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10 Healthy Protein Shake Recipes For Kids, With Tips

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Protein is a key macronutrient that children require to perform several physiological functions and support their overall growth and development. Most healthy children meet their protein needs from a well-balanced diet containing various protein-rich foods, such as milk, yogurt, pulses, legumes, fish, chicken, nuts, and seeds. But, how about trying protein shakes for children?

A homemade protein shake is an easy-to-prepare, on-the-go beverage made with protein-rich foods, such as milk, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. You can tweak these ingredients to make customized protein shakes and let your children have them in moderation across meals and snacks.

Learn some healthy protein shake recipes and helpful tips to make custom-made protein shakes for children.

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, canned, or frozen fruits, provided they do not contain added sugar.
  1. Replace refined and brown sugar with alternative sweeteners such as stevia and jaggery. You may also use honey, maple syrup, and molasses, but remember that these alternative sweeteners aren’t any less in calories, so use them in moderation.
  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.

Protein shakes are easy to make and delicious and are excellent for enhancing your child’s protein intake. Make them a part of your child’s well-balanced diet and serve them in moderation. Prepare several kinds of shakes by experimenting with protein-rich foods, fruits or veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains, and avoid adding sugar or using foods that contain added sugar, such as fruit juices or concentrates, flavored milk, and flavored yogurt.

References:

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