Background: In the UK, patients aged 6-12 years contribute more than one-third of children on home enteral tube feeds (HETF). Many enteral feeds are given to this age group. The present study aimed to investigate the formula with the best nutritional composition for children aged 7-12 years on HETF by comparing the nutrient intake of three feed types; a paediatric feed (PF) for 1-6 year olds, an adult feed (AF), and a feed for children (OCF) aged 7-12 years. Methods: Twenty-five HETF children aged 7-14 years (median 10 years) were given a 6.3 kJ mL(-1) enteral feed designed for 7-12 year olds (or weighing 21-45 kg) for 9 months. Nutrient intakes on the 7-12-year-old feed were compared with baseline feed (paediatric n = 10; or adult n = 15). Results: At baseline, the PF failed to meet 100% of the reference nutrient intake (RNI) for three of 19 (16%) of the nutrients studied, whereas AF provided in excess of 250% of the RNI for six of 19 (32%) of the nutrients. During the trial, the nutrients on the OCF were two of 19 (11%) <100% and four of 19 (21%) > 250% of the RNI. Only seven of 10 (70%) children on a PF met at least 100% of the UK RNI for calcium, compared to 17 of 19 (89%) on the OCF. Conclusions: It is important to offer older children an enteral feed that provides an optimal level of nutrients to meet their nutritional requirements. Feeds designed for 7-12-year-old children more closely meet nutrient requirements than paediatric or adult formulae, but require further modification to fully meet the nutritional needs of this group.
- enteral tube feeding
- nutrient requirements