
1/3 c granola (ground up in coffee grinder)
1/2 c fruit (I liked to use frozen blueberries, mangos, or cherries)
liquid to thin, if necessary

makes about 150cc's

September 9, 2010

Beth's "Antonia Soup" blend-fest

Beth does this mammoth cook-and-blend-up once a month or so and freeze it in plastic containers.  Then each day will blend 1200mls of that with a cup of frozen organic fruit or an avocado.  This makes 4 meals for her son who also gets 100ml of organic coconut milk each time too.  I believe the soup is named for her friend, who gave or inspired the recipe.  If I could still eat, I'd eat this.

Beth's Antonia Soup
½ cup olive oil
3 large onions
1 head garlic
3 qt. cans organic diced tomatoes-(6- 28oz cans)
2 lb. dried beans (lentils & split peas)
1 pkg carrots
8 organic sweet potatoes
8 crowns broccoli
2 cabbage red
2 large bunch kale
1 bunch asparagus
6 summer (yellow) squash
2 red pepper
6 beets with tops
2 pkg frozen organic peas
2 pkg frozen organic beans
2 pkg frozen or fresh collard greens
2 pkg frozen organic spinach
2 lb. brown rice
½ cup ginger root
1 T. turmeric
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
2 oz. Tahini paste (1/4 c.)
1 bunch fresh dill
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 T. flax seed
Sea salt to taste

I use all organic veggies, or as best I can.)
To prepare, divide the recipe in thirds and sauté the onions in oil in 3 large
stainless steel or aluminum pots (or one 42 quart pot). Add garlic and tomatoes.
Simmer for a couple of minutes. Cover with 4 quarts of water. Add dried bean and
chopped nuts, seeds, tahini, tumeric. Let cook until rice is semi soft. Add
all fresh items, coarsely chopped. Bring to full boil and turn off heat. Let
fresh items steam (to keep more nutrients). Add remaining ingredients, frozen
etc. Let cool for at least an hour, more if possible. Puree in a Blendtec or
Vita-mix. Pour into containers and store in freezer.

September 8, 2010

A sample from Beverly

Young Bonnie gets a really varied diet.  This is just an example of what Beverly made for her one day.

1 cup oatmeal. That is a whopping 180 calories. I do not cook it first. This
helps with her reflux.
1 banana. It was a pretty big one. Sayler scale said it was about 80 calories
1 cup frozen beans. That is about 50 calories
2 pieces tandoori chicken, with skin(gross but caloric!)about 200 calories, give
or take
4 T olive oil, for 480 calories
3 calcium tablets, dash of salt, fluoride

Now this is just under 1000. When she needs more I usually throw in more oats.
For example tonight she might get hungry early. If she does, I'll whip up
another blend. Quite often it would then be our fresh eggs.

Michelle S's vegan blend

This is my three year old son's blend. He is on a vegan, almost raw food diet...

1/2 cup quinoa
3/4 cup lentils
2 slices ezekial 4:9 bread
1/2 cup of three types of veggies (for example...1/2 cup sweet potato, 1/2 cup carrot, 1/2 cup broccoli...all raw)
1/2 cup 2 types fruit (for example...1 apple, 1/2 cup blueberries)
1 handful chard or kale
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 1/2 tablespoon EV Olive Oil
1/2 avocado (unless is it really big, then about 2 tablespoons)
2 cups rice milk

That is pretty much our standard blend and we try to mix it up every day. Substituting veggies and fruits. Sometimes we will do different beans for the lentils. We also do as much organic of these foods as possible. He has thrived on this blend compared to the previous formula he was on.

This one is approx 1200cals and 42-46 oz.

Jenny and Katy's food stuff

This below is pasted from Jenny's comments on another post.  I've included everything she wrote because it can help to know a history when seeing how someone has designed their blends.....

I love your site. Many people just suffer through formula life never knowing how good life can be with real food. My daughter, Katy got her g tube at 10 months old and I fed her human milk exclusively from birth until 2 years old. She still had reflux even on my milk. I later figured out why. Katy does not tolerate milk, soy, corn, eggs and oranges. I had eliminated milk and soy from my diet, but was eating corn, eggs and oranges. When Katy turned 2, I started adding baby foods one at a time to look for sensitivities, that is when I discovered her sensitivities. Once I had a good variety of tolerated foods, I began to cut back on the breastmilk as the base and switch to milk substitutes like Vance's Dari-Free(potato based milk sub) or rice milk. I did not introduce nuts until she was 4, now I use mostly hazelnut or almond milk as the liquid base. I go by the food pyramid at to determine how much and what, then tweak it to meet Katy's needs. Katy is 6 years old, but is the size of a 2-3 year old, I use the food pyramid for an active 5 year old to account for her age and size together. Katy is very active and burns a lot of calories, very high metabolism. Her pyramid is 1600 calories and includes:

5oz of grains
2 cups of veggies
1.5 cups of fruits
2 cups of milk
5 oz of meat

I blend foods that taste good together, I always have, but now it is more important because she began eating her food by mouth, thickened with mashed potato flakes or wheat germ about 2 months ago. A days worth of food follows:

1 packet of cream of wheat made with 2/3 cup of milk sub
3/4 cup fruit
2 tblsp of honey
2 tblsp of nut butter
a little margarine(non-hydrogenated, dairy and soy free)
daily vitamin

1/2 cup of veggies cooked with margarine with a little mashed potato flakes and some seasonings

1 packet of cream of rice made with 2/3 cup of milk
3/4 cup of fruit
2 tblsp of nut butter
a little margarine
2 tblsp of honey
vitmains and wheat germ as needed to thicken

1/2 cup veggies cooked with margarine with mashed potato flakes to thicken with seasonings

5 oz of meat
1 cup of veggies cooked with margarine
2/3 cup of milk sub
1 tblsp of oil(usually an oil that has omega 3's)
wheat germ or mashed potato flakes

Katy also drinks water, fruit juice and milk subs through out the day, no soda pop for Katy because of her corn sensitvities.

Because Katy doesn't tolerate milk or soy, we use almond, hazelnut or some other milk sub. These milk subs lack the fat and protein of cows milk so that is the reason I use nuts or nut butter in my blend, they add the nutrition that the milk subs don't quite live up to. This is our goal plan and she rarely gets all those veggies in, but we are working on it. She eats much healthier than any other child her age because none of it is processed and sugar laden.

my blog address is

Darcy's Double blend

We make two blends, and we keep the milk blend separate so that it will settle
faster (milk adds a lot of froth!).

We prefer coconut milk over coconut oil because it doesn't make the blend as
thick. We use prune juice and nutritional yeast because it is extra calories and
iron without much fat.

For an 1800 calorie diet...


1 1/2 c. prune juice
2 TB Flax meal
2 TB Nutritional Yeast
1/2 avocado
1 fried egg
1/2 c. cooked oatmeal
1 c. whole goat's milk yogurt
1/2 c. veggie
1/2 c. cooked beans
1/2 c. cooked brown rice OR brown rice millet bread
1/2 c. veggie
1 oz. meat
1/2. c. pasta, rice, quinoa, OR hot cereal mix
1/2 c. fruit or veggie
1/4 c. whole coconut milk
1 TB peanut butter or other nut butter
1/2 c. veggie 


6 oz. of super goat's milk* w/ 1 TB Molasses and 1 TB Nutritional Yeast

*(Super goat's milk is made with 1 cup whole goat's milk and 2 scoops whole
powdered goat's milk)

Nathan's breakfast

Nathan's about 5 and takes his blends orally so taste is important.  As well as a variety of hearty soups and more 'regular' meals done up in the blender, Michelle S makes this for his fruit/breakfast blend:

16 oz frozen fruit (peaches are one of his favorite)
16 oz frozen fruit (pineapples are one of his favorite)
4-6 oz of another fruit that I'm trying to get him to like (strawberries,
blueberries, plums - thinking about grapefruit, whatever works for you)
1/2 cup of organic, gluten free oatmeal cooked
- cooked in 1 cup of rice milk
- 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut concentrate (for calories)

Blend that up - makes about 8 cups (I think), and I use it for a few days (3?
something like that).

Anna's recipe

Anna says this one's too thick for bolus gravity or pump feeding; she syringes it in.  Remember you can always thin blends out too.

for 1 litre (approx) of blend which is approx 1400-1500cals:

slightly less than 1/4 cup Organic Brown Rice Cereal (I cook 1/3 cup with 1 cup
of the goat milk add 2 eggs then halve it)
1 egg
2 cups of Goat Milk (cashew nut milk for lots more calories)
1/2 cup of mixed beans (organic pinto/lentil/chickpeas)
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup mixed root veges (baked in skins then vitamixed)
1/4 cup blue berries
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup of other fruit (oranges/apples/prunes)
2 tsp Molasses
1.5 ounces of sesame and pumpkins seeds
1 tsp spirulina
1 Tbsp Flaxseed Oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 small tin sardines/tuna/salmon ( I alternate the fish and eggs, one or the
2 Tbsp coconut cream
1/4 clove fresh garlic ( would do more but it makes for stinky smooches!!hehe)
slice of fresh ginger

I cook 1/3 cup of the cereal with 1 cup of the goat milk then add 2 eggs then
halve that mix for one day of blend.


Tina's basic blend

Tina and her dietitian worked out this basic guideline as a starting point for young June.  Tina no longer measures stuff, and she rotates her ingredients daily.

1and3/4 cup whole grain-cooked oats, rice, quinoa, or I and a half slices
of wheat bread

1 cup veggies- I use some fresh and some frozen to help keep the blend cold

1 cup fruit- fresh or frozen

2 oz. meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans etc.

2 cups rice or soy milk

then every day I add a pinch of salt (unless one of my ingredients has it)
maple syrup or molasses, olive or grapeseed oil- about two tablespoons, and
sometimes coconut milk

So this is June's basic blend, she is 4 and a half and has fairly low caloric
needs. I use a vitamix to blend and make it fresh each day because I find it
works best for me that way.
One thing I have learned is to be careful to get a good mix of color with the
fruits and veggies. I was really into sweet potatoes and carrots and turned
June a bit orange for a bit. I was just so happy to be giving her food that
wasn't white.

Michelle's basic blend

Michelle uses this as the basic recipe for Zoe, who is five years old.

My basic recipe -

2 cups milk
1 cup fruit (raw or dried)
1 cup veg (raw)
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
3 oz meat or beans
(i add extras like hemp or flax seeds or oil, olive oil, protein powder when I
think of it -- very scientific!)

1 also start out her meal with 300 ml of homemade pedialyte or green tea, wait
10 minutes and give her 250 ml of food. 3 times a day.

Kris's start-out blend

This is from Kris, a nice and simple one:

The only basic start I have to Jenna's daily blend, is :
4 ounces Quinoa
4 ounces Soy yogurt
2 ounces Soy milk
4 oundes Soy formula
1 T Olive oil

This gives her a base calorie start of 405 and 14.5 ounces of fluid.

I just add in her varied parts of baby food purees (for now) and make it up
as I go.

Sacha's spreadsheet info

fruit cal
0.5 cup banana 96
0.5 cup applesauce 52
0.5 cup apple 32
0.5 cup apricot 39
0.5 cup blueberry 40
0.5 cup mango 54
1 kiwi 54
1 plum 32
30 ml prune juice 21
0.25 cup banana 48

dairy cal
1 cup 2% milk (+vit D) 130
1 cup non-fat yoghurt (+vit D) 120

grains cal
0.5 cup baby whole wheat (uncooked) 120
0.5 cup quick oats (uncooked) 150
0.5 cup brown rice (cooked) 108
0.5 cup elbows+ (cooked) 53
0.5 cup 10 grains (cooked) 70
1 cup multi cheerios 110
1 cup 10 grains (cooked) 140
1 cup brown rice (cooked) 216

vegetables (cooked) cal
0.5 cup carrot 35
0.5 cup green peas 52
0.5 cup broccoli 22
0.5 cup corn 74
0.5 sweet potato 68
0.5 cup spinach (cooked) 21
0.5 cup spinach (raw) (30 g) 4
0.5 cup courgette 15
0.5 cup yellow squash 15
1 cup tuscan veggies 50
2 tbsp tomato paste 30

proteins cal
2 ounce salmon 100
2 ounce chicken breast 94
2 ounce 90% beef 130
0.5 cup lentils (cooked) 116
0.5 cup soft tofu (120g) 60
x cup firm tofu (100g) 88
1 tbsp almond meal 40
1 tsp tahini 34

oils cal
2 tsp flaxseed oil 86
2 tsp safflower oil 80
2 tsp olive oil 80
2 tsp canola oil 80

This is data taken from Sacha's excel spreadsheet.  If you have some expertise with a similar program you can do a similar thing yourself - so then you can jut plug in your latest or next planned blend and it'll calculate the cals (and you could do a breakdown for carbs/fats/protiens too if you want) for you!

Sacha's 2 y-o recipe

900-1000 calorie diet (for 2-year-old)

Mornings (2 meals)

Evenings (2 meals)
1 cup grains

0.5 cup grains
1 cup fruits (mix of 2)

1 cup vegetables (mix of 2)
1 cup milk

1 cup milk
2 tsp oil

2 ounce-equivalent proteins
1 tbsp almond meal (optional)

2 tsp oil
5 drops vitD

0.25 tsp morton lite salt
0.25 tsp Morton lite salt (half Na/half K)


Mornings (09-12 AM) cal
Evenings (03-06 PM) cal
1 cup multi cheerios 110
0.5 cup brown rice (cooked) 108
0.5 cup banana 96
1 cup tuscan veggies 50
0.5 cup applesauce 52
1 cup 2% vitD milk 130
1 cup 2% vitD milk 130
2 ounce 90% beef 130
2 tsp flaxseed oil 86
2 tsp olive oil 80

total cal 474
total cal 498
V (mL) 500
V (mL) 500
cal/mL 0.95
cal/mL 1
total day 972

This recipe is obviously able to be scaled up to increase calories etc.  Sacha also has an awesome excel sheet with her usual ingredients broken down into portion sizes with cals attached.  Wonderful!  I'll post it next....