Feeding Tube Awareness Week

Feeding Tube Awareness Week: Supporting patients via nutritional interventions

Feeding Tube Awareness Week is a week aiming to share patients stories spreading the awareness of the day-to-day patient life with feeding tubes, enteral nutrition and the nutritional benefits of it to the healthcare professionals community and to the general audience.

What is tube feeding

Tube feeding is an essential nutritional support when nutritional requirements cannot be met orally. It consists of special medical tube feeds and devices to deliver nutrition directly into the stomach or the intestine of patients who are unable to consume food in an usual way. This could be a result of an illness and/or surgery in which patients are temporarily or permanently unable to swallow. Tube feeding can be a temporary feeding solution in acute conditions, as well as long term nutritional solution in chronic conditions. When indicated, the enteral tube feeding is used in patients of all age groups (elderly, adults, paediatrics and pre-term) for the dietary management in a wide variety of conditions across all care settings at hospital and in community.

Nutritional interventions in critical care and beyond

Loss of muscle mass and malnutrition is common among critically ill patients1. Approximately 50% will not meet their nutritional targets while in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)2. Malnourished patients may be susceptible to complications such as prolonged respiratory dysfunction and increased mortality3. Nutritional interventions can be crucial to ensure adequate delivery of nutrients to meet the dietary needs of growing children, or to ensure that patients get enough nutrition to maintain their body mass during a stay in the ICU as well as after discharge, on their journey to recovery.

Discover our patients’ stories to better understand different tube feeding situations:

Cees' story

Cees was diagnosed with Crohn's disease resulting in short bowel syndrome. Unable to eat independently anymore, he was tube fed after having lost strength and weight dramatically. Today, he is tube fed at night and eating normally during the day. Get ready to be moved and motivated by his strength and resilience, as he shares his message of hope:

Thanks to tube feeding I got back to a normal weight and gained energy. Today nothing stops me from trying new things! Of course sometimes life is hard but that will not defeat me.

- Cees

Millie's story

Millie was diagnosed with Rett syndrome – a rare genetic neurological & developmental delay that affects the way the brain develops, causing a progressive loss of motor skills and speech. Millie seemed to develop normally for the 1st year of her life, but then she started losing skills she previously had – e.g. the ability to crawl, walk, communicate. It was extremely difficult for her to eat using her mouth, so at a very young age a feeding button had to be inserted on her skin, just above her stomach, to which a feeding tube was attached. Listen to Mille's mum sharing her experience with her beautiful smile.

The first time you do things, it always breaks barriers, especially putting something into the feeding button. However, it was not as difficult as I had expected; it was so fine, so simple.

- Millie’s mum
Meet Ben the bear

Discover how we support healthcare professionals, parents and patients in the initiation of tube feeding with educational materials that help explain the impact of tube feeding..

Claudia's story

Claudia was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2011.

During her treatment, she was enterally fed through a nasogastric feeding tube and then through a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy tube to facilitate the need for long term enteral feeding administration.

I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2011. During my treatment journey I had first-hand experience of living with a feeding tube. If I had known how easy life would be being enterally fed; then I would have accepted to start much earlier.

- Claudia

Nutricia: trusted to deliver high quality enteral nutrition for over 50 years

At Nutricia we understand the importance of optimal nutritional support. We continually improve our enteral nutrition to offer innovative feeding solutions tailor made for every step of the enteral tube feeding patient journey. We see the person behind the patient and apply our deep understanding of their nutritional needs and the latest medical insights and guidelines to the development of our ranges. We offer a comprehensive range of tube feeds for adults and paediatrics, enteral feeding devices and accessories, complimented with services to help provide the best care.

Enteral Feeding Devices

Enteral (or “tube”) feeding pumps, sets and tubes are used to deliver nutrition directly into a patient’s stomach. To help patients, carers and their families follow the tube feeding advice given by their healthcare professional, a reliable enteral feeding pump is essential, both in the hospital and at home.

Patients and healthcare professionals need a device that is intuitive, accurate and that will not hinder movement.

Flocare’s range of medical devices, accessories and supporting tools have been developed to simplify tube feeding for patients, carers and their families, because Nutricia strongly believes that feeding routine should fit comfortably into a patient’s routine.


Flocare Infinity pumps are renowned for their reliability, safety and ease-of-use. The cartridge style giving set makes it easy to set up a feeding therapy. The clear step-by-step interface makes programming the feed straightforward. Troubleshooting is made easier by audio and visual alarm and warning/attention messages. In addition, due to the robust design, the pumps are washable under running water and usable in any orientation.

Pediatric Tube Feeding

Nutrition support can be an essential step to help children thrive at any age. Taking the step to introduce tube feeding can be daunting and we don’t want our little patients to go it alone.

Nutrini Nutrinimax range

Our portfolio

Tube feeding can be a temporary feeding solution in acute illness conditions (e.g. critical illness) as well as long-term life-sustaining solution in chronic illness conditions (e.g. neurological disorder). Paediatric-specific, nutritional feeds have been successfully used in clinical practice for many years to meet the entire or partial nutritional requirements of patients, offering important benefits including microbiological safety, standardised consistency, nutritional content and can be formulated to meet the specific needs of a particular disease or condition. 

The design of enteral products has continued to be updated over the years as knowledge and expertise increases – for example with the inclusion of fibre to meet new recommendations in all populations, increasing the energy:protein ratio and/or some micronutrients levels in line with the latest guidelines; and the inclusion of a carotenoid blend and DHA to mimic the nutrients found in a typical diet. It has been estimated that over 350 conditions that can warrant tube-feeding4 and as experts recommend that paediatric tube feeds should be adapted to the specific needs of paediatric patients5 a diverse range of feeds to meet differing nutritional needs and challenges is required to support paediatric tube fed patients.

Meet Ben the bear

Beyond nutrition

Our responsibility starts with providing the optimal portfolio of products but doesn’t end there. We support healthcare professionals, parents and patients in the initiation of Tube Feeding and the continued journey towards healthy growth with fun, educational and caring materials so that nobody ever has to feel alone.

Nutricia Medical Devices offers multiple SKU’s suitable for paediatric usage. This portfolio contains a.o. small ch size tubes and low dose syringes, specifically designed for administration of lower volumes of enteral nutrition and medication administration to paediatric patients.

In addition, the Flocare Infinity III enteral feeding pump can be used for both the adult and paediatric patient population.

Nutricia also offers carry bags, designed for children, to carry around the Infinity III pump and tube nutrition and hereby enhancing mobility for the paediatric users.

Engaging with healthcare professionals

Listening to health care professionals and engaging in conversations with those supporting and caring for patients is an essential part of how we work. That’s why we are present at multiple congresses each year - to share experiences and ideas. Next up is the Nutrition and Growth conference in Lisbon, will we see you there?

Related articles

A practical guide for parents to monitor a child’s growth at home

The Coronavirus pandemic means that many of us are no longer seeing healthcare professionals face to face. For parents or carers who are concerned about their child’s growth, this means measuring their child's growth at home. For parents who are unsure of the best way to do this, this practical guide explains step-by-step how to perform growth measurements and provides advice about the simple equipment needed to get started.

Feeding difficulties in children with cerebral palsy: why they matter and how to recognize them

Children with cerebral palsy often have difficulties with feeding and swallowing. These can cause children to become underweight and undernourished, with consequences for growth and development7,8. The Feeding and Nutrition Screening Tool9 can help parents screen for risk of feeding/swallowing difficulties and undernutrition quickly and easily, so they know when to seek medical help.

The role of nutrition in managing children facing growth challenges due to their medical condition

Whatever the cause of inadequate growth, making sure the infant or child gets enough of the right nutrition is very important. Problems such as gastrointestinal issues, poor recovery from illness, increased risk of infections and longer hospital stays have been linked with poor nutritional intake5,6. Nutritional screening and growth monitoring are therefore important to ensure children are identified early and receive the right nutritional support to help them grow and develop5,6.

Nutricia’s tube feeds are Food for Special Medical Purposes and must be used under medical supervision.

  1. Wischmeyer PE. Current Opinion in Critical Care. 2016;22:279-84.
  2. Heyland DK, Cahill NE, Dhaliwal R, et al. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2010;34:675-84.
  3. Heyland DK, Weijs PJM, Coss-Bu JA, et al. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2017;32:58S-71S.
  4. Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation. Conditions that Can Require Tube Feeding in Children 2016. Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation; 2016 Available from: https://www.feedingtubeawareness.org/condition-list/
  5. Braegger, C., et al., Practical approach to paediatric enteral nutrition: a comment by the ESPGHAN committee on nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2010. 51(1): p. 110-22.
  6. Chandrasekar, N., et al., Exploring Clinical Outcomes and Feasibility of Blended Tube Feeds in Children. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr, 2021. 45(4): p. 685-698
  7. Borghi R, A.T., Airoldi Vieira RI, et al. , ILSI Task Force on enteral nutrition; estimated composition and costs of blenderized diets. Nutr Hosp 2013. 28: p. 2033–8.
  8. Vieira, M.M.C., et al., Nutritional and microbiological quality of commercial and homemade blenderized whole food enteral diets for home-based enteral nutritional therapy in adults. Clin Nutr, 2018. 37(1): p. 177-181

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