11 Side Effects of Giving PediaSure for Kids


Affects the eating habits, unhealthy ingredients, milk allergy, absorption of vitamins and minerals, processed  protein, high  sugar content, sodium caseinate, genetically modified oil, sweetened with corn syrup, weight gain and overdose of certain vitamins and minerals are some of the side effects of giving pediasure for kids.

Keeping our kids healthy is one of the top most priorities as a parent. As a mother, it is important to keep a strict check on what your little one eats and ensure healthy growth. It is vital for your little one to get sufficient amount of all the nutrients and avoid the unhealthy food as much as possible. And when it is about kid’s food, the first thing that comes to our mind is PediaSure. A glass of PediaSure shake consists of 7g of protein and 25 other vitamins and minerals. But are you well aware of its safety concerns?

There is no doubt that it helps in supplying protein, fat, calories and essential vitamins and minerals. As per a study published in the journal “Preventive Medicine”, product labelling can wrongly convince the customers that toddler drinks have a number of medicinal benefits, which is however not the case. In this article, we will consider 11 side effects of PediaSure. Let’s read below:

Read More: 10 Best Protein Powder to Make Your Child Stronger and Smarter

What is pediasure?

Pediasure is a clinically proven nutrition drink that helps in the stimulation of growth and complements a healthy diet for those kids who are behind in growth and need to catch up. This nutritional supplement helps in supplying all the vital nutrients to your kids body. Regular consumption of pediasure will help your child with daily calorie intake, that will further help them to gain a healthy body mass.

Read More: 5 Must Know Health Benefits of Almond Milk for Children


When is it recommended by the physician?

Pediatricians usually recommend Pediasure for those kids who suffer from some medical condition that restricts them from consuming certain essential nutrients. However, pediasure is not meant to be consumed by infants who are younger than 1 year of age. Also, it is important for you to consult a pediatrician if your little one is younger than 2 years of age, before you decide to use pediasure. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants who are younger than 1 year of age should either be breastfed or fed an iron-fortified infant formula.

PediaSure for Kids: 11 Side Effects


Affects the eating habits

This has been widely noticed by a number of parents. Including PediaSure in the diet can disturb your child’s eating pattern and can also lead to a number of problems in the long run. Water and sugar are the top two listed ingredients of Pediasure. It contains 18 grams of sugar, that’s 4 ½ teaspoons of sugar in only 8 oz., which is exactly the same sugar content as in sweet tea. No wonder the kids love it.

Unhealthy ingredients

One of the main issues is the artificial flavours that are used in the preparation of PediaSure powder. I know it may seem something that you wouldn’t really expect from such a product but the vanilla flavour added as natural and artificial ingredient is absolutely fake.  Although artificial flavours do not lead to any risk factors but when it is about kids, it is better to rely on natural healthy diet rather than the artificial ones.

Milk allergy

PediaSure consists of the milk soluble that can be a little difficult for some of the kids to digest. Thus, many kids cannot take PediaSure because of certain side effects that they may face if they are allergic to milk, Some of these side effects are nausea, hives, rashes, vomiting or abdominal pain.

Absorption of vitamins and minerals

There can be enormous number of vitamins and minerals listed in the main ingredients of PediaSure, however this is not really the case with the bio-availability of these nutrients. Most of these vitamins are introduced to your body in pill, liquid or supplement forms, which do not give any assurance of its absorption. Also, a major part of this will be found in your child’s urine, thus depicting that your child flushes a major part of these nutrients rather than absorbing them.


Processed  protein

Proteins are derived as isolates and concentrates from milk, soy and peas, which clearly shows that the whole food is highly processed, having lost its essential nutrients. Also, milk protein concentrate is one of the cheap ingredients that goes through very little or no inspection.

High  sugar content

Sugar contributes to around 30% of PediaSure’s calories, and according to the nutrition label, a cup serving of it has around 240 calories, out of which 80 are from fat, 25 are from protein and the rest are from carbohydrates. Thus, we can say that a bottle of PediaSure is equal of 4.5 teaspoons of sugar. No wonder kids love this drink!

Sodium caseinate

Sodium caseinate is an alternative for milk protein and gluten protein. Although, this drink is worth a try if your child is not able to digest wheat or milk products. There have been a number of studies stating that an overdose of casein can lead to the growth of cancer cells, although the results are not consistent. But nothing is worth keeping your child’s health at risk.

Genetically modified oil

Corn Maltodextrin (GMO- genetically modified organism) is used as a thickener in soups, salad dressings and soft drinks. Safflower oil and canola oil, which are mostly like GMOs, contribute to most of the fats in this drink. I am sure, none of us would really favour the genetically modified oil as the main source of nutrients for our kids.

Sweetened with corn syrup

As per a study in the journal “Preventive medicine”, toddler drinks mainly consist of powdered milk, corn syrup and vegetable oil. Lactose in the milk is replaced with the corn syrup to make it taste sweeter and using it as the prime milk-carbohydrate source for infants under a year is nutritionally inadequate. Thereby, this should not be something that your child consumes a number of times throughout the day.

Weight gain

Most of the parents consider PediaSure as a quick remedy for their picky eaters I know this is one of the most common problems that you as a parent may face and thus, it is widely believed that PediaSure can help to fatten up your little one. Abbott has referred to the “clinical trials” but that was conducted on those children who were at a risk for malnutrition and this is not generally the case in the American homes.


Overdose of certain vitamins and minerals

I have seen a number of parents who decide to buy this product just by watching it on the television, irrespective of whether their child needs it or not. Remember, if your child can drink up to two glasses of milk a day, have his/her breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner, he/she does not require this. Although the chances are rare because our body usually flushes out the overdosed vitamins and minerals but in case of an overdose, it may lead to certain harmful effects as well.


Of course, there is nothing wrong with PediaSure and it does provide with a number of benefits. But anything consumed in more than the recommended quantity will prove to be harmful. Not only this, but World Health Organisation  has also referred to the ‘toddler drinks’ as unsuitable when it is used as a replacement to the breast milk. It is thus better to go for calorie-rich foods like peanut butter, pancakes etc if your child has difficulty gaining weight.


  • Misleading labels


  • WHO statement

WHO states that follow-up formula is not necessary and that marketing may mislead parents


Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!