Chocolate Toddler Formula Pulled: Uproar over childhood obesity

By Peter Chubb - Jun 11, 2010

Parent who have given their children Mead Johnson’s Enfagrow Premium are not happy that this toddler drink is made up of mostly milk and sugar, nutritionists have caused an uproar by claims that this could cause childhood obesity. This certainly goes against the health claims that Mead Johnson’s have made.

The company maintains that Enfagrow Premium contains ingredients that help to boast brain development, growth and immunity for children. However, it is this extra sugar that has both parents and nutritionists worried the most. Susan Donaldson James has written an article on WHAS11, saying that the makers of this formula have now pulled the chocolate-flavored version off the shelves.

The company has not been put off by this and will still sell the vanilla-flavored Enfagrow; this has 16 to 17 grams, instead of the 19 grams with the chocolate version. There are another three flavors, these only have 10 to 11 grams of sugar – ideal for those fussy eaters out there.

The supplement costs $18.99 for 29 ounces, which only offers 22 servings. However, when you break this down it only works out at $0.85 per glass. Many believe that the product is not necessary, what do you think?

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Also See: Del Monte Cantaloupe Recall: Form of salmonella

  • Good info! I’ll be adding your rss.

  • Rebecca

    If your child has a need for it and the dr has prescribed it then this article doesn't pretain to you so don't get you panties in a wad. It is about those parents who choose to give this to their child instead of milk because they worry about their child's health after visiting the drive thru.

  • Stephanie

    I've never relied on those types of supplements for my child. I did what was best for him by breastfeeding for 16 months. If most parents are aware, breastfeeding children for a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 18 months is very beneficial. They get all the nutrients they need naturally. I didn't give my son cow's milk, because he's not a cow. I've given him what he needs & I'm darn proud of it.
    These parents are being way too dramatic about a chocolate/sugar drink. If you don't want your kids to drink it, then don't let them. It's YOUR responsibility to make sure they EAT and DRINK healthy. Give them something else that you approve of & quit your complaining.

  • stacey

    If the child receiving it is indeed a toddler, give them milk! They don't need anything to supplement their nutrition unless they are not being fed the right nutrients by their parents. This is the equivalent of giving your kids chocolate milk every day. Not healthy by any standards. Ok as a treat, but certainly not with your morning cereal.

  • Courtney Fultori

    Linda Mueller is kind of a know it all b*tch.

  • stacie

    seriously? is it THAT big of a deal that they have to pull this off shelves? Can't parents just choose not to buy it? like the gummy vitamins? is this any worse for a child than regular chocolate milk? at least this has some nutritional value attached. My kids are not obese, so maybe I'm being insensitive. I would have no problem giving my children nutritional supplements as long as they were safe, because getting my 4 year old to eat anything healthy is a constant aggravating challenge in our house.

  • parent of toddler

    Some toddlers refuse to eat no matter what is tried. Parents are trying to keep their kids from death. Some refuse to eat and the saying that they will not starve to death doesn't include all kids. Some will go days without food no matter what you offer and in what cute shape you present it in. Get info. before you put parents down. They are just trying to make sure they get the nutrition needed to get passed this stage in a toddler's life.

  • Sarah

    Also, do people realize there are 28grams of sugar in 8oz of 100% apple juice??? How much juice does the average toddler drink?

    Also, there are chocolate versions of Carnation Instant Breakfast and Pediasure, as well as Berry, Banana Cream, etc. It is silly to attack this one product.

  • Sarah

    For children with growth or digestive issues or Failure to Thrive these added calories make a huge difference. They provide the necessary calories while a children learns to eat. Our son has a swallowing disorder and the use of Carnation Instant Breakfast added to whole milk constitutes 1/4-1/3 of his daily calories and some days it is still a struggle to meet his caloric need. We are not lazy parents and have been fighting for our son since the day he was born, 3 months prematurely for unknown reasons.

    I personally think that parents need to be more responsible including making sure their children get exercise. Parents and the public need to stop BLAMING others for the health of their child and themselves.

  • Momof7

    I have a child who has difficulty maintaining weight dueto health issues, even on a regular diet. Supplements like this have helped her to no be so underweight. She still drinks regular milk and eats a variety of foods.

  • Noelle

    I'm with Sara. Why are parents still giving their toddler formula to begin with?? Once a child hits one year, they need regular whole milk and a wide variety of nutritious "real" foods. I suppose giving a child a sippy cup of formula is just easier than actually fixing a meal for them. Why don't parents actually "parent" anymore???

  • TammyB

    Since when does good nutrition come in a can of chocolate flavored powder?

  • Sara

    No cow's milk should be given until child is 2 years old

  • Cori

    My youngest is 21 months old and hates milk… even with a little chocolate or strawberry syrup mixed in… he hates it. I can't trick him.
    He does still like formula, go figure.
    I buy this brand (at Target $17) but I buy the vanilla or plain,
    I have never bought the chocolate flavor, simply because I don't want this unusual weaning period to be any longer then it has been.
    I love the fact that it has the DHA Omega-3, which is proven to benefit in brain development, and provides more vitamins than milk does.
    I mean, it can only be a good thing for a growing and super smart baby, right?

    In my opinion, it is the parents who lead their children down the path of health or obesity. Healthy parents equal healthy kids and vise-versa.


    Actually, this product fills a need. Most people buying this kind of thing have been instructed to do so by their Pediatrician.
    Many kids out there need the extra vitamins and yes, even the extra sugars. My kid is one of them. He is ""normal". I am not too lazy to give him good, nutritious food. What he takes in is simply not enough to keep him growing.
    It would be great if we could use this product, but our little guy has a milk intolerance, so we have to purchase the $1.60+ per serving Pediasure.

  • susane

    just another way to "milk" parents out of $$ for another product that is marketed as nutritional and necessary…BS!..Your todller should be eating fruits and veggies like Mother Nature intended….If he has had a long illness and feel he/she needs to "catch up " a little maybe ok -but don't be a sucker!….wake up America–we are too gullible and too quick to jump on bandwagons based on a product label!…Get the Facts!…

  • Bianca

    Wake up parents and do your job. Be aware of what your children are eating. Don't trust commercials, read the damn package. I am a mother of 2, both of who were on whole milk by their first birthday. I have no sympathy for these lazy parents who won't take the time to cook their children a real meal.

  • kathrine

    Rename the formula Enfachub

  • Shelley

    There should be no need for supplements? Have you ever seen how little a toddler eats? Sometimes it would be nice to have something a little extra to give them. What is the difference? Why are people so upset about chocolate toddler formula, but not chocolate, strawberry or vanilla pediasure?

  • Laura

    Toddler formula is just another way for the companies to take money from consumers. Drink regular milk, feed your child fruits and veggies, leans meats and grains. If you really feel you need extra nutrition, Pediasure on occasion, and vitamins.

  • sara

    whats wrong with regular milk?????

  • Linda Mueller

    I think this is just another case of New Age Overkill. By the time a child is old enough to need the 'toddler' formula, they need to be eating regular food. Parents who resort to feeding their children this sort of product are generally too lazy to learn about the real nutrition their children need, and procuring it for them. As toddlers, also, children should be developing 'tastes' for a variety of foods: smells, visual appeal, textures, and the taste of food. There should be no need for supplements of this kind for normal children whose parents are trying to ensure a healthy body and good attitude about food in their toddlers

    • Cori

      No Linda…not all parents who give their children this product are lazy.
      As in my case, as recommended by my pediatrician, this product can benefit as a milk supplement (my 21 month old hates milk). All three of my children are very good, healthy eaters, infact my 3 year old's favorite food is brocolli. Lots of fresh whole foods in my house. We stay clear of processed and fast foods as much as possible.

    • CayceB

      Parents are in an "uproar"? Because they didn't READ THE LABEL before making a food choice for their child?
      Sounds more like a poor parenting issue than a manufacturer issue
      I'm sure they had the correct labeling on your product
      These parents think if they act like victims they won't have to take responsibility for their poor choices
      Probably also the one's who give their kids chips, cookies and soda
      These are just gimmiks to keep you paying a high amount, when a $2 gallon of milk is your childs best bet
      Had any of these parents taken the 30 seconds to ask their childs pediatrition, they would have known it wasn't needed if you feed your child correctly
      Still feel like a victim?
      Parents today need to quit being so lazy, prepare a healthy meal and feed your children off the table Feed them correctly, and there is no need to supplement your
      childs diet
      And quit blaming others because YOU can't parent