10 Healthy Protein Shakes For Kids And Tips To Make Them

check_icon Research-backed

Image: Shutterstock

IN THIS ARTICLE

Protein shakes for kids offer an appealing way to ensure their daily protein requirement is met. This simple, nutritious homemade beverage is often rich in nuts, yogurt, milk, and other protein-rich ingredients.

Protein is an important macronutrient that facilitates several physiological functions in children. It also aids their general growth and development. Therefore, a balanced diet of protein-rich food items, such as chicken, pulses, nuts, milk, and legumes, is required to meet the body’s protein needs. This diet can be supplemented with homemade protein shakes.

Read this post for healthy protein shake recipes and useful tips on customizing protein shakes for kids. Tweak the recipe according to your child’s taste and encourage them to consume it in moderation with meals or snack time.

Tips To Make Delicious And Healthy Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are excellent for boosting your child’s protein intake, especially if you doubt that their protein intake is below the recommended amounts. Several commercial brands offer ready-to-drink protein shakes, but they are not necessarily healthy.

A commercial protein shake is made from protein powder, multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, artificial flavors, thickeners, added sugar, and preservatives (1). Children do not require a dietary supplement, such as a commercial protein shake, unless directed by a pediatrician. So, it is advisable to prepare protein shakes for children at home using different protein-rich foods.

Here are some practical tips you can use to make personalized protein shakes for your children.

  1. Make your protein powder using several types of protein-rich foods, such as pulses, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, and high-protein grains and cereals, such as quinoa and oats. Look for variety rather than sticking to just one or two ingredients.
  1. Add plenty of fruits to enhance the protein shake’s nutritional density. Use seasonal fruits as they are nutritious and affordable. Alternatively, you can also use dried, or frozen fruits, provided they do not contain added sugar.
  1. Replace refined and brown sugar with fresh fruits and avoid sweeteners.
  1. Try different milk types. You can use animal or plant-based milk and its products, such as yogurt, to make a shake. If you use plant-based milk, ensure it’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D, as most plant-based milk types are nutritionally inferior to animal milk (2).

Additionally, read the labels carefully as milk alternatives may be diluted and contain added sugar. Finally, when you choose milk, remember that children below two years of age need whole milk, and children above two should be fed low-fat (1%) or non-fat (skimmed) milk (3).

  1. Experiment with ingredients. Along with protein-rich foods, such as seeds and nuts, try using less commonly used ingredients, such as tofu, to make a protein shake. Similarly, peanut butter and veggies such as kale and baby spinach are some other foods that you can use to make delectable protein shakes.

All in all, choose high-protein foods and blend them with fruits or veggies and some sweeteners (optional) to make nutritious protein shakes for children. Be innovative and keep experimenting to get new protein shake combinations.

Sumptuous Protein Shake Recipes For Children

Check out these easy protein shake recipes that your child can prepare under your guidance.

1. Berrylicious shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 4oz silken tofu (diced)
  • 1 frozen banana (chopped)
  • ½ cup fortified soy milk
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1tbsp mixed nuts (chopped)
  • 1tsp pumpkin seeds (finely chopped)
  • Handful of fresh blueberries (chopped, for garnish)

How to make:

  1. Blend tofu, banana, and soy milk into a smooth-flowing, lump-free liquid using a blender.
  1. Add frozen berries and blend the mixture for another 30 seconds.
  1. Pour the shake into a glass and stir in chopped nuts and seeds.
  1. Garnish with fresh blueberries and serve with a mini club sandwich as an evening snack.

2. Peanut butter and banana shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 1 frozen banana (chopped)
  • 2tbsp unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1tbsp peanut butter
  • 1tsp roasted cashew and hazelnuts (chopped)

How to make:

  1. Put coconut milk and banana in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds to get a smooth, consistent, and lump-free liquid.
  1. Add peanut butter and Greek yogurt to the blender and blend until you get a slightly frothy shake.
  1. Pour the shake into a glass and stir in chopped nuts.
  1. Serve immediately with a pinwheel sandwich or mini burger as a midday snack.

3. Strawberry and orange smoothie

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (halved)
  • ½ cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fortified coconut milk
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1tbsp mixed nuts powder
  • 1tsp dates (grated)

How to make:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a smooth-flowing, lump-free smoothie.
  1. Pour the smoothie into a serving glass and serve with roasted lotus seeds as a snack or with a club sandwich for breakfast.

4. Fig, almond, and peanut butter shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 4 fresh figs (mashed)
  • 1 cup skimmed milk
  • 1tbsp almond butter
  • 1tsp dried date (finely chopped)

How to make: 

  1. Blend mashed figs, milk, and almond butter into a lump-free, smooth liquid using a blender.
  1. Pour the liquid into a serving glass and stir in the dates.
  1. Serve immediately with a bowl of veggie oats for breakfast, taco for lunch, or grilled cottage cheese for dinner.

5. Raspberry shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need: 

  • 4oz frozen raspberries (chopped)
  • 2 cups sugar-free vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries (chopped)
  • 1tsp mixed nuts (chopped)

How to make: 

  1. Put all the ingredients, except chopped nuts, into a blender and blend them into a smooth liquid.
  1. Pour the liquid into a serving glass and stir in chopped nuts. Put the shake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
  1. Serve chilled with creamy spaghetti or pasta of your child’s choice for lunch.

6. Mango sweet potato shake

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup frozen mango (chopped)
  • ½ cup roasted sweet potato (mashed)
  • 2tbsp nut and seed butter
  • 2tbsp hemp seeds

How to make:

  1. Blend all the ingredients into a smooth shake using a blender.
  1. Pour the shake into a serving glass and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  1. Serve chilled with grilled veggies and hummus or garlic bread bruschetta in a Sunday brunch.

7. Tropical shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need: 

  • 1 cup low-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup dragon fruit (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 kiwi (chopped)
  • 1 frozen pineapple (chunks)
  • 1tsp hemp and pumpkin seeds mix (chopped)

How to make:

  1. Except for the pumpkin seeds, blend all the ingredients into a smooth-flowing liquid using a blender.
  1. Pour this liquid into a serving glass, stir in the seeds, and the shake is ready!
  1. Serve it immediately or refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. You can serve the refreshing shake as a midday snack along with nacho scoopers.

8. Gram flour (Sattu) milkshake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup frozen mango
  • 1tbsp gram flour mix

How to make: 

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a lump-free, smooth-flowing shake.
  1. Pour the shake into a glass, add some ice, and serve.
  1. You can freeze this shake and serve it to your child as a frozen dessert. Also, you can add a handful of chopped nuts and some seeds to this shake.

9. Orange breakfast shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup unsweetened, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup frozen mango
  • 2tbsp orange juice concentrate (frozen)

How to make:

  1. Blend all the ingredients into a smooth-flowing liquid.
  1. Pour it into a serving glass and freeze for 20 minutes.
  1. Serve chilled with a veggie-loaded taco or chicken grilled sandwich for breakfast.

10. Quinoa fruit shake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 frozen banana (mashed)
  • 7-8 frozen strawberries
  • 1tbsp almond and pistachio powder
  • 1tsp flax and hemp seeds powder

How to make:

  1. Blend all the ingredients into a smooth, lump-less liquid.
  1. Pour the shake into a serving glass and serve immediately with a broccoli muffin or pita pockets as an afterschool snack.

Make a healthy and delicious protein shake for kids keeping their nutritional requirements in mind. This will not only help you satisfy your child’s palate but also nurture their physical and mental development. Also, consider your child’s age, gender, and physical activity levels while preparing a shake for them, as excess protein consumption may lead to health complications. You can use different ingredients and include plenty of seasonal fruits that will add flavor to the shake so your child can relish the drink.

Key Pointers

  • Protein shakes are delicious beverages that provide children a part of their daily protein requirement.
  • A few excellent tips for preparing protein shakes are using different protein sources, adding fruits, and trying various milk types.
  • Some delicious recipes for protein shakes are peanut butter banana shake, strawberry yogurt smoothie, and raspberry oats shake.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
The following two tabs change content below.

Dr. Sonal Dhemla

(PhD)
Dr. Sonal Dhemla, a gold medalist, is working with a pediatric hospital as a consultant dietitian/clinical nutritionist. She founded ‘Dr. Sonal’s Nutrittude’, a diet clinic specializing in child nutrition, complementary feeding, juvenile diabetes, celiac disease, autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, growth issues among children, different deficiencies, and much more. She also works in the field of obesity/overweight, PCOS/PCOD,... more

Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist and toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different organizations. Her interest in scientific writing... more