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How dietitians can help with feeding tubes


Dietitians are experts in food and nutrition. They provide support and education for children with feeding tubes and their families. This helps children with feeding tubes do better.

Your St. Jude dietitian will work with you and the doctor to decide on the best feeding method for your child.

There are 3 ways to give tube feedings:

  • Continuous feeding
  • Bolus feeding
  • Gravity feeding

Continuous feeding uses a pump to control the flow of formula into the tube for long periods of time, up to 24 hours a day.

Bolus feeding uses formula you pour into a syringe several times each day. The formula slowly flows into the stomach from the syringe.

A Bolus feeding may also be delivered as a gravity feeding, which uses a bag that hangs from an IV pole. The formula drips down into the stomach several times a day.

The dietitian will work with you to find the best type and amount of formula for your child. She will give you instructions on mixing formula and developing a feeding schedule that meets your child’s nutritional needs.

The dietitian will help you take care of your child as long as he has a feeding tube, at St. Jude and at home if needed.

Dietitian with patient


If you have questions about nutrition and tube feedings, call your child’s St. Jude registered dietitian ________________________ at 901-595-____________.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).