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Homemade Pediasure???

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So my 3 year old is the worst eater on the planet. She utterly refuses to try most everything (and this doesn't mean just green veggies, she's refused choco pudding before too). The only thing she wants to eat 99% of the time are "chicken nuggets," luckily we get the Morning Star Farms fake chicken nuggets and she likes them. While they may be healthier than most processed chicken crap, it's not meant to be 100% of her diet. Everything is hit or miss with her, sometimes she'll eat something she likes, sometimes she won't touch it.

She's also been having terrible and violent meltdowns after waking up from her naps (low blood sugar, anyone??) where she will try to pull out her hair, scratch herself, kick the walls, etc. I am 100% convinced this is diet related. I did a "trial" of pediasure for a few days, and voila, no meltdowns! I explained my concern about her eating habits to our ped at her well baby visit today, she blew me off with "well she's in the 75% for weight, I'm not worried." Well HELLO! I'm concerned with the quality of the food she's eating, getting the right vitamins & nutrients, not just the fact that she is gaining good weight!

My point is, finally, that this pediasure seems to be helping, and while ideally, I'd like her to get nutrients from wholesome real foods, in the mean time, I'm going to supplement her with this liquid nutrition. The only problem is that it costs $11 for 6 bottles, and it's breaking the bank (and probably contains some extra preservatives that we could do without anyway). Does anyone know of a recipe for a "homemade pediasure" or something similar that has a good texture/taste?
post #2 of 6
My father drinks Ensure, and my DS loves drinking it as well. I prefer that he stay away from the synthetic additives, plus it's expensive and I don't want him taking too much of it away from my Dad!

He enjoys drinking whole milk with a little maple syrup added. According to my 10yoDD, it tastes even more like vanilla Ensure when vanilla extract is added as well. DS especially likes it when we mix it up in an empty Ensure bottle (I'm not sure about Pediasure, but the adult version comes in plastic bottles with reclosable lids.)

I'm not certain if milk and maple syrup alone would be enough nutrition for a child who isn't eating very much of anything else. Molasses might be a better choice, since it's high in iron and B vitamins. You can also try making smoothies for her- blend together milk and fresh fruit. If she doesn't like it super thick, either don't use frozen fruit or let it thaw after blending. A few strawberries blended into milk makes the whole thing pink!

Another thought is to buy the adult nutritional drinks instead of the ones marketed for children. Compare the nutrition labels and see if there's a significant difference. I've seen generic nutritional shakes that sell for less than the name brands.
post #3 of 6
Not sure about making pediasure or ensure, but here is something I've been making now and it ROCKS...nutritionally and flavorwise:

Chia Milk (makes full blender jar — 5 cups)
4 Tbsp. Chia seeds
2 Tbsp. Walnuts or Almonds
2 Tbsp. Raw sesame tahini or raw almond butter
2 Tbsp. Unheated, unfiltered honey or agave syrup
dash of vanilla extract (optional)
5 cups water

In a jar or glass, soak seeds and walnuts overnight in 3 cups of water. Pour into blender jar, add 1 cup of water, and turn on blender, running it at medium speed. With blender running, add tahini, honey, and vanilla, then add 1 more cup of water. Blend only until smooth.

Chia milk is rich in EFAs and protein. Because of the soaking, it is also particularly rich in enzymes. Because of chia seeds' antioxidants, it will keep well in your refrigerator. Use it within a week as a substitute for other forms of milk. (Maybe you'll decide that chia milk isn't a substitute for anything; rather, other forms of milk are a substitute for chia milk.)

Chia Seed Nutritional Profile:

Vitamins A, B**, C and E
Calcium, Boron, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium
All Essential Amino Acids – Complete Protein source
Vegan source of Omega 3 and 6 in perfect ratio (no worry of fish contaminated with mercury)
Loaded with Antioxidants that keep the seeds fresh for up to 5 years at room temp.
Protein content: 20-25% (that’s twice any grain)

Note on Vitamin B** content:
Two ounces (about a TBS) contains
2% B-2 (riboflavin)
13% niacin
29% Thiamin (a sparkplug for metabolizing carbohydrates and for energy)
and at least trace amounts of all the other B vitamins

3.5 ounces of chia (100 grams) compared to 100 grams of milk, has over 5 times the calcium, at 600 grams calcium in the chia, compared to 120 grams in the milk. Plus, the trace mineral boron helps it be super absorbed!

Most all health food stores sell chia seeds now, otherwise you can find them at the following online sources:

For a small quantity (a pound or two) this site is good, plus it has a lot of Nourishing Traditions and culturing type stuff:


These sites has good bulk prices if buying in large quantities:


post #4 of 6
I tried the chia milk recipe above, and my blender didn't blend the chia seeds (they just floated around whole). Are the chia seeds supposed to blend in? I just have a regular blender, not a vitamix or other fancy blender.
post #5 of 6
Did you 'soak' the seeds first? That helps...

But even when I blend dry seeds into my morning smoothies, they dissappear into my drink and I've never had more than maybe 'one or two' seeds that escaped the grinding....

I do have a Vitamix blender, but usually just use the normal 'high' setting, not the super fine grind, high setting. So a normal blender should work. I also have friends with normal blenders that make it (the milk) and smoothies with chia and flax and it gets really smooth.

Maybe run it a bit longer or throw in an ice cube, sometimes that additional 'friction' helps grind up stuff and will make it a bit colder (like refrigerated milk).

Hope that helps! BTW, you can still drink it ok, it'd just be 'grainy' tasting. I swollow the dry seeds in a bit of water (so before they really gel up) when I've got pregnancy induced 'acid reflux' and they go down fine. So don't worry if you swollowed a few 'whole' ones. hehe

post #6 of 6
Yes I soaked them with the walnuts for over 12 hrs. The walnuts were milkified in the blender, but it seems like all the chia seeds are still whole, not just a few... my blender is kind of old and crotchety and on its last legs though, I usually just use it to blend kefir with fruit
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