(Not So) Accidental Advocates


Gabe & Anthony preparing Real Food Blends meals for shipping.

If you supported our crowdfunding campaign or received one of our sample meals, chances are that your order helped give a disabled person a job.

When I set out to create Real Food Blends, I recognized that there was an opportunity to not just provide easier access to real food, but also to be a better corporate citizen. That’s why the development of these meals took longer than expected. It would have been faster and cheaper to add some preservatives or come out with only one variety, but that’s not what I wanted for my son. That’s also why we sourced the (beloved) squirrel syringes and decided to sell them for just about our cost.

Doing better is also why we have made a commitment to providing meaningful employment to disabled people. Instead of renting our own warehouse and staff, or paying a private fulfillment house, we have consciously chose to help employ disabled workers.

As we move forward, we have reaffirmed our commitment to disability inclusion and partnered with a large disabled workforce fulfillment house to label and ship the cases of Real Food Blends to our customers. When the cases arrive at your doorstep, know that not only are you getting 100% real food, but you have helped provide a disabled person with meaningful work.

Not only does this make good business sense for Real Food Blends, supporting these programs and facilities now can help make sure that people like my son AJ have meaningful employment, and a sense of satisfaction that only a job well done can provide.

Randy Lewis, the former SVP of logistics at Walgreens and an advisor to Real Food Blends, has guided us through this process to make sure we could deliver for our customers, and to our mission of disability inclusion. His book, No Greatness Without Goodness: How a Father’s Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement, is now available and his proceeds are going to charity. (You can read more about his story – and how he became an “Accidental Advocate” – here.)

We are giving away 5 free copies of the book to the first 5 people that post they want one on our Facebook wall or Tweet us.

Note: Our meals are produced and packaged in a fully USDA / FDA regulated facility and only sent to the fulfillment house for shipping and handling once they are packaged and sealed into cases.

Production Date is Set!


It’s official! The first Real Food Blends meals will be produced on January 13th, 2014! Although this date reflects a delay from what we expected when we first launched our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, we are very excited to have a firm date set.  As you may know if you’ve been reading along with our updates, getting to this point has not been easy, but I didn’t start Real Food Blends because I thought it was going to be easy! (Only worth it:)

After production is complete, the meals will go to a certified warehouse to be packed and shipped to our customers.  Those of you that backed our crowdfunding campaign can expect your meals by the end of January. (International shipping will take an additional 1-2 weeks to arrive).

So where can I buy Real Food Blends meals?

We will begin pre-selling the meals here on in January.  This first production is being done in limited quantities so we encourage you to order early!

We apologize for the delays. We thank you for your patience and support. Through the ups and downs, delays and victories, your support and encouragement has been amazing and is a big part of what helped us get to this point.  Thank you! As always, stay tuned on Facebook or Twitter for more updates (NOTE: We have a special announcement coming this week!)

Julie Bombacino

Founder & CEO, Real Food Blends



When I decided to start Real Food Blends, it was important to me to build a company that would not only improve the life of our son and Chief Inspiration Officer, AJ, but one that would help improve the lives of all people with a feeding tube, their families and caregivers. Years of business and life experience told me this wouldn’t be easy, and as it turns out some steps have taken and are taking longer than planned. I’m so appreciative of your early support and continued patience – you have my word that it will be worth it.

That being said, we continue to be overwhelmed by your positive response and support. Thank you. We also have a lot more to share with you about the progress of the meals and company. Here’s the latest:

– Right now, we are in a bit of a holding pattern as we wait on the last round of approvals. However, we will have an exact production date this week!! Prior to launching our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, we consulted some amazing food development experts and conducted months of testing and trial & error. The leap to making these three meals in a large scale, regulated manufacturing facility has been a challenge but I’m happy to report that this first production date will be set this week.

– The final nutrition facts and ingredients of the meals are now available on our Web site. Those of you that backed our IndieGoGo campaign may notice that some of the ingredients have changed from our original recipes. This is due to a variety of factors: Some ingredients didn’t ‘play nice’ with the processing needed to make the meals shelf-stable (we’re talking about you, chickpeas!) and it was simply impossible to buy some ingredients at this large scale level without additives or preservatives (the milk alternatives especially!). One thing that didn’t change: All of our meals are still just real food.

– Each pouch yields an 8 ounce serving size for about 40 calories per ounce. (The measurement on the front says “9.4 ounces” as this is a volume measurement, not fluid. These meals are purees after all!)

– You may notice that we “lost” the spout top that we originally planned to use. We are working on a Patent-Pending system that will feature this spout, but for now, we wanted to be able to deliver 100% real food, shelf-stable meals as quickly as possible. We are hopeful our next production will feature this spout top for easier use.

– All the necessary paperwork has been filed for the appropriate insurance billing codes for our meals. Stay tuned to our website for updates on insurance reimbursement. We are also working on the necessary paperwork for WIC programs and will keep you posted on this as well.

– Many of you have asked how you can buy / reserve meals now. We will soon begin to pre-sell the meals on our Web site. All of our IndieGoGo orders will be fulfilled first. These first meals will be available only in limited quantities, but we will continue to expand, adding more inventory and options as we learn what all of you want and like the most.

My apologies again on the delay. I want nothing more than to provide these meals to those of you that need and want them. However, we know that it’s more important to do this right, and thoroughly test along the way to make sure we deliver you the best possible blenderized meals – that is why I started Real Food Blends in the first place. If you have questions, please check out our FAQs section, send us an email or post to Facebook / Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!


Update on Real Food Blends Meals


To our Real Food Blends community –

We have truly been overwhelmed by your response to our crowdfunding campaign and notes of encouragement the last few months. Many of you have shared your personal stories of what real food has done for you or your tube-fed loved one, or how eager you are to try our meals to supplement formula.

Bringing any food product to market from a commercial kitchen to a full-scale FDA / USDA certified manufacturing level is a huge task. We have been working tirelessly to perfect our meals at this larger scale, while staying true to our core values of using only 100% real food, delivering shelf-stability, and the ability to easily pass through a feeding tube.

With that said, we will not be able to ship the meals this month like we had originally planned. We will have a firm shipping date soon for those that supported our IndieGoGo campaign, and will keep everyone informed via email and  Facebook & Twitter when the meals will be for sale.  I cannot apologize enough for this delay. Personally, there have been many times over the past several months when I’ve been blending for AJ late at night…having Real Food Blends meals in my pantry would have bought me a lot more sleep!

I know many of you are eagerly awaiting your Real Food Blends meals.  We are confident that the final meals will be worth the wait. I personally appreciate your patience and am excited that we are so close to being able to deliver Real Food Blends to you.

Thank you for your support and patience.


real food blends AJ

We have been overwhelmed with the generosity and support for Real Food Blends during our recent IndieGoGo campaign. Almost 4,000 Real Food Blends meals were ‘purchased’ during this campaign, and will be delivered to hospitalized people with feeding tubes and people already at home with feeding tubes.

In case you missed it, here’s a short video explaining how Real Food came to be, and introduces you to our Chief Inspiration Officer.

Thank you again and welcome to Real Food Blends. We will be posting recipes, updates on our meals, and other tidbits relevant to the feeding tube community here on our blog. Please join us on Facebook & Twitter as well.

Blend on!