We had the chance to meet and talk with over 500 dietitians from around the country about Real Food Blends this past week at FNCE – the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ annual conference.
To say the response to our 100% real food meals was overwhelmingly positive would be an understatement!
“This is how we used to do it in the hospital when I first became a dietitian. And you know what? The patients did better!”
“I have so many of my cancer patients that don’t want to be filled up with cans of formula! This is what they want!”
“More and more of our parents want to put real food into their kid’s tubes.”
We talked about:
– How bowel habits, reflux, vomiting and general tolerance of tube feeding can improve with real food.
– How only those with tubes are expected to live off the same food every meal, every day.
– How our meals are truly just that – MEALS. If someone is on 6 or 8 cans of formula a day, there’s plenty of room to replace a couple of those with some real food meals.
– How healing it can be psychologically to give your tube-fed loved one real food (or have real food.)
– How we believe people should have access to a wide variety of real food and that no ONE formulation should ever be expected to deliver everything our bodies really need. (Eat the rainbow!)
We handed out 10 copies of the “Homemade Blended Diet Handbook” to dietitians that didn’t have their own, and almost 1,000 Just Food Blends flyers. We even had two of our sample meals mysteriously walk away from our booth!!
As the mother of a tube-fed child, these past three days were very healing to me and more confirmation that what I have done for AJ was the right thing to do. Dietitians know that real food is best. They want to be able to provide real food options to their patients. They have heard those of us in the Blended Diet community loud and clear, but are scared of the lack of control (over what’s in the diet, sanitary conditions and clogging the tube.) Our meals mean they don’t need to be so hesitant to recommend real food anymore.
We will be sending out samples of our meals to hundreds of these hospitals and institutions over the coming months.
We know many of you that are reading this are anxiously awaiting our first meals. They are coming! We are working as quickly – but carefully – as possible to get these meals to those that need them most. Final formulations, packaging design, sourcing of the individual ingredients, and the nutritional analysis are all done. We are in the final steps of acquiring USDA approval and hope to have a firm production date soon.
As much as we wish we could deliver these meals now, it’s most important that we deliver safe and tested meals that only contain real food, no additives or preservatives, that won’t clog a tube. This has required a lot of testing and trial & error at this larger-scale commercial level! It would have been much easier to launch with only one product, however that wouldn’t be staying true to our core value that nutritional variety is key to health, and no one should live off the same food for every meal, every day.
Thank you so much for your continued patience. We know the end results will be worth the wait!