Does your kid need protein shakes?

Protein is “Wellness’s” darling macronutrient right now.  Marketing has led us to believe that we’re all short on protein and many parents who come to see me are concerned about how much protein their child is eating. Or not eating!

There is a minimum amount of protein that bodies need to grow and repair cells, transport other nutrients, and participate in the immune system (to list a few things that they do).  

Recently I’ve seen Protein shakes for kids everywhere—- in my grocery store or online, and a quick Google search found many that I haven’t seen before.  

I’ve been getting the question “Does my kiddo need a protein shake?”  For kids who are eating enough (calories) and eating a generally varied diet, the answer is usually “no”.  For kiddos who are VERY selective about their eating, are dropping weight percentiles on their growth chart and/or have other medical conditions to consider, my answer is “it depends”. 

I need to consider a lot of things before I suggest a supplement. That’s why I (and any other RD) insist on a full Nutrition Assessment before we give recommendations.  

Your takeaway- protein shakes are heavily marketed to parents and your kiddo may not need one.  Reach out if you’re wondering about your kiddo’s protein needs. 

Snack: Frozen smoothie pops


  • Plain or Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • frozen fruit (banana, strawberries, blueberries) &/or canned peaches and pears
  • Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella)

Whiz ingredients in a blender and pour into individual mini pop molds or small paper cups with a craft stick (so it’s no big deal if the stick gets tossed).   Freeze overnight.  

Here are some combinations that are delicious: 

Pears/almond butter/yogurt


Strawberries/peanut butter/yogurt



Does your kid need protein shakes?

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