Nestle, the worldwide food giant, launched Boost Kids Essentials Nutritionally Complete Drink earlier this year with a mightily barrage of claims, such as in this press release.
Today, parents have a new way of providing their children with optimal nutrition and protective benefits with the launch of BOOST(R) Kid Essentials Nutritionally Complete Drink. BOOST Kid Essentials Drink--an innovative product developed by Nestle HealthCare Nutrition--is the only nutritionally complete drink that gives kids ages 1 through 13 the power of immune-strengthening probiotics plus complete, balanced nutrition. Probiotics, delivered through the BOOST Kid Essentials straw, have been clinically shown to help strengthen the immune system to help keep kids healthy(1,2). In addition, BOOST Kid Essentials Drink fortifies a child's diet with 25 essential vitamins and minerals, seven grams of muscle-building protein, key antioxidants and 244 energy-packed calories. ...
Probiotics are live, active cultures that--when consumed in adequate amounts--provide several health benefits, including aiding digestion and supporting a healthy immune system. Together, the power of immune-strengthening probiotics plus complete, balanced nutrition gives parents a delicious option to help keep their children strong and healthy. ...
BOOST Kid Essentials Drink is also digestion-friendly, being lactose free and gluten free, and does not contain high-fructose corn syrup.
Whenever I see a drink that labels itself as lactose-free, I wonder what it does contain.
The Boost main webpage will tell you, although you have to click on the Healthcare Professionals tab to see the answer. What do you get there? The nutritional labeling information that will be on the side of every box. Really? They're saying that the minimal information demanded by law is something parents needn't know or wouldn't be interested in?
As you would expect, the ingredients are technically lactose-free. No multinational conglomerate's lawyers would let them post a false claim that blatant. But parents may not be as reassured by the actual ingredients as by the press release's glowing message.
Here are the ingredients for the chocolate flavor:
WATER, SODIUM CASEINATE (MILK), HIGH OLEIC SUNFLOWER OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM CASEINATE AND LESS THAN 0.5% OF CALCIUM PHOSPHATE TRIBASIC, CELLULOSE GEL, POTASSIUM CITRATE, SOY LECITHIN, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE TRIBASIC, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM CHLORIDE, CARRAGEENAN, ASCORBIC ACID, CELLULOSE GUM, TAURINE, M-INOSITOL, ALPHA TOCOPERYL ACETATE, FERROUS SULFATE, ZINC SULFATE, NIACINAMIDE, L-CARNITINE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, VITAMIN B6 HYDROCHLORIDE, THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE, COPPER GLUCONATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, RIBOFLAVIN, BHA/BHT (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, BETA CAROTENE, FOLIC ACID, BIOTIN, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, SODIUM SELENITE, VITAMIN K1, VITAMIN D3, VITAMIN B12.
Chemicals! Run for your lives!
Nestle can't sell you milk at a much higher price when you already have milk in your fridge. They have to give you extra value, something that you will like and so will your kids.
Like sugar. A boost has 33 grams of carbohydrates in a container (1 and 1/32 cup). A cup of chocolate milk has 26 grams. That's 27% more sugar. And containers. The kids can take the pre-made containers with them as they run around from all that sugar and that's, okay, that's convenient if lousy environmentally. And you get all those essential vitamins and minerals, as if every other kids' food in modern America isn't already fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. What kids don't get enough of is calcium, but Boost's calcium content is slightly more than chocolate milk and slightly less than regular milks.
I could go on, but you're still waiting for the lactose part. Especially with all those terms that sound like milk. Sodium caseinate, a salt that is derived from milk protein. Calcium caseinate, ditto. And whey protein concentrate. Until recently, every food made with whey protein concentrate contained lactose. A new process, one that I wrote about earlier this year, changed that, making whey protein concentrate the go-to ingredient for making foods more milk-like without lactose.
Boost Kids Essentials is high-priced fortified flavored sugared artificial milk, with probiotics. You have to judge whether it's something for your kids. Don't go anywhere near it if you're milk allergic, though. And it's not for galactosemics, either. You're a parent. Nutritional information is something you should read and doublecheck. Don't let it be hidden away from you.