High calorie formula options

Our daughter (30 weeker) is now 15 mos. old (12.5 adjusted) and has been through some different combinations of formula in our attempts to get her to gain weight. She started on EBM with Neosure to up the calories, then went to Neosure by itself, then to Neosure 24, then to Neosure 24 mixed with some Pediasure and now to Pediasure.
Her volume has always been low and she's never had any reflux.
I know that there are other products out there that are approx. 30 calories per ounce, but are any of them cheaper than Pediasure and if so, how have they been received by your little ones?
We're fine to keep her on Pediasure for however long, but I thought it might be worth it to see what everyone else has used and how it's been received.
If this 30 cal/oz. plan doesn't work, we're going to have to add in Duocal or something in addition to up it even more.
She looks healthy, she is apparently happy with the little amount that she takes in, but unfortunately, it's not enough to make her grow. She is currently in the 3rd percentile for weight (18 lbs 12 oz) and 5th for height (28.25"). We're thrilled that she is finally on the chart, but the couple of times that she's been sick, her weight drops fast. She regularly gets mistaken for around a 8 to 9 month old- most of you know how that goes :)
She will only take 2 to 4 ounces at a time, even after sleeping for 12 hours, so even on a good day, she only takes 18-20 ounces max. She LOVES table food, but a great meal for her is 1/4 to 1/2 of what most kids her age would eat at a meal.
Any 'tips from the trenches' regarding 30 cal. options would be appreciated!
Thanks in advance!

Report post

7 replies. Join the discussion

HI. My daugher (27 weeker, 10 1/2 mo actual) is eating 30 calorie Pregestimil. Pregestimil is not cheap and it is 20 cal per ounce. You can mix any of the formulas to 30 calories by using a specific recipe. We mix it differently and add corn oil to get the 30 calories. We were working with the ECI dietician and also the GI doctors nutritionist to get the recipies. Ask a professional what to use because you can mix more powder or add oils depending on your daughter's needs. Using more powder increases protein but also sugars and is harder on the kidneys. Oil adds carbs so check with your pedi or see a nutritionist. Each of the powdered formulas requires a different recipe because they are all a little different.
Good Luck.

Report post

I just took my 19 lb, 19 month old, former 34 weeker to a GI MD with a feeding clinic and will now be feeding him Pediasure and the expense will be challenging to me also. I would love some alternative choices also.

Report post

hi there...i have twin girls born at 30wks now at 16months. they both just hit 14lbs!!! my ped is not too concerned with their weight since they have been steady on their curve (although i am a little nervous..i just want them to get on the charts!!) anyway, i nursed them for a year then switched them to whole milk with one scoop of neosure or enfacre per 4 oz to boost calories.
also, the nutritionist told us that pediasure is good but can be costly, so instead to use carnation instant breakfast and make it with whole milk..it is the same calories and much cheaper! hope you baby continues to grow well! good luck!

Report post

Wow, I had no idea there were so many issues with caloric intake. I mean, outside of our own issue which seems so simple in comparison. Our daughter is 17 months old now, and in the 80th percentile for height, but has not gained any weight in 3 months. She's in the 10-15th percentile weight-wise.

She eats about a tablespoon worth of table food per meal on a good day! 10 cheerios is a major food binge for her. But she'll drink anything in a bottle, so the PT sent out a dietician who told us to do the following:

- Add a tablespoon of formula to a bottle of whole milk, and give 30 oz. of milk (minimum) per day. Milk has the fat calories her brain needs to develop, and formula has the nutrients lacking in the milk (folic acid, DHA, etc).
- Give her 4 oz. of Odwalla's "Superfoods" juice per day, which gives her the nutrients she's not getting from her green veggies. The juice is packed with nutrients.
- Give her a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid vitamin (forget what kind, but it's a specialty product from a health store) as well as 1/2 teaspoon of fish oil (same store) each day.

That way, she gets all of her daily nutritional requirements met through her liquids, and the solid food eating can just be "extra". No specialty formulas or anything like that. It's still tedious to make sure she gets it all (plus, we are giving her some other things like Miralax for constipation) but I'll do whatever I have to, to keep her tummy full and help her body grow and thrive.

She's still the skinniest baby on the block. But heck, if you saw her at birth, you'd think she was downright chubby now. I just wanted to comment because I have never met anyone else with feeding issues, and had no idea that our method was different from others'.

Report post

In my son's case, we went to whole milk because he seemed to digest it better. But his dietician recommended to add two tablespoons of whipping cream to his bottles and that extra amount of calories has definitely helped. He even seems sharper, mentally. If your daughter's on formula, a dietician can make up a recipe of how much powder to use in a bottle for extra calories. My son loves his bottles more than food, until he got wise to me, I also gave him a bottle a day with yogurt in it, just be sure to mix it proper so it's not too thick. I'm amazed to find so many replies, I felt like the only one with a child that won't eat!

Report post

Ok I have been thought all of them and the cheapest is a brand called parent choice at walmart or wallyworld is what we call it ha,ha. it is the same thing as pedisure. I get it when we r tight on money and I get pedisure when I can just to change it up a bit. Some other stores have it to.

Report post

I want to agree with sherry5. My son recently switched from Neosure to Pediasure. I knew that Pediasure can be expensive (although I think it is cheaper than the Neosure), so I asked our dietician if is is okay for us to use a cheaper version of Pediasure. She said "absolutely!" So, we have been giving Dale the Parent's Choice brand (as mentioned in the previous post). We buy it at Walmart and it is significantly cheaper than the Pediasure. Dale loves it, too!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Preemie links and resources


Narratives from the NICU -- Read the special report

Community leaders