Why PediaSure © Is The Worst Thing You Can Do For Your Picky Eater?

Do you have a “picky eater” or an underweight child?

Are you concerned that your kid is not eating enough good quality food that supplies him/her with adequate nutrition on a daily basis? Or maybe you have an underweight child and you’ve got a recommendation from your pediatrician that you should start supplementing with meal replacement shakes (aka calorie-dense drinks) such as PediaSure©, Boost or Ensure?

In the case of an underweight child, I recommend you perform a set of tests (I would do these test with an integrative doctor) to determine whether the child has an undiagnosed milk protein intolerance or allergy – which irritates and inflames the gut, making nutrients and energy even harder to absorb. Make sure you look deeper than just IgE allergy responses with a conventional MD allergist. This must be done prior to relying on any shake that is based heavily on milk proteins.

The idea of replacing a full meal (and along with it the struggle) with a sweetened drink that kids love is indeed alluring, but unfortunately not the best choice you can do for your beloved child both in the short and long runs.

PediaSure© is manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant Abbott, and marketed to the public as a meal replacement/supplement which “balances your picky eater’s uneven diet”.

Before you make your decision whether to get this drink for your child or not, let’s look at the facts.

do you have a picky eater

Should you choose a meal replacement shake like PediaSure© to supplement your child’s diet?

According to Abbott, PediaSure© is clinically proven and each shake is a source of 7g protein and 25 essential vitamins. It is available in three kid-approved flavours (vanilla, strawberry or chocolate), but the best part – PediaSure© comes in reclosable bottles — perfect for kids on the go!

Amazing, right?

Well, actually not so much!

Although it sounds like this drink has beneficial ingredients to support the health of our children, the ingredient list doesn’t look healthy at all!

Let’s have a look at the ingredients list for PediaSure©:

Water, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, High Oleic, Safflower Oil, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Isolate. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Short-Chain, Fructooligosaccharides, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Cellulose Gel, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Tuna Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium, Phosphate, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Potassium Hydroxide, m-Inositol, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl, Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.

Decoding PediaSure©’s ingredient list

Health Canada regulates the labelling of food through the Food and Drugs Act, according to which manufacturers must list ingredients in order of weight, beginning with the ingredient that weighs the most and ending with the ingredient that weighs the least. This means that a food contains more of the ingredients found at the beginning of the list, and less of the ingredients at the end of the list.

Now that you know this basic rule about food labelling, let’s get back to the ingredient list of PediaSure©.

After water, the most prominent ingredient is sugar! Wasn’t this supposed to be a nutritional supplement?! How can it even be called a kids’ supplement when the second ingredient is sugar? I just can’t wrap my head around that BS. With all the detrimental effects of sugar, it is still pushed and marketed for kids.

That’s not all, manufacturers have a lot of other less common names for sugar (i.e. agave nectar, barley malt, beet sugar, brown rice syrup (aka rice syrup or rice malt), corn sweetener, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, dextran, fructose, galactose, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.). Other sneaky names are fructooligosaccharides and cellulose which are also used in PediaSure©.

30% of PediaSure©’s calories are derived from sugar!

Shocking isn’t it? But wait, that’s not all.

According to the nutrition label, one cup of serving has 240 calories – 80 calories are derived from fat, 25 from protein, and the remaining 135 are from carbohydrates. Now, here’s where it gets interesting – the carb breakdown is just 1 gram of fibre, and 18 grams of sugar! That’s the equivalent of 4.5 teaspoons of sugar per one bottle of PediaSure©. No wonder kids love this drink!

kid is drinking pediasure

What other dirty ingredients are in PediaSure©?

After sugar, it is followed by Corn Maltodextrin (GMO – genetically modified organism), which is used as a thickener in soft drinks, salad dressings, and soups. The fats in this drink are derived from Safflower oil and Canola oil (which are both most likely GMOs). Can you imagine your child drinking genetically modified oil as a source of their nutrients?

How about the protein?

The proteins are derived from milk, soy, and peas as isolates and concentrates. This means that the original, whole food is deconstructed and highly processed, losing its beneficial nutrients. Milk protein concentrate is a cheap ingredient often imported from China, with little to no quality inspection or regulation. As I mentioned earlier, it is crucial to identify whether your child has an intolerance or allergy to milk proteins which might be the underlying reason for their inability to keep the weight on. You certainly don’t want to feed your child with PediaSure© or any other milk-based supplement if the gut is unable to digest it properly.

More unpleasant facts about PediaSure© drink for kids

Not that you wouldn’t expect it in this product, but the vanilla flavour is entirely fake, added as natural & artificial ingredients.

The list of vitamins and minerals following the main ingredients may seem alluring at first, but the bio-availability of these nutrients is not quite impressive. Isolating specific vitamins and introducing them into the body in pill, liquid, or supplement form does not guarantee they will be absorbed. A large percentage may find its way into your child’s urine – which means your child pees them out instead of them being absorbed into their body. Another important point, the clinical trials Abbott refers to were conducted on children at risk for malnutrition, which is not the case in typical Canadian homes.

Why is PediaSure© a bad idea in the long run?

What are the PediaSure© Side effects?

Parents of so-called picky eaters may become fascinated with PediaSure© as a quick and easy fix at first. But the dependence it creates can lead to long-term problems including poor eating habits and a strong craving for sweet foods.

As mothers, it is our job to provide our kids with the best nutrition possible, and now you know that PediaSure© drink is a step in the wrong direction. Sugar, GMO oils and fillers, highly processed protein and fake flavouring are far from beneficial nutrients and should be totally avoided.

Are there healthier alternatives to Pediasure© on the market?

Believe me, I know how busy you are, and how easy it is to pop a bottle and feed your child with something they actually like. I’ve spent hours researching for better quality meal replacement shakes and high-calorie boosters for children and honest to God could not find something I feel truly good about recommending to you (other than a few products which are sold through network marketing distributors which are way too expensive in my opinion).

So instead, I’ve created a 10-page document where I show you how easy it is to make your own delicious meal replacement shakes at home with simple ingredients you have at home in under 5 minutes!

Click HERE to download your free guide.

References:

75 thoughts on “Why PediaSure © Is The Worst Thing You Can Do For Your Picky Eater?”

  1. This is a goos article, and believe me that mothers of “picky eaters” know that PediaSure is not good for their kids, but when your child doesn’t eat anything, you’re just not left with other options. As a mother of a very difficult child to feed, I use PediaSure as a cushion just to make sure he will stay hydrated.

    Reply
    • Parents of picky eaters are too paranoid. Let the child not eat; I guarantee they will not starve themselves. When they are hungry, offer them only nutritious food. As parents, we are the role models in all things and leading our children in proper food selection is paramount to their well being. Sometimes being hard nosed, with them, is the absolute best thing we can do.

      Reply
      • I agree that our job as parents is to model healthy eating when it comes to food choices and behaviours around food as well, however I don’t think parents are too paranoid. It is extremely challenging to deal with a child who simply doesn’t eat, and believe me some children will literally not eat if you don’t give them anything they want, which makes the situation a hundred times harder! As a parent of a picky eater myself I find that the best technique for us is to have a “better than worst” food options (e.g. vegan chocolate spread vs. Nutella, or sprouted grain bread vs. conventional white bread), and combine these with real foods (fresh vegetables, fruits, organic meats, pastured eggs, etc). The goal is to avoid struggles around food at all costs so make sure that as a mother you always choose relationship over perfection or sticking to “the ideal” state. Good luck!

        Reply
      • “Let the child not eat; I guarantee they will not starve themselves.” This is not true. I like many other parents, have a child who is beyond picky, she was diagnosed with Failure to Thrive, and she DID NOT EAT. Literally. For two weeks, her only intake was milk, and eventually became anemic and hospitalized. It might be easy to just call parents “lazy”, but that is just not true. Don’t you think I tried everyday to get my child to eat a cracker, let alone a meal? Thank God for Pediasure, or my daughter would have stayed on a feeding tube. Now, 3+ years later, she has gradually developed an appetite and is eating and gaining weight.

        However, I dont agree with Pediasure’s marketing. It should not be marketed for the average kid. Its just not worth it.

        Reply
      • Excellent advice from someone with probably no qualifications.
        Problem is the term “picky eater” not all kids are “picky eaters”
        There is also Oral Aversion, GERD/GORD, Delayed Gastric Emptying, among other things.
        My son has all of them including Cystic Fibrosis.
        I didn’t let him have what he wanted and he didn’t eat for 3 days.
        First day was at home. I ran my paed he admitted him.
        He didn’t eat for 2 days in hospital
        Was just on a drip. No milky drinks, nothing. He lost 4kg of weight.
        We were flown to our city’s children’s hospital where it was found he had an incredibly swollen esophagul, diagnosed withbGERD and DGR.
        So perhaps befor everyone posts their uneducated opinions we should we should consider that not all kids Re simply “fussy” and not all Mum’s give in and give them what they want.
        For my son, he wanted nothing.
        Doesn’t like sweet food, yoghurt, pudding, soft drink/pop, fruit
        He also has Sensory Processing Disorder.
        People need to understand what a disorder like this is like on a child.
        You eat a strawberry, it tickles your cheeks so bad it stings.
        For someone with SPD times that by 10 and some by 1000!
        That’s what it feels like.
        How do I know?
        I have sensory processing disorder now known as Sensory a Difficulties.
        Some tastes are incredibly overwhelming to our taste buds as is sound to our ears and brains.

        This is a poorly written article.
        First and foremost you need to work out if the child is a picky water ORA if they’re trying to exercise their authority and show Mum who’s boss!
        Those are often thrones where Mummy has a mini meltdown and gives the child what they want.
        It’s easy for some to judge but when you have a child with a disease like cystic fibrosis for instance they need a high fat, high calorie diet and they need carbs.
        Also kids need fat protein carbs to stimulate different parts of their brains.
        That quote is from our Dr who is head neuronat the State a Child Development Centre.
        Also ladies the writer does not state if she is a Paediatrician nor a Dietitian?
        Which is it? Who are we taking this sound advice from?

        Reply
        • I just love it when people read my articles and take absolutely no time to time to learn about me, when it’s so easy to do so (just click on the “about me” tab at the menu bar)! Before I reply to your comment, let me assure you that I am qualified, I am a registered pediatric nutritionist and work with parents and children full time.

          Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s my reply to your comment:

          It is clear to me that you are upset (to say the least), and honestly, if I were in your place I would be as well. In my private practice I see more and more children with allergies, eating disorders and eating eversions on a daily basis and have a feeling it has a lot to do with our diseased and contaminated food system, the quality of the ingredients and the vast amount of chemicals in our foods. Children in particular are very sensitive to such things and I believe it is our job as parents to ensure we work together to ensure our children have an access to clean foods free from chemicals, dyes, etc.
          In your case, however, there is a genetical problem which is responsible for your son’s struggle with food.

          Although I understand your issue is serious, very difficult, and stressful to cope with, this article was not intended for people with children with oral aversions, GERD or Esophageal atresia which are physical and/or genetic challenges preventing children from eating.

          This article was intended for parents who choose to feed their children with PediaSure without considering the low quality of the ingredients or the future implications of feeding children with a drink which is very high in sugar and refined fats simply because its easier to pop a bottle.

          Yes, children with cystic fibrosis do need a diet high in fat, protein & calories but the problem is that parents are often so concerned about calories that they allow these kids to eat fast food and junk food.
          Instead they should follow the following advice (this is a protocol developed by Dr. Weil who is a renown physician specializing in holistic and integrative medicine. Of course this is just a generic protocol, each case is different and should be addresses uniquely:

          * Decrease omega-6 fatty acids (most refined vegetable oils, such as safflower, sunflower, corn and sesame found in many snack foods). Check labels. Replace these oils with monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, expeller-pressed canola oil or grape seed oil.

          * Decrease saturated fats (red meat, dairy and coconut oil) and replace with ORGANIC soy-based foods and nuts (such as walnuts, cashews and almonds) which are easier to break down and digest.

          *Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids (wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, freshly ground flaxseeds, walnuts). Include a good quality fish oil in the diet.

          * Decrease consumption of refined and processed foods, especially products sweetened with high fructose corn syrup! Because these foods increase inflammation in the body which you want to avoid.

          *Emphasize carbohydrate foods on the low and mid levels of the glycemic index (chewy, sprouted grainy breads, beans, sweet potatoes, etc.). And also, include a good quality enzyme supplement and whole food based multivitamin which is high in antioxidants.

          With regards to using the term “picky eaters”, like you, I strongly believe that labeling is the first half of the problem and even blogged about it. You can read my article on this topic by following this link: https://healthbeginswithmom.com/there-is-no-such-thing-as-picky-eaters-only-pushy-parents/

          I wish you and your son best of luck and abundant health! Please feel free to comment and ask further questions if you have any, I’m here to help!

          Best,
          Dorit

          Reply
        • It’s simply a breakdown of the ingredient list, relax. Labels are shiney and often very misleading and as parents it’s our job to READ the SMALL PRINT! People need to quit looking at the nutrition label, stop looking for the calories and start looking for the CHEMICALS. Many disorders are a direct result of the garbage being cultivated, engineered, hydrogenated, over processed etc and being sold to the public as ‘food’ when there’s very little nutritional value at all. If it wasn’t around 100 years ago then it’s probably not as healthy as the corporations would have us believe. Just my 2 cents…

          Reply
        • Yup. A registered pediatric nutritionist who doesn’t know what a g-tube is and an advocate of alternative medicine, so clearly the article wasn’t biased against the sort of medicine we associate with saving lives and curing disease. It is painful to see the results of advice like this in real life, parents losing their kids to CPS because they thought they were doing the right thing after reading it online.

          Reply
          • what would you recommend as a replacement for a 10 week premature baby who has pancreatic insufficiency ?

    • I agree, I got so desperate as what to do after my son was admitted in hospital for drip feeding and dehydration. I didn’t know anything about pediacure and after even trying cerelac at 22 months old a friend in the usa told me about it and to me it was a welcome.
      As a single mother my child minder worried about caring. For my child and since I took so many days off, life was becaming difficult.
      This was a stepping stone and it lasted for about 3 months and now he eats everything
      It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, you assess what your situation is like.
      We r not all the same and this applies to our children

      Reply
      • Hi Leila, I totally agree with you! If parents intent on using PediaSure (or anything else similar to it) as a temporary food item, its not a big deal. The problem is that there are a lot of parents who are looking for easy ways out to feed their kids, relying without ever questioning on doctor’s advice (in most cases doctors know very little about nutrition to begin with), and PediaSure becomes their kids’ main source of calories for years! If your intention is to use it as a short term option go for it, and always keep in mind that weaning will most likely be an issue because this drink is sweet and kids tend to like it. However this is nothing that consistency and perseverance can’t fix, so good luck!

        Reply
    • This. I know that every single thing this author says is pure and true fact. With that being said, I have severely premature twin boys (born 11 weeks early) so they were already way way way “behind”. Due to medical complications, we couldnt start them on food within the normal age range to do so – meaning we missed that amazing window when tinies will try anything you give them! By the time they were steadily eating food, they were already speaking full on sentences and having opinions. At almost 5, neither of them have ever eaten a chicken nugget let alone any type of meat, beans, or anything else with protein. They get fruits and veggies via smoothies or pretty much not at all. Every once in a while a handful of french fries. They wont even eat stuff kids LOVE like pizza and mac n cheese. One wont eat a PBJ to save his life. They survive on empty carbd and sugar, and we supplement everything else. A pediasure has FAR less sugar in it than anything else they would voluntarily eat or drink. Because and only because of supplementation, they’re not severely underweight and malnourished. No, Pediasure alone isnt enough when it comes to supplementation. We see a nutritional therapist every 2 months and our supplement list is mind blowing. But pediasure IS a part of that process for us.

      That DOESNT make it ok for every kid, by any means, of course. It should be utilized in extreme situations only.

      (Weve tried the starvation method other moms recommend. The whole “theyll eat eventually”. No, they wont. Theyll not eat for DAAAAAAYS. We end up on the hospital in IV fluids and nutrition. If I was to try it again it should be considered as neglect. Their tummies are tiny, 2 bites of an apple and cracker would get them by for 3 days if I allowed it.)

      Reply
  2. This is an excellent article! Without being too judgmental, I forwarded it to my sister who gives this drink to her daughter twice a day, this is actually her school snack and she drinks it on her way back home from school! No wonder she doesn’t eat anything her mom serves. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Explain to her she was basically giving her daughter a can of soda and a Flintstones vitamin. Though I joke about this as half a Flintstones vitamin and a soda provides more nutrients than two Pediasures and the soda ofcourse has zero nutritional value. I am ofcourse not suggesting the vitamin in any way, just mentioning it in comparison.

      Reply
      • I’m sure her sister will appreciate the advice. Plenty of people enjoy hearing anecdotal folklore from relatives who are as judgemental as they are ignorant. While you are at it, let her know that school is for fools. You certainly turned out well enough without an education.

        Reply
  3. An advice for every reader: “The author knows close to nothing on food chemistry.”

    I own a BSc in Food Chemistry and some of her claims are false.

    For example: “it is followed by Corn Maltodextrin (GMO)”, Maltodextrin is a polycarbohydrate, not a fat.

    Sugar , such as “agave nectar, barley malt, beet sugar, brown rice syrup (aka rice syrup or rice malt), corn sweetener, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, dextran, fructose, galactose, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.” and finally Fiber are carbohydrates.
    BUT, and this is a huge BUT (please don’t laugh), not all carbs are digested the same.

    In fact, sugar is a dimer (Glucose-Frucose) and is easily digested by humans, but starch, and other complex polycarbohydrates are more difficult to digest. Some of them take more time to be digested, and some, like inuline (the sugar in agave nectar), can not be digested by humans; this last kind of carbs are commonly known as fibre.

    How fast these carbs are digested and absorbed by the body is what gave place to the “Glycemic Index (GI)”

    I will not go line by line, but this should be enough to support my argument. “The author knows close to nothing on food chemistry.”

    Reply
    • Hi Christine,

      Thank you for taking the time and proof read my article, I actually had to read it again and look where exactly I’ve indicated that Maltodextrin is a fat? It is clearly stated that “After sugar, it is followed by Corn Maltodextrin (GMO), which is used as a thickener in soft drinks, salad dressings and soups.” Where exactly did you see that it was referred to fat? The next sentence maybe? You might have been reading it very briefly, because the next sentence is a new sentence where I talk about fats which are the next ingredient after sugar.

      For the future, I think it would be wise for you to take a closer look at words and information before you are completely disqualifying people’s words or work. I’ve spent seven years of my life studying and learning the inside outs of food and I think it is just rude to claim whatever you claimed about me.

      Reply
      • What is the meaning of “GMO” in your context? My best guess is “Genetically Modified Oil “, is this true? why do you use it in brackets after “Corn Maltodextrins”. In deed, it is used as a thickening agent,but it is not a GMO.

        BTW, my name is Christian, not Christine.

        Reply
          • You should clearly state the meaning of GMO in your text and go deeper I’m the difference between carbs.

          • Hi Christian,
            It is easy to find fault (like all critics), but very difficult to do some original research and write an article which will be practically useful to mothers (& their children). I don’t know what your stance is. Are you supporting children drinking Pediasure (or other similar health/meal replacement drinks) ? If yes, I look forward to your scholarly article on the beneficial effects of Pediasure for picky eating children. It will be of great help to me to decide whether or not to go for pediasure for my grandson.

            Hi Dorit Palvanov,
            Thanks for the excellently written article. I look forward to more such useful articles from you.

          • Hi V_Rambo, thank you for the comment! I am thrilled that you found this article beneficial and informative! I am passionate about educating parents to make good and responsible choices for their families!

            You seem to be very involved in your grandson’s life in terms of food, that is awesome! Sometimes, we parents are so exhausted and busy and having someone to help out with a bit more research or advice is monumental!

          • The sugar content is a turn off entirely. You would be better off with a children’s vitamin in terms of nutrients than risking diabetes. Two Pediasures is about the sugar content of a can of soda. They are better than nothing but not better than a healthy diet.

            The sugar can make these habit forming for kids and they will actually ignore/refuse healthy foods in favor of the sugary Pediasure. It really depends on the strength of the caregiver not giving in. There are just too many better options. Their claim of helping kids grow means little as all children grow with a healthy diet, each at their own rate.

            That said, one here and there isn’t the end of the world, but some parents are irresponsible and this is all they give it to their kids up to 10 a day.

          • Yes I agree ShadowFalls! It’s not that parents are completely irresponsible, I just think they follow doctors advice blindly without even considering other better options. The problem is that doctors are (in most cases) clueless about nutrition and tend to recommend what is marketed to them as a “good” option.

          • Doctors recommend it because it is produced by a pharmaceutical company, who push this stuff with their reps. Their own commercials advertise it as a way for your kids to “grow” then simply mention weight gain. We all know what kind of weight they will be gaining, not the good kind.

            Their “charts” is the same kind of stuff as BMI which is not a proper reflection for every situation either. Muscle weighs more than fat, so most body builders are seen as obese on the BMI charts.

          • Yup exactly! That’s why I am such an advocate for educating and empowering parents about nutrition and also about how the medical system works, because at the end of the day you can’t really trust anybody… It’s unfortunate but yet reality

    • Thanks! It really becomes clear in the comment fields when she gets into alternative medicine and claims to be a pediatric nutritionist without knowing what a g-tube is. She doesn’t know the medical side either. People like her are convincing parents to feed their children bleach and avoid necessary vaccinations. Parents want to feel control over their child’s care, but you do that by improving as an advocate and educating yourself about medicine, not by seeking unproven alternatives. Some convoluted logic hasn’t convinced the readers here to forgo your toilet and poop oh the yard to avoid cancer, so why fall for this even more ridiculous shtick from someone with zero investment in your child’s care. You may not like your primary care physician, but that doctor is liable for the advice he/she gives. Blogs like this can convince you to hurt your child, and what does that matter to them?

      Reply
  4. Pediasure is nothing more than Ensure for children. Filth and garbage, at it’s worst. The supplements in this product are from sludge, coal tar, and reclaimed from waste treatment plants or worse. And, no wonder people get constipated with the Ferris Sulfate. The sugar sources are also from GMO corn, etc and will cause diabetes, cancer, learning disabilities, auto immune issues, gut issues, allergies, etc. This is not something you would want to put in anyone’s body, much less your beloved child. If you value your child’s health you will steer as far away from processed foods as possible, especially this filth.

    Reply
  5. Oooo my goodness my heart just sunk. My daughter has a very poor eating habit,so I give her pediasures. After reading this I think I’m going to throw all them away every last one I have. Ud think your child’s pediatrician would have recommended something that’s not harmful to your child,but that’s not the case. Grrrrrrrr I just wanna cry. I was wondering why my daughter was always constipated and always grabbed her tummy. Dr said it was her body getting use to it,but I think not after I read this. I’m not so good at making smoothies lol but ima do it for my baby.

    Reply
  6. Hi Shayna, first of all don’t freak out!! Being a mom is hard work and I totally hear how you feel towards your pediatrician, they should never recommend anything that is harmful for our children, but the reality is that the food industry is so messed up most doctors actually are not educated enough about nutrition, all they do is following the health guidelines instituted by the “health officials”, which are (unfortunately) dictated by large corporations such as Abbott.

    I agree with you that this is not how things should be! As moms we should be able to trust our health officials, and believe that they have the best intentions for our families, the reality is harsh and unjust, I get it!

    Here’s some positive light for you to ponder over… When you, the mother, take control over what your family eats and drinks including understanding ingredients and how they work inside the body, you not only feel empowered but also strong and confident that you are doing the best you can to help yourself and your family thrive! That’s the best feeling in the world!

    I speak from experience, believe me! I were in your shoes seven years ago, today I take doctor’s recommendations with a grain of salt (sea salt, not table salt LOL), and do my due diligence before following any advice.

    So you are on the right track! You’ve read the article, educated yourself, hopefully downloaded the recipes to make your shakes at home and from here on, just keep doing this again and again. You are more than welcome to join my tribe of moms who are passionate about learning how to feed their families healthy. I have a bunch of webinars for parents coming up, so make sure you are on my mailing list 🙂

    Let me know if there is anything I can help you with!

    Reply
  7. Hello,

    Your article was interesting and I certainly commend your effort.

    While I certainly agree that it is much more beneficial to make your own food/food supplement shakes for your children (and totally agree with your points about corn), I have to point out some misguided nutrition knowledge that you seem to have.

    You point out that ensure is 30% sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate, and children should have 45-65% of calories from carbohydrates. It’s best to get these from fruits and whole grains as to receive fiber and other nutrients, but table sugar, which you refer to, breaks down as glucose (needed fuel) all the same. Sugar (carbohydrate) is not an enemy, EXCESS sugar is the concern, and these formulas have strategically balanced amounts of carbs, fat, protein, along with needed other needed nutrients such as vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, you mentioned fat. According to my calculations, the percentage of fat was 33%. Fat should make up about 30% of calories, limiting saturated fats and trans fats. Hope this helped.

    Reply
  8. My lil man is tube fed and gets Peptide Pediasure 1.5 calorie, 145mls, 6xs a day. When asking his “nutrionist” about blended diets, she doesn’t see a need for them because this is nutritionally complete. He is now getting yeast infections and I have to wonder if all this pediasure is the cause. Frustrated!

    Reply
    • ohh sweetie, I can almost feel your pain through my screen! I can imagine how hard it is for you to feed your son through a tube and then deal with yeast infections. So frustrating!!
      I think you are thinking in the right direction, pediasure and yeast infections are most likely linked. Yeast feeds of off sugar and as you can read in the article there is lots of it in the drink!

      Reply
    • In an earlier post, the author started that she doesn’t know anything about tube feedings. She is not qualified to give you advice. Yeast infections can have many causes. Sugar is in everything, and a can of Pediasure has as much as an orange. We need it to live, so there is no eliminating it. Speak to your pediatrician.

      Reply
  9. Hello, Ms. Palvanov,
    I think I’ve learned just as much through the comments and your responses, as I have your actual article! First, thanks for using your knowledge to help people for free!
    Second, I am also a mother to an awesome Cystic Fibosis 4 year old, and a nutrition student. My son is completely tube fed, and the majority of his diet is Pedisasure 1.5. For a while now, I have been entertaining switching to a more natural blended diet versus the chemical makeup of Pediasure. His weight is fantastic, but I can only feel like I’m ultimately poisoning his body. To be honest, I’m quite intimidated about making the switch to blended. Cost, time, etc… making sure I have the right RDA’s and blends of vitamins, minerals, etc… Goodness, where do I start?!
    (For the record, yes, we have done feeding therapy. Although my son CAN eat, he just won’t.)
    What advice might you have for someone in my shoes? Do you know of any creditable resources, off the top of your head?
    Thank you so much for your time!

    Reply
    • Hi Holly, thanks so much for taking the time and read the article, comments and my responses! I can tell you are a worried mama in research mode 🙂
      I truly feel your pain and your desire to learn more and help your son, unfortunately I am not familiar with tube feeding and know very little about it. From the little I know I think the tight professional would be an occupational therapist specialising in pediatrics and eating disorders. Also, I think you should look into the psycho-spiritual aspect of the issue (i.e. why won’t he eat? Food represents life and if he doesn’t eat maybe there is something in his body that rejects food/life. See if you can find holistic practitioners who can help you with that. Also, have you tried seeing an integrative practitioner? Where are you from? Canada or USA?

      Reply
      • Hi Dorit,
        I am based in the U.S. We have a team of different types of specialists that we see every couple of months in his “CF Clinic”. They are all very pleased with his growth and weight, and are the ones who turned us towards the Pediasure. However, the nutritionist has been very helpful researching blended diets with me, of which I am appreciative. She is not very familiar with them either, and has not heard of many CF patients who are tube fed and on blended. So, I feel like we’re starting from scratch! We had been seeing an OT who did in fact specialize in pediatric feeding disorders, and we did see a bit of improvement there, but not enough to continue therapy. (We continue to do all the things we learned in OT from home.) He does eat a few bites of things each meal, but not enough to constitute any decent amount of calories. (And mostly salty/crunchy things, which I attribute this craving to his salt deficiency as a CF’er.) This refusal to eat has been the case since he was a newborn, for the most part. He was only a few months old when we finally gave in to his tube (and it has been the biggest blessing!) But I digress…
        I have yet to try any type of holistic, or psycho-spiritual approach, as that is just not really a “thing” in my state. I would not even begin to know how to track that down! What do you mean when you refer to an integrative practitioner?
        Thank you SO much for responding to me so quickly, and for reading my long-winded posts. 🙂 I know my thoughts are quite off topic from your original article!
        All in all, I firmly agree that Pediasure, especially long-term, is a dangerous alternative and can absolutely compromise health. For some kids, like mine, it can also be a temporary life-saver. I’m beyond grateful for alternative options! And I’m also grateful for folks like you who share their expertise online!
        All the best,
        Holly

        Reply
        • Hi Holly,
          Sorry for delay in replying, it’s been crazy busy here lately. An integrative physician is someone who integrates (hence the name) alternative methods of healing into their medical practice. It is definitely not the mainstream neither in Canada nor in the States that’s why you haven’t been exposed to it yet. One integrative doctor I can recommend is Dr. Aviva Romm (look her up on google), she’s been a tremendous resource in my private practice and I think you should reach out to her, just to see what she has to say about your issue. I wish I could help you further. Hope this helps 🙂

          Reply
    • My goodness, I hope you ended up talking this over with your gastroenterologist and primary. The advice you are receiving here can hospitalize your son or lead to a CPS report. Alternative medicine is for middle class people with more money than sense. Flee from its mere mention! That she claims to be a pediatric nutritionist but isn’t familiar with tube feedings, that right there raises red flags. Then, that she suggests an OT instead of a speach therapist as a segue into psych-spiritual new ageism – your alarm bells had to be ringing, right? There are parents feeding their kids bleach because of this alternative movement. I hope you didn’t derail your child’s care over this.

      Reply
  10. Hi.

    Thanks for your insights. Personally I still give Pediasure to my kids who were lacking appetite previously, and Pediasure actually works well for my kids and increases their appetite.

    Reply
  11. I like the article, but am concerned that your replacement recipe has soy. I had read that it has been pretty well established that soy that is not fermented serves to produce too much estrogen in our bodies. We already have too much estrogen that gets in us through food and exposure to plastics. I am going to try a smoothie with organic fruits and veggies for a little boost in my grandson’s nutrition!

    Reply
  12. Pediasure is for children who are malnourished or at risk for malnutrition and having a hard time growing at the proper rate. fructooligosaccharides are a prebiotic that promote gut health while cellulose is an insoluble fiber. Both of these fibers are found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Conolla and saflower oil are good sources of omega3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids which are essential for proper development. Whey protein isolate is in fact a highly bioavailable form of protein. It is much better for children to get nutrition from whole foods, and it is true that vitamins and minerals found in the matrix of whole foods are better absorbed and utilized compared to isolated vitamins. With that said this product may not be appropriate for just your everyday picky eater but may be very beneficial to a malnourished child who cant put on weight or for a child receiving tube feedings as this product could meet all protein, calorie, and nutrient needs.

    Reply
    • Yup, Laura I agree. I do still think, it is a good idea to try making meal replacement shakes at home, and not to depend solely on Pediasure. Every child is different, however, sometimes kids might surprise you with their food preferences.

      Reply
  13. I hear where you are coming from. When your child has a physical issue with swallowing food you don’t think twice, all you want is to help your child eat something at all cost. As an educated mom I am sure you know how to read labels and see that Pediasure’s ingredients are far from superb. So, I am curious, have you ever considered making your own meal replacement shakes, or have doctors/dieticians suggested you try making them yourself just as an alternative solution?

    Reply
  14. there is no such thing as a “growth curve” another invented bs problem that doesn’t exist. the miserable Big Pharma just want you to purchase enough Pedia Sure (2 cans per day for 2 months). let your child eat whatever he/she wants…they’ll be fine and everything will work out ok. the fact that should worry parents is the unbelievable amount of sugar in this product. you may as well just hand your child a spoon and a sugar bowl and tell ’em to have at it. kids go thru spells of “i don’t like this or i don’t want that” all the time.

    Reply
    • So, one Pediasure can has the same sugar content as 1 cup of orange. Eating an orange equates to a bowl of sugar? Projections for growth aid doctors in identifying underlying medical conditions and help social workers identify abuse and neglect. Maybe someday you will endure the sort of adversity that fosters a genuine sense of empathy in people and have something more worthwhile to contribute to life.

      Reply
  15. “despite all the detrimental effects of sugar”
    You mean, one of the three basic macronutrients? Sure, genius, that stuff’s poison.
    (The whole point of the product is to be high in calories. You know what gives stuff calories? In most cases, SUGAR.)

    Reply
    • Oh, boy. The big, bad scary GMOs. Wow, you really know what you’re talking about, don’t you?
      Seriously, why do people suddenly act like they know anything just because they had a kid?

      Reply
    • Science for the win! Then again, the author promotes alternative medicine, which is like getting hit by a car and then drinking a tincture distilled from that car to mend your bones. So, it’s not what works in real life, it’s what you want to work!

      Reply
  16. Respectfully disagree. My 15 month old son gets pediasure, on top of 3 meals a day. He rarely if ever turns food down, is far from constipated (he has rather healthy bowel movements in fact), has no known milk or lactose allergies (unlike his sister who has sensitivities to both lactose and soy), and yet still has difficulty gaining weight. Both from his pediatrician and the high risk nutritionist have we gotten the recommended use of the pediasure. We take it in 3 month intervals and reevaluate. He still has yet to even breach the 1st percentile in weight for the average male in his age range. Barely approaches the 3rd percentile in height. We have decided, with his pediatrician, that at 18 months if he has not shown an improvement to send him to a gastrointestinal specialist.

    I only point this out to say every child is different. Go ahead and shame parents as a whole, then pandering to them in comments that you understand their situation. Painting with broad brushes only makes you look bad. Are there lazy parents? Yes. Is every parent that gives their child pediasure lazy? No. Correlation does not equal causation.

    Reply
    • Christine, I am sorry you feel like this article is shaming parents as a whole, this was not my intention. And yes I agree that not all parents are lazy. We all do the best out of whatever is available for us. It is clear that your situation is very different, your son is not a picky eater but is literally struggling with growth and weight. It is totally your decision whether you go ahead with Pediasure or not, and I like that you reevaluate every three months, I still think you should try making some meal replacement shakes at home. It won’t hurt him for sure.

      Reply
    • “Pandering” is dead on. People with uncomplicated lives are always eager to tell those struggling in the trenches that they are doing it all wrong. They can’t imagine that the money and time you are investing in your child dwarves their own efforts as a parent. Good job parenting the right way, Christine.

      Reply
  17. And stay away from oranges! Because 1 cup of oranges equals 14 grams of sugar, the same as 8 fl of Pediasure. Only a willfully ignorant troglodyte wouldn’t acknowledge that our bodies need sugars to live. People like you doling out advice like this are why children end up without vaccinations and “picky eaters” are hospitalized for malnutrition. My goodness, look at what you’ve done to some of the children in these comments! You may have clown college qualifications, but this article should be cited as evidence that you are bad at your job. Do you know who oversees Pediasure intake prescribed by a gastroenterologist or ordered from a medical supply company? A pediatric nutritionist, much like you, except they apparently work for ‘the Man’ and big pharma, whereas your mom credentials apparently equate to a doctorate. The big difference between you and a PhD is liability. If your opinion were truly qualified and professional then you would be held accountable for it, and you would comprehend that genuine medical advice is personalized and carefully tailored. The ignorant doctors you mention are held to a higher standard than you. This sensationalist, shotgun, gossip column approach of yours to medical advice is an affront to the Hippocratic Oath and common decency. For you to usurp the relationship been patient and caregiver with this one-size fits all, mommy’s intuition trumps medical science blather is sickening and dangerous. One day, you will be culpable for someone’s death,but all you’ll ever know about it will be a post, like “Oooh no! I just threw away all of my kids pefiasute as soon as ir read this” written by an ill-informed single-mother of a child with a gj-tube desperate for some sense of control in her child’s care. That person will blame herself, not you. Whereas, anyone responsible in your field would have been a phone call away and a million times more aware of the patients situation. Do you not understand that some readers find your article because they are grasping at straws, self-diagnosing, or are even in situations where following your advice instead of a doctor’s orders could mean losing custody of a child to CPS or an ex-spouse. Are all of your clients affluent soccer moms? It’s not like you are the only one doing this, but having witnessed the end product of advice like yours within a demographic you’ve probably never met, I find it terrifying that your article came up first when searching for a legitimate medical question. You could be a better person than this and find your expertise better utilized volunteering in your community rather than blogging for profit. How dare judge you? Your article is a plea for intervention.

    Reply
  18. Oh my God! You know what I am worried about?! ALL THESE KIDS WITH ALLERGIES! ISN’T THAT THE LEAST BIT CONCERNING TO ANYONE?! I feel like I am standing at the edge of a pool, watching everyone in the pool drown but none of them realize that they’re drowning. I can’t save everyone so I stand there, shouting, hoping that they realize what’s going on. Do ANY of you actually care as to why so many children and adults now have allergies? NO ONE? REALLY? Think about it, do some research, it’s going to scare the dog crap out of you.

    Reply
  19. Even with the minimum recommended amount of honey in your recipe, it contains 33g of sugar, or 6.5 teaspoons. If you use 2 TBSP honey, the sugar goes up to 50g. Besides this, your recipe doesn’t contain the trace vitamins and minerals which Pediasure offers. You aren’t proposing a good alternative to Pediasure.

    Reply
    • Hi Tom, the honey I am talking about is raw-honey which is loaded with not only trace minerals and vitamins but also antioxidants, blood sugar regulator, immunity boosting properties and so much more! How can you even compare raw honey to sugar?? Children, not adults, should be consuming sugar on a regular basis, and with Pediasure the consumption becomes frequent as it is used to replace a meal. Something to think about…

      Reply
  20. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It will always be helpful to read through content from other authors and use a little something from their web sites.

    Reply
  21. You are so awesome! I don’t think I’ve truly read something like that before.
    So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this
    issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with
    a little originality!

    Reply

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