nutrition for toddlers

My son is 19 months old and I have made a vow to myself to stop using months to tell his age when he’s 2. Then, he’ll just be “two years old”. Anyway, he eats pretty well, but he can be picky at times. Thankfully, he likes frozen peas, yogurt, fresh fruit, and more but he doesn’t eat nearly enough vegetables. It’s funny, because he doesn’t like the texture of meat much, but that doesn’t bother me. 

I had began to consider getting Pediasure for him in case he wasn’t getting all of his vitamins and minerals, when this coupon popped through in my email for Pediasure. So, I started looking at the ingredients in Pediasure and WHOA that put the brakes on that idea! Now, I’m not knocking you if you give your kids Pediasure, but I won’t be giving it to my son. Here’s the ingredient list:

Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Concentrate. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Cellulose Gel, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Tuna Oil, Potassium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Salt, Potassium Hydroxide, m-Inositol, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.

Holy moly! The second ingredient is SUGAR and there are 17 grams of sugar in each bottle. How can they market this stuff as a nutritional drink?! It does have 7 grams of protein and several vitamins and minerals, but read that list of ingredients. I can’t pronounce half that stuff and I don’t know the origin of most of those things.

SO, my remedy? Share my smoothies with him. I made those detox smoothies that are full of fruits and veggies and he loves them! One that I whip up most often has frozen berries, almond butter, water, spinach, banana, and flax seed. I don’t know the nutritional information on that, but I’m sure it’s not full of things I can’t pronounce since the wide majority is raw ingredients.

Anyway, feeding a toddler can be interesting, but maybe this will help if you have a finicky eater. My son gets a kick out of drinking something momma has that’s a neat color and has flavor. Plus, he gets to drink out of a straw and that seems to be cool to him. You can change up your smoothies by adding different ingredients like yogurt and different fruits, too.

Oh, and I have to admit – Pediasure does have some good nutrition tips on their website. Too bad they can’t put it into their products!

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