Homemade Pediasure Replacement

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When you have a little one with special needs, one of the complications can be a failure to thrive, or if your child is just not putting on the weight the doctor recommends, you become very concerned about what they are eating and drinking. Does it contain enough fat? Is my child consuming the needed vitamins and nutrients? Are they able to gain weight in order to sustain life? These all become concerns floating around in your head every day. Doctors will tell you that the answer is Pediasure for kids.

Homemade Pediasure

My daughter has a metabolic disorder where a failure to thrive is par for the course. As a result we began to give her Pediasure as was recommended by her pediatrician. (She has a fantastic pediatrician, I just want you all to know that.) Our daughter loved the chocolate flavored Pediasure so much so that she would guzzle it down like she hadn’t had anything to drink in weeks. She also began to gain weight, not a lot, but enough where the doctor was pleased. We thought things were great.

As the months passed I was noticing that she would not eat her meals. She would drink her Pediasure and then not eat. It occurred to me that she was most likely filling up on her beverage and did not have enough room left for her food. Since Pediasure was packed with so many vitamins and nutrients and included fats, I was not concerned.

Then one day I begun to question what was in such a vitamin and nutrient packed drink? How could a drink that was so healthy be able to sit on a shelf, unrefrigerated and not spoil? I began to suspect preservatives as the culprit. I am not a fan of preservatives, so I began to look into what was in Pediasure and how it was made. What I learned disgusted me.

What’s In Pediasure

Lets just start with a first glance at the ingredients list. This list comes directly off of the Pediasure website:

“Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Nonfat Milk. Less than 0.5% of: Natural & Artificial Flavor, Cellulose Gel, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Tuna Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Carrageenan, Potassium Hydroxide, Inositol, Taurine, Stevia Leaf Extract, Ferrous Sulfate, Monk Fruit Extract, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium PantothenateNiacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin B12.” (Source)

Seriously, who can even pronounce half of these, let alone identify them as vitamins and nutrients. Also, sugars are listed as the second and third ingredient used. SUGAR!!! As many know, the ingredients are listed so that the first ingredient makes has the highest content in the item, the second is the second highest, and so forth. How can drink that is advertised to be so healthy be made up of so much sugar?!?! So my next thought is how are these “fats and vitamins” made?

After digging around and doing A LOT of research, I found out that the fats are so processed that they lose most of their nutritional value. Most of the flavors this drink comes in are from artificial flavorings. The worst part (in my humble opinion) is that the drink, including minerals, vitamins, and nutrients are processed, and heavily might I add, in a laboratory!!! So this “healthy” food supplement is full of sugar, fats that have lost their nutritional values, and processed in a laboratory!!! This sounds to like anything but healthy!!!

Also there is the cost. Pediasure is around $13.00 for six 8 ounce bottles filled with sugar and lab formulated fats, vitamins, and nutrients. My daughter was consuming 2 -3 bottles a day. Can you imagine the strain that had on our grocery budget!!! This was not working for me the more I read about it. There had to a better alternative. Lucky for you I found one!!!

I am not a doctor. Please check with your doctor before starting and new diets. The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

My recipe contains fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds along with milk (or milk alternatives). It is packed full of healthy fats and vitamins and nutrients found in mother nature. Also, this recipe usually makes about 32 ounces straight out of the blender for a much cheaper cost.

The results…not only does my daughter love this, she has gained more weight than when on Pediasure. I also began to notice something else as well. She began to eat her meals and snacks!!! I can only attribute this to the fact that she was not filling up on sugars as she was before with the Pediasure drinks. Her pediatrician was very pleased and actually commended me for doing this!!! (FYI…I did check with my daughter’s pediatrician and geneticist before I made the switch. Please make sure you ask a doctor prior to making any dietary changes.) This became a win-win recipe and I truly believe that my little one is much better off for it.

What I Use and Why

The Vegetables

Lets start with the vegetables. This smoothie has half of one avocado. This gives the drink roughly 14 grams of fat and 161 calories per the USDA. That right there is more fat than Pediasure and almost as many calories as an entire 8 ounce bottle. Additionally this is a healthy fat that the body will fully use and absorb.

I also add a handful (about 10 leaves) of spinach, leaves, stems and all. As most know, spinach is one of the healthiest foods around. It not only is a good source of fiber, it also is a great source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. It also has a TON of natural vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, E, K, Niacin, Choline, and Betaine. The mineral content is outstanding as well. This includes Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Manganese, and Selenium. All of these are made in mother nature’s laboratory, a lab I feel safe using!!!! (source)

The Fruits

I also add a whole banana. The banana acts as a natural sweetener and is also very nutritional. According to Medical New Today “One serving of banana is considered to be about 126 grams. One serving of banana contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein.” Additionally, the list of vitamins and minerals is fantastic. A whole banana includes Vitamin B6, Manganese, Vitamin A and C, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Magnesium, Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Iron.

I like to throw in some berries as well to add a bit of extra sweetness. Berries are also a great source of fiber and antioxidants. My daughter used to suffer from constipation as a result of her metabolic disorder, however, since adding berries to her diet and smoothie, she has been constipation free for over two years!!! Most berries also contain Vitamin C and K, Folate, Copper, and Magnanese.

The Seeds and Milk

I also add a teaspoon of chia seed that has been soaked in water and flax seed. The chia seed will have a gelatin like consistency after is has been soaking. This amazing little seed is packed full of proteins and fat. A great little addition to this smoothie recipe. Flax seed contains Protein, Fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. As you can see these are some powerful little seeds!!!

Every smoothie needs some sort of liquid to help blend the ingredients. Any milk or milk substitute (soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk) will do just fine. I use almond milk as it is a personal preference for me. Depending on the type of milk product you choose, the total fat and nutritional value will vary as per whats in the milk product.

You can also add some raw cocoa powder for additional sweetness and flavor. It will give the smoothie a more chocolatey undertone. I omit this from my recipe as I read somewhere that it could be harmful to the liver if you have certain liver conditions. Per my daughters diagnoses, liver problems could eventually become an issue, so I avoid using it as a precautionary measure.

I put all of the ingredients in my NutriBullet and blend away. A Vitamix Blender works much better, but it is also higher in cost to purchase. I water it down with more milk to a thinner consistency as my daughter does not like it so thick. I put it in a mason jar and keep it in the refrigerator for about 4- 5 days (usually she drinks it all before that though). If you make many batches at the same time you can store it in freezer suitable mason jars and have a stock on hand for future drinks. It freezes very well!!!

Like said earlier, my daughter loves this. Not only is she gaining weight, her constipation as stopped and she now eats her meals as well. She is getting vitamins, fats, and nutirents naturaaly through the foods she eats and I’m saving A LOT if money. All I can say is that I am one happy mamma now!!!

Pediasure Replacement

A healthy and natural alternative to your child’s Pediasure meal replacement.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Avacado
  • 1 Banana
  • 10 Spinach Leaves
  • A Handful Berries of Your Choice
  • 1 tsp Chia Seed (Soaked in Water)
  • 1 tsp Flax Seed
  • Milk or Milk Alternative Add milk to reach the desired consistency

Instructions

  • I place all of the ingredients into my blender and blend until smooth
  • Add more milk to reach desired consistency
  • Drink and enjoy

Notes

*** You can add raw cocoa powder to enhance the flavor if desired ***
*** Store in a Mason jar in the refrigerator for about 4- 5 days ***
*** Suitable for freezing ***

Happy Drinking!!!

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