Health drinks are great options for ensuring your children get essential nutrients. The market is replete with different types of children’s health drinks, but the best health drinks for kids are usually enriched with nutritional ingredients–some contain vitamins, minerals, and protein, and a few contain prebiotics and other beneficial ingredients. It is vital to choose the best health drinks to provide your children with a balanced diet and promote healthy growth and development.
We have compiled a list of some nutritious and delicious options for kids to make your choice easier. However, before diving into the list, let’s find out if health drinks are safe for children.
Are Health Drinks Safe For Kids?
Health drinks for children usually contain calcium, phosphorus, protein, and other nutrients and are good alternatives to sugary drinks such as sodas or canned juices. You can add them to your children’s diet, provided you keep an eye out for added sugar, preservatives, and ingredients your child may be allergic to. Also, you might want to consult a nutritionist or doctor to know your child’s nutritional needs before bringing home a health drink.
If your child is fussy about greens, health drinks may also help meet their nutrient needs to some extent. You can also include health drinks in your child’s diet to boost their energy and keep them away from unhealthy snacks.
13 Best Kids Health Drinks In India
1. Best Nutrient-Rich: Complan Nutrition And Health Drink
Complan is a kids’ health drink It is packed with nutrients, including iron, iodine, sodium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E, and helps support immune function. Besides, it aids brain functioning and development while maintaining fluid balance in the body. Check out this video to learn how to prepare this health drink.
- Contains 34 vital nutrients
- Supports memory and concentration
- Can be consumed with milk or water
- Available in four different flavors
- May not be suitable for children with lactose intolerance, milk allergies, or Galactosemia
Milk solids (54.7%), sugar, peanut oil, maltodextrin, caramel (Ins150c) minerals, beet red (Ins162), vitamins, inositol, taurine, L-carnitine
2. Best DHA-Rich: AptaGrow Health And Nutrition Drink
If you are looking for a children’s health drink with prebiotics and DHA, AptaGrow is the right choice. It is a nutritious low-fat drink formulated to be consumed as part of a healthy, varied diet. The health drink powder has the Nutri-absorb formula, which helps absorb nutrients faster. It is one of the best health drinks for kids as it contains milk protein and calcium to support height gain and vitamins and prebiotics to support immune health.
- Vegetarian product
- Contains a unique blend of GoS and FoS
- Supports brain development
- Helps improve gut health
- Contains 37 vital nutrients
- Available in vanilla and chocolate flavors
- May contain soy, peanuts, and wheat
Skimmed milk powder, maltodextrin, sugar, galacto-oligosaccharides, nature identical flavoring substances, fructo-oligosaccharides, docosahexaenoic acid powder, iron, choline, folic acid, iodine, stabilizer, vitamins, minerals, taurine, inositol
3. Best All-Natural: Manna Health Mix Nutrition Drink
This 100% natural multigrain mix by Manna Health is one of the best health drinks for child growth in India. It has a blend of 14 kinds of cereal, pulses, and nuts and is a nutritious breakfast option for children. The health drink provides proteins for strength, healthy fats and carbohydrates for energy, and vitamins and minerals for immunity building. It needs to be cooked for three minutes before consumption.
- Free of added sugar
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Contains fiber for a healthy digestive system
- Boosts stamina and bone health in growing children
- Some children might find the taste a bit bland
Millets and cereals: (82% ragi, bajra, corn, jowar, wheat, red rice, barley), pulses: (fried gram and green gram), sago, groundnut, cardamom, almonds, cashew nuts
4. Best For Bone Health: Nutrilite Kids’ Drink
Nutrilite’s chocolate-flavored health drink for kids contains essential nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. It provides adequate energy sans unwanted calories. The drink aids overall growth and development while supporting bone health, muscle strength, and cognitive development. Besides, it helps improve skin, teeth, and hair health. Check out this video for more information about the product.
- Free of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Vegetarian product
- Helps improve vision
- Contains essential amino acids
- Flavor may be a little intense
- Quantity may be lesser than you expect
Vitamins A, C, D, B1, B2, B6, and B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc
5. Best Ayurvedic: Saffola ImmuniVeda Golden Turmeric Milk Mix
Saffola ImmuniVeda brings you this health drink powder based on the grandma-approved immunity-boosting turmeric milk recipe. Each scoop of this health drink mix has the goodness of turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and almond. It is tasty and healthy, and the black pepper in it aids in improving digestion. Children can consume it with milk, hot turmeric latte, smoothie, or kheer.
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Free of artificial flavors
- Rich source of protein
- Contains natural antioxidants
- May contain sugar
Haldi powder, haldi extract, elaichi powder, elaichi extract, kali mirch powder, kali mirch extract, dalchini extract, almond flakes, permitted excipients
6. Best Digestible: Gritzo SuperMilk Nutrition Drink
Gritzo SuperMilk is formulated with essential nutrients and is one of the best health drinks for seven-year-olds and above. It has a delicious chocolate flavor and is easy to digest. Packed with all essential and non-essential amino acids, this children’s health drink helps boost growth, supports brain development, and increases stamina. It is devoid of refined sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
- Gluten- and soy-free
- Absorbs quickly
- Contains DHA and electrolytes
- Contains easily digestible whey protein
- May contain unrefined sugar
Milk protein blend (skimmed milk powder, whey protein concentrate), vitamins, minerals, 100% natural chocolate flavor, unrefined cane sugar (brown sugar), cocoa powder, natural guar gum, docosahexaenoic acid
7. Best Immunity-Boosting: Junior Horlicks Health And Nutrition Drink
Junior Horlicks is a health drink with specialized nutrition for toddlers aged between two and six years. The health drink helps children meet their nutritional requirements and supports physical growth and brain development while helping boost immunity. This health drink powder also helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.
- Contains DHA, choline, folic acid, and iron
- Contains Vitamin D, protein, and calcium
- Available in vanilla and chocolate flavors
- Can be consumed with milk or water
- Aids healthy weight gain
- May contain added flavor
Wheat flour (atta) (35%), malted barley (extracted solids) (25%), milk solids (22%), cereal extract (8%) (barley, malted barley, millet, wheat), sugar, minerals, wheat gluten, vitamins, edible iodized salt, acidity regulator (INS 501 (ii)), DHA powder from schizochytrium sp. (0.26%), nature identical flavoring substances, soy protein isolate
8. Best Homemade: The Great Banyan Multigrain Choco Malt
The Great Banyan Choco Malt is an instant multigrain- and real-cocoa-powder-based children’s health drink suitable for children over 18 months. One of the best health drinks for child growth, it is made of natural ingredients such as whole grains, millet, and handpicked nuts. The powdered cereal health mix has no white sugar, added flavors, or colors and is also devoid of milk solids. Besides, this homemade health drink powder has been produced in small batches to retain its freshness.
- Free of stabilizers or thickeners
- Naturally sweetened with jaggery
- Helps boost energy
- Rich in calcium
- May take time to dissolve in milk
- May not be suitable for those allergic to nuts
Whole wheat, finger millet, pearl millet, jowar, red rice (mapillai samba), roasted gram, groundnut, barley, cashew nut, almond, jaggery, cocoa powder
9. Best Pediatrician-Approved: PediaSure Health And Nutrition Drink
PediaSure brings you one of the best health drinks for two-year-old babies and children aged up to six years. This pediatrician-approved kid’s health drink supports immune function and brain development. It also has ingredients, such as arginine and vitamin K2, which have been scientifically proven to help increase height and weight.
- Contains 37 nutrients
- Improves bone health
- Contains key neuro-nutrients for brain development
- Fights infections
- May contain added flavors and sugar
Skim milk powder, maltodextrin, sucrose, edible vegetable oil, lactose, fructose oligosaccharide, medium chain triglyceride oil, flavoring(s), L-arginine HCL, minerals, vitamins, m-inositol, taurine, L-carnitine, lactobacillus acidophilus, nature identical and artificial flavoring substances
10. Best Junk-Free: The Great Banyan GrainDelites
GrainDelites by The Great Banyan is made of natural ingredients, including whole grains, millet, and nuts. The junk-free, healthy, and tasty formula is suitable for children and adults and is naturally flavored with premium cocoa powder and mildly sweetened with jaggery. This health drink powder is devoid of thickeners, stabilizers, and milk solids. It also doesn’t need cooking or boiling and can be directly mixed with milk before consumption.
- Supports immunity and skin health
- Enhances blood flow to the brain
- Helps improve digestion
- Homemade in small batches to retain freshness
- Free of white sugar, added salts, or preservatives
- May contain gluten
Whole wheat, finger millet, pearl millet, jowar, red rice (mapillai samba), roasted gram, groundnut, barley, cashewnut, almond, jaggery, cocoa powder
11. Best Organic: Early Foods Organic Ragi & Chocolate Drink Mix
The health drink for kids by Early Foods is suitable for children aged three years and above. It is enriched with organic ingredients and can be consumed as an instant drink or smoothie. The freshly made health drink powder aids in maximum nutrition absorption and has ragi as its primary ingredient, which is known to be ten times richer in calcium than rice or wheat.
- No toxic chemicals
- No artificial flavors or colors
- No milk powder
- Minimal processing
- Vegetarian product
- Chocolate flavor may be a little bland
Organic ragi/nachni/finger millet, non-alkalized raw cacao powder, organic amaranth/rajgira, organic brown sugar
12. Best Vegetarian: Nutrela Kids Super Food Nutrition Drink
Nutrela Kids Super Food nutrition drink is scientifically formulated as per ICMR guidelines. It contains milk proteins, bio-fermented vitamins, botanical extracts, and essential amino acids and is enriched with dry fruits, whey protein, calcium, and brahmi extract. The children’s health drink offers balanced nutrition and is suitable for children aged between four and 13 years. It is free of artificial colors, preservatives, and trans-fats and has a delicious chocolate flavor.
- Free of GMO or gluten
- Vegetarian product
- Contains FOS and colostrum
- Easily digestible and absorbs quickly
- Helps boost immunity
- Sugar content may be a bit high
Milk solid, sugar, high oleic sunflower oil powder, calcium caseinate, cocoa powder, whey protein concentrate, fructo-oligosaccharides, fructose, maltodextrin, cow milk calcium, flavor, colostrum powder, minerals premix, soya lecithin powder, distilled monoglycerides, xanthan gum, dates powder, almonds powder, lutein, walnut extract, flaxseed extract, vitamins blend, brahmi extract, shankh pushpi powder, vitamin K2-7, L–taurine, zinc salt, soya extract, rosehip extract, ashwagandha extract, tulsi extract, defatted fenugreek fiber, bio-fermented mushroom extract
13. Best USDA-Approved: Tots & Moms Almond & Dates Health Drink
Rich in protein, iron, fats, and vitamins, Tots & Moms Organic Drink Mix is one of the best health drinks for kids. It meets the body’s daily nutrient requirement with protein-rich almonds, iron-rich dates, and organic jaggery. It is thick, creamy, and delicious and is USDA-approved. The drink mix contains no white sugar and is naturally sweetened with date powder. Moreover, the Omega-3 present in this health drink powder helps boost energy.
- No milk solids
- Minimally processed under hygienic conditions
- Mild sweetness
- Free of artificial flavors and preservatives
- Helps boost immunity and memory
- Supports hair and skin health
- May have a slightly bitter aftertaste
Organic almonds, dates, jaggery, sprouted ragi
How To Choose The Right Kids’ Health Drinks?
Consider the following factors when choosing a health drink for kids.
- Primary ingredient: Despite the long list of ingredients, your focus must be on the first ingredient on the packaging of the kids’ health drink. It is the primary ingredient that makes up the majority of the product.
- Position of sugar: The higher the position of sugar on the ingredient list, the more the sugar content in the health drink powder. Ideally, sugar should be in the middle or end of the list.
- Hidden sugar: At times, brands use different words for sugar. Look out for alternate names such as maltodextrin, liquid glucose, sucrose, or corn solids.
- Number of ingredients: Usually, products with a long list of ingredients have preservatives or other chemical additives somewhere. It is best to go through the list thoroughly.
- Names of the ingredients: If you find unfamiliar terms, run a quick search to know their effects on a child’s health.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often can children drink health drinks?
The frequency of consuming children’s health drinks depends on the child’s nutritional needs. If a child is underweight or a fussy eater, health drinks can help fulfill their nutritional requirements. However, solely relying on health drinks is not recommended. Children must have a balanced diet, and health drinks can be consumed between meals.
2. How much health drinks can kids have in a day?
Most parents stick to the standard “two glasses a day.” However, one glass of health drink a day works too. It is advisable not to drink more than two glasses a day. Ensure you offer health drinks to your children as an add-on to their diet and not a substitute for meals.
3. Should I consider my child’s age when choosing a health drink?
Yes, you should consider your child’s age and stage of development. For instance, the best health drinks for a two-year-old may not meet the nutrient needs of an eight-year-old. Similarly, health drinks for a seven-year-old may have more nutrients than a three-year-old requires.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Vibha Navarathna, our in-house writer and reviewer, has extensive experience in writing about child health and nutrition. Her articles are backed by research, and she compares several products to curate lists of the best products for babies, toddlers, and children. Children’s health drinks are tricky to pick owing to the vast number of products in the market. So, she has combed through the far ends of the market and considered several products to recommend the best health drinks for kids. She has also answered some FAQs and provided a comprehensive buying guide to help you take your pick.
The best health drinks for kids should be nutritious and tasty. They must also have a balance of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates. Children’s health drinks can keep the little ones full and are a healthier alternative to fried food and snacks. They also aid with height and weight gain and can keep children healthy. When choosing one for your child, make sure to check the list of ingredients and consult a nutritionist for recommendations. Finally, make sure your child likes the taste of the health drink–Psst! you could enhance its taste with healthy options such as organic jaggery or honey.
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