A fellow pediatrician complained about the Medical Representative of Pediasure/ Ensure asking him actively to stop prescribing Ensure for kids. However they were apparently unable to provide evidence to back their claims. So, I did a little bit if digging up to see if there was any significant difference between the two. This is what I found.
Pediasure is recommended for kids between 2-12 years, while Ensure is for adults. The good news is that substituting one for another is not likely to cause any serious problems for most normal kids / adults, as per my net based research.
Here are the main differences:
9 g of fat
3 g of saturated fat
90 mg sodium
310 mg potassium
18 g sugar
7 g protein
7 g of fat
1 g saturated fat
190 mg sodium (big jump!!!)
390 mg potassium
22 g sugar
9 g protein
This suggests that Pediasure has more fats including saturated fats (possibly omega 3 etc. for brain growth), and lower protein & sugar content.
On the other hand, the high sodium in Ensure would be a negative for renal/ cardiac patients too.
Overall though, given the relatively small difference in the various ingredients, it is likely that for most individuals you can probably use either one, especially in regard to picky eaters who may like the taste of a particular brand.
For someone wanting to do more research the following links give detailed information
I would like to reiterate that this is my personal opinion based solely on Internet search. I would encourage you to discuss your nutritional questions with your pediatrician or a nutritionist, especially if there is some special concerns.