Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix

Pros and Cons of Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix for Kids

child drinking carnation instant breakfast
Is Carnation Instant Breakfast a good way to provide nutrition for your child?. Blend Images - Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

A pediatrician's take on Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix for kids.

The Bottom Line

Nestle Carnation Instant Breakfast Powder Drink Mix is an easy and inexpensive way to boost the amount of calories, calcium, iron, and other nutrients in your child's diet.  Eating breakfast is linked with better learning ability in children, and though fresh fruits, proteins, and whole grains appear to be ideal, that's not always possible in today's society.

Pros

  • Adds 130 calories to a glass of milk
  • Provides extra protein, calcium, iron, and other important nutrients
  • Available in 5 great tasting flavors
  • A fast and easy way to boost your child's nutrition
  • A less expensive alternative to other nutritional supplements, like Pediasure

Cons

  • Drinking extra calories may actually fill up your child so that he eats even less
  • Chocolate and cappuccino flavors have caffeine
  • Has 20g of sugar (although a no-added sugar version is also available)

Description

  • An easy way to boost your child's nutrition.
  • A powdered drink mix that you can add to a glass of milk or use to make a smoothie.
  • Provides your kids with an extra 130 calories, plus calcium, iron, and other nutrients.

Pediatric Expert Review - Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix

Do some kids really have a problem with getting enough calories in their diet? With our childhood obesity problem, getting too many calories seems like a more common problem.

For many other children, getting enough calories and nutrition can interfere with their normal growth and development though. This can especially be a problem for:

By adding a packet of Nestle Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix to a cup of milk, you can add an extra 130 calories and 250 mg of calcium to your children's diet. This also provides them with extra protein, iron, and many other important nutrients.

The main downside is that it may be hard to give to your children if they don't drink milk. You can try a ready-to-drink, or make a smoothie if not drinking milk is a problem.  Another option is adding the mix to almond milk, soy milk, or cashew milk, though the taste may be different than with regular milk.

Parents who read food labels will notice that sugar is listed second on the list of ingredients. If this extra sugar is a problem for you, choose the Carb-Conscious version, which has no added sugar.

If the caffeine in the chocolate or cappuccino flavors is a turn off, go with vanilla or strawberry instead, which do not have any caffeine.

In An Ideal World

Studies have repeatedly shown that kids who eat breakfast have better "cognitive performance."  In other words, they learn better at school than kids who skip breakfast.  And even if you're worried that your child has packed on a few too many pounds, it's thought that children who eat breakfast are less likely to struggle with obesity down the line than those who skip the morning meal.

A few studies tell us that more energy sustaining sources of breakfast, such as oatmeal, or protein intake such as eggs, may be the best bet, but not all children have time in the morning, and not all children go for those energy sustaining foods.  The most important thing is eating something for breakfast, and a supplement such as Carnation Instant Breakfast provides much of what is needed.

In an ideal world, as parents we would minimize packaged foods, and aim at as many fresh fruits, dairy, and whole grains as possible.  That can certainly look good in print, but anyone who has tried to get several children ready so they can get to work on time realizes that sometimes ideal is the same as hypothetical - it simply doesn't happen.

Take a look at these basics on child nutrition, and brush up on any areas listed in which you are concerned when it comes to your child's diet.  As parents it's hard to remember exactly what's best at what stage, and as soon as we seem to master one stage, our kids move on to the next.  Try to avoid these junk foods as much as possible.  And take a moment to read a few tips about dietary supplements, before those colorful ads in magazines make you appear to be a neglectful parent for not loading your child up on capsules.

Sources:

Blondin, S., Anzman-Frasca, S., Djang, H., and C. Economos. Breakfast consumption and adiposity among children and adolescents: an updated review of the literature. Pediatric Obesity. 2016 Feb 4. (Epub ahead of print).

Mahoney, C., Taylor, H., Kanarek, R., and P. Samuel. Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children. Physiology and Behavior. 2005. 85(5):635-45.

Ptomey, L., Steger, F., Schubert, M. et al. Breakfast Intake and Composition Is Associated with Superior Academic Achievement in Elementary Schoolchildren. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2015 Dec 23:1-8. (Epub ahead of print).

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