Protein Shakes for Kids – Are they Safe?

Protein Shakes for Kids - Are they Safe?

Protein is one of the big three when it comes to diet, along with carbohydrates and fats. There are several important sources of protein, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, that make part of a balanced diet. Protein shakes are a quick way of providing the daily required amounts to your growing child, but they come with a few caveats. This article will help you understand them.


Can Children Have Protein Shakes

Is it safe to give a child protein shake? This is an often asked question by parents concerned about their children’s diets. Young kids are naturally lean, so there is nothing to be worried about. Besides, a healthy diet is more than sufficient to provide all the necessary nutrients, for example, protein-rich foods include chicken, eggs, legumes, milk products, and so on. To put it plainly, protein shakes are not essential at all. But if you feel like your child is not getting the required amount of dietary protein from daily food, there are a few options. You can find protein shakes in the form of ready-to-drink liquids or powders which can be mixed with water or milk.


Daily Protein Requirements for a Child

Children require far lesser protein than adults do. Research shows that very young children, that is between the ages of one and three, need around 15 grams of protein per day. Children between the ages of nine and thirteen need approximately 35 grams of protein a day. When it comes to adolescents, the need varies by sex, with boys requiring 53 grams of protein and girls requiring 46 grams of protein per day.

Some health standards suggest that teenagers might need more protein than even adults as they are going through growth spurts at the time. Overall your child should be receiving around ten to thirty-five per cent of their total daily amount of calories every day, in order to promote health, metabolism and muscular growth.

Types of Protein Shakes

Market protein shakes come in a variety of flavours, including strawberry, cookies and cream, chocolate, vanilla and so on. You can also mix the protein powders with fruit smoothies or milkshakes and make your own unique combinations. Most commercial powders are milk-based, that is whey protein or plant-based, that is soy protein. Please ensure that your child is not allergic to any of the ingredients found in these shakes. Further, ensure that the protein powders have low levels of sugar and high amounts of protein before buying them for your little one.

Boy making protein shake

Can You Use Protein Shakes as a Meal Replacement for Kids

Proteins are essential in constructing the framework of the body in the form of muscles and tissues. They are also important in carrying oxygen in the blood, countering pathogenic infections, stimulating chemical reactions, and so on. Due to their importance, you might be willing to supplement your children’s diets with protein shakes, especially if your kids are picky or play a lot of sports. However, being reliant on these shakes as protein sources will not be healthy for your child. This is because whole foods have a host of other important nutrients that they will be missing out on if shakes are used as meal replacements.

Is Having Excessive Amount of Protein Harmful for Your Child

Even though children usually don’t need supplemented protein, consuming excess protein will not improve their growth and muscle development. The bright side is that protein overdose is practically impossible, as your child will have to eat double the daily required amount of protein for long periods of time to experience any negative effects. In fact, as the body cannot store protein, it is either metabolised as energy or stored in the form of fat.

Delicious and Healthy Protein Shake Recipes for Children

There are several delicious and healthy homemade protein shakes for kids as a substitute for the commercial options.

1. Orange and Coconut Shake

This shake is excellent for athletic kids as it provides both proteins as well as electrolytes required for those who are active.

What You Need

  • Half a cup of coconut water
  • Two tbsp of crushed pulp
  • Half a cup of orange juice concentrate
  • Two tbsp of any yoghurt
  • Crushed ice

How to Make

Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth consistency is reached. If your kid likes it sweet, add some honey or jaggery.

2. Soy and Chocolate Shake

A high-protein shake, this is a delicious alternative to restaurant milkshakes.

What You Need

  • Two tbsp cocoa powder
  • One tsp chia seeds
  • Two tbsp honey
  • One cup of soy milk
  • One cup tofu
  • Two tbsp peanut butter

How to Make

Simply blend all the ingredients together and serve it with or without ice.

3. Tofu and Berry Shake

A vitamin, mineral and antioxidant-packed shake, this is as nutritious as it is tasty.

What You Need

  • Half cup tofu
  • Five tbsp pomegranate juice
  • One ripe banana
  • Two cups crushed berries of different kinds
  • Ice

How to Make

Blend together in a mixer until you get a smooth texture. You can replace the pomegranate juice with any other flavour.

Tofu berry shake

4. Coconut and Pineapple Shake

This shake is proteinaceous as well as rich in other nutrients.

What You Need

  • Four tbsp yoghurt
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • One cup of pineapple cubes
  • One cup of coconut milk
  • Half teaspoon chia seeds
  • Four tbsp rolled oats
  • Honey to taste

How to Make

Crush the oatmeal and chia seeds together to make a flour. Then mix in the remaining ingredients and blend along with any ice if required. Keep in the fridge for a few hours so that the oats become soft. Remember to shake well before giving it to your child.

5. Banana and Almond Shake

Almond butter is an excellent source of fats, minerals and iron, making this shake positively nutritious.

What You Need

  • One tbsp almond butter
  • Two tbsp cottage cheese
  • One cup almond milk
  • One ripe banana

How to Make

Combine and blend together, mixing in some honey for sweetness. Almond butter can be replaced by the proteinaceous peanut butter as well.

Kids don’t need any more protein than they get from whole foods. Giving them commercial protein shakes can be problematic, as these protein powders contain sugar and unnecessary preservatives. A great alternative to taking care of your child’s protein needs is making protein shakes yourself at home.