Buying Guide: Pediatric Nutrition (Vitamins, Supplements, and Shakes)

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Wed Jun 26 2024.

Father and daughter in the kitchen.

Parenting is the best job you’ll ever have, but meal and snack times can be especially stressful. If your little one is a picky eater or has nutritional challenges that affect their weight and development you need to be able to support them. But it can be difficult knowing where to start. We’ve created this shoppable list of our favorite pediatric nutrition products to make things easier. It features nutritional shakes, electrolyte solutions, and vitamins suitable for infants and toddlers.

How We Chose The Products On This List

The items featured in this buying guide are a mix of our best-selling and top-rated pediatric nutrition products. They’re highly recommended by our caregiving community and have proven track records. We’ve included real user feedback whenever possible, under the heading “Hear It From a Parent.” 

Carewell’s Pediatric Nutrition Buying Guide

1. PediaSure Grow & Gain Pediatric Shake with Fiber

Most children get the vitamins and minerals needed for growth from their diet. But if your little one can’t eat solid food, needs extra calories, or is at risk of malnutrition, PediaSure Grow & Gain can help. The product supports children ages 2-13 and contains 25 essential vitamins and nutrients. It can be administered orally or via tube feeding.

Key Benefits & Features

  • #1 pediatrician-recommended brand

  • Clinically proven to help kids grow

  • Good source of fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and Omega-3s

Hear it from a parent

“I love it! This is exactly what I purchased and wanted. A little pricey, but well worth it to see the smile on my child’s face. Thanks!”

- Donna W.

 

2. Boost Kid Essentials  1. With Fiber Balanced Nutritional Drink, Vanilla, 8 oz.

Boost Kid Essentials is formulated for children ages 1-13 with increased calorie needs or volume intolerance. The vanilla flavor is kid-approved and can be consumed orally or with tube feeding. Each shake provides 360 calories and contains a special, CalciLock blend (a mix of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins D, C, and K) designed to support bone health.  

Key Benefits & Features

  • 2 grams of fiber per serving to promote regularity

  • Vanilla Vortex flavor (a kid favorite!)

  • Ships in a case of 24

Caregiver Tip

If your little one is a picky eater and doesn’t like the taste, try refrigerating the shake beforehand. You can also add herbs and spices, like cinnamon and turmeric or a spoonful of peanut butter to make it more palatable.

3. PediaSure Sidekicks High Protein Pediatric Oral & Tube Feeding Supplement Shake, Chocolate, 8 oz.

PediaSure Sidekicks High Protein Formula is for children who need extra protein. In fact, it contains 3 more grams of protein (or about 40% more) than PediaSure Grow and Gain. This high protein formula also has fewer calories (180 calories per 8 oz. bottle vs. 240 calories per 8 oz. bottle) for Grow and Gain.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Formulated for kids who need extra protein

  • Suitable for kids with lactose intolerance

  • Each serving contains 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 25 essential vitamins and nutrients

Caregiver Tip

This high-protein formula can be administered orally or with tube-feeding, so it’s a good option for children with swallowing disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and neurological conditions. 

4. Orgain Kids Protein Organic Nutritional Shake, Vanilla 8.25 oz.

Orgain nutritional shakes are made with clean ingredients and grass-fed proteins. They don’t contain additives and are certified USDA organic. Each 8.5-ounce serving has 8 grams of lean protein, 22 essential vitamins and minerals, and only 9 grams of sugar. They can be used as meal supplements, meal replacements, or mini-meals (if you’re on the go).

Key Benefits & Features

  • Recommended for children who struggle to consume sufficient vitamins, minerals, and protein

  • Gluten-free, soy-free, Kosher, and non-GMO

  • Vanilla flavor is kid-approved

Caregiver Tip

Store these nutritional shakes in the fridge for a few hours before opening. The chilled taste mimics a vanilla milkshake which is very appealing to picky eaters.

 

5. Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution Powder, Multiple Flavors, 0.3 oz., Individual Packet

As a parent to an infant or toddler, you’re very familiar with colds, the flu, and gastrointestinal upset. Though there’s no way to prevent these illnesses completely, Pedialyte can provide peace of mind if your little one gets sick. These electrolyte packets come in several flavors, including fruit punch, grape, apple, and strawberry. Simply open, mix with eight ounces of water, and drink.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Great-tasting flavors that kids want to drink

  • Quickly replaces vital nutrients lost during diarrhea and vomiting

  • Prevents dehydration

Hear it from a parent

“Good size. Good value.”

- David H.

6. Smartypants Kid’s Complete Gummy Vitamin

Convincing your little one to take their vitamins is a lot like trying to get them to eat their broccoli –– difficult. Smartpants removes some of this friction with their delicious (and kid-approved) gummy vitamins. These vitamins are for children 4 and older. They contain 13 essential nutrients that support bone, immune, and thyroid health.

Key Benefits & Features

  • No synthetic colors, artificial flavors, or sweeteners

  • Include the nutrients moms want in a delicious format that kids love

  • Smartypants supplements exceed the strictest standards for contaminants, chemicals, and other unwanted additives 

Caregiver Tip

Most kids eat these up like candy. But If your child doesn’t like taking vitamins, try mixing them in with a package of regular fruit snacks. 

Smartypants Kid's Complete Gummy Vitamin
Smartypants Kid's Complete Gummy Vitamin

Price: $14.74 - $19.81

Get Fast, Free Shipping & 30% Off with Autoship

Providing nutritious snacks and meals is one of your most important responsibilities as a parent, but nutritional challenges, like swallowing difficulties and failure to thrive, can make your job even more stressful. Stocking up on pediatric nutrition supplies can ease some of that anxiety and ensure your child has everything they need nutritionally.

To make things easy, we offer fast, free shipping on orders $49+. You can save even more by signing up for Autoship. All new Autoship enrollees get 30% off their first order.

Questions About Pediatric Nutrition? Contact Our Care Team.

It’s normal to have questions if your child has special nutritional needs. Our friendly Care Team is available 24/7 and ready to support parents like you. Whether you have questions about a specific nutritional shake or need help choosing a product that will meet your kiddos’ needs, we’re here for you! Call (800) 696-CARE or email support@carewell.com.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.