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Pediasure? Carnation Instant Breakfast?
zaxwrit wrote in parenting101

My girl, 20 months now, is not the great eater she used to be, especially at dinner. I want to make sure she gets her nutrition on those days food doesn't interest her much. She takes vitamins, eats fruit not veggies, will not drink smoothies, but loves shakes. So I'm thinking Pediasure, Carnation Instant Breakfast (worked for a friend of mine to get her toddler's appetite going again), that sort of thing. I know the latter has sugar etc. in it, and maybe both do. Right now I care about getting her nutrition into her.

So, have these worked for any of you? Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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ETA: We tried the Carnation Instant Breakfast this morning and it was a huge hit! I blended it with a banana and some ice and she drank it down, happily, and I swear she had more energy and color after. She always looks good but just looked ... better? I dunno, but many thanks to you wonderful parents. I very much appreciate this community! (Will try PediaSure next)

My son gets Carnation Instant Breakfast every morning. He gets 3 table spoons full. He has sever acid reflux/ GERD. So he has a hard time keeping weight on. So his doctor recommended this for helping add some more calories to his diet. My son won't drink Pediasure. We have been doing this for over a year at this point. And it has seemed to help him keep weight on and then put weight on when we got his acid reflux/ Gerd under control.

Thank you. We have a similar issue. I'm going to try this.

My toddler gets a Pediasure every now and again when he's being picky. It's a standard in our house to pick up his appetite if he's had a stomach bug of some sort. The Pediasure nowadays isn't all that bad tasting (yes I tried it, just to check the taste of it). The Chocolate and Vanilla flavors are pretty good.

Thanks, I'm going to try a bottle of it to see how she likes it.

There was a period of time when my super duper picky eater basically lived on carnation instant breakfast. She was eating only 3-5 foods on a regular basis and not much of those. So yeah, although food issues were something we worked on every day, we did rely on the supplement to get us through. If your kid generally eats well, just not as much on some days as others, I wouldn't really worry about supplemental nutrition drinks, as that's a fairly normal toddler thing. Instead look at what she eats over the course of a week and see how she's doing that way. If you still feel there are deficiencies in her diet, are there any go-to foods that she really likes that you could offer more often?

Also, if you do use it, I would look at what she's getting from the supplement in terms of vitamins along with what she gets from the multi-vitamin, as you don't want to go too far the wrong way with that either. I used half the recommended amount of the powder for each cup of milk.

Thank you. She just doesn't get enough nutrients, I feel. She loves some foods but there's nothing she will always eat, and I worry (literally lose sleep) that she is not getting enough.


My son gets a carnation instant breakfast every morning (he's suuuuuuuuuuuper picky and will eat like 3 things). I know there's sugar, but man, there's also calories, and that's out top concern right now.

When I was a kid (actually, until I became a mom!) I couldn't eat breakfast. No idea why, I just literally couldn't choke down food until I had been up for a few hours. Instant breakfast at least got some fuel in me until I could eat something more solid.

Yeah, I wasn't really a breakfast person before I got pregnant, either, and no fuel in the morning = no good!

I was the same, and I'm starting to think my daughter is, too - so I'm really glad I saw this thread, I never even thought of Carnation (I now bring something to eat at my desk, but used to drink a Slimfast shake and loved them.)

It really works! (see my edit to the original post) Good luck!

If you are worried about the sugar in the instant breakfast, they make a no sugar added version that still tastes pretty good. It does have less calories, but I don't think it is that much less than the original. That being said, I love instant breakfast. That's what I had for breakfast every school day from elementary school until college and it was perfect. I was one of those kids that have been mentioned that just couldn't eat first thing in the morning.

Children at that age generally do have a drop in appetite. They're not growing as fast, and so they don't need as much food. Also, they're entering the picky stage - an important age where they no longer stick cat poo in their mouths just because it's there! Or poisonous berries, mushrooms, bugs....

If your child isn't lethargic or excessively cranky, nor losing weight, nor failing to meet her developmental milestones, then she's probably eating just fine.

With that said, if you can't get over your concern, it won't do her any harm to have an easy caloric load some days just so you feel reassured. But I want to point out that she's probably just fine.

I agree with this. Unless she has weight gain issues, or her PD is concerned, she is probably just fine the way she is. Children won't starve themselves. They'll eat when they get hungry.

Sugar is not evil. In fact, our bodies need it. As with anything else moderation is key, but I don't see the amount of sugar in an instant breakfast being an issue and personally I'd rather give the real sugar version than the "no sugar added" version that uses artificial sugar substitues.

Yes, agreed. I'd rather not the substitute. Thanks for your reply!

we've been using pediasure for my son since he was young. he's a horrifically picky eater and will only eat a handful of things.. and the pediasure also helps keep his digestive track up to speed. So he gets 2 a day nothing more.. after that its either juice, water or chocolate milk

Thanks for your reply. I'm going to try it.


I realize this boat has sailed for you but this is the reason alone is why I decided to try full-term nursing aka nursing past 1 year with my second child.

I know it's hard not to worry but it does even out over the course of a week or so. Humans didn't have access to everything for a balanced diet until the last few decades. So our diet doesn't have to be perfect at the end of the day luckily. He'll get hungry and crave the foods that give him what his body needs without any intervention needed.

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