PediaSure vs. Ensure: Differences [Which one is Better]

When looking for nutritional supplements for children, there are two shakes on the market that stand out the most. They are Pediasure and Ensure, and both are nutritional supplements tare developed by Abbott Nutrition. However Pediasure is made for children, whereas Ensure is made for adults, so Pediasure is much better for children.

Pediasure vs. Ensure: what are the differences and which one is better? Both are great nutritional supplements, but Pediasure has more vitamins and minerals and is better for a kid’s body than Ensure. Ensure only works as a snack rather than a nutritional supplement.  Read below to find out how they compare in price, nutrient contents, and ingredients. 

Pediasure vs Ensure: Comparison Table

WINNER PediaSure
  • Comes in many flavors
  • Smells like a shake
  • Easy on the tummy
  • Is thicker
  • Has a powdered and canned form
  • Better nutrients for kids
  • Is a little Pricey
  • Helps supply nutrients children need
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Ensure
  • Doesn’t taste as good
  • Not rich like milkshake
  • Not as pungent of a smell
  • Bad for a child’s tummy
  • Causes constipation and diarrhea
  • Has a powdered, canned form, and high-protein option
  • Nutrients for adult bodies, not children’s
  • Is less expensive than PediaSure
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Pediasure review

Pediasure Review

Pros

  • If your child suffers from medical conditions, this can be a great way to get the nutrients needed
  • It also boosts the kid’s calorie intake, which can help them gain body mass
  • This product helps children gain weight, and even the pickiest children like drinking this
  • It also has many different flavors too so if your child doesn’t like one of them, they’ll enjoy another
  • It also comes in a milk soluble form and added sugar, enhancing the flavor
  • It also contains trace minerals that are important for a kid’s health
  • Pediasure is a great protein supplement, which helps a child during the growth process

Cons

  • If your child has a milk allergy, they can’t have this, since the product does contain a milk-soluble fiber in it that can cause allergic reactions
  • It also can cause a dependency in it, which means that they’ll crave this sweetened drink, and it won’t provide healthy eating habits for the child
  • Puts the child at risk for diabetes and obesity due to the sugar in it
  • It uses a processed protein which isn’t healthy
  • It also contains artificial flavorings.

Review


Pediasure is primarily for kids that are fussy eaters that don’t have the recommended daily carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and nutrients that they should get from regular food.

This also is used for children who are recovering from illness, or for babies that are teething.

It also is used for smaller kids that are underweight, reducing the chances of falling ill and providing nutrients that are necessary for kids.

Pediasure has vitamin A, B12, biotin, zinc, magnesium, chromium, and copper, all of which are integral to a child’s development both physically and mentally.

It provides the right amount of nutrients, and is only 240 calories, so it isn’t a high-calorie drink. It is a nutritional supplement that should be taken while the child eats their regular foods.

It is good for children who don’t have a milk allergy, but always talk to your pediatrician before giving this to a child.

While it does provide a supplement for fussy kids, do keep in mind that there is a boatload of sugar in it, and it also can cause a dependency on it too, so if you do give it to a kid, don’t give them too much, and help them segue into healthier eating habits as well.

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Ensure Review

Pros

  • Contains vitamins and minerals to provide good health
  • Is a liquid meal if you can’t chew solid food
  • There are many different flavors
  • It does contain variety for you to choose from
  • If you don’t have time to sit down and drink it, you don’t have to.

Cons

  • Does not replace a balanced diet
  • This product is marketed to adults
  • They don’t contain the nutritional values children require
  • It is marketed more than a healthy snack than a meal replacement
  • Can cause nausea, diarrhea, and constipation in children
  • Some children overdose on this, resulting in cramps, shortness of breath, and mood swings
  • Usually not recommended by pediatricians for kids

Review


Ensure is a nutritional supplement used by adults who are frail, recovering from a major illness, or are elderly. 

It provides key nutrients to these people so they can get the vitamins and minerals they need. 

Ensure is often used as a meal replacement, but it’s better as a snack. However, it does provide the vitamins and minerals that adults need in life. It also is simple to ingest for those who struggle with swallowing food. 

It is good as a temporary solution if you plan on taking this as a small supplement. However, one of the major downsides to Ensure is that the vitamins and minerals are often too much for children in this supplement. 

That means, that when children take this, they are more likely to overdose on this. Overdosing on ensure can cause cramps, breath shortness, diarrhea, and other problems.  It isn’t recommended for kids. 

It isn’t all that good for adults either, since all too often, it’s too much for their bodies, and it can cause constipation, cramps, and vomiting.  

It is okay for elderly individuals to take this, or if you are sick, but it isn’t as gentle on the body as Pediasure is, and generally, it’s not made for children. 

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ensure review

Pediasure vs Ensure: Head to Head Battle 

Taste 

Pediasure offers a wide variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, berry, banana, s’ mores, and strawberry. In general, they are like yogurt or milkshake that a child can drink. 

Ensure in comparison has milk chocolate, chocolate, strawberry, dark chocolate, latte, butter pecan, and banana nut. These tend to be flavors that children don’t like as much.

Plus, ensure tastes like a not-as-rich milkshake. While it may be alright for adults, lots of children dislike it. 

Smell 

The smell Pediasure tends to smell like a shake, so little ones like it. 

Ensure doesn’t have as much of a smell as Pediasure does, so if a child has sensitive noses, they may not dislike the smell as much. 

Effects On Tummy 

Pediasure tends to be easier on the tummy. For some little ones, it’s been reported to upset them, since it is thicker. But, most children can drink Pediasure, and if they are frail and sick, this can help them recover. 

Ensure is not as easy on the tummy, because there are a lot more vitamins and minerals in it. Often, children who drink this tend to feel sicker, and they may vomit or feel constipated after drinking this. 

Variants 

Pediasure has only the canned and powdered form.  It is the same formula just in different formats. 

Ensure has the powdered or canned drink form as well, but they also come with a higher-protein option too, which is good if the person drinking it needs more protein. 

Nutrients 

Pediasure has adequate nutrients for children that struggle with eating enough food or getting enough nutrients. However, it doesn’t fully replace a balanced diet, but for picky eaters, it can help. 

Ensure contains vitamins and minerals catering to frail, elderly adult bodies. This tends to be too much for most children. It does contain the vitamins and minerals needed, but often in too high amounts, which can affect their bodies. 

Price 

Pediasure tends to be a bit more on the expensive side, and it offers only two options. 

Ensure you can get in 24-pack form, but also variants, such as Ensure MAX which has more protein. It tends to be a little cheaper than Pediasure, but the price isn’t all that much of a difference. 

ensure pediasure differences

Conclusion

Pediasure vs Ensure: And the Winner Is…

For children, it’s best if they drink Pediasure, since it’s better for their bodies, and provides the nutrients they need. If they’re picky eaters, this is the better option. 

However, it is more expensive than Ensure, but Ensure contains too many nutrients for their bodies. But, Pediasure does bring the risk of milk allergies, reducing a child’s appetite, and it does contain a lot of sugar, which can make a child obese. 

However, this really only happens if you give the child only this, and don’t encourage a healthy diet. This can be used for a child’s body if you notice they’re not getting enough nutrients, despite eating a balanced diet. 

Ensure in comparison contains the ingredients for adult bodies, but often, they’re so saturated that it can cause side effects even in adults, including nausea, constipation, and other problems Ensure also cause chronic constipation in a lot of reports. 

If you’re choosing a meal supplement for your child, Pediasure is better for them. While Ensure is cheaper, it isn’t healthy for their bodies and is often too much even for most adults.

Keep in mind that neither of these products replaces a balanced diet, and these should only be used if you can’t get that for whatever reason, or if you’re sick and need more nutrients to have a healthy body. 

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