Alternatives to PediaSure?

Anyone out there know of a good alternative (nutrition/calorie wise) to Pediasure? We recently transitioned Kylie over to Pediasure from pure formula (she's 100% G-Tube fed) since she was losing weight and she's older now - Just turned 2 in late April.

Ever since we've done that, she's EXTREMELY constipated and has started vomiting frequently everyday as well. We can't quite put the two of them together and directly correlate them to the switch to Pediasure since she had the flu and strep throat and other issues going on as well.

But from what we're seeing, all signs are kind of pointing to the pediasure so we're thinking she just might not be ready for it at full strength yet. Worst case, we could switch back to half formula and half pediasure. But I was curious with all you experts out there if there's something that's similar to pediasure that you all have used that did the trick.

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Could you make a home made smoothie? My cousin has a little one that needs the calories and is not a good eater and she makes hers with rice cereal, coconut milk, instant breakfast, and different fruits. She also adds something called SunButter for protein (alternative to peanut butter).

There is also something called Complete Pediatric made by Novartis. You could probably contact them to get a free sample.

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First, are you using Pediasure with fiber? It helps unconstipate them.

There are laternative that are juice drink varieties, like Boost Breeze and Pediasure Sidekicks. These are colored, clear varieties that taste like sweet juice yet have the same caloric load of regular Pediasure. I am not certain if they constitute all the nutrients like the milk-based Pediasure does, but I think they do. They just aren't available in the 1.5 version.

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Hi, I dont have a tube...but we need calories.
My dd is on Kids Essentials 1.5 with fiber. She drinks the vanilla flavor. She vomits if i give her too much of it...We mix it half and half w/formula because it is sweet and has tons more calories than she would need...its 45 cals per oz! There are 360 cals per 8oz carton. Also, has 10 gr of protein. (lactose and gluten free)

I have also been looking into the blenderized diet group, its through yahoo. They have some recipes I heard that incorporate veggies and fruits and yogurts, etc...for tube feeding or other.

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Hi, I have a kiddo who is dependant on pediasure for his daily calories. He refuses to drink the fiber version due to texture. We fined it quite a challenge financial wise. We have been advised to try whole milk or any milk and carnation instant breakfast for a similar calorie count. The flavors are generally choclate and vanilla. My kids prefer the choclate.

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We mix sippies with half Pediasure half whole milk and add two teaspoons of Nido (a whole milk powder). Walmart makes a generic pediasure, maybe try that. Or, as the previous poster mentioned, the whole milk mixed with carnation instant breakfast. There's also another one....Boost, sorry already mentioned, had to look it up.

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Is she on foods at all? If so add any foods blenderized to her milk which could be regular at this age and add 1 Tablespoon rice cereal to her mixture, you will need to push it thru the tube. Add juice to the diet possibly for the constipation or Miralax.

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Avocados are high in calorie content plus good for the fat to go thru the bowel for constipation.

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Try Pedia Smart by Natures One. It is organic. We were able to use the Soy Version when my son could not tolerate Bright Beginnings. It is a complete nutritional drink. It is corn free which my son struggles to digest.

They will send u a sample. I think that's right. If u like it, they have a medical needs program for those who pay out if pocket. All u do is print a form, get it filled by doc. And fax back. The price is greatly reduced.

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We used Pedia Smart and Pediasure and both were too heavy for our DD to tolerate. She sometimes vomited at the sight of the bottle. We switched her over to Nutren Jr. It is the same composition, calories, fat, protein, vitamins, etc as Pediasure but it is more easily digested. DD's vomiting went way down once we switched. Sure, it is still full of crap like PediaSure but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

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James drinks pediasure too, and he also struggles with vomiting and constipation(which are usually interrelated), however it doesn't seem to be caused by the pediasure as it was actually much worse when he used to be on baby formula. His constipation is managed by miralax (because he is low tone it is pretty common to have constipation problems), and he rarely ever vomits ever since we started him on a medication called Periactin. If pediasure does seem to be a problem for her there is a Pediasure Peptide which is supposed to be easier to digest and since it is not available in most stores you can usually get insurance to pay for it. It also comes in either 1.0 or 1.5 calories.

Just read in your other post she is crawling and pulling up! Wow she is amazing after everything she's been through the doctors really have no idea what these kids are capable of!

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Eliza was on Pediasure, both the 1.0 kcal and 1.5 kcal and was vomiting 10 to 12 times a day and was terribly constipated as well.. I thought about renaming it Vomit-sure. She did a little better on Kids Boost Essentials (both the 1.0 kcal and 1.5 kcal). When she was switched to whole milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast (has the same calories as the 1.0 kcal Pediasure and Boost) she did much, much better (far less vomiting), was able to tolerate larger quantities and the constipation improved. A lot of friends from the micro-preemie group who switched their children to a blenderized diet, swear it was the best thing. There is a Yahoo Group at that may be helpful.


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I know a ton of people who swear by Carnation Instant breakfast and whole milk. Ava has never tolerated pediasure in any fashion and can only tolerate small doses of Boost. We stayed with formula until age 3 and increased the calories to 27. She wasn't making huge gains in weight but she wasn't losing either. She finally decided some solids were doable at age 3 but not enough to maintain any growth. If taste isn't an issue I would continue with a fiber type formula or bump up the current formula with a blended diet as Ann suggested. I know it's a lot of work but might be your only way to keep her tummy happy as well.

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Thank you all so much for the replies and suggestions! I knew you all would have some awesome things for us all to try. And I'm really glad to hear we're not the only ones with issues relating to Pediasure (if that turns out being the problem). I have no problem going to a blended diet or whatever it takes to make my little girl happy.

I just hate seeing her puke upwards of 6 times a day plus being constipated and the docs scratching their heads and not giving any ideas - should've known that we'd have to figure it out ourselves anyway (and with the help from all of you).

Thanks again for all the suggestions - tons of things I've never even heard of in here so at least I feel like there's some hope now.

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There is a great blenderized diet group on facebook. Laiken has been on a blenderized diet for a couple of months and it has helped her with her tummy troubles so much. I would definitely recommend it.

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My 15 mo preemie (cleft palate) has a g-tube and was switched from gentlease to pediasure at 12 mo adjusted, but the constipation she already fought from the gentlease got worse, so we switched her to Nutrin Jr (actually got it donated from our local childrens hospital, since our insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program) covers NONE of my DD's tube materials, pump or formula) and increased her daily amount of miralax, and she is doing great. (How great it feels to be able to write that!!) We are hoping to switch her to half whole milk half nutrin in 2-3 mo if she continues to do well, and then hopefully to just whole milk in another 3-4 mo. My DD is pretty little, not tiny (18lbs), and we give her 1 1/2-2 tsp of miralax every day, mixed in any liquid, through her tube or by mouth (she takes some by mouth). We but the Miralax at Costco for the best price, or the Target brand generic.Good luck!! Feel free to write me, I know how hard these balancing acts can be! Julia

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Hi everyone.

I can't thank you all enough for all your feedback and suggestions and wanted to give you all an update since you were all so kind to offer advice. It seems that Kylie is now FINALLY better after close to a month of violent vomiting and no answers from her doctors - which is why I turned to you all!

We stopped her pediasure and went back to just her basic 24 cal mixture of enfamil and presto! She's back to normal. Go figure. So I'm not sure if it's because of the corn that's in Pediasure or something else, but whatever it is, we're staying away from it.

So we'll have to start the process of trial and error of trying to see what else might work to get her the calories she needs to grow. But you all know how it is when you're at your wits end, grasping at straws and we were there a few days ago. Thanks to you all, we think we figured it out. I feel so blessed to be a part of a unique community that really comes together to help each other out and will try to always do my part to pay it forward.

Thank you!!!!!!

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Hello Kylies Dad,

I've never responded or posted here before, but I've learned so much already since I've just recently joined. Also, I feel so passionate about this topic I thought I'd share what we've done with our son.

Our son Franky has CP, he's two. After a lot of weight loss, battle, him refusing to eat, an NG-tube - Franky finally got a G-Tube in April.

I'm not sure how old your daughter is? Perhaps close in age to Franky? In anycase the nurses, nutritionists & doctors were pretty floored when we said we didn't want to give them their go to formula (Pediasure) in the hospital...we wanted one made out of "real food" - it actually says that on the can. We immediately started searching & brought our own food to the hospital - Pedia Smart (only organic option).

I don't know if your child's needs, but I think it's so so important for our kids, especially our special needs kids to get real, fresh, live & colorful foods! We started a blenderized diet for Franky as soon as we got home from the hospital. He's gained almost 8lbs since May! He's now 30lbs 10 oz & 37 in long. He's super healthy...well in that regard anyway. Plus, I really like being able to choose what goes into his diet. I like to give him what a typical 2 year old would eat. His two older sisters even throw in some organic cookies on occasion :)

We use the Vitamix for his blenderized diet- which is a must.

I wish you luck & hope this might work for you. Feel free to message us if you have any questions at all. I know I learned a lot more from other parents than any of our doctors...especially nutrition wise.

Take Care

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HI, Ok I have to ask, What is a blenderized diet? I'm thinking of maybe switching my 4 yearold this way. He is smaller in size then the previous posters 2 year old. This would be a way to expand his diet without him even knowing. He eats very little oral food. He has actually started hoarding and making himself gag for quite sometime now. The newest behaviors on our quests in feeding issues since day one with my youngest preemie.


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There are few groups on facebook that could help you probably more than me, but I'll give it a try. :) My daughter is 100% gtube fed and has never had anything by mouth. Long story short she has always been constipated and it was getting so bad that I had to give her an enema just to make her go. I started researching the blenderized diet online and thought why not I'll try anything to help her. I started giving her rice cereal and formula first, then went through all the fruits and veggies of baby food one at a time to test for allergies. She still gets baby food as of now, but I'm ordering the vitamix blender so I can do everything from scratch. Everyday she has a fruit, vegetable and meat. I still thin it out with her formula, but plan on switching that soon too. She has been a different baby from the very first day. She now poops 2-3 times/day and her nails and hair growth took off too. I know this is the best thing for her and I love being able to prepare her food now. There are high calories recipes that you can follow to help with weight gain too. I would highly recommend looking into it!

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Blenderized diet just means a diet - well that's been blenderized really :)

We put all of our son's food in the Vitamix (blender) & then feed it to him through his g-tube. We alternate what we use for the liquid - sometimes lactose free milk, juice with extra calcium, broth - there are lots of options.

There's a really great book that was super useful to me when we first got home from Franky's g-tube surgery. It's called Homemade Blended Formula Handbook - Marsha Dunn Klein & Suzanne Evans Morris are the authors. If you are considering doing homeblended formula (which is totally awesome!) you should definitely get this book. It's a great resource & has really good charts in the back about calorie content of foods & different nutrients.

Hope this was helpful. Aly

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