Sometimes our kids need a nutritional supplement especially if they’ve gone off their food or are ill. Knowing which nutritional drink to give kids can be challenging. Parents may be faced with picking between the Pediasure vs Ensure vs Boost products. Which one really is best?
Understanding the nutritional content of these drinks is essential when deciding between them. Kids’ nutritional requirements differ vastly from adults’ needs. This is why we, as parents, need to be careful when offering supplementary drinks to our children.
After much research, I uncovered quite a bit of useful information about the different drink supplements available. Not all nutritional drinks are suitable for children. In this article, I’m reviewing three of the most popular supplements on the market.
I’ll talk about each product in detail, compare them with each other, and tell you which one is the better tasting. I’ll also help you pick the best one for your child’s supplementary needs.
- My Top Picks
- Pediasure vs Ensure vs Boost: Which One is Best for Kids?
- How to Pick the Best Nutritional Drink for My Child
- Best Overall 1 – PediaSure Kids’ Grow & Gain Nutritional Shake
- Best Overall 2 – PediaSure Grow & Gain Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Shake Mix Powder
- Best Value – BOOST Kid Essentials 1.0 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8-ounce box)
- Best for Calories – BOOST Kid Essentials 1.5 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8-ounce box)
- Use for Occasional Support 1 – Ensure Original Nutrition Shake With Fiber
- Use for Occasional Support 2 – Ensure Original Nutrition Powder
- Final Thoughts
My Top Picks
- Best Overall – PediaSure Kids’ Grow & Gain Nutritional Shake and PediaSure Grow & Gain Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Shake Mix Powder
- Best Value – BOOST Kid Essentials 1.0 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8 ounce box)
- Best for Calories – BOOST Kid Essentials 1.5 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8 ounce box)
- Use for Occasional Support – Ensure Original Nutrition Shake With Fiber and Ensure Original Nutrition Powder
Pediasure vs Ensure vs Boost: Which One is Best for Kids?
Pediasure, Ensure, and Boost all share one similarity – they’re nutritional drinks or shakes formulated to give children and adults supplementary support when growing, recovering from an illness or major surgery, or not having an appetite. However, not all drinks have been formulated specifically for kids.
Pediasure Grow & Gain and BOOST Kid Essentials have been specially formulated for a child’s nutritional needs. The nutritional needs of a child are very different from that of an adult. This is why it’s essential to pick a drink that’s specifically formulated to fulfill all your child’s nutritional requirements.
Pediasure vs Ensure
Both Pediasure and Ensure shakes are nutritional drinks. However, the biggest difference between these two drinks is that Pediasure is specifically formulated for children. Pediasure Grow & Gain supplement is made to help picky eaters and malnourished children who need extra nutrients while growing.
This Pediasure Grow & Gain shake is best suited for children from 2 to 13 years old and is often the one most recommended for its balanced content of vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Ensure has been specifically formulated for adults who are ill, frail, or elderly. The product is designed to improve strength and energy levels.
Both Pediasure and Ensure are manufactured by Abbot Nutrition. This company has been producing nutrition products for well over 100 years. They work on using the latest up-to-date nutritional information to ensure their products support the nutritional needs of both children and adults.
Boost vs Pediasure
Boost is manufactured by Nestle Health Science. Their focus is providing nutritional support to children and adults in all stages of their lives. Nestle relies on developments in both the genomics and biotechnology field to formulate its nutritional products.
Boost Kid Essentials is specially formulated with a range of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to help children aged from 1 to 13 years old.
The Boost Kid Essentials range contains 25 to 27 essential vitamins and minerals (depending on the product being used) plus 7 to 10 grams of protein. Its blend of nutrients helps support strong bone development and this consists of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin D, C & K in a balanced formula.
Kids will love the ready-to-drink Boost Kid Essentials which comes in three different flavors and is easy to drink with its kid-friendly packaging.
The Pediasure Grow & Gain drinks are formulated for kids needing support during their growth stages. It consists of 27 vitamins and minerals and 7 grams of protein. It’s gluten-free and suitable for children with lactose intolerance.
Children can choose between six exciting flavors and the ready-to-drink supplement comes in a reclosable bottle.
Ensure vs Boost
Both Ensure and Boost offer a wide range of nutritional drinks under these brand names. The 12 different Boost nutritional products for adults include high protein shakes, very high calorie shakes, glucose control drinks, and drinks specially formulated for women and men’s nutritional requirements.
Ensure nutritional products offer 10 different drinks are formulated with supplemental nutrients to give strength and energy to adults. You’ll not find an Ensure product specifically designed for kids’ nutritional needs. However, for children older than 4 years old, you can use Ensure for occasional support during your child’s recovery from illness or surgery.
The Ensure drinks contain 21 vitamins and minerals compared to the 26 or 27 vitamins and minerals found in the Boost Kid Essentials.
Both Ensure and Boost products are produced by Abbott Nutrition.
Which is Better Tasting: Pediasure, Ensure, or Boost?
Children can be very particular about taste and finding the right flavor nutritional drink for them can be challenging especially when they’re fussy and not well. With Ensure not being recommended for children, you don’t have to worry too much about taste here.
However, if you do end up giving your child an Ensure shake be warned – it’s not as good tasting as both the Pediasure and Boost products. When it comes to deciding which is the better tasting for your child, it really depends on your child’s personal preference.
Pediasure Grow & Gain comes in 6 flavors namely:
Boost Kids Essentials is available in 3 different flavors:
- Vanilla Vortex
- Chocolate Craze
- Strawberry Splash
With such a huge variety of flavors available between both the Pediasure and Boost Kid Essentials products, you’ll easily find a flavor your kid will love. Consistency is also important and both products offer a smooth consistency when the powder is mixed with water.
How to Pick the Best Nutritional Drink for My Child
When picking a nutritional drink to supplement your child’s diet, the best drink should be formulated especially for children and their specific nutritional needs. Look for the following features when picking a nutritional drink for your child:
- Vitamins and minerals: A nutritional drink for children should contain between 26 and 27 vitamins and minerals for it to be well-balanced for a child’s nutritional requirements.
- Protein: Children need a minimum of 7 grams of protein per serving of 8 fluid ounces.
- Immune support: Look out for ingredients such as antioxidants, Vitamins C, D & E, selenium, and a balance of protein.
- Bone support: Ingredients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc all contribute to strong bone support.
- Taste: Look for nutritional products that offer a range of flavors so your child has a few options available to them.
- Age: Some nutritional drinks will have recommended age groups so check this out before buying for your child.
- Convenience: It’s a lot easier to give children ready-to-drink shakes in packaging they can take to school with them or drink without making a mess. Look out for reclosable bottles with screw lids if your child doesn’t finish the drink in one go.
Both PediaSure Kids’ Grow & Gain Nutritional Shake and BOOST Kid Essentials 1.0 and Boost Kid Essentials 1.5 have been specifically formulated for children so you can’t go wrong choosing either of these products. For a budget-friendly option, the BOOST Kid Essentials 1.0 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8 ounce box) is your best pick without compromising on quality .
Use my comparison table to help you decide which one of these two childrens’ nutritional drinks is best suited for your child’s nutritional needs.
Comparison Table: Pediasure Grow & Gain vs Boost Kid Essentials
|Description||Pediasure Grow & Gain||Boost Kid Essentials|
|Vitamins and Minerals||27||- 1.0 kcal/ml: 26
- 1.5 kcal/ml: 27
|Protein||7||- 1.0 kcal/ml: 7
- 1.5 kcal/ml: 10
|Calories||240||- 1.0 kcal/ml: 240
- 1.5 kcal/ml: 360
|Age||2-13 years||1-13 years|
|Flavors||6 different flavors||3 different flavors|
|Convenience||Reclosable bottles with screw lids||Kid-friendly carton|
Watch this fun video explaining the importance of vitamins and minerals for children’s healthy development.
Best Overall 1 – PediaSure Kids’ Grow & Gain Nutritional Shake
This ready-to-drink shake comes in an 8 fl oz bottle which can be easily closed with a sealable screw lid. It’s best for children from ages 2 to 13 years old. Formulated to help children grow, it offers great immune support with its balance of protein, antioxidants, zinc, and Vitamins A & D. It also includes Vitamin C & E plus selenium.
It contains 7 g protein for muscle growth and 32mg DHA Omega 3 for brain and eye support. In total, the drink contains 27 vitamins and minerals. Each serving contains 240 calories. No artificial growth hormones are used in this drink.
- Kids love the flavors
- Helps fussy or picky eaters
- Helps children gain weight
- Expensive compared to other similar products
Best Overall 2 – PediaSure Grow & Gain Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Shake Mix Powder
This product comes in a 400g (14.1 oz) tin as a shake mix powder. It provides up to 8 servings with each serving (49g) being made up of 220 calories. The powder mix contains 23 minerals and vitamins and 6 g of protein. It’s made with non-GMO ingredients. It offers the same immune support as the ready-to-drink formula.
It’s easy to make up a drink with this powder and all you have to add is water. While you can make this powder up with milk it will alter the nutritional formula.
- Available in 6 different flavors
- Great smooth consistency
- Ideal for picky eaters
- Only makes 8 small servings
- More expensive than other similar products
Best Value – BOOST Kid Essentials 1.0 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8-ounce box)
This ready-to-drink shake comes in a kid-friendly carton for easy drinking. Kids will love the funky designs on the box too! Each serving contains 240 calories, 7 g protein, and 26 minerals and vitamins. This nutritionally complete drink contains no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. It’s gluten-free and ideal for kids who have lactose intolerance.
Children from 1 to 13 years old will love the 3 different flavors of this drink and it also helps to grow strong bones with essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.
- Kids love the taste
- Contains no high fructose corn syrup
- Well-priced per drink
- Only available in 3 flavors
Best for Calories – BOOST Kid Essentials 1.5 Nutritionally Complete Drink (8-ounce box)
This Nestle product comes with a higher calorie count of 360 calories per serving (1.5 kcal/ml with fiber). The addition of fiber helps children who battle with constipation while being malnourished. It also comes in a kid-friendly carton for easy drinking and of course, the kids will love the colorful characters on the packaging.
This nutritionally formulated drink comes with 27 minerals and vitamins, 12 simple ingredients, and 10 g of protein. It also only contains 9 g of sugar per serving. The shake comes in 3 different flavors. A great drink for helping with malnutrition, strong bone development, and healthy bowel movement.
- Perfect for helping children thrive
- Easy to transport in a school bag
- Helps children gain weight healthily
- Very expensive
Use for Occasional Support 1 – Ensure Original Nutrition Shake With Fiber
While you can give your older child Ensure to drink, it’s not recommended by the manufacturers of Ensure. The formula has been specially designed for adults needing additional nutritional support and is often used for frail, elderly, or very sick people.
However, if your child is recovering from major surgery or is recovering from a serious illness and needs additional nutritional support, you can offer them this product as long as they’re older than 4 years old.
It contains 9 g of protein, 27 minerals, and vitamins, and offers 270 calories per serving of 8 fl ozs. It includes 3% fiber. The shake comes in a bottle with a screw lid for easy drinking and sealing.
- Gluten-free and suitable for lactose intolerance
- Designed to give adults strength and energy
- Offers good immune support
- Not specifically formulated for childrens’ optimal nutritional needs
Use for Occasional Support 2 – Ensure Original Nutrition Powder
This powder mix comes in a 14 oz can and makes 7 servings when mixed with water. It consists of 9 g of high-quality protein and 25 minerals and vitamins. Each serving gives you 250 calories. This shake comes in 7 different flavors namely vanilla, chocolate, banana, butter pecan, dark chocolate, strawberry, and coffee latte.
It’s suitable for children and adults who have lactose intolerance and it’s also gluten-free, Ingredients are included to offer great immune support.
- Easy to mix with water
- Helps for gaining weight after a major illness
- Improves energy levels
- Not specifically formulated for children
Managing your child’s nutritional requirements is essential for your kid’s healthy growth and mental development. When a child is fussy, malnourished, or recovering from a major illness, supplements come in handy for additional nutritional support.
Finding the best nutritional drink for your child is easy once you know what to look out. Key features include vitamins and minerals, protein content, calories, and immune and bone support. Make sure you pick a drink that’s been specifically formulated for children such as the PediaSure Kids’ Grow & Gain Nutritional Shake or BOOST Kid Essentials 1.0 and Boost Kid Essentials 1.5.
Which one would you choose for your child’s nutritional supplementary needs?
Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API