Tips for Preparing Your Child’s Tube Feeding

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
07/29/13  10:51 PM PST

Preparing your child’s tube feeding needs to be done carefully with clean hands. Read on for tips on preparation, filling the feeding bag and cleaning the bag and tubing between feedings.

Preparing Formula

Most powdered formulas are prepared by mixing 1 scoop of powder in 2 ounces of water to yield a caloric density of 20 calories per ounce. Some formulas require packed and level scoops. Be sure to check the label to determine  the appropriate method for accurate measuring and mixing.

For  ready-to-use, or concentrated liquid formulas, you will typically mix 1 ounce of concentrate per 1 ounce of water.

Follow your physician or dietitian’s recipe exactly when preparing formula. Inaccurate mixing can lead to serious problems related to growth and nutritional status.

Use safe handling practices when preparing formula to reduce the risk of contamination. Always wash your hands with warm, soapy water before handling formula or feeding equipment.

Prepare enough formula to use for one feeding or enough for up to one day. Store unused prepared formula in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Filling the Feeding Bag

For powdered formulas, fill the bag with up to 4 hours’ worth of formula at a time to reduce risk of bacterial infection. For ready-to-use formulas, fill the bag with up to 8 hours’ worth of formula at a time.

Add an extra 15 millilters (0.5 oz.) of formula to the bag to account for formula wasted when priming the feeding pump.

Cleaning the Bag and Tubing Between Feedings

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Disconnect the feeding set from your child’s feeding tube.
  3. Pour a small amount of water into the bag.
  4. Squeeze the bag and the tubing until all of the water is out. If your pump has an automatic primimg feature, you can use it to push the water through the tubing.
  5. Allow the bag and tubing to air dry.
Recent Nutrition

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *