PediaSure SideKicks – Who Feeds This Stuff to Their Kids?

I saw a TV ad for PediaSure Sidekicks last night. I’m sure it’s been on a million times, but this time I really paid attention.

http://pediasure.com/kid-nutrition-products/sidekicks-commercial

Two moms were watching their kids play soccer on the field, and one mom says that her son is sluggish and maybe they shouldn’t have stopped off at the drive-thru before the game. He’s wearing a big French Fry costume, and the other mom says “Well kids are what they eat”

Then the Voiceover states:

Introducing great-tasting PediaSure SideKicks, from the #1 pediatrician recommended brand. With 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in every bottle.

I found the ingredients list for PediaSure Sidekicks, and it ain’t pretty. In fact, it would seem that the other child drinking this crap should be dressed as big lolipop because it’s loaded with sugar. It’s basically water, milk and sugar with some chemicals and other nasties. Soy oil? soy protein isolate? soy lecithin? Who said it was good to add these to a something a child drinks?

Here’s the list of ingredients for PediaSure Sidekicks vanilla:

WATER, SUGAR (SUCROSE), MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SOY OIL, SHORT-CHAIN FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE; LESS THAN 0.5% OF: CELLULOSE GEL, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT (SODIUM CHLORIDE), POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CELLULOSE GUM, CALCIUM CARBONATE, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, ASCORBIC ACID, CARRAGEENAN, SOY LECITHIN, MONOGLYCERIDES, m-INOSITOL, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, TAURINE, FERROUS SULFATE, dl-ALPHA-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, L-CARNITINE, ZINC SULFATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, NIACINAMIDE, MANGANESE SULFATE, THIAMIN CHLORIDE HYDROCHLORIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, CUPRIC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, BIOTIN, POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM SELENATE, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, PHYLLOQUINONE, VITAMIN D3, AND CYANOCOBALAMIN.

Since when is it better to drink a meal instead of actually EATING a meal? How about some natural yogurt along with some scrambled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal. Hmm no, let’s just open up an 8 oz bottle of sugary milk instead. No, don’t worry, your kid won’t become obese later in life? Or get diabetes or heart disease! Ha. Makes me sick!

Edited to add actual nutritional data from their web site: (I mistakenly posted the nutritional data for Pediasure, not the “Sidekicks” – I’m sorry for any confusion this error might have caused. The nutritional data is now correct.)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 bottle (8 fl oz)
Servings 1
Calories 150
Calories from Fat 45
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: <5mg <2%
Sodium: 90mg 4%
Potassium: 390mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate: 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugars: 17g
Protein: 7g 14%
Vitamin A 10% • Vitamin C 40% • Calcium 25% • Iron 15% • Vitamin D 40% • Vitamin E 20% • Vitamin K 20% • Thiamin 40% • Riboflavin 30% • Niacin 10% • Vitamin B6 30% • Folate 15% • Vitamin B12 25% • Biotin 15% • Pantothenic Acid 25% • Phosphorus 20% • Iodine 15% • Magnesium 10% • Zinc 10% • Selenium 10% • Copper 10% • Manganese 20% • Chromium 10% • Molybdenum 10% • Chloride 8% • Choline 15%

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147 Responses to PediaSure SideKicks – Who Feeds This Stuff to Their Kids?

  1. Diane says:

    The same thing ran through my mind, the ingredients are a mile long, and sugar sugar sugar!!!!

  2. Ted says:

    Ha no doubt! Saw the commercial the other day. Soon as I paid attention, I knew I smelled something rotten. Where did you get the ingredient list from? I could not find them on the Pediasure website, they seemed to be conspicuously absent! Of course they have all the so-called “nutritional info” which is always a load of crap. So all any of these big food corporations has to do is load a whole bunch of these lab-produced chemicals into the product to mimic real vitamins and minerals and someone buys it thinking they are doing their body good? They can keep it.

  3. Hey Ted and Diane, thanks for your comments!

    Ted, I found the ingredients on their web site. It’s under the nutritional data.

    I still can’t believe kids are being fed this stuff, and worse, no one is reading the labels!!!!

  4. Jael says:

    I agree. My first child is on the small side and the pediatrician recommended Pediasure. The second ingredient is SUGAR. Most of the other ingredients are created in a LAB.I informed her I would NOT be feeding it to my child, and I found other higher calorie HEALTHY alternatives made from WHOLE FOODS to help my child gain weight (natural peanut butter, avocados, coconut oil, olive oils ) Sure, your kid may get “nutrients” from it and gain weight if they are small, but will be at risk for being obese later on in life, plus they will develop a preference for sugary foods, a formula for disaster.

    There are plenty of ways to get healthy nutrients into your kids. Olive oil and coconut oil are healthy sources of fat, nuts are a healthy source of protein. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to cook healthy foods and snacks for your family.

    If people would just make the time to cook simple and healthy meals for their family, instead of buying prepackaged and processed junk pushed by advertising, children and adults would be a lot healthier.

  5. Hello Jael, thank you for your comment.
    It amazes me how little doctors know about nutrition. But I guess they can’t know everything! LOL

    Your “healthy alternatives” are such great choices. I’m so happy to hear that you are raising your kid(s) naturally! It’s the only way we can save our country from the obesity and disease we are facing now.

  6. chewbie says:

    Hurray for Pediasure, it’s a goal-maker. It can’t be cheap either. In a rush to the game? Drink a glass of milk, then have half of a wheat bagel on the road. Hydrate with water (not sugar) before and during the game. Leave Pediasure on the shelves.

  7. Hurray for water!!!! Why don’t more parents think of that!? ha!

    Thanks for your reply, chewbie!!!

  8. Noa Ballerina says:

    PediaSure is not for everyone — you’ve got that right! But don’t dismiss it right away.

    It’s great for someone like me — a pre-professional ballet dancer trying to lose weight while recovering from an eating disorder (anorexia and binge-eating).

    I have real trouble eating during the day when I have ballet — I cannot get in all the food I need from actual food. I really, really can’t.

    Now, I know nutrition. I am a nutrition major in college studying to be a registered dietitian. I am actually seeing a dietitian to help me with this. The rest of my diet is very, very healthy.

    Sometimes you just need a supplement; no one’s diet can be perfect, especially a kid’s diet.

  9. dee smith says:

    The pediasure is total junk and i just spent an hour trying to find the carefully hidden list of ingredients on the web . They truly hide that info because they know what junk it is. I think balerina is a plant by the makers of pediasure to make us think that the product is healthy for some individuals. Beware everyone!!

  10. Noa Ballerina says:

    Nooo, I’m not lol. Although reading back, my post does sound like it.

    I just think it’s funny that people get so worked up over this stuff before they start to think about the overall picture. Of COURSE real food is better — but sometimes it comes down to a set of choices you have to make in which you need to choose the lesser of the evils.

  11. worked up? Yeah, I get worked up when parents blindly believe doctors and nutritionists when they suggest this crap.

    And sorry, I have studied nutrition on and off for years myself, and there is no way on earth you could convince me that this is anything but unhealthy.

    They give it to ill patients in nursing homes too! Makes me crazy!!!

    And you do not have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils. How about the better of two goods?

    You just have to decide that your health is more important than anything else. It’s an easy choice for me, but I realize that some people don’t have the same priorities.

  12. Hey Dee, thanks for your comment! On their web site, you can click an individual bottle, and it should display the ingredients as well as the nutritional data. They do make it a little more difficult to figure out though.

    I just added the actual nutritional data to my post as well. 16 grams of sugar in an 8oz serving is deplorable! One tsp of sugar = 4g of sugar. So, that means that there are 4 tsp of sugar in one cup of this toxic crap! I find that to be totally unacceptable.

    What’s the difference between this vs a multi-vitamin washed down with a glass of soda?? Sickening!

  13. Katie says:

    ok so what if you cook your child a nutritional breakfast and they wil not eat it ? or if they do only a small amount??? what would you suggest?

  14. Katie, I don’t have an answer for you, but I would think you could find many more tips and tricks for feeding picky kids on other websites.

    Jessica Seinfeld’s cook book and web site has some good advice.

    Good luck! And I hope you can eventually stop serving your child this stuff!

  15. granolagirl says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s astounding how gullible some parents are about nutrition and it’s a shame this company is making money selling crap to kids.

  16. Dave says:

    @ Katie:
    The important thing to remember is KIDS WILL NOT STARVE THEMSELVES! Just continue to provide the healthy alternatives and they will eventually, when they get hungry enough, eat something. And contrary to the view presented by the companies pushing “nutritional supplements” for children/toddlers, children are actually quite good at self regulating the nutrients they need. Supplements are not necessary.

  17. Dave says:

    (Sorry about this second comment, I just realized I forgot to check the box to get email followups)

  18. Chris says:

    My now four year daughter use to eat until she was diagnosed with celiac disease at age two and the doctor put her on pedia-sure. Now she wakes up in the night and wants this crap. It makes her hyper and i water it down. I can’t get her to eat anything but the vanilla pedia-sure and it is very suspicious how they hide the data. There is something in this junk that is addicting, I can’t get this child off of it, she refuses to eat. I wish I never would have put her on it. Any ideas on how to wean this child off of this garbage?

  19. @ chris, I am so sorry that you are having such a difficult time. Unfortunately most doctors don’t know much about nutrition, they only know what the big pharma and big food tell them!

    I have a feeling it’s the sugar that is so addictive to your daughter. The only advice I have is to maybe browse some of the gluten free web sites and see if there is something you can try. Perhaps there is a recipe for something sweet like a muffin that you can start off with more sugar, and with every new batch, reduce the sugar content lower and lower.

    You might also try to find a registered dietitian that is experienced with gluten free and children.

    I wish you luck.

  20. Anne says:

    I believe this to be the problem with the media and the way people in general are oblivious to the fact that doctors do not know everything. People are driven to buy this project because it is #1 Pediatrician recommended. How about #1 Dietitian recommended? Because I am sure you won’t see that endorsement on this product. Water and sugar as the two primary ingredients…not what I would feed my child. We need to stop being lazy, stop letting our kids run our decisions, stop skipping breakfast as parents, and sit down and eat a healthy meal to show them how to grow up the right way. Proper nutrition takes time and effort, as it should, because the benefits are exponential!

  21. Amen, Anne! I agree with everything in your comment, especially about the doctors. It’s also our government’s fault for allowing food companies to actually produce this stuff and call it good for kids!

  22. Dave C. says:

    If it ain’t pretty hide it! I saw the sidekick commercial for the first time just now and I know what this crap had in it. I have used adult versions of similiar products myself before I realized what was going on. I wanted to see the ingredient information. I went to every website listed for Sidekick. Guess what, only the good ingredients were listed. Nowhere was sugar mentioned.
    Thanks for putting the ingredient list on your website. Complete ingredient information is required on the product label listing the ingredients in order of the highest content first on down. If a commercial mentions a product’s nutrient value then the major ingredients should have to be mentioned in the same order as on the product label especially for children’s product.

  23. Liz says:

    You guys can all say whatever you want. I have my child’s best interest at heart and when he suddenly developed a milk allergy and then wouldn’t eat anything, those pediasure sidekicks kept him from becoming dehydrated and getting sick. He drank a few a day and he is now 5 years old and healthy as an ox and that was 2 years ago. I am not one of those people that is a sheep and follows the crowd, but I also know my child and what I believe is best for him regardless of what a doctor or pediatrician says. But I’m not going to become obsessed with all natural foods (which happen to break my wallet since I’m not rich), organic produce (with the same issue as the last one), and worry about ingredients of everything we eat. We aren’t sickly people, we do eat fast food at times, and we do eat junk food but we also eat 3 meals a day. We aren’t obese or even over weight and we are rarely sick (unless you count allergies from these trees here in the state we live in that we’ve never had problems with before we moved here). So while I think feeding those to your children on a constant basis may be counterproductive, I think it dire circumstances like mine or as an extra boost before games for kids, they aren’t bad. But that could go for anything. You can actually die from drinking too much water….too much of anything is bad. Its about moderation.

  24. Leesa says:

    Do you folks get up every day with the goal of complaining even more about something so silly as this? If you don’t think its good for your kid, then don’t give it to them, but who are you to be critical of parents who do? My 9 year old daughter is a cross country runner. She’s held the top three county titles and has competed in 5K street races. She is as healthy as a horse, almost no body fat. I as a parent constantly looking for ways to supplement the weight she loses from running, have at occassion allowed her to drink PediaSure Sidekicks, as well as smoothies and protein shakes. I think its disgusting that like a group of kackling hens, you have nothing better to do then sit here on a computer complaining about other parents and being so judgmental. $5.00 you’re probably overweight yourself. You may want to take my daughter’s example and get out and do a little running, and instead of running your mouths on a blog. Good lord…

    Get a hobby !

  25. Some of us don’t think this is silly, Leesa. And look who’s being judgmental?

    I’m assuming that you found my site while searching for “pediasure”, maybe looking for reviews, perhaps because you were concerned with the quality of ingredients? I really hope you take more time to really look into this product and the dangers of other processed foods like it.

    Don’t take my word for it, there are tons of sites out there promoting “real” food. If you’d like examples, I’d be happy to list some links. Maybe you and your family could sit down and watch the movie “Food Inc” or “supersize me”

    And for the record, no I’m not overweight, far from it, actually.

    And I do have a “hobby” – It’s getting the word out about how important whole, unprocessed food is for our bodies. Sorry if you find that to be so disgusting, but hopefully someday you will change your mind. Good luck.

  26. FloridaMom says:

    I recently started giving my daughter pediasure as a supplement to her normal food. A huge believer in natural food, I was hesitant to give this to her however as she is almost 10 and weighs under 50lbs even with frequent high fat, nutritious snacks, I finally gave in. Perhaps before judging parents for giving this to their child, you should learn more about why they may need to do so. My daughter has GERD and has to take 150mg of Zantac twice a day to relieve her pain. Sometimes, pediasure is the only way I can get her to take in more calories. I certainly would love for my child not to need those “lab” created calories but unfortunately some of us cannot avoid it.

  27. Floridamom, there are plenty of natural alternatives to try before resorting to Pediasure.

    As Jael mentioned in a previous comment, foods like avocado, coconut oil/butter, whole yogurt, & nut butters, just to name a few, are high calorie/fat, healthy foods.

    I’m sorry, but I truly believe there is no reason to give this to any child.

  28. John says:

    Debbie, you may make a good point, but your nutrition facts are incorrect. Your ingredients list could be wrong as well, though I haven’t checked that. Also, Anne says she would not feed her child water, and you agreed with her. Sure, there are better things to feed your child, but there always are.

    By the way, “Supersize Me” was a ridiculous farce. Anyone who bought into it, and further promotes it, should be ashamed.

  29. John, I apologize. I checked, and the nutritional facts were originally from regular Pediasure, not Sidekicks. The info has been corrected.

    As for Anne’s comment, where does it say that she doesn’t feed her child “water”? It’s “water and sugar” – which is what I agreed with.

    And I’d love to see any valid links stated that Supersize Me was a farce. Sure, it might be a bit exaggerated, but isn’t that what the food industry does every day? Like convincing parents that feeding children sugar will make them play sports better.

  30. Dave C. says:

    The basic problem has nothing to do with Sidekick per say. Use it or don’t us it. If you feel it works for your children use it.

    In her original blog debbie @That’s Just Me was objecting to the fact that the commercial did not mention sugar. The ad is misleading when it list only “7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in every bottle”. It leads the consumer to think that Sidekick is a “health drink”.

    If the commercial had said “it has lots of sugar and protein and fiber” then parents would be alerted that this is a sugary drink in addition to having lots of protein and fiber. Parents can choice based on information that they should know about in making their decision about using Sidekick.

    Why did the producers leave out the fact that Sidekick contains 17g of sugar per bottle? (Each 8oz. bottle contains 7g of protein and 3g of fiber.
    That is a total of10g as compared to nearly twice that amount of sugar.)

    I have two children who are allergic to milk. So knowing that Sidekick contains MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE as stated on the ingredients label might have me calling my allergist or pediatrician before giving them any Sidekick. Liz found that her child could drink Sidekick with no problem.

    Debbie got off track from the main message that the commercial was misleading. Reread her original blog and leave out the two sentence that contain the “dressed as big lollipop” and the crack about “Who said it was good….”. I fell that all of the comments and bickering about what parents do or should not do add anything to the discussion.

    We need truth in advertising when it affects our kids. Who wants to argue with me about that?

  31. Monica says:

    Hi,

    I am one of those people who got here looking for answers on whether it was good to give Pediasure to my kid or not. I am a strong believer that every case is different, so we shouldn’t jump into judging so fast. However, having all these different opinions is what make people consider both sides of the story and get their own conclusions depending on their needs. So, I am really thankful people take the time to write things like this, especially when it’s about our kids we are concerned.

    I give my kid Pediasure once in a while. I think maybe “becoming addicted” is too strong, but it is true once they try it, they want it badly. My son is 2 1/2 years old and I have to hide the bottles in the fridge or he will see them and really want one. It takes one minute for him to drink the whole bottle. I was concerned about the amount of sugar and the long list of ingredients and as I am not a specialist, it does sound terrible. I give it to him because sometimes I can’t get him to eat any protein or protein alternatives. I’ve tried peanut butter, avocado, eggs, tofu, you name it. In my case, I give him one bottle once in a while if it’s been a couple of days since he hasn’t eaten a lot of proteins and that’s it.

    My son suffered from reflux and had a mild intolerance to lactose when he was a baby. I had to feed him with soy formula and then I tried regular milk again and again and fortunately he outgrew it, but it was very difficult for me to get him to eat well later on. I understand how frustrating it can be for a parent trying a lot of things without success. I think Pediasure is a good alternative if, as with everything, you do it wisely. You wouldn’t give your child french fries and ice cream every day. Little by little you can find other solutions, but in the meantime you have to do something. Children change, even if it is because of medical reasons. I am now able to give my son a little peanut butter in the morning, I put a dash of Silk chocolate soy milk in his milk to make him drink it, I hide a little tofu here and there and with the little poultry/meat, etc. he eats elsewhere I think we are good.

    I haven’t seen the TV commercial, but as you describe it, it does sound like a smart drink commercial for kids. Wow…

    It is the advertising I consider misleading. We, as parents, have to do our research to decide what’s best for our kids.

    Good luck

  32. angela says:

    Hello everyone
    I wanted to write and say my daughter is 3 years old and from the time she was born was not interested in eating or drinking she had to be on a special formula and never ate baby food. She has been on pediasure for 2 years and I agree it is not good for your child in the since of what is all in there but for children who do not eat a thing and are trying to survive life without a feeding tube this has saved my childs life. We have tried everything and this is the only thing that has kept our child from a feeding tube and failure to thrive.My child comes first in my life and I have done everything oin my power to make the right decisions as to what is best for my child. My child has a lot medical issues and needs this stuff I have tried other alternatives and none of them keep her at the right weight or she will not take. Before you judge mothers for putting their child on this you may want to educate yourself as to medical conditions that need this. I apologize if their is any typos in this but I am not on the computer that much becasue I am spending time with my daughter and not worrying about judging everyobody elses parenting. Maybe if you spent more time with your kids instead of on here posting you may not have time to judge other people
    Have a great day :)

  33. BlenderDad says:

    geez louise. buy a blender. buy some fruit. buy some yogurt. buy some milk or milk-like product. dump in blender. press button. pour in drinking container of choice. it aint that hard.

  34. Becky says:

    I know everyone keeps talking about the sugar content being bad, which it is, but did anyone happen to find out what sodium selenate is? My husband researched it and found out that it’s a highly toxic chemical that can lead to cancer and Alzheimers. After reading that, we quickly disposed of the rest of the bottles we had left.

  35. Susan says:

    You might get your point across more effectively if you stopped being so condescending to your readers.

    Pediasure is not optimal nutrition. The parents who use it are not some cartoon villains twirling their wicked mustaches at their children’s dietary misfortune. They are doing the best they can/know how. If your goal is to educate, you are failing by insulting them. If it is to shame and humiliate, job well done.

  36. Thanks for your comment, Susan and you are right. I probably shouldn’t have been so mean when I wrote my post. Truthfully, when I did write it (18 months ago), I was thinking out loud and never imagined that there would be so many people reading it.

    But it’s getting people talking and maybe even rethinking their choice to give this product to their children. If I hurt a few feelings in the process, I am sorry.

  37. Stephanie says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned a healthy smoothie as an alternative. Frozen bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Add some milk (or a non dairy alternative), some ground flax for fiber and healthy fats, and throw in some healthy greens such as kale or broccoli. You don’t taste the greens at all, and if you add a some unsweetened cocoa powder it will entice kids even more. Packed with nutrients, protein, fiber, all natural, and with a taste children will like without all the processed crap. It takes 2 minutes to make this, so busy moms can’t use time as an excuse. If your child deals with stomach issues use frozen banana and mango and add some fresh ginger which aids in digestion and upset stomach.

  38. keri says:

    I have to disagree with an earlier post, some children will starve. This isn’t for everyone. However having a child who was tube fed because they nearly died at birth and lived in the hospital the first 5 months of their lives this stuff helps.
    This is great stuff while my child receives feeding therapy to gain better control of his mouth to eat more solids. It’s not for everyone but please don’t look down on those who use it. You may never know the real reason.

  39. I am truly sorry for your child’s illness, but it really confuses (and saddens) me that so many people think that this is the only answer. What on earth did we do before Big Corporations started making all these processed “convenience” food products?

  40. Oscar says:

    This is shocking to hear, my grandson goes to bed and wakes up demanding this concoction there are some days when he wants up to four bottles a day. I noticed that he is more hyper than ever. I’m starting to offer him small meals, fruit, nuts, …a concerned grandpa. :-(

  41. Oscar, good luck! It might take him some time, but I know you will get there. Just stay strong!

  42. naomi says:

    I begun giving my 6 year old son pediasure to compliment his severely picky pallet. The kid refuses to eat normal healthy thing that the rest of my family eats. It’s sad and unfortunate but I looked into many options and I was referred to this product by a nutritionist. I am currently rethinking my choice because twice now we have ran out and in between times I came to the conclusion that this product is related to my son’s behavioral issues. When I stop giving them to him his behavior is 100% better. I am not blaming the product but there is a correlation so I have stopped giving him pediasure in hopes to see if there is any further change. For us this wasn’t about lazy or not enough time but nutritional benefits for our scrawny picky son. We will see what the future holds. Keeping a behavior journal to determine the pros and cons and to come to some sort of conclusion.

  43. Tonya says:

    I have a child that has Cystic Fibrosis & has bee
    Drinking Pediasure since he was very little. I know how horrid it is but have been unable to get him to eat/drink anything else to get in the calories to maintain his weight. I know that he is addicted to the sugar & won’t eat much at all. Any suggestions would be great. The rest of us eat all organic whole foods.

  44. Hello Tonya,

    There are some good suggestions listed in the previous comments here, but I also would also suggest finding a good “registered dietitian” (NOT a “nutritionist”), one that is versed in natural whole foods.

    It is probably going to be a long, slow process to reduce his dependence to sugar, but maybe the dietitian can help with a schedule of how to go about doing this safely.

    Just like other addictions, there is a physical dependency to sugar, so withdrawal can cause headaches, mood-swings, etc.

    Good luck, Tonya. I hope you can eventually get your son into a more healthy eating habit. :)

  45. Cassie says:

    I agree with this post. I can see how it was viewed as judgmental, but at the same time, parents who are defending Pediasure or it’s like options honestly think they’re doing the right thing for their kid. I mean, we all just want what’s best.

    But I agree with the above comment, “What did we do before Pediasure?” Exactly. People have lived for thousands of years before supplements came around. I just try to do the best I can with all my kids. And also, try to leave my opinions to myself when it comes to parenting ;)

  46. Ludo says:

    I’m surprised that I got all the way through these comments and no one has stated the obvious: this isn’t Pediasure we’re talking about, it’s Pediasure Sidekicks. Pediasure is a totally appropriate (although maybe not ideal/healthy/the best) nutritional supplement for children who have failure to thrive, cystic fibrosis, and other medical needs. Pediasure sidekicks was designed for and advertised as a drink appropriate for all kids. It is advertised as good all-around nutrition for normal kids. This is what’s inappropriate.

    Your average soccer-playing child does not need Pediasure Sidekicks any more than they need a can of soda. Picky kids don’t need it either. Pickiness is a natural (although frustrating) response to children’s metabolisms slowing down after growth spurts. If offered a variety of healthy, normal foods, they will eventually get over it and eat. Children with medical issues might not, but again, they would be prescribed Pediasure by their doctors, not induced to buy Sidekicks by a flashy, misleading commercial.

    And Cassie, before Pediasure, feeding tubes and even infant formula, many, many children died. That’s what we “did.” Infant and child mortality rates in areas where supplements are not available are shockingly high. And if your child had a severe medical problem that prevented them from eating food, you would be glad that we have invented Pediasure too. That still doesn’t excuse this commercial though.

  47. mom says:

    I have been considering pediasure or ensure for my boys because their medicine causes the to eat very little. I found Silk fruit and protein juice blend, and we have been using that in the mornings, calling it a smoothie. Any thoughts? I am now convinced pediasure is not the answer. Is ensure better or what I am already using?

  48. Hello Mom, I’m so glad you are trying to find good answers for your family. I’m not an expert, so please take my advice as just my opinion. But that said, I am not a fan of Silk products (owned by Dean Foods) – the fruit and protein drink you are questioning is loaded with sugar (24g in 1 cup) and GMO soy (for protein). Personally, I wouldn’t call that very healthy.

    Here is the list of ingredients:
    All Natural Soybase (Filtered Water, Soy Flour), Filtered Water, Juice Blend (Filtered Water, Pear, Apple, Raspberry and Blueberry Juices from Concentrates), All Natural Evaporated Cane Juice, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Calcium Lactate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Colors from Fruits and Vegetables, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Gellan Gum, Vitamin D2.

    And as for Ensure, that stuff could possibly be even worse than Pediasure. But they are both manufactured by the same lab, err company, so basically there’s not much difference as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m not a fan of manufactured proteins, like whey powders, etc, but if it’s necessary, maybe try making your own smoothie with bananas, coconut butter, yogurt, fruits and maybe if you feel it’s needed, an organic whey powder. There are even pea protein powders, but I have no idea how they taste.

    Good luck, mom!!!

  49. Justin C says:

    I just have one question, why are so many people against things that are made in labs? If they prove to be better than “natural” or “whole” foods or ingredients, why don’t we embrace them, instead of vilifying them because they weren’t grown in nature? Serious question, would like some thoughtful responses.

  50. Justin, who has proved that food created in a lab is better than natural whole foods?

    Example: Isolating Vitamin C out of an orange is NOT equal to the vitamin C in an actual orange, eaten as a whole fruit. There are millions of teenie tiny micro-nutrients all working together, making more well-known nutrients like Vitamin C work better.

    Big food and pharmaceutical companies want you to believe that what they are doing is better. But food and nutrients created in a lab are created to make more profit for the big corporations, not for the benefit of humans.

  51. n says:

    Not a parent..but just saw a commercial for this and had to indulge my suspicions. Yep..water, milk product, and sugar, with soy (yikes), mixed with a cocktail of synthetic chemicals..Horrendous to think of parents that wouldn’t know any better. Even worse if a doctor recommends it..unless (big maybe) it’s an extreme case. But hopefully the majority does not give this to normal kids (ones that are able to eat normal food).

  52. Mom says:

    The Silk I use actually says no GMOs… and natural cane sugar. Am I to believe that or what Debbie had to say? It is so hard to make healthful choices for my children:/ Everything seems to have its downs. It would be unrealistic and too expensive for me to do it with fresh fruit.

  53. I stand corrected, Mom. I wasn’t aware that Silk stated that they were GMO free, and I apologize.

    But on the other hand, Silk states that they are part of the No-GMO project, but their parent company “Dean Foods” has donated big money to stop Prop 37, which would require labels to list GMO ingredients in California. That’s why I don’t trust the supposed “little” food companies like Silk who have big money backing them from huge corporations.

    Here’s a link to the article if you are interested in reading more: http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/08/prop37/

    You might consider a true small company like Pacific foods, which offers a lot of soy, grain and nut milk drinks. Or just find a recipe online to make your own coconut, oat or almond milk. I think you can even make your own soy milk. There’s a lot you can do on your own, homemade, with a blender. I can give you links if you are interested.

    And again, I’m sorry for the error in stating that they used GMO soy.

  54. Mom says:

    That’s fine:) I understand with all that you said, why you don’t trust them. I am a skeptic by nature and it truly wouldn’t surprise me of any company if the labeling were misleading. I just wish there were something healthy, wholesome, convenient, and affordable. It’s a disgrace that it is so difficult to make healthful choices for your family.

  55. Brooke says:

    My daughter is a toddler and refuses to eat healthier foods. Its been a struggle and I have tried everything. I cannot force her at this age because she doesnt really understand yet. I am and will always continue to try and feed her healthier foods. I am going to try giving her this tomorrow, aside from the majority of negative comments.

  56. Me says:

    i don’t know why it’s pediatrician recommended. my daughter has always been so tiny, so her doctor put her on pediasure, but when i read the ingredients, I see how it will make her gain weight, but i’d prefer more fresh raw foods.

  57. gift says:

    I have a 3 yr old and a 12 months old. They are picky eaters but they stii eat verges and fruits. I have been seeing different physician and asking about giving my kids pediasure and none of them would recommend it.so it got me confused about the pediasure being pediatrician recommended

  58. Erin says:

    If you want to know the ingredients you can go to the store and look on the bottle – who cares if it’s not listed online.

  59. Erin, Not sure who your comment is directed at, but the ingredients ARE listed online, as well they should be.

    Sometimes when the list of ingredients is a mile long, the font is extremely tiny and difficult to read on the bottle. It’s helpful to find ingredients online where it’s a lot easier to read.

  60. c mag says:

    I recently bought this for my son who has been sick and losing weight. He ofcourse won’t drink this, but my other healthy 4 year old son got a hold of one and LOVES it. So I wanted to check and see how healthy these drinks really are. Thanks for all the information…I just threw out what I had left. For the past couple days my 4 year old has been begging me for these!! Must be all the sugar. He’s going to be disappointed when he comes home and finds them all gone. :)

  61. Anon says:

    When our 2 year old foster daughter came to live with us, she had been used to drinking these all day. She called it her “juice”. She really was addicted! She would drink one in 30 seconds and still want more. Then her behavior would go crazy! This is bad stuff!

  62. Daniel says:

    Out doctor told us to give it to our 1 year old daughter because she was “small”. I mean me and her mother are naturally petite people and our daughter isn’t small of any concern she’s just a little bit small, but healthy. So after awhile I started questioning the pediasure and looked at the ingredients and I was horrifyied! Sugar sugar! It’s like a milk shake and our doctor wants us to give her it in every bottle! Well we ended up stop giving it to her. I was actually going to drink all the left overs for a “protein” drink, but I figured it’s probably not that healthy so needless to say we have a lot of pediasure left over.

  63. Thanks for your comments, Daniel. I don’t understand some doctors. For some reason, doctors think babies/toddlers need to be pudgy or something. My grand-neice is beautiful, she has great muscle-tone, and she’s slender. The doctor seems to think she’s underweight. It’s crazy!

    Good luck with your baby!

  64. Rose says:

    My kid is thin. He used to be at @90%growth in height and weight. After we started put him on solids, his growth in weight just stopped. Now he is like 30%. He is growing taller. Now he is 2 yrs 3 months. He talks. He is active. Everything is fine except it comes to the part of eating.My point is when a kid is a picky eater. That is it. as a parent you are done. No matter what you cook or no matter what you try. they just do not eat. My kid never eats anything related with sugar. Literally anything. no cookies, no choclates, no cakes, no ice creams, no donuts, no milk shakes. and he does not eat anything that sticks inside of his mouth like cheese. so he does not eat pizza. I think kids do need a lot of sugar and fat. I honestly did not try this pediasure, because my husband does not want to put him on pediasure. He eats only rice.Literally rice. and whole milk. he eats strawberrys apples etc but Kids do need sugar and fat. These are the ones that make their brain active and grasp things. I think Pediasure is for the kids like my kid. I would rather give pediasure than give him some vitamin drops.

  65. Kelli says:

    I agree with Liz to use in moderation. My children was diagnosed with EE and has many food allergies ( corn, peanuts, wheat ) she has chronic vomiting and has been this way for 2 years and constantly losing weight. So anything to keep my child healthy.

  66. zy's mommy says:

    I think you all are being tooo damn judgemental about this whole topic of discussion I say its good that you all are trying to educate, but ithink you should’ve gathered way more info before postipng your blog instead os siting on your couch gathering info from a commercial….I think PEDIASURE is a damn good product to use in moderation, of course like anything else I have a one yr. Old who ranks in the 95th percentile growth and height but like any child he has days that he dnt want to eat, i turn to pedia sure on those days,in adition to. his regular multi vitamins EVERYDAY.
    daily basisdaily basis..like all of yu on here. ionly want the best for my child and as a first
    time mom I’m doing wat I feel is best# NOBODY’S perfect, but EVERYBODY’S entitled to THEIR “opinion” with that being said you all shouldn’t be judgmental, instead you should be open minded because you never kno if your child’s life will depend on pediasure((thank god mines isnt)) guess what im trying to say is never say NEVER!!!

  67. Rose says:

    My son is 15months, 32in and weighs just under 20lbs. He is so skinny his ribs are visible. He’s been walking, well running, since he was 10m. He’s a very active kid, he never sit still. Our concern started at his 1 year checkup. We’ve been monitoring & working with our pediatrician, an early intervention specialist, and an OT for 3 months now trying various strategies. The problem is, he just won’t eat. People say “he won’t starve himself he’ll eventually eat” Not True. Pediasure is my last resort. I started researching this product tonight, and as I sit hear reading these reviews, I am in tears & terrified for my baby boy.
    I guess what I’d like for people to realize, is that everyones circumstances vary. As with any product there are abuses & misuses. In our case, we just want him to eat. Unfortunately that’s not working so we have to try this.

  68. isaacsmom says:

    My son is Autistic and has many food adversions. If he has a sensory response to a food he will vomit and have a complete melt down. I have consulted many specialists regarding this matter; ie his pediatrician, registered dietians, behavoir therapists. I also work in the medical (with cancer patients who we reguarlly recommend Ensure products to). Nothing has worked. His is now 10 years old and has been taking a Pedasure Sidekick in his lunch to school everyday for over a year. It has worked great for him. No more melt downs at school regarding lunch time. I came across this review while looking for coupons or savings options for the Sidekicks as they are quite expensive. There are circumstances, like having a child with Autism, that warrant straying from the “typical” and trying anything to make your child’s quality of life better.

  69. Irani ghosh says:

    Dear
    Commentators of Pediasure milk powder,
    I have been giving my daughter(now 7 and a half of age)Pediasure when she was six and a half.I used to mix it with milk and it tasted good ,so she liked it.When she was in Class 1 and she used to take plain milk ,she felt sleepy in class and her teacher also complained of her lethergy.After taking Pediasure, she was getting back her energy while doing her class activities.I like to add that she she did not have any Lactose intolerance as she was taking Amul milk from 2 and 1/2 years of age.
    Recently,I observe that after taking Pediasure for last one year, she was developing lactose intolerance.She was feeling like she wanted to vomit and had feeling of stomach fullness just after having Pediasure.Intially I continued thinking that it will go away with time. But it didn’t.Her discomfort increased with time.So,I stopped mixing milk to her Pediasure drink.I used 3 scoops of Pediasure with plain water and little sugar.She took this for a month or so.Then,suddenly one day, she started feeling pain in her stomach.She started developing gastric problems due to her Pediasure drink.Pain continued for long.I started giving her antacid like Digene liquid,when that also didn’t help I gave her medication- O2 liquid-
    a stomach antibiotic. From then onwards, I stopped giving her Pediasure or any milk or milk products like custard or pudding.
    Now, the question is
    no 1 .Did Pediasure caused all this milk intolerance problem?
    no 2 .How will my daughter live without taking atleast plain milk as she was not intolerant to milk earlier and she is not yet 10 years old?
    no3 .Or should I try other milk product like paneer or yogurt for the rest of her life ?
    I am open to any suggestions that you all would like to make…

    From
    Irani Ghosh
    Assam,India

  70. Hello Irani.

    I don’t know if Pediasure actually caused her lactose intolerance, if that is her problem. There’s a lot of problematic ingredients in Pediasure, like soy…that could also be causing her problems too.

    Have you thought about maybe goat’s or sheep’s milk? I heard goats milk is sometimes more tolerated than cow’s milk. Also natural plain (no sugar added) yogurt or even kefer.

    I’m not a doctor or a registered dietitian, so really, these are just suggestions. It’s probably best to consult a professional for more advice to pin down her specific allergies.

    Good luck!!!

  71. chichi says:

    it’s cost me a lot, but it’s good.
    my baby was tiny for her age.
    Doctor told me, I should give her.
    First, I gave her pedisure vanilla mix with milk.
    like half and half.
    so she gain her weight and taller.
    Now I gave her kick off, same like mix with milk,
    some time milk, sometime soy milk ore almond.
    give her organic food, a lot of vegetable, fruit.

    It’s good nutrition and I like it very much.

  72. Jenn says:

    Ludo’s comment (from Aug. 2012) pretty much covers all that anybody needs to know on this topic.

  73. Jenn says:

    …Also, if we expect Abbott to include their 17g/cup sugar content in a Pediasure commercial, then should we also expect Stonyfield Farms to advertise the 29g of sugar in 1 cup of their whole milk yogurt? Or Ocean Spray to advertise the 33g of sugar in a cup of their 100% fruit juice? Or Chiquita to advertise the 15-20g of sugar in one large banana? I agree with the gist of where this post was going (real food = better than a vitamin fortified meal replacement), but it was a little short sighted. Not every parent who would dare feed it to their child is lazy and looking for a way out of preparing whole foods (trust me, it’s too expensive to even be a daily fallback option for most families). I’ve only served Pediasure to my older child once when she was recovering from a painful surgery that left her unable to chew or swallow textures for several days. It was a decent, short term option for our situation and she had no trouble giving it up or resuming her normal diet afterwards. Comparing it to soda or candy is pretty misleading.

  74. Thanks for your comments, Jenn, but really you can’t compare processed sweeteners in Pediasure to natural sugars in bananas and yogurt. It’s like comparing apples to an airplane.

    I stand by my original opinion that they are misleading in their ads, and that it’s not a healthy product for children

  75. Jenn says:

    I guess I’m not sure how comparing sucrose (cane sugar) to fructose (fruit sugar) or lactose (milk sugar) is “apples to airplane”. In excess, they can all contribute to the same problems, which is why most health fanatics eat little to no dairy and fruit sparingly. Besides, I wasn’t really trying to compare them. I was simply pointing out that when companies pay several million dollars for 30 seconds of commercial airtime, they choose to highlight the best aspects of their product, not the worst.

  76. Sherry says:

    My Grandson has Cancer that is alot worse than the ingredients in the Pedia sure sidekicks, That he needs to drink to get his body built back up.

  77. Vanessa H says:

    Excuse me, I’m sitting here looking at the juice box of the PediaSure Sidekicks. And More than half of the nutrition facts you listed above aren’t on the box. Disagree with me if you like. But it’s staring me in the face as i type. And if you’re going to groan and moan about this then do yourself a favor. And pull pretty much everything out of your fridge, cupboards, and pantry cause i guarantee you a lot of your foods have these ingredients. Your body believe it or not both benefits and loses from them. Not just loses. Thanks.

  78. Plain Jane says:

    Interesting how kids who “won’t eat anything” and have issues with the taste of everything will happily drink Pediasure/Sidekicks. Similar to how many kids with “texture issues” often have no issues with the texture of hot dogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, macaroni, etc. I guess it’s only the healthy foods that have weird textures/tastes.

  79. Amy says:

    I’m sure it’s very difficult to feed a child with a disease or allergy, but these kids aren’t the ones Pedisure Sidekicks commercials feature and are geared towards. Their commercials are targeting active kids that are picky eaters and show moms ‘that are doing a better job’ by giving their kids Pedisure Sidekicks and clueless moms who don’t.

    Instead of selling a nutritional supplement drink, Pediasure is tapping into an audience of moms who feel guilty and inadequate. The whole sentiment would change entirely if Pedisure Sidekicks had sick kids or kids with food allergies in their commercials…. But they don’t.

    These Pedisure Sidekicks commercials are no better than the Nutella ads that made healthful claims. Why no lawsuit for ground up vitamins in chocolate milk? Is Abbott laboratories too big of a corporation?

  80. Amy thank you for bringing it back to the original intent if my post!

  81. Kaitlin says:

    I would not recommend this for any child. I have a beyond active three year old, always perfectly healthy! But she hasn’t really been eating everything she needs to. On tv the other day I saw the pediasure sidekicks commercial and figured that I would try it out with her. Not a good idea at all. She went to bed about 9 o clock last night and woke up around two saying her belly hurt, I have her some water and made her a little bed on my floor to sleep. Around four she started throwing up like crazy and has severe diarhea and cannot keep anything down. After doing tons of research I now KNOW that this is not just a coincidence. Pediasure is a horrible replacement for anything and does nothing but make your children sick. Keep in mind she didn’t even finish one bottle of the drink, not even half.

  82. Dana Manno says:

    Thank you for this info. I just saw the same commercial and was just thinking the same thing!

  83. Courtney says:

    Thanks for posting this. I see this commercial all the time and think, “ha, I highly doubt that!” You know and why is everyone worried about their kid being “small”. 100 years ago a “small” toddler was would probably be average. Children and getting bigger and bigger. They are also starting puberty earlier than ever. If people don’t think that it has something to do with what kids are eating, they are stupid. Like you I WILL NOT be giving my child Pediasure anything. Go natural!

  84. Courtney, thanks for the reminder about how children are coming into puberty younger and younger. I truly believe its the GMO soy in most processed food plus all the extra hormones in meat, eggs, poultry, dairy from factory farms!

    Go natural! Eat with your fork!

  85. Questioning Parent says:

    What are your thoughts on the organic drinkable yogurts? We give that to my son during the day and usually give pedia sure at night. So funny because he really doesn’t like anything sugary AT ALL (besides pedia sure, I guess). We definitely need some sort of milk drink before bed, but he wont drink any sort of regular milk, soy, etc. Would you recommend the organic drinkable yogurts?

  86. Hello QP,

    I’m not a fan of many of the presweetened yogurts, drinkable or not. Most are loaded with excessive sugars. I took a peek at the ingredients for Stonyfield Yo Baby Drinkable Yogurt (peach), and sugar is ingredient #2, with 24g of sugar in one bottle serving! That’s a lot of sugar!

    Plain whole yogurt, sweetened with your own local honey or maple syrup is a better option, at least for me. You can start out with more sweetener, then taper it off slowly if needed. Adding some crushed/chopped nuts, chia seeds, ground flax, berries, mango, bananas, with some dairy or non-dairy milk can make it a “drink” – just a suggestion.

    Good luck!!!!

  87. Jade says:

    My 4 and 2 year old won’t eat a lot of things. What else can I do?

  88. Sofia says:

    Here is a lot of,,,,,, layman’s view,
    Who is not a pediatrics,
    Who is not a dietitian,
    They are study then they recomend it.
    Pediasure is not poison!!!!!
    pediasure is very good nutrition what kids can not get
    from your cooking food.
    Is your cooking parfect ??????
    Then you don’t need give it.
    If your kids doesn’t grow then you need give it.
    Horizon 1%milk 1cup 240mg = sugars12g,
    pediasure 8oz = sugars17g so don’t disturb,
    We need talk about a price, pediasure is expensive,
    That why I can not get it. I’m jealousy,,,,who can buy it!!

  89. Susan says:

    One other aspect that occurred to me as I was reading the comments about kids seeming to be “addicted” to Pediasure Sidekicks, is that the flavorings used in the product contribute to that addiction. Flavor companies work very hard to produce flavors leaving the consumer wanting more, and combined with sugar, it is easy to see why kids clamor for it.
    Also, Sidekicks is marketed to kids who are growing normally (according to the website) and might be missing some nutrients. In other words, not to children with serious medical issues.

  90. Aimie says:

    I think you are being mildly rude considering you are bashing people you don’t even know for using this product. My 2 year old has a major bowel problem which has caused him not to eat normal portions for the past year (yes, my son figured out eating causes pain eventually). There is nothing he will actually eat on a daily basis, period. This is a way for me to know he is at least getting something, regardless of sugar there is something going in him that has protein. Oh, and everyone’s go to “peanut” for protein only works when there isn’t a peanut allergy, which my son so conveniently has. The other thing I find rather comical is that you say this will cause obesity. That isn’t the case if there are healthy choices surrounding the supplement. While he won’t eat everyday, my son loves fruits and veggies (tomatoes being a favor) so I can’t say I worry this supplement will increase his obesity risk. We live in a world where parents need to make choices and hope they are the correct ones. Don’t judge parents for at least caring enough to pay $10 for six bottles of these in hopes they will benefit their child. Why not chastise the parents that don’t care enough to even put an effort into their children instead! I clearly don’t need a response because I will continue to use this product to supplement my child that won’t eat due to the pain it causes.

  91. Angie J says:

    Pediasure has been a lifesaver for my daughter. She was born at 22 weeks and 6 days. She has the typical eating a drinking issues that most micro preemies have.

    She was on Neosure for a long time and when it was time to transtion to milk, because she started rejecting formula, she would not touch it. No allergy to dairy either.

    Since she had issues with putting on weight and developmental delays “starving our kid out” was not an option. She also has issues with eating and drinking, so supplementing a lack of milk with calcium rich foods was not an option.

    We tried it all before doing Pediasure. Almond milk, lactose free, rice, soy, coconut, regular milk with flavoring, organic. Any and all milk we could find powder or wet. Ultimately Strawberry Pediasure won out.

    She has been using Pediasure for over 2 years now. While it may not be the best choice it has saved our child from becomming malnourished.

    For a regular kid without disabilities I can understand not resorting to Pediasure and ensuing in a battle of wills to get them to eat. For average kids a multi-vitamin is enough. Even kids with award winning diets need a multi-vitamin.

    Having a kid with disabilities means you are extremely limited and bargaining with them is impossible. My daughter can’t even tell me when she’s hungry or thirsty and doesn’t understand that when she is hungry she needs to seek food.

    Some of the micro-preemies can be stubborn beyond belief and since most of them have oral trauma that means they would rather go hungry than eat because it’s uncomfortable.

    In conclusion your advice may work for average kids, but I feel you should take kids with disabilities or oral aversions into consideration before you bash Pediasure all together. I know not to listen, but some parents out there may become worried or self-conscience and take their kid off of this stuff without a replacement.

  92. Nutritional Therapy Practitioner says:

    My extensive nutritional studies have brought me to the conclusion that products like Pediasure and drinks like it are extremely cheap to produce. This brings enormous profits for the large corporations. Soy is probably the cheapest crop and one of the most damaging. Being genetically modified is only one problem for soy. It’s not digestible due to the phytates and enzyme inhibitors. It’s an endocrine disruptor which, in time, results in huge hormone problems, including excess estrogen. Notice any large male breasts lately?? They’re everywhere!! Want to supress your thyroid? Eat more soy!!! This is an American product and nothing like what our Asian population consumes. Parents, please do your research. Your kids deserve it. You can begin by reading Dr. Mercola’s articles and the Weston A. Price/PPNF website.

  93. Mary says:

    Pediasure an the sidekick drinks aren’t for everyone. It’s for people with food sensitivities tht can’t eat certain things like eggs, nuts, etc. or for picky eaters who would otherwise only want to eat junk. You can’t force a child to eat something they don’t want. And a drink with some sugar in it, along with other vitamins and minerals, in the form of laboratory created chemicals, is not nearly as bad as the junk food some would rather have. Just cause you cant pronounce something, doesnt mean its always bad. If you don’t like it for your kid and your kid will eat healthy stuff, good for you. But all parents aren’t as lucky, keep that in mind.

  94. Ga mom says:

    Wow when someone say their child has “GERD” and it is all they can do is drink something like pedisure. Do your research people!! Not telling them give them high calorie foods… Geez sometimes they cannot swallow real food and not be in pain. My son is 2.5 and has GERD. If he wants to drink only then it’s fine, no sugar doesn’t make him hyper that’s a croc of crap. He is under weight for his age and needs extra auger, calories and all. But at times he doesn’t want to eat cause it hurts.

  95. Preemie Grandma says:

    I appreciate that you are trying to live and eat healthy, but this article is not only just your opinion, it’s insulting to parents who are forced to choose between their child eating nothing or next to nothing, and giving a supplement that’s high in sugar. My grandchildren were born at 23 weeks and as micro-preemies had oxygen tubes and feeding tubes. As a result, both of them have eating issues and have been on pediasure since they quit drinking formula. While it’s not the ideal solution, the pediasure has kept their caloric intake to an acceptable level while giving them the vitamins & minerals that they need. I think before you make sweeping judgements about the parents who choose to give supplements, you should realize that it’s not always a matter of just providing healthy food. For a child that is already underweight, waiting for them to grow out of being picky or get on board with eating healthy is not an option.

  96. Angie J says:

    Pediasure Sidekick and regular Pediasure have about the same amount of sugar, however, Sidekick has fewer calories. I saw someone commenting that this article only involves Pediasure Sidekick.

    Still shocking to see that so many on here who think they know lots about nutrition know so little about oral aversions. No it is not as simple as putting fruit and milk in a blender. There is no tricking a kid with sensory issues. Their senses are so heightened they can pick up on the slightest difference in their food. Any change and you can forget them eating. Most of the time my daughter will skip a meal all together because I changed one thing.

    Tasting the same to you does not mean it tastes the same to a sensory kid. Bet nobody thinks of food feeling the same either. Think of that next time you give advice.

  97. Alexis says:

    I never leave comments on websites but I just had to chime in….some of these comment just made me cringe. There is absolutely NO defending these disgusting ingredients. Everyone here can clearly read, so what parent in their right mind would ever feed poison to their child?? It’s that cut and dry. A concoction of dead ingredients of GMO and estrogenic soy, loads of sugar, and a ton chemicals, carrageenan which destroys your healthy guy bacteria. Every single ingredient listed is immune suppressing, NOTHING natural! You would never purposely spray roundup on your kids breakfast cereal in the morning, well why then would you give them this crap?? It’s soo unbelievably sad the child had no choice but to eat what they are given.

  98. Alexis says:

    And I’m sorry but those who say they are afraid their child will starve or they have no other choice to get calories in, is the most comical thing I have ever heard. You can crack off the lid of the ever so convenient PediaSure in a couple seconds, or make a nutrition packed 30 second smoothie. A night and day difference for your child’s health, yet this smidgen of effort can’t be done? Is the laziness that bad to where our children have to suffer? I mean, who can’t make smoothie??

  99. Angie J says:

    To blame the parents for their child’s premature related conditions is so completely heartless and disgusting. To call them lazy for using the only thing their child will drink is also completely heartless. It’s not as if we chose this. We wish our kids would eat and drink healthier options. If I could have chosen my daughter to be born at term instead of 22 weeks I would have chosen term. I also would have chosen for her sister to have survived.

    Any negative comment targeted at any parent who needs this product shows your lack of understanding when it comes to oral aversions and oral trauma. Since you “know” so much about health food maybe you could take a few minutes to read about the conditions I mentioned instead of thinking “smoothies” are the answer for a kid that won’t eat fruit or dairy and will only drink Pediasure consistently. Smoothies have a lot of texture and this is a big problem for a sensory kid with oral trauma. Again educate yourself.

    The lack of compassion for parents and grandparents of premature children with disabilities on this blog is shameful.

  100. Christy says:

    No matter the opinions of others, some days Pediasure is a life savor for me. My tot won’t eat nothing some days. I mean nothing. I do not use it everyday, but I’d rather him have something than nothing. Also, he has food allergies so that makes food choices more limited. Everyone has their own circumstances.

  101. Michelle says:

    I have a 15 month old daughter who has had 2 open heart surgeries. One at only 2 weeks old and one at 6 months old. She has more surgeries in the future including a heart transplant someday. She has had feeding issues since day 1. She has never taken bottles as an infant well or food now. We have tried letting her starve to get her to eat or drink. She ends up in the hospital. She needs her next open heart surgery between age 2 and 3 years old. But has to weigh 30 pounds to get the surgery. She is barely 19 pounds and has been that for 3 months! We need pediasure to help gain weight so she can have a life saving surgery. I had to make the choice between pediasure or tube feeds. I understand this stuff isn’t for everyone but it is needed for some kids!

  102. Adriana says:

    My son is one year old and he has an issue with textures. To the point where he will not eat for days. He refuses everything but yogurt and there’s only so much of that a person can eat. We’ve just started giving him pediasure once or twice a week and honestly it’s put my mind at ease a little. He’s thin for his age so I’m not worried about him gaining weight, and he’ll pick up healthy eating habits when he’s ready. The “chemicals” are a downfall but unless you’re eating completely organic fruits/veggies then you’re putting just as many nasties into your own body.

  103. Lin Devine says:

    Being a mom of a child that is tube fed this yummy stuff (pediasure) I want to pass along this site where the mom is starting up a real food line to feed to folks that have to be fed this way. i blend food for my daughter, who lost her swallowing ability, but you know it gets old and a break once in awhile is ok. So this is something I can get excited about vs. the canned stuff. I came here to once again see why I don’t want to feed her pediasure. BTW she went from the 10th percentile to the 87th in less than a year thanks to pediasure. Now she was never failure to thrive or malnourished according to her various doctors. she just was growing smaller, but on her curve. Unfortunately when we got her tube in we were directed to pediasure. The best part in this lovely weight gain is she was healthy and now she’s HEAVY, and we have to carry her to her wheelchair or to move at all.

  104. Notintorants says:

    Well I think that everyone is being manipulated….even my baby kid is recommended this stuff and it is becoming addicting….why would moms argue on the Internet ??? And think one or the other is right…duh the shit is bad. Use it or not it’s still not Natural! I have fear for my child’s health and future with all the crap on the Market…I am glad to hear of a good natural cookbook and I am sure If I take the extra steps I can help my daughter with her weight problems naturally. I am a broke ass single mom and I still try to get organics Get a juicer grow your own food. Everything in the grocery store scares me in the long run None of it is really real its L process and chemicals. I really want to be a better mom and Learn better eating Habits for my babes not Give them this anymore:( its just the choice of it being easy. I do not own a Stupid “tv” who watches commercials ???? They are scary and only to Brainwash people! Look within for your truth! Not what others recommend. Who are these fucking recommending doctors on the tv I always hear about?? Good Luck just writing bs! Of course Natural is better.

  105. Thank you, Lin for your comment, to reiterate, the web site you are speaking about is http://www.justfoodblends.com – it looks like a really great alternative for those that don’t want the chemicals and sugar in Pediasure, even though it doesn’t look like it’s quite ready for the public until the fall. But it’s good to know the tide is turning and there will more healthier alternatives.

    Thank you!

  106. jaena says:

    ok I am not trying to step on toes or make anyone mad, BUT i am a mother of five, two with ADHD/ODD and one of the two also has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I CAN say that I HAVE tried numerous healthy alternatives as well as an other mother, BUT let us be realistic…if a child is not going to eat they are not going to eat. I have literally watched my son drop significant weight due to lack of appetite, he goes through nutritional as well as behavioral therapy and I have to say that I DO buy the OFFBRAND of pediasure and yes there are lots of ing. in there that I would not care for either, BUT ever since he started drinking two a day he has become a whole other person. It went from being depressed and sad and mad with very few happy days to being involved and motivated and his appetite has increased naturally and NO HE DOES NOT prefer or choose surgary or junk foods. I think PARENTING has alot to do with the choices children make. Stop trying to sugarcoat the realities of life and explain to a child why something is good or bad for you. Yes i agree that a diet of snack cakes candy and sugar sugar sugar is bad for you but NO i do not think that givving your child a nutritional SUPPLEMENT with 17-19g of sugar is going to effect life choices. What about the foods YOU choose? And what about all the OTHER items you give your children, lets be realisitic NO MOTHER checks EVERY LITTLE ITEM they buy. If you use communication and explanation with your children and be REALISTIC then they will naturally make the right choices. I believe the only reason any ingredient is a major ordeal is society has made it that way. Sorry if I make anyone mad but i feel the majority of you are being completely irrational and as far as “hidden nutrition facts”: I was able to go to the GROCERY STORE and looked at the BACK OF THE PACKAGE and there it was the nutritional facts and ingredients right there NOT hidden in any website.

  107. Lily says:

    I was sucked in by the packaging. The big orange on the front, “natural fruit flavors”, the guy surrounded by water, the big “CLEAR” in the name.

    I made the assumption that “clear” meant no milk, that the orange meant juice or juice like, and fruit flavors, what is that? I gave it to my 16 month old milk allergic grandson and spent the next few hours in the emergency room.

    Yes I could have read the ingredients and seen that it does contain milk, but who would expect milk in a product calling itself CLEAR and with pictures of fruit and water on the front. Very misleading IMO and dangerous.

  108. Alexis says:

    When will people realize that Pediasure is NOT a nutritional supplement?! These are synthetically processed “vitamins and minerals” NOT whole food vitamins and minerals. Huge difference. When some moms say, “that’s all my kid will eat” well of course it is, it’s a bottle of addictive sugar and chemicals. Not one nourishing ingredient, not one. You can make something nutrient dense with the same consistency that your child would eat. It’s just putting in the effort to research and experiment in the kitchen with different recipes. There is no excuse for a plastic bottle full of chemicals. For starters, Raw coconut is a powerhouse of nutrition and has anti viral and immune boosting properties which would be an excellent base for a homemade nutrition drink.

  109. Smith says:

    Okay parents worldwide, stop bashing on this stuff. If you have no idea what some of the ingredients are, you need to do a bit more research before you draw any conclusions. This is obviously the best alternative I’ve seen to most energy drinks kids are drinking these days. All those “synthetic” nutrients are actually things that pro body builders use on a daily basis to keep their bodies in peak performance condition. 17 grams of sugar? How many of you parents let your kids drink a cup of orange juice every morning? How about Hawaiian punch, or even (dare I say it) a can of soda from time to time? And you’re worried about 17 grams of sugar. This wasn’t meant to be a meal replacement for kids, obviously. It was a pick me up for kids who are extremely active. You wouldn’t pack 5 of these things in your kid’s lunch. Just give them one or two before their little league game, and watch them excel over the fatties on the field.

    Speaking of fatties.. How many of you noble moms and dads are actually not obese yourselves, and you’re worried about what your kids are ingesting.

    Take a step back, and appreciate the drink for what it is instead of assuming that because you don’t know what an ingredient is, you should hate on it.

  110. Tammy says:

    I have a 17 year old son who was born with spina bidia. He had a rare codition with called arnold chari. He has really never been able to eat much. He drinks 6-7 cans of pedisure per day. At thirteen years old he started gettin kidney stones and has had muliple surgeries for these. Around the same time he was diagnosed with sever acid reflux. Now at 17 we found out he is a type one diabetic. I’m sure the pedisure is to blame for all three after reading all this. He will still stay on it or he would die as he can’t eat anything. Just a warning for other parents who have disabled kids that are on it long term like he is. Look out for symptoms of these problems.

  111. Lin says:

    Thanks for the post Tammy

  112. Smith says:

    Tammy,

    I truly feel as though the parent of a child with such health problems would know how to spell them properly. Spina Bifida and Chiari malformation, I mean. But I digress. While the pediasure may have done some damage, you should probably have looked for alternatives far sooner. Maybe looking at the food you give your child rather than just throwing it their way. Further, maybe a more nourishing diet before he was born would’ve helped too.

    Look into the causes of Chiari malformations.

    Regards,
    Smith.

  113. Nutty says:

    Yes, our ignorant ped recommended it. My sister is a doc and her children drink this. I however threw it in the garbage after reading the ingredient list. Seriously how can the parents be so stupid to give sugar to their kids. Processed sugar? Casein? Whey? For kids with milk allergies? IBD etc? I’d much rather give them nut powders and nut butters. I’ve got to get my husband to read this post. He thinks this stuff is good!

  114. Tara says:

    If your currently feeding or thinking about feeding your child pediasure please read my story.
    My daughter is 5 years old. She’s blind, has panhypopituitarism, and autism. When she was a baby she was failure to thrive. She has tactile defensiveness meaning feeding her “normal” food was impossible. She would only eat yogurt and it would take an hour to feed her a minigo. Multiple doctors and therapists recommended pediasure. I, like most parents, believed they knew what was best. When raising a child with multiple special needs and no experience you rely on specialists to help guide you through. We didn’t see any other choice. And to those who believe a child will not starve themselfs, your wrong. Some kids will. So needless to say I put her on pediasure. She would have one after each snack and before bed.
    I cannot remember the exact timeline but I believe this was the biggest mistake of her life. She started to gag when she had anything to eat. We thought the tactile defensiveness and acid reflux was to blame. Eventually she stopped eating altogether. She spent almost 2 years on just pediasure. Then we started a new feeding therapy. It was a very slow process and still did not result in much food getting in. She has had constipation issues for as long as I can remember. And her immune system was not healthy. A lot of times a simple cold or minor flu bug would land us in the ER. And she was almost always dehydrated, but she wouldn’t drink water or juice, she would just spit it out. So to cut a long story short, I fed her a ton of this crap.
    Then, just over a week ago, I came across a site on the Internet stating pediasure causes inflammation of the brain, autistic like behaviour, GI tract issues, and delayed speech. I wanted to throw up. My child had all of these symptoms. So needless to say I stopped giving her pediasure. I’ve replaced it with smoothies. Though I’m not sure if this would have been an option in the beginning. Thank god it is now.
    She has more energy then she ever has. She used to take restoralax daily for constipation. She’s not taken restoralax for 5 days and is having daily bowel movements. She seems much happier. She’s eating more real solid food. And the dark circles she had under her eyes are gone. And she tried to say “toast” today! And she’s not hitting herself in the head as much as she did before.
    So I say to every parent explore another option if this is what your thinking of feeding your kids. I know some parents have no other options and I’m by no means saying your a bad parent. You are doing what’s right for you and your child. Just please leave this as an absolute last resort.

    Thanks for reading.

  115. SLR says:

    I am THANKFUL for pediasure sidekicks. I have a 19 month old son with a sensory disorder. He is 22 pounds with ribs sticking out. His sensory disorder causes him to not be able to eat. The only thing he eats is crunchy things..like graham crackers, a few fries, teddy Graham’s, and milk in a sippy cup. I can’t just make him a nutritional meal because he will look at it and gag. He has never eaten meat, fruits, or vegetables. (Aside from a few bites of mashed potatoes months ago). When he eats his crackers, if they get in a certain spot in his mouth, he will gag til he throws up. So supplemental drinks that can fill in the gap, you’re damn right I will try them.

    The problem is… So many people want to say ” just feed them healthy food!” As if every child was the same and they would all just do exactly what we want them to. Yes, a child WILL starve themselves if they have issues. I know mine would.

  116. Alexis says:

    Teddy Grahams, fries, eww that’s sad… and you can’t make him a nutritional meal?? Why not? Who’s the parent? You were the one who introduced your child to junk. I can’t stand when parents say their kids don’t eat fruit or veggies. Why don’t they? Because you never introduced it to them. If healthy food was a part of their upbringing, there wouldn’t be a problem. Just because they won’t eat something healthy doesn’t mean the alternative should be “well I’ll buy them pop tarts and fruit loops, they will eat that” Of course the will like something sugary, but it’s up to the parent to set rules, you don’t let the kids rule the roost and control what they want in the fridge.

  117. SLR says:

    Uhm..Alexis, what about “sensory disorder” do you not understand? My child is in occupational therapy because he cannot eat/chew most textures. He physically will/can not eat it. If my child puts something in his mouth that has a texture he dislikes, he will gag until he chokes. Afterward, he will not touch the item ever again. I’ve had to do the heimlich on my 19 month old more times than any parent should. I’m sorry that you cannot comprehend that not every child is the same and that some have issues that prevent them from eating this nutritional and healthy meals that you think every parent can force their children to eat.

    So…if my child nearly chokes to death because he tried to eat fruit and then will not consume anything other than milk, then you’re damn right I will feed him anything I can.

    You are a prime example of a closed minded parent. My child was born prematurely and has had trouble eating his entire life. If it comes down to teddy Graham’s or nothing, he’s going to get teddy Graham’s.

    Research “sensory disorder” before you comment again.

  118. Alexis says:

    That’s just total bull. You can home make the exact same consistency of a PediaSure but with HEALTHY ingredients instead! There is absolutely zero excuse to feed you child that crap. You can ALWAYS make a healthy version of any junk food that’s ridiculous.

  119. Alexis says:

    You are the one who is close minded to not explore other options other than teddy Grahams, French fries, and PediaSure for your child. It’s quick and easy to twist off a lid or order through a drive through, or open a bag off cookies. Where’s the effort??

  120. Please everyone, remember to be respectful if someone disagrees with your opinion.

  121. Simone' says:

    I’ve been reading all the comments on this wow!! I agree this stuff is bad news!! My daughter is 3 we went through the store and seen these and she asked if she could get one she had one yesterday and two today (pediasure sidekick) it said they help with picky eaters I figured why not. My poor baby is sicker then crud puking it all up along with her dinner! I just threw them all in the garbage LESSON LEARNED. She doesn’t get much sugar the occasional cookie just like me every now and then. This stuff may work for some and I’m not here to judge but it was a horrible experience for my family and ill gladly stick to my whole foods and 2% milk! My condolences to anyone who has had there child also do this:(

  122. Tara says:

    My child also has sensory issues. She only likes crackers, and yogurt. We’ve been doing SOS feeding therapy. Try high calorie smoothies in replacement of the pediasure. I stopped giving my daughter pediasure over 2 weeks ago. I will tell you my experience has been nothing but positive. She’s happier, has more energy and is sleeping better. She used to only sleep for 8 hours, tops. Now she’s sleeping 10-12 hours a night. I’m absolutely elated. I’m not here to bash anyone for their choices, I’ve been there. Feeling like you have no choice but to feed your child whatever he/she will eat or drink. My daughter used the pediasure diet for years. I just think you should try the smoothie method, if it doesn’t work then so be it. Just give it a shot. Please.

  123. Tara says:

    SLR, talk to your OT about SOS feeding therapy. If your not doing that already. It is more about food discovery rather than trying to force feed. We’ve been fighting the feeding battle since birth and I’ve tried many different therapies. This is working for us. Before we started my daughter wouldn’t even eat crackers, only yogurt. And stopped wanting that as well. As far as moving back the gag reflex we used carrots and celery, food that is too hard to bite, and just let your child play and the more they stick it in their mouth the further in it will go, therefore moving back the gag reflex.

  124. Angie says:

    I am absolutely shocked that so many people here are so incredibly ignorant of sensory children and oral aversions due to oral trauma for respiratory support.

    Throughout this entire thread issues concerning disabled children have been mentioned but some folks continue to spout off their ignorance without doing any research into the matter.

    I have said it before and I will say it again, texture and taste is everything to a sensory kid. You may think making a smoothie is the same or a viable option and no excuse on the planet is good enough to reach for the Pedisure or junk food, but you would be wrong. You may think a kid will eat or drink “eventually” if they are hungry enough but you would also be wrong.

    A sensory child with oral aversion will starve themselves to death or dehydrate themselves to the point of hospitalization. Let me explain why that is.

    You and I enjoy eating and we enjoy an ice cold glass of our favorite beverage but a child with oral aversions does not. Eating and drinking is traumatizing and very uncomfortable due to a hyper sensitive gag reflex. Imagine gagging on everything you eat or drink. Additionally, many of these kids also have acid reflux due to prematurity so not only is eating a bad experience, what they eat can hurt their stomachs.

    Back to the smoothies. First off, smoothies are just as loaded with sugar as Pediasure. The difference between the two isn’t just texture, it is also acid. A fruit smoothie is loaded with acid no matter how you mask it with yogurt or milk. So no, smoothies aren’t necessarily better once you consider the sugar content and the pesticides the fruit was grown in. My family is all grocers, your precious organic produce has pesticides. The smoothies people recommend on here would have to be tested in a clean environment by a certified chemical engineer in order to determine exactly what is in the smoothie you make at home. I can say with absolute authority, you have no idea exactly what is in the stuff you make at home even if you grow your ingredients at home. A lot of people grow stuff out back and imagine how much run off from the roof goes into the soil. All that chemical run off or animal feces from squirrels, birds, dogs, feral cats, coyotes, etc. Yummy right?

    Additionally, no matter how good your blender is it will never produce the smoothness Pediasure offers or the consistency since Pediasure is formulated in an actual lab.

    So you have two serious problems with smoothies, acid and texture. Two things kids who suffer from issues with prematurity will not tolerate.

    Now the starving a kid out issue. This is perhaps the absolute worst advice you can give a parent with an aversion kid. Why? Because that kid will end upon the hospital for malnutrition or dehydration, even worse, they can die due to weight can being a serious concern. Imagine how the hospital will handle that situation. Hello CPS.

    As far as junk food goes, the same issues are present. Parents of children with issues due to Autism, prematurity, etc. are a desperate lot. They will give their kid anything as long as they will eat it consistently. Once the child matures, the parent can undo some of the bad habits like we did.

    Our daughters diet started off great and then when it came time for solids, her diet became terrible. It was easy when all the food was baby food, but texturized food proved to be a nightmare. We tried everything too and anyone who thinks we didn’t try hard enough is out of their mind. I suffered a lot of emotional stress over my kid’s diet. I was embarrassed but my daughter’s pediatrician was actually very supportive. They knew she didn’t eat much and every calorie we gave her had to count. The best way to pack in as many calories per bite was by using French fries.

    Yeah, French fries. We also used Pedisure too because she refused all milk and her formula. Strawberry Pediasure is literally the only thing she would accept and we bought every other alternative. Soy, hemp, sunflower, lactose free, organic everything from every brand, powder milk, you name it we bought it. The primary reason for the Pediasure wasn’t just for the extra calories, it was also because it was the only way we could deliver the Miralax she needed due to constipation. Another common condition amongst preemies.

    We did fruit and veggies with no success. Fruit burned her skin and she wouldn’t touch it. Only now 4 years later will she eat some cherries. Broccoli is the only veggie she will eat regularly. See, no fries needed anymore. It was just a temporary thing. Now, she eats more and drinks more and we give her healthy stuff. Two nights ago we fed her a turkey dinner nd she gobbled it all up. :)

    So there you have it. A reasonably thorough explanation I’m sure some will understand and others will turn their nose up at because they are thoroughly convinced they have the answer for everything and are otherwise incapable of understanding that sometimes there is an actual excuse for poor dietary choices in extreme circumstances.

    Hopefully what I say may inspire some of the diet gurus on here to bring about more awareness for sensory integration kids with oral trauma due to prematurity and children with Autistic behaviors due to fragile X or other causes. We have an epidemic in this country and the best thing we can do is be supportive so parents and children aren’t suffering in silence.

  125. Alexis says:

    Wow. Just wow. “The smoothies people recommend on here would have to be tested in a clean environment by a certified chemical engineer in order to determine exactly what is in the smoothie you make at home.” PediaSure and any off the shelf ‘meal replacement drink”= a 100% dead liquid. It does not in any way nourish, being that that it has ZERO live nutrients and is enriched with SYNTHETIC nutrients that a child’s body doesn’t even really absorb. This does the body harm, as you can see from other stories about thier child failing to thrive from PediaSure, made them very ill actually. There is zero arguing the fact that a homemade nutrient dense “meal replacement” drink that is raw with all of the live enzymes in tact, and organically grown, is soo way far beyond better than any dead off the shelf drink that it’s not even comparable. Not to mention, the long shelf life of those drinks should say it all, it’s not real food in any way shape or form and sits in plastic or aluminum cans for months which poses other health problems. Packing on calories does not mean you shovel French fries down them. This is not they way to pack on healthy calories, at all. There is sooo many other ways to do this healthily. I fully understand the sensory issue disorser, and no matter what the disorder a child has, there is never ever a NEED to give your child junk food and chemically laden drinks. If a child with sensory issues will only eat PediaSure and fries, the good news is, the same exact thing can be made, same consistancy taste and texture, but with healthy live organic nutrient dense ingredients. So there is zero excuse if you can duplicate the exact same thing. I don’t think any parent would actually choose chemicals over real food.

  126. Lin says:

    Thank you Angie, for taking your valuable time to sit down and write such a thorough post! I know there are kids out there that have food special needs and sometimes end up eating poor diets. glad you were able to bring your daughters around some. I imagine this was with lots of therapy hours. (If not don’t say as that would be unfair to all the other parents/children that went through countless hour!) Unfortunately there are those that just feed their typical, or however you want to politely label them, children junk out of laziness, but it was good to see you try to shed some light, maybe even just a glimmer, on the world of oh so fun, sign me up, special needs. We are great at judging, but remember we never really know what that other persons shoes are like. Maybe they seem like crappy parents because they have emotional baggage from their crappy parents. Maybe they just are not strong enough to be a good parent. We all know this is a hard thing to be especially if you have extra circumstances sapping your energy stores. Thanks again Angie.

  127. Angie says:

    You are welcome Lin.

    Unfortunately the world of special needs parenting is filled with people like that Alexis person up above and too few of you.

    It’s surprising how many real life trolls actually work in special needs and how many parents of “normal” kids will turn their nose up your unconventional parenting.

    Lin, you are truly a breath of fresh air! My world needs about a million more of you. :)

    Thanks for understanding.

    Maybe the publisher of this blog will gain some inspiration from the struggles of special needs parenting and publish an less biased blog that actually helps instead of hinder a special need parent’s ability to spread awareness. We do need better nutritional options because there really is a nutritional crisis amongst special needs kids. Insurance companies and the government could care less. Not even Medicaid will cover the expensive Neosure that preemies need.

  128. Angie says:

    Alexis, I’m not getting into a flame war with you. Your information about Pediasure could not be more incorrect and I have Pubmed to back me up.

    I encourage you to read some actual research that is accepted by the medical community. The one study I linked involves gastrointestinal tolerance of Pediasure. That is just one study. I am linking the result page to the rest of the studies.

    Gastrointestinal tolerance:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9176828

    Search results:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Pediasure

    You will learn from reviewing this research that Pediasure is effective in treating malnourishment and is effective in increasing caloric intake.

    I want to include an excerpt from the study that confirms the safety of Pediasure:

    “This study demonstrates that PediaSure is both safe and efficacious in the maintenance of the nutritional status and the promotion of growth in chronically disabled children who require specialized nutritional support.”

    It’s safe and effective. Pediasure sidekick is just a supplemental drink. The caloric intake is less and only for children who need a little more. Regular Pediasure can be utilized as a meal replacement drink with the approval of a Pediatrician. Pediasure Sidekick in particular does not need peer reviewed research as it is not used in malnutrition cases. It’s just a snack.

  129. Alexis says:

    Everything I stated is a million percent correct. So are you saying the added vitamins and minerals in PediaSure are derived from whole foods?? No, I was correct by saying they are SYNTHETIC! It’s a dead liquids with zero living enzymes or nutrients, that is verifiable and absolutely irrefutable. The long shelf life is proof of that as well. Not to mention all of the other horrible, immune suppressing, damaging ingredients that is in PediaSure.

  130. Alexis says:

    It’s sad to hear that you are entirely misinformed regarding such a vitally important topic like nutrition. The best thing about all of this is that the ingredients speaks for itself. This says disgusting and totally appalling: Water, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Concentrate. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Cellulose Gel, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Tuna Oil, Potassium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Salt, Potassium Hydroxide, m-Inositol, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, FD&C Red #3, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.

  131. Alexis says:

    Being a nutritionist, I can break down each harmful ingredient and tell you the harmful side affects. This is NOT food in any way, shape or form, it is a concoction of chemicals, and you can bet it’s all GMO, and it’s all there clear as crystal right on the label and cannot be refuted. Period.

  132. Alexis says:

    Of any one doctor on the PubMed you mentioned can actually back you up by saying they agree that Red#3 is a good healthful ingredient for a child, when it’s actually BANNED in other countries, that would be negligence beyond belief. That chemical alone causes neurological damage, ADHD symptoms, and immune suppression. Certainly something you wouldn’t want to give any child.

  133. Alexis says:

    By the way, the ingredient list I posted is of the ‘strawberry’ PediaSure you are giving your child. As you can see, there is no strawberry in it at all, it is ARTIFICIALLY colored and ARTIFICIALLY flavored. So they put dye in it to create a fake strawberry color, and use chemicals to create the fake strawberry flavor, and yet you state what I’m saying about PediaSure is untrue, and to research it??? So if it’s not fake, and not chemicals as you so strongly claim, then would you mind explaining how it can be strawberry when in fact there is no real fruit in it??

  134. Stephanie C says:

    Physicians are not required to have ANY nutrition courses in med school or as a prerequisite. The few that do have any it is one course and it is as an elective. This includes ALL physicians, including the ones who treat diabetes, heart disease, pediatricians, and any other specialty you can think of. So just because your physician says it’s OK I wouldn’t necessarily trust that!

    Remember, it took the chemist 20 years AFTER reporting to the government that any lead exposure was dangerous for them to actually listen to him and pass a law. Before then there were “safe” levels in children’s blood. Don’t necessarily think they wouldn’t put something dangerous for us on the market!

  135. Tara says:

    Angie and Lin.Wow! My smoothie comments started a full out war. As I mentioned before, I was only suggesting to try it. If it doesn’t work, then at least you tried. I’m not sure if you read my previous posts but I was only commenting in my own experiences. I also am a little insulted by your accusation that I don’t know enough about sensory issues, I’ve been dealing with that for 5.5 years now.
    I will give you a glimps into my life. My daughter was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia/Septo Optic Dysplasia, meaning she’s blind, and has a shrunken pituitary gland. She produces little to no hormones and is only alive today because of the medication I give her. She’s on cortif, for cortisol replacement, synthroid, for thyroid, sizen, for growth hormone replacement and melatonin and clonidine, for sleep. She’s had multiple bad experiences at the hospitals which caused major sensory issues. She wouldn’t even let me touch her hands until she was 2. And if that all wasn’t enough to deal with she was diagnosed with Autism and moderate developmental disability (mentally retarded) at the age of 3. And fecal holding at the age of 5. I was giving her restoralax everyday to battle constipation.
    Since I’ve removed Pediasure from her diet, and this was the only change made, she’s improved 100 percent. She no longer has constipation or fecal holding issues. I stopped the restoralax a week after the pediasure. She has more energy, while on pediasure she would only engage for about 1 hour and she was wiped out. Now she’s staying engaged for 2 hours and increasing every day. She’s more willing to eat during mealtimes and feeding therapy. And lastly she’s sleeping 12 hours a night, whereas she would only sleep 8 hours tops before.
    So, do you call this a coincidence? I think not.
    I posted comments on here for other parents, like myself, to read because when you try to find any info online about pediasure good or bad it is hard to find.
    Why can’t I find anything about the side effects of pediasure? Because there is none? I doubt that. With everything going on in North America about GMO and the bad chemicals in processed food I’m surprised you, or anyone else for that matter, would choose to be ignorant to the proof that you cannot believe everything your doctor and your government tells you.
    My daughter has been sent home from the ER with a broken shoulder bone without the nurse even xraying it. And the doctor at the hospital didn’t even come look at her. I’ve had many arguments with medical staff at the hospital about what’s the right way to deal with my child (medication wise). So, when you say your doctor will back you up, I’m sure he/she will, but it still does not make them right.
    I was trying to approach this topic with some cuth but you hit a hot button for me. Sorry.

  136. Donna Curcio says:

    My daughter will be turning 3 in a few days and has been on pediasure since she was a year and a half. She gains weight very slowly and was a low birth weight baby when she was born plus being a picky eater since she was an infant. For a week now she has been having diahrrea, but only has had pediasure a few times this week. My husband thinks her having diahrrea is from pediasure, but she was having it even when i didn’t give her any of the pediasure.
    Just about everyone on here is complaining about the sugar which is not go at all for anyone much less children, but what about the other ingredients like “carageenan” which has been linked to digestive issues which can lead to serious health problems later.The other ingredients i don’t know anything about or problems they can cause if any.

  137. Angie says:

    Donna:

    Just wanted to let you know carageenan is a water soluable fiber found in seaweed.

    It has been used safely in food for 50 years.

    The rumor about carageenan started because the research that resulted in rodents having intestinal issues involved degraded carageenan, which is not the type of carageenan used in our food.

    Many health scares are nothing more than misinformation and I feel it is crucial to minimize the alarming amount of rumors that are out there.

    http://nutrition.about.com/od/foodadditives/f/What-Is-Carrageenan.htm

  138. Alexis says:

    That is 100% untrue Angie. Carrageenan is has been linked to causing gastrointestinal distress and colon cancer. It is NOT a safe ingredient. Just another one of the many toxic ingredients that PediaSure contains. http://buzz.naturalnews.com/001089-carrageenan-organic_food-dangerous_additive.html. http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/12/carrageenan-risks-reality/ http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401181/Is-Carrageenan-Safe.html

  139. SLR says:

    Alexis,

    Face it. You accused me of feeding my child junk because I’m lazy and Angie proved you were wrong. You are clueless about children with sensory disorders. Sure, you can make shakes and whatever else with the same consistency of pediasure. Then you hand it to your child and he spits it back in your face, throws it, and runs. Then what? Just “starve him out?”

    I feed my child whatever he will eat. If it’s a carrot out of my soup or a handful of crackers, puffs, and gerber bitty bites…WHATEVER he eats, I am happy because it means he’s getting calories from something other than milk. Because it means he’s not starving.

    I could cook healthy food all day long and it doesn’t mean my child is going to take a single bite of it. It’s not a matter of “Oh I’m so lazy, so I’m going to feed my child fries because I don’t want to cook healthy food..” It’s more like “my child has eaten nothing in 16 hours but milk and I am desperate to get food in his belly.”

    You don’t understand it. I don’t expect you to because obviously you are a perfect mother with perfect children with perfectly well balanced diets. But…don’t talk to me like you know ANYTHING about my child and the struggles we have gone through since the day he was born. And..you know nothing about the methods I’ve tried and the hours I spent worried to death. So don’t pretend to. And for you to jump and start talking crap about my parenting, shows how “perfect” of a parent you are.

    If it comes to my child starting to death and pediasure, you can bet…he’s going to get some pediasure.

    (Which…he no longer drinks.)

  140. Alexis says:

    No, she did most certainly not prove me wrong, I proved her wrong. But I didn’t have to do that, there are many many sources which proves that carrageenan is damaging to the body. I’m also entitled to my opinion about bad parenting. Do I think it’s sad and bad parenting to see a toddler with a big gulp full of soda, or a mom with her kids at the grocery store with a shopping cart full with nothing but the worst junk food and soda…YES, without a doubt. Anything that hurts a child, which junk food on a constant basis definitely does. I have already proved everything that needed to be proven about how bad PediaSure is, and not one person can argue back with what I posted about the ingredients being synthetic and chemical laden, because it is a fact that they are.

  141. Alexis says:

    Hmmm… If it’s so great and the reason why you are here is to defend that you feed it to your child, then why would you stop giving it to him? Great to hear this thread has been educational to you. All I am trying to do here is help and spread awareness about this product.

  142. SLR says:

    It’s not up to you to judge who is a bad parent, miss. You are not perfect, I don’t even know you, but I can say that with certainty.

    My child does not drink pediasure because…like MOST foods and drinks, he refuses it. But hey…maybe I should just starve him until he “decides” to eat healthy food, anyway, right? I should just stop being so lazy and shove some baked chicken and carrots down his throat.

  143. Alexis says:

    …and that’s why I said “my OPINION”! And yes, anyone who sees a parent hurting a child should have a problem with it, sure call it judging if you want.

  144. Okay, no more. I’m not allowing any more comments regarding this side discussion. You’ve all said your peace several times, and neither side is going to change their mind. It’s done.

  145. yvonne says:

    Pediasure Sidekicks has been a great supplement for us. My 3yr old is lactose and gluten intolerant – Plus he does not like any type of meat. He eats plenty of fruits and veggies but not enough to get all his vitamins and nutrition in. He does not eat any dairy at all, no cheese, no yogurt, no sour cream, not even ice cream!! Believe me I have tried all types of milk, from soy to almond to coconut, un-homogenized, with chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, honey, OJ. I have tried it all & he gags every time. Same with meat. He only weighs 34 pounds which is still normal but he is a bit skinny :) – if it weren’t for the sidekicks (no milk) we wouldn’t have any other way to supplement his nutrition. Especially when he has a sinus infection due to his allergies – my poor little one is allergic to the whole world – I am not a perfect mom in any way – just like the rest of us – I am just learning and trying my best as I go thru my journey of parenthood.

  146. Frustrated special needs mom says:

    I found this post while desperately looking online for a new place to buy this product; my local stores were all sold out. As the mom of a young severely autistic child, this product has been a godsend. About 18 months ago, my son stopped eating all solid food. We couldn’t even get him to drink milkshakes. He became severely malnourished. We have worked with dietitians and doctors to come up with a plan to keep him off a feeding tube. He has lost 30 lbs and has been in severe pain from an undiagnosed illness. We have been to 10 different specialists in 3 states trying to help him. Last year he was repeatedly hospitalized and spent over a month in Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
    Giving him Sidekicks has been the only way we have consistently been able to provide him the calories he needs to survive until we find a diagnosis and treatment plan. Pediasure is not cheap, and definitely not my first choice of how I want to feed my son. I hate having to buy this stuff, but I’m so glad that I can. I will do anything to help my son get better. It is easy to judge other parents for perceived “poor parenting;” I have done it myself. But as I say to my kids, try to use kind words and understand that you don’t always know or understand what is happening in other people’s lives. It’s best to support those who are struggling and to count your blessings, especially having healthy children who don’t need products like this one.

  147. rishi says:

    Hi ,
    Too good debbie !. My son was addicted to pediasure and what I finally got was ‘Cancer’.
    These companies should not exist.

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