Here is the post many of you have been waiting for! Drink recipes to replace pediasure!

Deanna starts us off here with some great information and the recipe she uses for Aleck:

Ok, so the first thing I want to make sure we highlight is that these recipes are NOT for infants.  This is NOT formula!  These recipes can be used a high nutrition/high fat/high calorie drinks for children who are undernourished or would otherwise be drinking something like pediasure, but in NO WAY is this intended for children under a year old.  It’s not a replacement for breastmilk or formula, so please don’t use it for babies (with one ingredient exception that Sarah’s going to talk about!) :)
Phew.  ‘Nuff said.

The second thing I wanted to encourage you to do is learn about your ingredients.  Don’t take our word for it!  This recipe is one that I play with and change often for Aleck, and you will have the best success if you experiment with what works best for you.  So change it!  Adjust it!  The confidence to do that comes (at least for me) from practice and from knowing your ingredients, and what’s really in them.  We’re going to do a post or two detailing some of these ingredients to give you a solid launch point, but seriously: we are no experts.  I can’t say it enough--
don’t take my word for it!  Learn about your food, and then leave us in your dust.  Seriously. :)

So Aleck’s recipe: 

This recipe will make about 16 oz (more or’s definitely not exact). I blend mine in the morning, and then use it for one whole day, so this recipe will make enough for one entire day for us (sometimes I have to add a little more coconut milk or broth to the last bottle, but in whole day).  Aleck is still semi-liquid dependent and undernourished from the orphanage--so if you have an older child or are just looking for a pediasure replacement, you may only need 8 oz. a day.  I will say that this recipe has a TON of good fats in it, but if you are just looking for a healthy snack smoothie...this isn’t it. This is for children who need to gain weight.  Aleck has gained almost 4 pounds in 6 weeks, so I promise that it works...but as he becomes well-nourished, I’ll be adjusting the recipe again.  It’s not your average smoothie (check the nutrition facts on the coconut milk alone if you don’t believe me!) :)

Generally speaking, the base recipe looks something like this:

⅔ cup pure coconut milk (comes in a can.  BPA free cans are out there if that worries you)
1 cup bone broth (homemade...NOT store-bought!)
½ T. blackstrap molasses
1 scoop powdered goats milk
1 heaping T. sunflower seed butter
up to 1 T. chia seed gel or flax meal (experiment: this WILL move bowels, fyi)
splash of pear juice
probiotics (we use Culturelle)
Nordic Naturals Baby DHA (fish oil--sometimes he just takes this plain instead of in the mix)

Put all ingredients in the blender and whip well.  (Just a side note: we use a Y cut nipple, because this is a thick mixture).

Now, Aleck does not care about the taste, and will drink this totally straight.  It actually has just a pleasant, lightly ‘nutty’ kind of flavor, but if your child needs something with a different flavor (or depending on what they may need for the day) just adjust it!  Think of this as the ‘base’ recipe.  Add a banana or some berries.  Put in a dollop of raw honey or add a little yogurt.  Whatever you need to do to make it palatable and tailored to their needs, go ahead and do it!  It’s a total experiment :)

Here you can clearly see how love and good nutrition have helped Aleck grow in such a short time!


Deanna did a super job explaining what these recipes should and should not be used for! Just as Deanna said, no two recipes really look alike! You can vary this greatly depending on your child’s specific needs and preferences! The ONE MUST-USE INGREDIENT, though, is bone broth! This is certainly a “staple” of these recipes! We'll be sharing more in the next post about how powerful bone broth is!

Unlike Deanna, I make each of my bottles/drinks individually. It would save a lot of time if I made the base drink at the beginning of the day, but this just works well for us because I do often change or add ingredients based on their needs that day, so making the recipe each time allows me to do this. This is much easier to do for kiddos who are not liquid dependent since they need less bottles/drinks throughout the day. Again, there's no wrong way to go about this!

When we met Mila at 7 months old, she weighed only 7 pounds. Mila came home around 9 pounds at 8 months old (Yes that means she gained about 2 pounds just from LOVE and likely from increased feedings since we were at the orphanage twice a day to feed her)! She was tiny and malnourished and very sick! Within 3 weeks, she was up to 12 pounds, 10 ounces! This almost 4-pound weight gain in only 3 weeks home was prior to her airway and heart surgeries! So clearly her lack of weight gain wasn't only due to medical issues!

We did follow doctor’s orders and put her on Nutramigen to start. I was not very happy with this formula at all (ingredients list = yuck) , but it kept Mila stable and gaining some weight until her open heart surgery. I didn't feel comfortable using a homemade recipe in a child under 1 and didn't have enough time or resources at that point to do the research needed to formulate a recipe that would give her everything she needed as an "infant." As soon as she turned 1 we started her on the recipe below. Even though we aren’t suggesting these recipes for babies under a year old, I’d TOTALLY suggest using the bone broth ingredient as a base for powdered formula in place of water (YES! even in children under a year old!) I used the bone broth as a base with Mila's Nutramigen before we eliminated the Nutramigen!

Mila's Recipe 1 (12-14 months old):
(Mila was 100% liquid dependent at this point so she got 4-5 ounces every 2-3 hours, with one overnight feeding-typically 6-7 bottles per day. She would only take 2 ounces at a time when she was newly home at 8 months old (formula) and we worked our way up to 4-5 ounces at a time by a year old).
4 ounces of warm bone broth (chicken or beef-chicken is easier on the belly)
2 scoops powdered goat's milk (double the goat’s milk for the liquid suggested for higher calorie intake)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cooked egg yolk
1 ounce canned whole fat coconut milk (works as a great thickener and mild sweetener)
1/2 tsp. Nordic Naturals Children's DHA
Vitamin D supplement (Nordic Naturals)

Blend all ingredients together, serve warm.

Mila's Recipe 2 (14-18 months old):
(Around 16 months we decreased her “milk” intake to 5 ounces 4 times a day and dropped the nighttime feeding)
4 ounces of warm bone broth
1 scoop powdered goat's milk
1 tsp. coconut oil (in 1-2 of the bottles daily)
1/2 tsp. Nordic Naturals Children's DHA
1 ounce organic pear baby food (stage 1-homemade or store bought, to sweeten and thicken)
Vitamin D supplement (Nordic Naturals)

*At this point Mila was eating solids and we added many of the "superfoods" (we will post about these next time)  into her food directly. 

When Mila reached her goal weight, we began replacing this recipe with coconut and almond milk. I am able to get her many nutrients through food as she is eating table foods now! 

This picture shows how much Mila grew in her first year home, thanks to the love of a family and good nutrition!

Sofia has only been home for 6 weeks, but has already gained 4 pounds! It's important to note that Sofia (just like Zoya) was a decent weight when we met her. However, she was still diagnosed as malnourished due to lack of proper nutrition and vitamins. In her before and after picture, you can clearly see, in addition to the weight gain, that her dark circles are gone and her eyes are much brighter and full of life...her skin is much clearer....her hair is growing a lot and overall, she just looks A LOT healthier! (No editing was done on any of these photos, by the way!)

Sofia's Recipe: (15 months-current 17 months old)
(Sofia gets 4, 4-5 ounce servings per day)
4 ounces of warm bone broth (chicken)
1.5 scoops powdered goat's milk
1 tsp. coconut oil (in 1-2 of the bottles daily)
1/2 tsp. Nordic Naturals Children's DHA (only in first bottle of the day)
Vitamin D supplement (Nordic Naturals, only in first bottle of the day)
Vitamin B-12 supplement (only in first bottle of the day)
Standard Process Probiotic (Prosynbiotic, only in one bottle/day)
Personalized Standard Process Supplements (via nutritional response testing)
Either 1/2 Tbsp. raw honey or 1/2 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses (I do 2 servings with honey and 2 with molasses each day).

As Sofia grows and gains weight I change the recipe. She is at a good weight right now, so I’ve decreased the powdered goat’s milk down to 1 scoop per bottle. I will probably drop her servings/day from 4 drinks to 3 (from 20 ounces to 15) this week. I still think it's REALLY important, though, to keep her on the bone broth for a lot longer (even when we switch to a less fattening recipe)! It is so healing to the body! 

Sometimes I replace 1 ounce of the bone broth with pear juice, or juiced greens (purchased already juiced because I don’t have time for that!), coconut water, coconut milk, or almond milk. Recently I started giving all the girls a few ounces of goat’s milk kefir, which is a great source of probiotics, so I add this to her bottle once or twice a day as well! I’m adding in some of these things because they are good for her, and because I want to make sure her palate is introduced to a variety of flavors so she may be more likely to eat a diverse selection of foods. I don’t want her getting stuck on having to have her bottle made one way and only taking it that way. So I make very little ounce here or there of something new. I also add a little flaxseed oil if she gets a little constipated and that seems to help a lot! I can’t put the ground flax seed in her straw cup because it clogs the straw so I try to add that into her yogurt instead.

In the next post, we’ll talk more about WHY we are choosing these kinds of ingredients...and then you will have the tools you need to decide which ones are right for you!  Happy blending! :)

Please feel free to leave comments with any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to answer them! Also, if you’re using a bone broth based recipe with your child, please share it with us! (Email spbasile at gmail dot com). We already have another mama’s recipe and story we’ll be featuring and would love to include yours too!!


  1. Love seeing all these round chunkers!!!

  2. Hey ladies, I am rejoicing with your over the improvement Sofia and Aleck have made since coming home! What an amazing God...

    I just wanted to share a word of caution regarding the chia gel. After consuming 2T daily in my morning smoothie for a few months, I developed debilitating abdominal pain. It took me 3 weeks to finally discover the chia seeds were the cause. I did some research and found out that many others have had the same experience. I wouldn't want anyone to go through that, especially a little one!

    I have tried the chia oil supplements and those haven't caused any distress.

    God bless you bunches! xo

  3. Hi, Kim! I'm so sorry the chia seeds didn't agree with you! Both of us have children who consume these regularly with no problems, but I'm so glad you figured it out and are feeling better. Thanks for following our posts! This is a good discussion point because everyone's body reacts differently to different foods, so definitely listen to your body or your child's body when trying a new food. :)

  4. Could you post instructions for making bone broth? My son has a g-tube and I make him some custom blends. I have never tried bone broth.


  5. Do you have any suggestions for 9 month olds? Thanks, this is great :)

  6. Do you have any suggestions for a 9 month old? Thanks, this is great! :)

  7. Would you be able to post your recipe(s) for bone broth? How is this different from chicken or beef stock that is typically homemade?

  8. Would you be able to post your recipe(s) for bone broth? How is this different from chicken or beef stock that is typically homemade?


Post a Comment