About Enteral Feeding Formulas
Enteral feeding formulas are nutrient-rich liquids that are specifically designed to be used as a sole source of nutrition for people who cannot eat or drink on their own. There are many different types of enteral formulas available, and each one is formulated to meet the unique needs of different groups of people.
If your loved one is unable to chew or swallow food, and a doctor has prescribed enteral feeding for home, we carry a variety of enteral feeding formulas to meet the needs your doctor has prescribed.
Some formulas come in pouches, cartons, or powders and include options such as:
- Organic - formulas that are made from real, blended food. These are ideal for people that want to avoid processed foods.
- Ready-to-hang - Most enteral feeding formulas come in cartons (which can be emptied into a feeding bag), or pre-made feeding bags that are ready to use
- Flavors - Some enteral feeding formulas have “flavors” because some claim they can taste the formula in other parts of their body, like the gastrointestinal tract.
- Extra fiber - Some formulas contain added fiber, to help with digestion.
- Diabetes control - Specific enteral feeding formulas - like Diabetisource - are designed to help control blood sugar for those managing diabetes.
- Extra calories - Some formulas - such as the ones that say “1.5 Cal” or “2 Cal” are more calorically dense than other formulas. These are ideal for weight gain or treating malnutrition.
- Pediatric formulas - For the nutritional management of children ages 1–13 with impaired GI function
What is enteral feeding?
Enteral feeding refers to methods of feeding that use the gastrointestinal route (either through the mouth or through a tube). Enteral feeding is always doctor-prescribed and should never be attempted without a medical professional.
How do you store enteral feeding formulas?
You should store any unopened tube feeding formula at room temperature.
What are the types of enteral feeding?
Enteral feeding falls into three categories.
- Bolus enteral feeding - uses a syringe.
- Gravity enteral feeding - uses a feeding bag without a pump.
- Pump enteral feeding - uses a feeding bag with a pump.
For more information regarding supplies needed or instructions on administering, check out our Enteral Feeding at Home resource.
What types of enteral formulas are there?
There are many kinds of enteral feeding formulas, to support many different nutritional needs, but you should never decide which enteral feeding formula to use without a doctor’s suggestion or consent. Some common formulas include:
- Standard Formula: This is the most basic type of enteral formula and is typically used for patients who are able to tolerate a more simple diet.
- Elemental Formula: This type of formula is designed for patients who have difficulty digesting complex carbohydrates or fats.
- Specialized Formulas: For adults and kids with specific needs, such as diabetes, kidney failure, respiratory conditions, or liver issues.
- Blenderized Formula: This type of formula is made by blending whole foods into a smooth consistency. It is typically used for patients who have difficulty chewing or swallowing.
For more information regarding our enteral feeding formulas, check out our All About Enteral Feeding Formulas resource.