For some parents, knowing if their kid is eating enough and getting the proper nutrients to grow and develop properly can feel difficult. PediaSure is a popular supplement that helps kids who may be falling behind in nutritional goals and struggling to eat enough food during the day.
However, some parents may wonder, is PediaSure good for kids? While the supplement has been helpful for many in getting their child to gain weight, it might not be the supplement for everyone. Here's what you should know about PediaSure to see if it's right for your growing family.
Is PediaSure good for kids?
PediaSure can be good for kids who need help with growth in areas such as gaining weight, building muscle, and increasing bone density, per GoodRx Health.
PediaSure comes in three different varieties, which include PediaSure Grow and Gain, PediaSure SideKicks, and PediaSure Specialty Nutrition. Nutritionally, PediaSure Grow and Gain and Specialty Nutrition both contain 240 calories, seven grams of protein, nine grams of fat, and 27 vitamins and minerals in each eight-ounce bottle.
According to the PediaSure website, PediaSure SideKicks is a lower-calorie and higher protein option, with 180 calories, ten grams of protein, nine grams of fat, and 27 vitamins and minerals.
That said, a potential downside to giving your kids PediaSure is its high amount of added sugar. A single bottle of the Grow and Gain shake contains nine grams of added sugar, or 18 percent of the recommended daily value.
According to Abbott Nutrition, the suggested number of bottles of PediaSure for kids is two to three per day, equaling up to 27 grams of added sugar.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the recommended daily amount of added sugar for kids aged 2-18 is less than 25 grams. Three bottles of PediaSure will exceed the recommendation. Therefore, although PediaSure is packed with nutrients, the high sugar content could be a reason to consider other supplements.
When should you give kids PediaSure?
You should consider giving your kids PediaSure if they are underweight, have certain health conditions that require extra calories, or struggle to eat solid food. However, most kids likely do not need to be taking PediaSure.
According to GoodRx Health, nutritional supplements are generally unnecessary if your kid eats a balanced diet.
If your child struggles to eat solid food or is physically unable to eat whole foods, PediaSure could be a way to meet their nutritional needs. The supplement can be drunk from the bottle or consumed through a feeding tube. Serious medical conditions such as heart disease could require more calories than average to stay healthy; therefore, per GoodRx Health, PediaSure can help children reach those goals.
Children who are malnourished or at risk for malnutrition could benefit from taking PediaSure to restore healthy weight. For example, kids with failure to thrive (FTT) condition, when their weight remains below the 5th percentile of growth, are recommended for PediaSure.
If you believe that your child might qualify to try PediaSure, it's always best to consult with a pediatrician or other family doctor.