Does PediaSure make dairy free?

PediaSure is a nutritional drink designed for children who need extra calories and nutrients. It comes in both dairy and dairy-free varieties to accommodate different dietary needs.

Quick Answers

Yes, PediaSure does make dairy-free products. PediaSure offers both soy-based and plant-based dairy-free options for kids with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.

An Overview of PediaSure

PediaSure is a nutritional supplement drink made by Abbott Nutrition to help provide complete, balanced nutrition for kids. It was originally launched in 1988 and contains protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals tailored to meet the nutritional needs of children.

PediaSure comes in different varieties to suit the specific nutritional requirements of children at different ages and stages. For example:

  • PediaSure Grow & Gain – Formulated for underweight kids who need extra calories for catch-up growth
  • PediaSure Harvest – Made with organic fruits and vegetables for picky eaters
  • PediaSure Enteral Formula – For tube feeding needs

In addition to age-specific formulations, PediaSure also comes in dairy and dairy-free versions. This allows it to be used by kids with various dietary restrictions or food intolerances.

Dairy-Free Options from PediaSure

For children who cannot tolerate milk due to lactose intolerance, milk allergy, or vegan diet, PediaSure offers both soy-based and plant-based dairy-free options:

Soy-Based Dairy-Free PediaSure

PediaSure Soy is a lactose-free formula that contains soy protein isolate instead of milk protein. It has a similar nutrient profile as regular PediaSure, providing complete, balanced nutrition with:

  • 25 vitamins and minerals
  • 26 grams of protein per serving
  • Prebiotics and probiotics

It comes in both ready-to-drink bottles and powder that can be mixed with water. The soy-based formula has a taste and texture similar to dairy milk, making it more palatable for kids.

Plant-Based Dairy-Free PediaSure

For children who cannot have soy or are following a vegan diet, PediaSure offers a 100% plant-based dairy-free product called PediaSure Pea. It contains:

  • Non-GMO pea protein
  • Oat, potato, and rice carbohydrates
  • High oleic safflower and coconut oils
  • 25 essential vitamins and minerals

With no milk, soy, or gluten, PediaSure Pea allows children with multiple food intolerances to still benefit from a nutritionally complete supplement. It has a more neutral taste and thicker texture than the soy-based version.

Benefits of Dairy-Free PediaSure

Switching to a dairy-free PediaSure formula provides several benefits for kids who cannot tolerate milk proteins:

Allows for Adequate Nutrition

Milk allergies and lactose intolerance often force children to avoid dairy products entirely. This puts them at risk for nutritional deficiencies if dairy was a major part of their diet. Dairy-free PediaSure can help fill those gaps with a balanced formula tailored for kids.

Prevents Symptoms

Consuming dairy can cause uncomfortable GI symptoms like nausea, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea in kids with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. Going dairy-free with PediaSure eliminates those issues.

Supports Growth and Development

PediaSure is designed to provide complete nutrition to aid growth and development in children. The dairy-free formulas allow kids with milk restrictions to still get those benefits.

Better Taste and Tolerability

The soy-based and plant-based dairy-free PediaSure options offer better taste and texture than completely avoiding dairy. This makes it more likely for picky eaters to consume the nutrition they need.


Finding creative ways to replace dairy in a child’s diet can be difficult and time-consuming. Dairy-free PediaSure offers an easy, nutritionally balanced solution that is ready-to-drink.

Downsides of Dairy-Free PediaSure

While dairy-free PediaSure offers clear benefits for kids with milk restrictions, there are some potential downsides to consider as well:

Higher Cost

The dairy-free PediaSure products tend to cost more than the regular milk-based versions. For some families, the higher cost could be prohibitive.

GI Discomfort

While soy and plant proteins are generally well tolerated, some kids may experience bloating, gas, or diarrhea when introducing a new formula like dairy-free PediaSure. Starting slowly can help minimize discomfort.

Not a Milk Replacement

Dairy-free PediaSure should not be viewed as a direct substitute for milk. While it provides balanced nutrition, it may not offer the exact same nutritional profile as milk and other dairy foods. Some fortification may be needed.

Contains Soy (Soy-Based Version)

The soy-based PediaSure formula still contains soy, which is also a common food allergen. It cannot be used for children with a soy allergy who need a strictly plant-based formula.

Less Familiar Taste/Texture

The dairy-free formulas taste and feel slightly different compared to milk. Some picky eaters may resist the change and refuse to drink an unfamiliar alternative they did not grow up with.

Who Should Use Dairy-Free PediaSure?

Dairy-free PediaSure is designed for children ages 1-13 with the following conditions:

  • Milk allergy
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Vegan diet
  • Multiple food intolerances
  • Need for extra calories and nutrition

It should not be used in children with galactosemia, a rare condition that prevents metabolizing galactose in lactose. Soy-based PediaSure may also not be appropriate for children with soy allergy.

How to Switch to Dairy-Free PediaSure

Transitioning a child to a dairy-free PediaSure formula can be done by following these steps:

  1. Consult the pediatrician – Get medical guidance to ensure dairy-free PediaSure is appropriate.
  2. Select soy or plant-based – Choose between soy-based or 100% plant-based based on diet.
  3. Start slowly – Mix a small amount with regular formula at first to ease the transition.
  4. Watch for reactions – Monitor for signs of digestive upset or allergic reaction.
  5. Increase gradually – Slowly adjust the ratio to more alternative and less dairy.
  6. Offer variety – Try both powder and ready-to-drink options to prevent taste fatigue.
  7. Supplement if needed – Add other foods or vitamins if nutrition gaps exist.

Going slowly and monitoring tolerance is key to successfully switching to dairy-free PediaSure. Consulting a pediatric dietitian can also provide helpful guidance through the transition.

Dairy-Free PediaSure Options

PediaSure offers both soy-based and plant-based formulas to provide dairy-free nutrition tailored for kids. Here is an overview of the dairy-free product line:

Name Key Features Flavors
PediaSure Soy
  • Lactose-free
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Strawberry
PediaSure Pea
  • 100% plant-based
  • Pea protein
  • Vegan
  • Neutral Milk Flavor

Both the soy and pea protein formulas are available in ready-to-drink and powder versions. The powders can be conveniently mixed with water as needed. Adding dairy-free PediaSure to a child’s diet provides nutrition for kids unable to tolerate milk.

Recipes with Dairy-Free PediaSure

Dairy-free PediaSure can be used to create nutritious recipes kids will love. Here are some recipe ideas:

Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup dairy-free PediaSure
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Blend ingredients until smooth

Tropical Fruit Dip

  • 1 cup dairy-free PediaSure
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • Dip sliced tropical fruits like mango and pineapple

Vanilla Milkshake

  • 1 cup dairy-free PediaSure
  • 1⁄4 cup vanilla yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
  • Whipped topping (optional)
  • Blend first 3 ingredients until smooth

Look for other ways to hide PediaSure in smoothies, shakes, dips, and baked goods kids already love eating to increase nutrition.

Where to Buy Dairy-Free PediaSure

Dairy-free PediaSure can be purchased from the following retailers:

  • Online – Amazon,, Abbott Store
  • Pharmacies – CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid
  • Grocery stores – Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart
  • Warehouse clubs – Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club

Prices may vary between $20-$50 per case depending on the retailer. Bigger bulk sizes with powder packs tend to offer the most value per serving. Use coupons or look for sales whenever possible.

Insurance Coverage

For children with diagnosed milk allergy, lactose intolerance, or certain medical conditions, dairy-free PediaSure may be covered by insurance. Contact your insurance provider to check benefits and prescription coverage eligibility.

Dairy-Free PediaSure FAQs

Is dairy-free PediaSure vegan?

The PediaSure Pea product is 100% plant-based and vegan. However, the soy-based PediaSure Soy does contain soy ingredients, so it is not considered fully vegan.

Is lactose-free the same as dairy-free?

No, lactose-free simply means the lactose sugar in milk has been removed. Dairy-free means it contains no milk proteins or ingredients sourced from dairy cows. PediaSure’s lactose-free product still contains milk-based ingredients.

Does dairy-free PediaSure have milk ingredients?

No, the dairy-free PediaSure soy and pea formulas are free of any milk-derived ingredients including lactose, casein, whey, and milk fat. They use alternate proteins and carbohydrate sources.

Is PediaSure gluten-free?

Regular PediaSure contains gluten, but the PediaSure Pea plant-based formula is certified gluten-free. However, PediaSure Soy does contain trace amounts of gluten.

Can toddlers use dairy-free PediaSure?

Yes, dairy-free PediaSure is safe for toddlers over 12 months who need extra nutrition but cannot have regular milk. Follow age guidelines and talk to a pediatrician before use.

The Bottom Line

For children unable to tolerate milk, dairy-free PediaSure offers soy-based and plant-based formulas tailored to meet kids’ nutritional needs. With balanced nutrition and kid-friendly flavors, it makes it easier for children with milk allergy or lactose intolerance to get the calories, protein, vitamins and minerals needed for growth and development without the GI discomfort milk can cause. Talk to your pediatrician to see if dairy-free PediaSure is appropriate.

Leave a Comment