Commonly Prescribed Formula and a Homemade (better!) Equivalent


This is the first in a series of posts providing alternative homemade formula recipes.

It is my opinion that if you blenderize complete foods, rather than fortifying a base ingredient (such as milk, or bone broth)  the outcome is going to be more satisfying, and nutritionally complete.

However, if the tube food is going to be formula whether by choice, or necessity, getting one step closer to the farm, and away from the laboratory, is worthwhile.

The pharmaceutical companies that produce commercial formula use ingredients that allow them the largest profit margin.   You, or the one you are caregiver to, deserve better ingredients than what their products contain.

At least with a homemade formula, you can use quality ingredients.  You can use all organic if you want.  And, its not at all difficult to make a homemade formula.

The post today looks at a commercial formula intended for those who are impacted by respiratory issues. The  spotlight is on Abbott Nutrition Ensure Pulmocare.

Ensure Pulmocare:

  • PULMOCARE is designed for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, or respiratory failure who may benefit from a high-calorie, modified carbohydrate and fat, enteral formula that may help reduce diet-induced carbon dioxide production.

Water, Sodium & Calcium Caseinates, Sugar (Sucrose), Canola Oil, Corn Maltodextrin, Medium-Chain Triglycerides, Corn Oil, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Citrate, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Gellan Gum, salt (Sodium Chloride), Zinc Sulfate, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Phylloquinone, Cyanocobalamin, and Vitamin D3.
Contains milk and soy ingredients.


Protein g: 14.8

Fat g: 22.1

Carbohydrate, g: 25

Calories 355


The recipe that follows is for a homemade formula that does not contain cows milk or any type of soy, and can be created using all organic ingredients if desired:.

Some argue against the use of cows milk for people who have problems with excess mucous,  because they feel that  research supports  the conclusion that certain breeds of cows produce milk containing a protein called beta-CM-7 that  can stimulate mucus glands in both your digestive and respiratory tracts.

It is estimated that at least 90% of dairy cows in the US produce this protein.

Goats milk does not ever contain beta-CM-7; so, it does not stimulate phlegm production. Additionally, goats  milk contains less lactose than cows milk, and often can be consumed without problems by  those who are lactose intolerant. Goat milk is also higher in caprylic acid than cows milk.

A 1-cup serving of whole goat milk contains 168 calories, 9 grams of protein, 11 grams of carbohydrate and 10 grams of fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat.

Average goat milk fat differs in contents of its fatty acids significantly from average cow milk fat, being much higher in butyric (C4:0), caproic (C6:0), caprylic (C8:0), capric (C10:0), lauric (C12:0), myristic (C14:0), palmitic (C16:0), linoleic (C18:2), but lower in stearic (C18:0), and oleic acid (C18:1) (Table 1). Three of the medium chain fatty acids (caproic, caprilyc, and capric) have actually been named after goats, due to their predominance in goat milk. They contribute to 15% of the total fatty acid content in goat milk in comparison to 5% in cow milk (Haenlein, 1993).

The ingredients and directions provided below are for a single serving, as the context of this post is comparing to commercial formula, and the Ensure Pulmocare nutritional information is given by the single serve.  Obviously, you can make the recipe up into a larger volume, store it in a pitcher in the refrigerator.

This recipe calls for hydrolyzed protein powder.  This type of protein  is broken down into small molecules, or peptides. Because of its higher osmolality, for some people  it  may cause shift of water into intestinal space = rapid transit, diarrhea.  (which is one of the inherent possible downfalls of using a formula over a whole blended food).  Another option for this recipe  is to use a gelatin protein powder instead, and, because it is not as processed, it has a larger molecule.  The drawback to using gelatin is it has to be dissolved in warm/hot liquid. It is not difficult to work with, but it has to go into hot first. Don’t worry, if you put the gelatin into hot milk, and stir well, it won’t be too thick when the formula is cold.  BUT, it has to first be placed into hot liquid.  Don’t even touch it with a spoon until after its sunk down, or it will form a coating on the spoon.  If you use the gelatin version, you won’t need to add any xanthan for thickening..



1 cup whole goat milk Meyenberg brand  or any other  nationally  or  locally available dairy brand or farm.  (168 kcal, 9 g protein)

15 g Mike’s Mix Tapioca Maltodextrin Non-GMO Complex Carbohydrate   56.7 kcal 14.25 g carbohydrates

2 1/2 tsp Nature’s Way Liquid Coconut Premium Oil  (108.33  kcal 11.66 g fat)

1 teaspoon Tropical Oasis Mega Plus liquid multivitamins (t tsp = 1/6 daily serving)

1 scoop (14 g) Protein Essentials (Brand) Hydrolyzed Protein Powder ( about 25 kcal, 6 g protein).. This is non-dairy, mixes easily into any liquid hot or cold. This specific brand was chosen due to its mixability and lack of soy or cows milk byproducts of any sort. (Or, 7 g Protein Essentials (Brand) Gelatin Protein Powder.)  6 g protein, 24 kcal)

Add a tiny bit of  Xanthan Gum to make this a thicker  consistency.  It does not have to be heated.


Protein, g: 15

Fat, g: 21.66

Carbohydrate, g: 25.25

Calories: 358.03


Pour milk into a measuring cup

Add the  hydrolyzed protein, tapioca powder, and xanthan gum and stir.

Stir in the liquid multivitamin

Stir in the liquid coconut oil.

Serve,  or store in refrigerator for later.


[Edited later to add…]

I’d not used formula except for those very few cans when I first got my tube.  But, in the interest of integrity as far as this blog goes, I’ve been trying out the various formulas I’ve supplied recipes to.

My thoughts now, are that I still prefer how I feel with whole blended food.  BUT, the homemade formulas still sit a lot better with me than the commercial stuff did, by a whole lot!

The  aura and “burp” factor is pleasant, just like with a real food meal, instead of the horrible aftertaste that the commercial formula consistently delivered.

Even though I was afraid I’d feel sloshy, the volume is small enough to where this did not occur, and I was not hungry any faster than after a blended whole food meal.

If I were going to use a homemade formula for all or most of my meals, I would absolutely positively  add the xanthan gum as a thickener.  When a formula is  thin as milk, even using the adapter that has a bore size as tiny  as ENFit, the meal flows in way too fast.  I’d been accustomed to larger volume meals that are a lot thicker, and  hence, gravity feed very slowly. This makes for a much more pleasant experience, and more satisfying meal.

  • Keep in mind the fact that any formula is nutrient dense.  Even if its not thick, there’s a lot in it that the body has to process.  Its not the same as knocking back a milkshake that maybe has as many calories.  If  you were having a meal by mouth that had the same nutritional density, you’d (hopefully) take longer to consume it than it does to pour eight ounces through a tube. So, take your time with the formula meal.

Links to view or purchase ingredients online via Amazon are below:

Tropical Oasis Mega Plus Liquid Multivitamin and Mineral supplement

I am attaching the link for the powdered version of  Meyenberg whole goat milk from Amazon for your convenience  BUT, in my opinion, it is easier to start with it from your grocer’s shelf in its natural milk form, or the condensed canned version.  I have used the powdered though, and with patience you can get it to  be lump free.  Start with warm almost hot water, and stir a little in at a time.    If you’re going to go the powdered route, I’d mix it up in a larger quantity than just one serving to avoid the hassle, (It is handy for travel as a powder. )

Protein Essentials (Brand) Hydrolyzed Protein Powder

Protein Essentials Gelatin Protein Powder

Nature’s Way Liquid Coconut Premium Oil

Mike’s Mix Tapioca Maltodextrin Non-GMO Complex Carbohdrate – 8 lbs

Kiva All Natural, Xanthan Gum















One Response to "Commonly Prescribed Formula and a Homemade (better!) Equivalent"

Add Comment
  1. Pingback: Homemade formula recipe - ALS/MND Support Group Forums

Submit a comment