MYTH: You didn’t try hard enough to make your child eat.

FACT In our experience, parents try everything to get their children to eat. It is a natural instinct for a parent to feed his or her child. Some children require extra nutritional support to stay healthy. Tube feeding is a last resort. Tube feeding allows children to get the nutritional support they need to grow and develop, either when eating orally is not possible, or while exploring the medical reasons a child cannot eat and drink enough.

MYTH: You can’t eat by mouth when you have a feeding tube.

FACT Some children benefit from tube feeding because they can’t eat enough by mouth. Others need tubes because they can’t eat some or all types of food safely. If your child can eat safely by mouth, oral eating should be encouraged as much as possible to maintain and develop oral eating skills.

MYTH: Tube feeding is forever.

FACT Some children have medical conditions that will require them to have feeding tubes their whole lives. But for many children, tube feeding is temporary. Children are able to wean off their feeding tubes once they are no longer medically necessary. It is often difficult to estimate how long a feeding tube will be needed, especially if the child’s medical condition is not yet fully understood.

MYTH: You have to get everything right, right away!

FACT Just like everything in parenting, you will make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t panic when you do. We all have made mistakes. There can be a bit of trial and error in the beginning. Tube feeding isn’t one size fits all. Learning what is best for your child is a step-by-step process, particularly with infants and children who are unable to tell us what they are feeling.

MYTH: A child’s physical activity will be limited by having a feeding tube.

FACT Tube feeding itself does not limit a child’s ability to roll around, play, climb, run, swim or play sports. A child’s physical ability will not be impacted by having a feeding tube. Even children who feed continuously can wear feeding pumps in backpacks and still be active.

MYTH: You will need a nurse to care for your child if you tube feed at home.

FACT It is easy for parents and caregivers to learn how to use the feeding tube safely at home. Very few parents have any medical background before they begin the feeding tube journey.

MYTH: You must use formula for tube feeding.

FACT You can tube feed breast milk, formula, or blended foods. The diet can vary based on your child’s medical condition and tolerance.