Supplements

5 Best Protein Shakes for Kids
Great Tasting Supplements That Are Child-Friendly

Best-protein-powder-for-kids
Written by Isaac

Try as we might our kids don't always eat the food we present them with. Still, we need to be sure they're getting the nutrients they need to build healthy bones and muscles and to stave off problems as they grow into adults.

Protein is vital to a growing child, and yet there are a number of reasons why a boy or girl may not be getting enough and may need supplements:

  • ​They may have an aversion to the texture of protein-rich foods
  • ​They may have a food allergy that prevents them from eating certain foods
  • ​Or they may just be picky eaters

Whatever the reason, if your child is not getting the protein they need, it’s time to consider powder supplements. The right product can correct the problem quickly and won’t take a lot of work or convincing on your part.

5 Best Protein Powder for Kids Reviewed

Product

Type

Key Features

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard protein drink for kid

#1 Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard

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Whey

  • Increases muscle growth and strength
  • Helps kick start muscle recovery
  • Improves results from regular exercise
Paradise Herbs Orac Energy product image

#2 Paradise Herbs Orac Energy Powder

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Pea

  • Promotes lean body mass
  • 100% vegan-friendly
  • Provide less gas, bloating and constipation
Pro JYM

#3 Pro JYM

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Whey, Casein, and Egg

  • Maximizes muscle-building than ordinary brands
  • Great-tasting in any preferred liquid
  • Certified no protein spiking
BSN Syntha-6

#4 BSN Syntha-6

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Whey

  • Repairs and rebuilds broken muscles
  • Excellent source of fiber
  • Promotes high-intensity energy
MusclePharm Combat Powder

#5 MusclePharm Combat Powder

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Whey, Isolate, Casein, and Egg

  • Strength training support
  • Maximizes lean muscle growth
  • Gluten-free

1. Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard

Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey protein powder for toddlers is high in branch chain amino acids that stimulate muscle growth. But before you start thinking your child is going to be transformed into the Hulk remember that kids’ muscles are constantly growing and evolving. In fact, kids and their boundless energy put far more stress on their muscles than adults ever will, which is why protein is so important for them to begin with.

This type of whey protein for kids has been shown to support a healthy immune system, support fat burning and promote the production of important antioxidants. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard also tastes great and mixes well, so they are not likely to reject it.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey (Double Chocolate Flavor)
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PROS

  • Highly effective for kids
  • ​High concentrations of protein and glutamine
  • ​5.5 grams of important branch chain amino acids
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    Makes a great tasting shake

​CONS

  • ​It’s going to cost more than some others

2. Paradise Herbs Orac Energy 

Paradise Herbs Orac Energy is full of beneficial probiotics, contains no artificial ingredients and is gleaned from certified organic sources. If you’re concerned about the quality of the supplements your children consume this Paradise Herbs powder should help you rest easy.

While not specifically designed as one of the protein drinks for kids, it’s actually a natural fit given the purity of its composition and its overall effectiveness. Orac Energy from Paradise Herbs helps your kid recover faster from those days when they push themselves physically and won’t cause them to experience bloating or gas. It’s going to cost a bit more than some other brands, but it's worth it to know your children are getting everything they need with none of the fillers, sugar and artificial additives they don't need.

Paradise Herbs Orac Energy protein powder for toddler
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PROS

  • ​Free of animal products and artificial fillers
  • ​Contains no artificial sweeteners
  • ​Does not cause bloating or gas
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    ​Makes delicious protein drinks for kids

​CONS

  • ​Lacking in calcium and some other minerals

​3. Pro JYM

Pro JYM contains slow, moderate and fast digesting proteins that help promote long-term synthesis and healthy muscles. Another great thing about Pro JYM is what it doesn’t contain. There are no “spiking” ingredients. These are sometimes added to the powder because they’re an inexpensive way to boost protein levels. The problem is those spiking ingredients don’t often provide any actual nutritional value.

So, we may be able to say that it’s 15% concentrated but because it contains beta-alanine, creatine or other spiking agents the effective percentage of protein is actually much lower. Pro JYM then is great for keeping track of just how much nutrients your kid is actually getting which makes those drinks seem all the more sensible.

JYM with Whey
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PROS

  • ​Mixes well with shakes or other food
  • No spiking ingredients like creatine
  • ​3 types of protein for well-balanced digestion
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    ​One scoop per day should do it

​CONS

  • ​Costs a bit more than some others
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    ​Includes non-dairy creamer for some reason

​​4. BSN Syntha-6

BSN Syntha-6 is another powder marketed to adults that also happens to be great for ensuring your kids get the nutrients they need. Syntha-6 contains a nice balance of other minerals such as calcium, carbs, and potassium. It has another benefit lacking in many supplement powders marketed to adults in that it takes great. So you can feel confident when the taste of the powder itself isn’t going to get in the way.

Syntha-6 then can be used at any time of the day and although it’s marketed to adults, turns out to be a really versatile protein powder for toddlers and kids.

BSN SYNTHA-6
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PROS

  • ​22 grams protein in every scoop
  • ​Contains medium chain triglycerides,
  • ​Available in a variety of flavors
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    ​Not sweetened with aspartame like some others

​CONS

  • ​Some of the flavors get lost when mixed

​5. MusclePharm Combat Powder

Don't be scared off by the name. Combat Powder from MusclePharm may market itself pretty aggressively to the bodybuilding community, but that's just because they know those folks need protein powder supplements they can count on. And MusclePharm is certainly that. MusclePharm the company also has the advantage of being in the business for years and building a solid reputation for producing high-quality supplements that live up to the promises they make.

Another thing you can count on with MusclePharm Combat Powder is that it's going to taste great because the company always puts a premium on palatability. Which means your kids are going to love it. If there's a downside to MusclePharm products, it's that the flavor often relies at least in part on slightly higher than average sodium content. It's not like fast food or anything, but a bit higher than you'll find in some other protein supplements for kids.

MusclePharm Combat
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PROS

  • ​Naturally low in calories
  • ​Low in sugar
  • ​Tastes good and mixes well
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    ​Great for more active kids

​CONS

  • ​Sodium per serving is a bit high

​Protein Requirements for Kids

While children are as physically different as adults, there are nonetheless some general conclusions that can be drawn about their need for protein: 

  • For kids between 1 and 3 years of age, it's typically recommended that 5 to 20 percent of their total daily caloric intake be protein. Depending on their size that would be somewhere between about 60 and 250 calories per day.
  • For kids between the ages of 4 and 8, the recommended amount rises a bit to between 10 and 30 percent of their caloric intake per day. In this case, it would mean anywhere from 150 to 450 calories per day, depending of course on their size.
  • For kids between 9 and 13 years of age, the percentage of their total dietary intake is unchanged at between 10 and 30 percent. But because these kids are bigger that means that anywhere from 175 to 550 calories per day should be protein.

Is Protein Shake for Kids a Good Idea? 

children preparing protein drink for kid

While it's always preferable that your child obtains the nutrients they need from a healthy diet that includes lean meats, eggs, milk, yogurt, beans, nuts and the like it just doesn't happen all the time.

Some children are notoriously picky eaters, and as much as we may try to convince them to eat what's in front of them, the fact is their diet sometimes needs supplementation. As such a protein shake for kids is a perfectly acceptable alternative, as long as it’s not also packed with sugar or other harmful ingredients.

You can also experiment on some protein drink recipes your children might like.

What to Look For When Choosing a Child-Friendly Protein Powder 

When choosing the best protein shakes for kids (or toddlers), you should always read the labels on the container. Also, you'll want to see the following:

  • That the powder is low in fat (should not contain trans fats)
  • ​That it is generally low in carbs unless those carbs are fiber based
  • ​ That there are 200 calories or less per full serving
  • ​That there are no artificial flavors or other ingredients
  • ​That it isn’t loaded with sugar or salt
whey powder and shaker

It can also be helpful if any prospective kid’s powder contains supporting minerals and other nutrients like calcium to help build strong bones. Though this isn’t essential.

Our Favorite?

Supplements for kids are not intended to take the place of a healthy, well-balanced diet. What they do is they allow you to make up for any shortfall that might result from your child being allergic to certain foods or simply averse to the taste of some of its important sources. The best protein shakes for kids are those that meet all the above criteria. It also mixes well and tastes good.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
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Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard
Our #1 ​Protein Powder for Kids

  • Delivers 24 grams of whey protein
  • Certified gluten-free
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    Helps recovers muscle
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    Promotes strength and muscle growth
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    Mixes easily even in water

About the author

Isaac

I’m a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist living in sunny Indianapolis, IN. I’ve spent the last 8 years staying at the forefront of the health and fitness industry. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people shed the excess weight and get into shape, maintaining their healthy new lifestyle through proper training and eating habits.