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Difference between Pediasure and Ensure

Nowadays markets are flooded with food supplements all promising to be the best for you or your child. They promise weight gain, increase in height and increased overall health and immunity in the person who consumes it. It can get very confusing while deciding which one to choose for your loved one. An important tip though is to read the labels well to understand the contents and their quantities before you take your pick. A quick consultation with the doctor is also helpful in times of confusion.

Pediasure and Ensure are health drinks made by the same company Abbott Nutrition for two different set of populations. Pediasure has been designed for kids whereas Ensure has been developed for the adults recovering from some major illness, frail people and the elderly. The sole intention of both these drinks is to provide extra nutrition and supplement the regular diet.


Kids are known to be fussy eaters and generally do not consume the recommended daily dose of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals from their regular food. This especially happens when they are teething or recovering from cold, fever or flu. Some kids are small for age in terms of height and weight. These kids benefit a lot from consuming at least 3 glasses of pediasure mixed with milk per day. It helps to reduce the frequency of falling ill by increasing the child’s immunity. Pediasure contains the recommended calories for kids and also the right amount of vitamin A, Biotin, Vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper and chromium which is important for the physical and mental development of the child. It is very important to give the right amount of nutrients to the children as overdose of any of the vitamins like Vitamin A can be toxic instead of beneficial. Pediasure is recommended for kids between one two ten years. It contains 240 calories and healthy omega-3 fatty acids and prebiotics which increase the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. This improves digestion and increases appetite. Though it is a health drink it must not replace the child’s regular diet. The child must be encouraged to eat his share of vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates along with this health supplement. The health drink must be treated as a supplement only. It is available chocolate and vanilla flavours to satisfy the taste buds of the child.


Ensure on the other hand has been developed for weak, fragile adults or elderly people who are low on energy levels. It contains the same amount of calories as Pediasure for the same weight but has higher amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, biotin, selenium, copper, magnesium, chromium and niacin. The dosage is adjusted as per the requirements of the adult and geriatric population. It cannot be given to kids as the nutritional content is different in terms of weight. It is generally recommended in hospitals when a person is recovering after a major illness or surgery and is not able to consume solid food. Ensure mixed with a fluid is given through gastric tube to fulfil the daily calorie and nutritional needs of the patient. Ensure is not prescribed to people suffering from Galactosemia – a disease in which there is a problem with digestion of galactose sugar.

Pediasure and Ensure are health supplements recommended for children and adults respectively. You cannot give Ensure to children or Pediasure to adults as the nutritional requirements of each age group is different.

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  1. My 43 yes aged
    wife is recovering from an operation. Doctors advised her protein diet. She has lactose intolerance. Can she take ensure. Please advice. Thanks.

  2. My Dr. gave me about 15-20 free bottles of Pediasure after I suffered a lot of weight loss due to thyroid problems.

    That was about 4 weeks ago and I’ve noticed a solid bulk up of weight. So, in a pinch, Pediasure will work for adults, especially if you’re Dr. Gives you 15 free bottles!!

  3. Which is better for teenage children either ensure or pediasure and there are so many products in ensure

    • My mother made the mistake of going off of what she thinks is best for us, but at the end of the day it was harming us more than it could help. ASK YOUR DOCTORS. a second opinion never hurts, ask them about it. ensure can contradict with over the counter drugs without even knowing. as harmless as it might seems, the damage can be very fatal.

  4. I m 36 years old. I like pediasure so much. I used to drink every day. Would it increase my weight or not?

  5. My doctor has perscribed ensure instead of pediasure to my 8 year old! I know they say that dr knows best but im sceptical on giving him this now after reading the info. I dont want my son to overdose on vitamins!

  6. Simply want to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is just nice and i can assume
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  7. Pediasure has less sugar than ensure it gives me energy on top of that . I mix with coffee/ milk. Im atround 34

  8. I m 29. Can i take pediasure to increase my weight? How many bottles I should take a day?

  9. How many cans of ensure do you need per day to put on weight.

  10. I just want to clarify a few points:

    Both children and adults take Pediasure or Ensure respectively for more than just a supplement. My son has Gastroparesis with GERD and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. He cannot eat anything solid, and right now is on a liquid diet. Along with home-made smoothies he has 1-2 pediasures/day. Prior to developing EE, my son loved all food, but he’s a vegetarian so no meat. He is 12 years old and has been 60 pounds for 2 years. Pediasure was created initially not as a growth supplement but as a food for children who have conditions that require a liquid diet.

    Now as for Ensure, it, too, was created as a medical food replacement for those who either don’t have an appetite (cancer patients) those who have digestive issues, and those who have had radical surgeries. It’s important to note that it is not ONLY given in feeding tubes but is actually normally given to drink orally. My father lived off Ensure after losing the roof of his mouth to cancer for a few years while he learned to swallow again.

    I find it disappointing that they are being marketed as ‘weight gainers,’ as whole food can never be replaced with these drinks in healthy individuals, but I guess they wanted to widen the market. Looking at the comments it’s clear that their marketing worked, because when my father had cancer (I was 8) it had to be ordered through the pharmacy, and was not generally available to the public. If you want to gain weight, you’re truly better off looking at your macronutrient intake and increasing those accordingly with real foods than using these medically-designed drinks.

    • I suffer from gastroparesis also and had to have a umbilical hernia removed and had to go on a liquid diet for fifteen days prior to surgery and was told to drink ensure for my diet

  11. I m 13 years old which is good for me ensure or pediasure

  12. I would like to widen the scope of this conversation and say that both PEDIASURE and ENSURE are amazing products.
    I believe that this product saved my DOGS life. She has diabetes and was at the point of not eating , so needed to be force fed daily. At first she would only swallow the liquid which kept her alive for over a week and then gradually I was able to force feed her canned wet food and give her the ensure with a syringe in order to swallow .
    When I took her to the vet they did absolutely nothing and charged me over $200.
    These days people are having a hard time as is and your pets are your family and when they get sick you need to be resourceful at times.
    Just wanted to share my experience as there is not enough information suggesting how beneficial these products can also be for the well-being/ recovery of animals or maintenance at old age.
    Most likely due to liability and company being unable to make these suggestions without approval.
    Nevertheless, it worked wonders for my little dog.
    I also do work at a nursing home and yes these nutritional supplements literally bring people back from the dead.
    I have seen particular clients go from skeleton to healthy body weight transformation on nothing else but the tube feeding regimen.

  13. My son is 14 years old and he is so verythin at his age and height what is the best milk for him pediasure or ensure milk.

  14. This was very enlightening and informative. Thank you all for sharing your individual experiences. Somehow Pediasure tastes much better than Ensure. When I mix the vanilla one a tiny bit in my tea it enhances the taste and aroma… and I love it!
    As for my teenage daughters they love Pediasure…lolz

  15. I am 22 years old girl.I wana increase my height 2 inches.which is best for me pediasure or ensure.

  16. My 14 Y/O is underweight, his pediatrician suggested 2 pediasure a day

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