I am often leery of the products I see advertised on TV for kids. One of them I have seen a lot lately is for PediaSure. So I decided to check the ingredients list and nutrition label. It was at that point that I asked myself, why would anyone give this stuff to their kids? Answer: Because advertisers do a great job of marketing.
PediaSure is basically water, milk and sugar with some chemicals and other nasties. Here's the ingredients list for PediaSure Strawberry Ready to Drink:
Water, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Canola Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Soy Protein Isolate, Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Cellulose Gel, Magnesium Phosphate, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Phosphate, Tuna Oil, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Potassium Hydroxide, m-Inositol, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, FD&C Red #3, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.
Whew! Notice the artificial flavors, FD&C Red #3 (food dye), and dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl (synthetic Vitamin E). Since I am not an expert at reading food labels, I can only assume that if the Vitamin E is synthetic, so are the other vitamins. This list is enough for me to know that I would never feed Pediasure to my grandchildren.
Fortunately, I have found an excellent meal supplement. It's called Meal Shake and it's from Shaklee. You won't find artificial flavors, dyes or synthetic vitamins in this product. It comes in Vanilla and Bavarian Cocoa (very yummy) flavors. I gave it to my boys when they needed extra calories during their sports seasons. It's also excellent for picky eaters, providing 19 essential vitamins and minerals.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Advertisers get paid to sell stuff. And they are very good at it. So it's up to us as wise consumers to really listen to what they are saying and then check it out. Don't be fooled by terms like "for baby" or "pediatrician approved." Take a look at the "#1 choice of pediatricians" (AKA Dreft.) It contains chemicals like Propylene Glycol; which is an immune system toxin, neurotoxin, reproductive toxin, respiratory toxin, and skin toxin. But I digress...
By now I am sure you get my point. I just want us all to be smart shoppers, especially when it comes to making safe & healthy choices for our kids!