Bolus Tube Feeding

People who are able to tolerate a normal amount of food at one time can be fed by bolus feeding. Feedings are most often given every 4 to 6 hours during waking hours. They are only given in the stomach. You’ll be told how often to give the feedings and how much water to give the person between feedings. When starting a feeding, open and use only the prescribed amount of liquid food (formula).

Image of procedure

Image of procedure

Image of procedure

1. Put the syringe tip in the port

  • Pull the plunger out of the


  • Open the feeding port cap.

  • Put the syringe tip in the

    feeding port.

2. Fill the syringe

  • Pour the formula into the


  • Fill only to the top line.

3. Give the feeding

  • Put the plunger back into

    the syringe. Then push

    down slowly on the plunger.


  • Hold the syringe straight

    up and let the formula run

    through the tube by gravity.

Repeat steps 2 and 3

  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve given the prescribed amount of formula.

  • Remove the syringe and close the port cap.

NOTE: You can also fill the syringe from a measuring cup. Leave the plunger in the syringe. Pour the formula into the measuring cup. Put the tip of the syringe into the cup and pull up the plunger. Then put the tip of the syringe in the feeding port.

Image of syringe

Image of filling syringe

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© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.