Tube weaning is a little-known but important therapy for children and other people who are dependent on a feeding tube but are regaining the ability to feed themselves. Since the body might get used to a gradual trickle of food, and since the body might not be ready to properly masticate and swallow food normally, the adjustment can be a complex and lengthy process. Research a service that assists with home based tube weaning.
A home based tube weaning is a relatively simple instrument and in the past was done manually using a funnel or hand pump. Today’s feeding tubes might be run by a light electrical pump and a commercial formula. While these tools get the trick done and even save some time, they have a few disadvantages such as a persistent tube and overly consistent texture. Getting back to natural eating does take some adjustment.
Consider a nutrient paste that has the consistency of a milkshake. It might be nourishing and easy to handle, but it contains similar ingredients. Anything from powdered vegetables to cellulose fillers might be used to provide the desired thickness. Normal food varies considerably in its texture and ease of digestion. Digesting different foods requires acclimation, and chewing takes practice.
A person who is removed from a feeding tube, even for a few meals at a time, must get used to not having their hunger met in a consistent manner. If they do not finish the meal properly, then they go hungry. This might discourage feeding behavior. At the same time, solid food needs a lot of chewing, and this requires jaw strengthening as well as oral coordination.
Consider all the chewing that goes into eating a steak. While a steak might be delicious and a savory enticement to prefer solid foods, it is generally a workout for the jaws, even when cooked medium-rare. Raw vegetables and fruit require extra chewing, and it is no wonder that infants tend to progress from pressure cooked vegetable pulp to only eating more solid foods later.
The solution is to work with a specialist who has lots of experience with adjusting from tube feeding to oral eating. They might start with pastes to first work on swallowing and then soft fruit to work on chewing. The most important thing is not to rush an adjusting patient and to depend heavily on their subjective feedback. While transitioning too slow can be a nuisance, transitioning quickly is a hazard.