All About Pediatric Supplements

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Nov 13th 2020

Your children’s health should always be a priority. That’s we offer a number of pediatric supplements, designed to fill any gaps in your child’s nutrition. Whether your child has severe food allergies, difficulty swallowing, or is just a little behind in their growth, our supplements have what they need to get back on track.

Learn about:

What are pediatric supplements?

Pediatric supplements are special powders and drinks made with the essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and electrolytes that children need to grow and thrive. Unlike adult nutritional supplements, pediatric supplements focus on what kids need most. That’s why they typically include more calcium and less protein than adult drinks.

Pediatric supplements can help kids grow in weight or height, supply advanced hydration, or provide a little extra bump of nutrition for kids that have allergies or sensitive tummies.

What are the different kinds of pediatric supplements?

There are many kinds of pediatric supplements, because there are many kinds of kids! The main supplements we offer are:

Nutrition drinks, like PediaSure

Nutritional drinks are used to help kids grow! Packed with vitamins, minerals, omega-3, protein, and lots more, these drinks provide the extra boost your kids need to feel happy and healthy.

Electrolyte Replenishers, like Pedialyte

Drinks that replenish electrolytes are great for advanced hydration. These are ideal for children that have been ill, or that need extra hydration (like after a long day outside or at a theme park!).

Amino Acid Based Foods, like EleCare Jr.

These supplements come in a powder form and are designed to provide nutrition for children that have severe food allergies, damaged GI tracts, or need a primary source of nutrition. Note that this should only be used if doctor-recommended.

Who should use them?

Each kind of pediatric supplement is used for a different reason, so be sure to consult the individual product descriptions when making your decision.

In general, pediatric supplements are ideal for:

  • Children who struggle to meet their nutritional requirements from food alone
  • Those who are lactose-intolerant
  • Children recovering from an illness


Nutritional Drinks / PediaSure

Nutritional shakes like PediaSure are ideal for:

  • Kids who need to catch up on their growth
  • Kids who need extra nutrition in their diets
  • Children with developmental disorders that struggle to eat solid food


Electrolyte Replenishers / Pedialyte

Drinks like Pedialyte are best for:

  • Those facing dehydration
  • Those with the stomach flu or food poisoning, that need advanced hydration
  • Those spending long hours traveling or in the heat
  • After intense exercise, for advanced hydration


Amino Acid Foods / EleCare Jr.

Medical foods like EleCare are ideal for children:

  • Who have been expressly recommended to use it by their doctor
  • Who need heavy-duty or sole-source nutrition, because they struggle to or can’t consume solid food
  • Who have severe food allergies
  • Who have short bowel syndrome
  • Who have GI disorders

Who shouldn't use them?

Pediatric supplements may not be a good choice for:

  • Adults
  • Those who are looking for enteral feeding supplements
  • Those who haven't spoken to their doctor about using supplements
  • Those who prefer to prepare meals for their children

Should I use a liquid or powder?

Whether you should use a liquid or powdered version of a supplement is mostly up to your personal preference, but there are some guidelines that can help you decide. Keep in mind that some supplements only come in liquid or powdered form.

Liquid Nutritional Beverages are Best for:

  • Pedialyte users (does not come in a powder)
  • Those who prefer the convenience of pre-made drinks
  • Those who enjoy the pre-made flavors offered (vanilla, fruit)
  • Those who want to freeze or heat up the drink

Powdered Nutritional Beverages are Best for:

  • Those using EleCare (only available as a powder)
  • Those who want to add nutrition to their favorite beverages
  • Those who don’t like the traditional shake flavors
  • Those who would like to add nutrition to foods, like mashed potatoes or oatmeal
  • Those who would like to control the amount of powder they use

How do I use these?

The most important rule when it comes to pediatric supplements is to use them as the package recommends, and as your doctor recommends.

You can use pediatric supplements:

  • As a grab and go option on the way to school
  • As a mini-meal replacement for kids that struggle to eat meals
  • By heating them up or freezing them
  • To supplement existing diets (not as a sole source of nutrition)
  • By adding them to foods or drinks, or in recipes (PediaSure works great added to smoothies!)

How shouldn't I use these?

You should not use pediatric supplements:

  • Without instruction from your doctor or pediatrician
  • For adults (with the exception of Pedialyte, which is designed to help all ages)
  • As a sole source of nutrition, especially for kids that can consume food (unless doctor recommended)
  • For long term use in enteral feeding tubes

What features exist?

Various flavors

Pediatric supplements come in many delicious flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and fruit. Many of the supplements are unflavored, for little ones with particular tastes, or to make it easier to incorporate into other foods and beverages.


Some supplements will include “electrolytes.” These are key if you’re looking for advanced hydration or to recover from an illness.

Powdered options

Powdered options are ideal for those that want to mix their supplements themselves (so they can control portions, put the supplement into a food or beverage of their choice, or enjoy a longer shelf life).

Ready to drink

“Ready to drink” formulas are conveniently pre-mixed, so you can just grab a bottle and go.

Suitable for lactose-intolerance

Most of our pediatric supplements are lactose-free, making them a great choice for children with lactose intolerance. Check the product description for more information!


Some supplements are “hypoallergenic,” meaning they’re completely safe even for kids with multiple food allergies.

DHA Omega-3

DHA Omega-3 is a fatty acid that helps prevent certain diseases. Since the body doesn’t naturally produce it, and most foods don’t contain omega-3s, it’s important to look for it in a nutritional supplement.

Vitamins and minerals

Each pediatric supplement has a unique range of vitamins and minerals, so be sure to check the product descriptions when dedicating which is best for you or your child.

Ability to use as sole-source nutrition

Some supplements can be used as the only form of nutrition, if your child doesn’t eat at all. Be sure to consult your doctor when making these selections.

Amount of fiber

Most pediatric supplements don’t have a lot of fiber, so if your child isn’t getting enough from their food, you’ll want to check the fiber levels from product to product. Fiber is critical for digestive health!

Amount of protein

In general, protein isn’t as important for kids as it is for adults (calcium is more important). However, it can help with weight and muscle gain. Be sure to check with your doctor about the amount of protein your child should consume daily!

Gluten-free, Kosher, and Halal

Most of our pediatric supplements are gluten-free, Kosher, and Halal.

How do I choose?

Choosing a pediatric supplement is largely up to your doctor, so be sure you consult them before making your decision.

In general, though, which pediatric supplement is right for you depends on why you’re looking for a supplement in the first place.

"I want to help my child with growth, weight gain, or overall balanced nutrition."

In this case, the best option is a nutritious shake like PediaSure Grow and Gain.

"I want to help my child be more hydrated, especially after an illness."

In this case, you should look for an electrolyte replenishment option, like Pedialyte.

"My child has severe food allergies and/or a damaged GI tract and I need to supplement their nutrition."

In this case, a supplement like EleCare Jr. is best, though it should never be used without first consulting a doctor.

If you’re still confused, just give us a call at 855-855-1666 or email us at

Caregiver favorites

Our caregivers love nutrition drinks and shakes from brands like PediaSureEleCare JrPedialyte, and Carnation.

Pedialyte Electrolyte Drink

Whether your child is ill, out in the sun too long, or just not getting enough water, Pedialyte provides advanced hydration and electrolytes.

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Brittany's pro-tips

1. If your child has trouble drinking supplements, try freezing it into a popsicle!

2. When your child is ill, it can be hard for them to rehydrate, even with unflavored Pedialyte. The key is to take just small sips, whatever they can handle. Keep in mind that Pedialyte is also a great option for adults that need more hydration!

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