Is Ensure appropriate for children?

Ensure milk-based nutrition shakes provide extra calories and nutrients to the diet of individuals who are elderly and unable to digest fat or those who have recently recovered from a surgery or long-term illness and are unable to regain weight lost. These drinks have been specifically designed to fit the needs of adults, but can also be used as a supplement meal for children with a low appetite.

While Ensure drinks can be taken by either adults or children, it may not be necessary for your child as children generally do not require additional calories. Unless your doctor has advised otherwise, it's best not to offer Ensure to children. These drinks provide large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are not needed for young children and may not be safe in excess. It's best to provide your child with healthy, nutritious food as their source of vitamins, proteins, and minerals.

Each bottle of Ensure provides 50% vitamin C, 25% vitamin A, and 30% vitamin E that an adult needs each day. These drinks also contain energy-releasing nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. They also contain calcium, choline, vitamin B12, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D. Before you give your child Ensure drinks, remember that children require much smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals than adults. Excessive amounts can cause health problems.

In certain cases your child may be recovering from an illness and may need to drink additional calories to regain weight that was lost during the illness. If this is the case, check with your paediatrician about a recommended drink for your child. PediaSure, also made by Abbott Nutrition, is specially designed for children and would be a good choice if your child really does need a supplemental snack or a meal replacement if he is a picky eater and needs to put on weight.

The safest and best way of getting your child to be healthy is through a healthy diet and regular exercise. In most countries the rate of overweight and obese children is on the rise, so it's best to consult your paediatrician before adding liquid calories to your child's diet.