The Early Morning Challenge: Nesquick Vs. Carnation Instant Breakfast

Adding powdered flavoring such as Nesquick to milk has become a popular way for parents to encourage their children to drink more milk. In addition, adults have become fond of quick fixes such as Carnation Instant Breakfast rather than eating a full meal in the morning. Although the products have many similarities, there are also drastic differences particularly in the nutritional content.

Nutritional Information

Nesquick is typically marketed toward parents. Their motto is “Kid Delicious. Mom Nutritious!” I actually purchased this product for my daughter because I believed it was a nutritious product and I was looking for more ways to get her to drink milk. When I actually took time to read the label, I was surprised to learn that the nutritional value is really quite minimal. Some challenges related to the nutrition fulfillment can be done through the top prebiotics supplements available in online stores. The reading of the label will be in the favor of the person. The dose in the beginning should be fewer to get the desired benefits. Different ways will be available with the person to get the optimum results. 

Nesquick and Carnation Instant Breakfast both have a similar number of calories for an eight ounce glass. Nesquick has 210 calories when added to one cup of reduced fat milk. Carnation Instant Breakfast has 220 calories when added to one cup of fat free milk. Both provide similar amounts of the recommended daily value of Calcium. Nesquick provides 40% and Instant Breakfast provides 50%. They also both provide 25% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D. This is where the similarities end.

Instant Breakfast provides 45% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A while Nesquick only provides 15%. It provides 50% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C while Nesquick only provides 10%. Nesquick does not provide any Iron while Instant Breakfast provides 25% of the recommended daily intake. Carnation Instant Breakfast also provides a number of other vitamins and minerals that are not included at all in Nesquick including Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folic Acid.

I was surprised by the sugar content of both products. Both contain 21 grams of sugar when they are unprepared and 27 grams of sugar when mixed with one cup of milk. In fact, sugar is listed as the first ingredient on Nesquick. Sugar free versions are available for both products. The sugar free version of Instant Breakfast also includes an additional three grams of fiber per serving.


Carnation Instant Breakfast is available in the following flavors: Classic Chocolate Malt, Classic French Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Rich Milk Chocolate, and Strawberry Sensation. No Sugar Added flavors include: Rich Milk Chocolate and Strawberry Sensation. Nesquick is available in chocolate and in strawberry. A No Sugar Added chocolate flavor is also available.

Nesquick powder comes in a variety of sizes ranging from eight ounces (21 servings) to 48.7 ounces (85 servings). Two tablespoons of powder are mixed with one eight ounce glass of milk to create a finished product. Instant Breakfast comes in a box with ten individually packaged serving packets. The packets are mixed with one eight ounce glass of milk.

From my experience, the Nesquick powder mixes in easily and quickly. The Instant Breakfast powder is a bit thicker and takes more mixing to ensure that the powder doesn’t clump or settle at the bottom. In terms of the finished product, the Nesquick drink is very thin and tastes very sweet. The Instant Breakfast product is much thicker and smoother. It has a more balanced taste overall.

Overall impressions

A 30 ounce container of Nesquick which provides 38 servings retails for approximately $5. A box of Instant Breakfast retails for approximately $3. If cost is your only concern, Nesquick is obviously much less expensive and would be a better choice. If taste and nutritional content are priorities, it is worth it to pay the extra money for the Instant Breakfast. As a parent, I am concerned about the nutritional content of the foods that I serve to my children and after analyzing the nutritional content, I began using Instant Breakfast. Children still enjoy it and according to the company’s website, it they can safely consume it. The added nutritional value is also a benefit for adults and lives up to its claim of being “serious morning fuel.” If you are conscious about your sugar intake, I would suggest the sugar free version. The difference in taste is minimal.

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Richard Johnson was the first one to blab on BlabShow. His amazing and informative blabs have boosted our site’s audience and continues to do so.

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