The Best Protein Powders for Kids (2024 Guide)

The Best Protein Powders for Kids (2024 Guide)

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After hundreds of hours of research, I’ve created this comprehensive guide on protein powder for kids. In this post, I will review how much protein children need, how to add it to their diets, when protein supplementation is a good idea, and I’ll provide you with a complete list of the best protein powders for kids!

With all of the new children’s protein powders on the market today, I know how hard it can be to figure out which is the best brand, what to look for in a protein powder, and whether your child even needs protein supplementation. The whole process can be so confusing! Also, you might be wondering: are protein powders even safe for kids to consume in the first place?

If you’re a parent of a school-aged child or younger, making sure your child is eating enough, consuming a variety of nutritious foods, gaining weight appropriately, and eating adequate protein may be high on your mental checklist. (I know it is on mine!) Young children grow rapidly and have increased demands for nutritious foods, yet many kids are picky eaters. Some kids even have medical conditions that keep them from consuming adequate nutrition. 

So, how much protein do young children need? When is it a good idea to add protein shakes or powders to their diet? In this guide, I will outline protein recommendations for young children of all ages, the best ways to add protein to their diet through food sources, and when experts recommend considering adding protein supplements to children’s diets. 

I will also review what to look for in kids protein shakes and powders and share my list of the best kids protein powders on the market today! 

But First, A Disclaimer

As a board-certified health coach and certified nutritionist, I support protein powder brands that are made with whole foods, do not have artificial or processed sugars, and are reported to be low in heavy metals, as all of these principles are rooted in science and are evidence-based to be most nutritious for children. This guide has also been medically reviewed and fact-checked by Christina Badaracco, MPH, RDN, LDN. (See my About Me page for more info about Christina).

The FDA does not review protein powders for safety before they go to market, so I prioritize third-party tested brands and Clean Label Project Purity Award winners.

Though I may receive a commission (at no extra expense) if you purchase through some of the affiliate links provided, I only recommend products I’ve researched, evaluated, consulted experts on, and would feel comfortable giving to my two children. As always, I only share products that are the highest quality and that can help you and your family the most. By purchasing any of these products from the links below, you help keep this blog running, so thanks for your support!

Always speak with a registered dietitian or physician about your child’s diet and nutrition before adding in protein supplementation. Protein needs may be specific to your child, their activity levels, and any medical conditions they may have.

The information shared in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard or delay in seeking professional medical advice because of something you read here and always consult with your doctor or dietitian regarding any questions you may have about kid’s protein powder.

All product prices are accurate at the time of this publication but are subject to change.

Quick Picks: The Best 13+ Protein Powders For Kids 

Before we get into the specific protein needs of kids and toddlers, here’s an overview of the best protein powder for kids:

How Much Protein Does Your Child Need? 

The recommended amount of protein that your toddler, child, or teen needs depends on their age and body weight (source). General protein recommendations for children are as follows: 

Age Grams of Protein Per Day 
1–3 years  13–14g/day (1.05g/kg of body weight)
4–8 years  19–20g/day (0.95g/kg of body weight) 
9–13 years  34g/day (0.95g/kg of body weight) 
14–18 years  46–52g/day (0.85g/kg of body weight) 
(Source 1, Source 2)

Note that these recommendations are based on body weight and age. Children with certain medical conditions, those recovering from injury, or with other circumstances will have higher needs. Also, some researchers anticipate that children with higher activity levels have increased protein intake needs, but evidence for this is not conclusive (source). It’s best to confirm your child’s particular protein needs with their pediatrician or a pediatric dietitian.

Protein plays an important role in growth and development (source). It is used to build muscles and is a critical building block for all the body’s cells (source). Protein also regulates gene expression and comprises and supports the immune system, among other functions (source). Because of this, it is important to consume enough protein, especially during early developmental years. 

However, the amount of protein needed for children during these formative years may be lower than some parents expect. For example: 13–14g of protein per day for a toddler can be satisfied by eating 1 egg (6 grams of protein) and 8 ounces of whole milk (8 grams of protein) or 2 ounces of ground meat (8 grams of protein) and 1 ½ tablespoons of peanut butter (6 grams of protein), which is feasible for most children to consume.

But for children who are picky eaters, who follow a diet limited in animal protein (e.g., vegetarian or vegan diets), or who have medical conditions that prevent them from consuming adequate protein, protein supplementation may be a good idea (source).For all other children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that protein come first from food sources, as over-supplementation of protein can be dangerous (source 1, source 2).

The Best Food Protein Sources For Kids 

Though your child may request only chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese, a variety protein-rich food sources can help your child reach the daily recommended protein intake. 

Yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, fish, beef, chicken, turkey, and pork are great kid-friendly animal protein sources. 

There are also many plant-based protein sources that your child may like; examples include nut butter, seed butter, soy milk, hummus, garbanzo bean pasta or pizza crust, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, whole wheat bread, beans, hemp seeds, chia seeds, peas, and oats. All of my kids’ protein needs are met by these plant-based foods!

For reference, here is the protein content of some of these foods: 

Food Serving Size Grams Of Protein
Greek Yogurt (2%) ½ cup  12 grams
Peanut Butter 1 tablespoon  4 grams 
Whole Wheat Pasta  ½ cup cooked 4 grams 
Soy Milk ½ cup  3.5 grams
Whole Milk ½ cup 4 grams 
Hummus 2 tablespoons  2.5 grams 
Hemp Seeds 1 tablespoon 3 grams
Chia Seeds  1 tablespoon  2 grams 
Eggs 1 large egg 6 grams 
Ground Beef 2 ounces 11 grams 
Low Fat Cottage Cheese ¼ cup  7 grams
Sunflower Seeds 2 tablespoons 4 grams
Quinoa  ½ cup cooked 4 grams

A great way to ensure that your child reaches their daily protein intake through whole food sources is to provide at least 1–2 protein sources, whether animal- or plant-based, at each meal. Even if your child doesn’t try something at the first exposure, keep preparing and serving the foods in different ways. Some children need to see a new food many times before they are comfortable enough to try it.

Having low expectations or pressure regarding the dinner table is also a good idea, especially during early childhood when kids commonly individuate or discover and assert their individuality, tastes, and preferences (source). Taking pressure off children while eating can have surprising effects, often resulting in more openness and curiosity towards new foods.

If your child temporarily consumes less protein along the journey to being more open to eating more protein-rich foods, if your child is sick and lacks an appetite for it, or if there is any other reason you are concerned about your child’s protein intake, you may want to discuss protein powder supplementation with their pediatrician or a registered dietitian. 

Can Kids Have Protein Powder? 

If you’re wondering whether protein powder is good for kids, know that protein powders, specifically those formulated with no refined or artificial sweeteners, tested for heavy metals, and containing lower dosages of protein than adult versions, are considered to be safe for kids as long as consuming these powders doesn’t oversupply a child with protein (source). 

For healthy children who consume adequate protein and do not show any signs of a protein deficiency (see details below), there are risks associated with over-consumption or excess protein, such as digestive problems and organ damage (source).

Signs that a child have a protein deficiency include (source): 

  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Delayed growth or developmental 
  • Hunger 
  • Decreased immunity 
  • Delayed wound healing 
  • Joint or bone pain 

If your child shows any of these symptoms, discuss them with your child’s healthcare team to develop a strategy for increasing protein intake, whether through diet and/or supplementation. (Note: protein powder is just one form of supplementation – there are other protein supplements kids can use such as shakes, bars, etc. But for this guide, we’re focusing just on protein powders).

The Benefits Of Protein Powder For Kids  

Protein powder has many benefits for children who do not consume enough protein on their own: 

  • Versatile: With so many varieties and flavors of protein powder available, the options for incorporating them into the diet are nearly endless. For example, you can stir collagen powder or unflavored protein powder into soups, smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal. Or, you can blend whey protein powder into smoothies, stir it into muffin or pancake batter, and use it in other creative ways. 
  • Flavor: Many modern brands of protein powders have great flavor and mouthfeel, tasting more like a milkshake or smoothie, making it a more palatable option for many picky eaters.
  • Convenient: Pre-prepared kid protein shakes make it easy to add nutrition to your child’s diet, regardless of how busy your schedule is. Some brands offer kid-sized portions of their protein shakes in small containers that kids can drink on busy mornings or during other periods when it would otherwise be hard to work in a homemade meal or snack.
  • Added Nutrients: Many kid-friendly protein powders contain added vitamins and minerals, probiotics, fruit and veggie blends, fiber, whole grains, and more, making a bigger nutritional impact than protein alone. Note: If your child already consumes a multivitamin, consult their pediatrician about the safety of adding an enriched protein powder to their diet (source).

The Best Overall Protein Powder For Kids

Amazing Grass Kids Superfood Protein + Probiotics 

Bottle of Amazing grass kids superfood protein blend.

Why I Love It:It’s hard not to love Amazing Grass Kids! With 10 grams of plant-based protein per serving; an organic greens, fruit, and vegetable blend; and a fantastic chocolate flavor, kids love this protein powder as much as parents do. It is without a doubt the best protein powder for teens, kids, and toddlers, too.

Sweetened with organic coconut sugar, each serving of this protein powder has only 2 grams of sugar. Though it isn’t fortified with enough vitamins to be a multivitamin replacement, this protein shake mix delivers iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants, giving your child a nutritional boost to fortify their day!

Some users report that Amazing Grass Kids can be difficult to mix with water, but this problem can be easily solved by mixing it with milk or by using a shaker bottle or blender.

Where To Buy: Company Website & Amazon

Price: $29.99 for 15 servings

Contains an organic fruit and vegetable blend 

Allergen-friendly: gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free 

No artificial colors or flavors

Can be difficult to mix (I recommend blending it with a high-speed blender into a smoothie or other drink)

Buy Now

The Best Protein Powder For Picky Eater Kids 

Nurished Kids Mighty Milk

Bag of Mighty Milk kids protein powder.

Why I Love It: With 9 grams of protein, organic spinach, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and a complete multivitamin in one, Nurished Kids Mighty Milk is the best protein powder for picky eaters two years of age and older.

Inspired by the chocolate milk that their children loved to drink but lacked micronutrients, the founders created this great-tasting protein powder to taste as good as chocolate milk while being more nutrient-dense. Each 2-scoop serving of Mighty Milk has only 3 grams of added sugar (but keep in mind, this protein powder is sweetened with monk fruit).

Choose from chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, or vanilla protein powder. Although this protein powder is more expensive than some of the options on this list, it can be more cost-effective if it eliminates the need to also purchase a multivitamin and probiotic.

Where To Buy: Company Website & Amazon

Price: $27.99 for 15 servings. Subscribe and save 10%.

Made with grass-fed whey protein 

Low sugar (only 3 grams) 

All-in-one supplement: contains a multivitamin and probiotics 

Contains organic spinach leaf powder

No artificial colors or flavors

Not dairy-free, vegan, or lactose–free

Contains glucose syrup solids (i.e., a heavily refined sugar)

Buy Now

The Best Plant-Based Kids Protein Powder

Else Kids Plant Protein Nutritional Shake For Kids

Can of Else kids protein powder.

Why I Love It: Else Kids Plant Protein Nutritional Shake mix offers some of the best protein shakes for toddlers, kids, and teens, regardless of whether or not they follow a plant-based diet. It is made with whole food and minimally processed plant ingredients, supporting your child’s growth and development.

Packed with healthy carbs, good-for-you fats, and 5 grams of protein per serving, Else is a Clean Label Project Purity Award winner, meaning this protein powder has been tested and confirmed to be free of contaminants, heavy metals, and toxins.

The six-scoop serving size is large, but parents report that it mixes into liquids easily and smoothly. Else offers vanilla and chocolate flavors that can be mixed with water or milk. Else is vegan and uses vitamin D3 derived from algae, and is a great option for plant-based children or kids with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Honestly, this protein powder is great, and if it weren’t for the maltodextrin, it would have been my pick for the best overall kid’s protein powder!

Note – for an on-the-go plant-based protein shake, Else Kids now offers ready-to-drink shakes. They are Project Lean Label Award winners, plant-based, dairy and soy-free, and non-GMO!

Where To Buy: Company Website & Amazon

Price: $22.99 for 10 servings. Subscribe and save 10%.

Soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free 

Clean Label Project Purity Award winner 

All-in-one supplement: contains a multivitamin 

No artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors

Low sugar (4 grams, compared to up to 10-15 grams in other brands)

Does contain maltodextrin

Buy Now

The Best Whey Protein For Kids 

Mindful Nutrition Kids Protein Powder

Bag of Mindful Kids Nutrition - a protein powder for kids.

Why I Love It: Made with milk protein concentrate and whey protein, kids love drinking Mindful Nutrition Kids Protein powder as much as parents feel peace of mind feeding it.

With an added organic fruit and vegetable blend and vitamins, the 8 grams of protein per serving can be a great way to healthfully boost the protein in a young picky eater’s diet. Mix this protein powder with milk or water for a smooth and delicious chocolate milk-flavored treat your kids can enjoy as a substitute for chocolate milk or as an addition to any meal.

There aren’t many drawbacks to this whey protein kids protein powder, except for the fact that it has 6 grams of added sugar per serving from cane sugar, and is also sweetened with stevia.

Where To Buy: Amazon and Walmart

Price: $24.99 for 15 servings.

Contains an organic fruit and vegetable blend

All-in-one supplement: contains vitamins and minerals

No artificial colors or flavors 

Children love the rich chocolate milk flavor 

Higher sugar content than many of the options on the list (6 grams)

Not dairy-free or lactose-free 

Buy Now

Best On-The-Go Protein Shake For Kids 

Orgain Kids Protein Shakes

Bottle of Orgain kids protein shake.

Why I Love It: Made with organic ingredients, only natural sweeteners, and an organic fruit and vegetable blend, Orgain Kids Protein Shakes are a solid option for on-the-go protein shakes.

Find these shakes in pre-made bottles at most major grocery stores, including Costco and Walmart. Each 8.25 fl oz bottle contains 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 22 vitamins and minerals, making them great for busy mornings, road trips, school lunches, and more. They’re also fantastic for sipping after sports practice, making them the best protein shakes for kid athletes.

Where To Buy: Amazon, Costco, & Walmart

Price: $20.26 for a pack of 12 8.25-fl oz bottles. Subscribe and save up to 15%.

Grass-fed milk protein concentrate

All-in-one supplement: contains vitamins and minerals

No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners 

Contains an organic fruit and vegetable blend

Higher sugar content (9 grams) 

Not dairy-free or lactose-free

Buy Now

Best Tasting Protein Powder For Kids 

Clean Simple Eats Kids Protein Powder

Bag of clean simple kids protein powder.

Why I Love It: Formulated for children ages 2–12, Clean Simple Eats makes high-quality, clean protein powders with amazing flavor. Every scoop has so much goodness: this protein powder is made with grass-fed whey protein, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

As the name implies, Clean Simple Eats has no added sugar, artificial colors, or flavors (but it is sweetened with sugar alcohols). It is also third-party tested for product purity, heavy metals, contaminants, and toxins. Their chocolate brownie batter and simply vanilla shake flavors contain a hearty but still kid-friendly 10 grams of protein per serving.

Unfortunately, Clean Simple Eats Kids protein powder contains xylitol, a sweetener known to cause digestive issues in some people (source). It includes stevia and monk fruit as sweeteners as well.

Where To Buy: Company Website

Price: $39.99 for 30 servings. Subscribe and save 10%.

All-in-one supplement: contains a multivitamin, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and probiotics 

No artificial colors or flavors 

Contains xylitol, monk fruit, stevia

Not dairy-free or lactose-free 

Contains soy & tree nuts (coconut)

More expensive than some of the options on this list

Buy Now

Best Smoothie Protein Powder For Kids   

Healthy Heights Grow Daily

Bag of Healthy Heights grow daily - best protein powder for kids.

Why I Love It: Specifically formulated for children ages 3–9, Healthy Heights Grow Daily has a great flavor and texture that kids love while being fortified with vitamins and minerals to support your child’s growth and development.

Each child-appropriate 4 oz serving size contains 12 grams of protein. This non-GMO protein powder is free of corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. It is available in chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored, making it a fantastic addition to smoothies and the best smoothie-friendly protein powder for kids.

Parents rave about this protein powder, saying that their kids love the flavor and that it has helped their children thrive, according to reviews on Healthy Heights’ website and on Amazon.

Where To Buy: Company Website & Amazon

Price: $36.95 for 14 servings or $24.95 for 7 servings. Subscribe & save 20%.

No artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors

Has added vitamins and minerals 

Not dairy-free or lactose–free

High in sugar (9 grams), in the form of organic cane sugar

Contains maltodextrin, which is a highly processed starch

Buy Now

Best Superfood Protein Powder For Kids 

1st Phorm Opti Kids 

Bottle of Opti-kids protein powder.

Why I Love It: With 6 grams of protein, fiber, probiotics, vitamins, and a fruit, vegetable, and whole grain blend, 1st Phorm Opti Kids is an amazing superfood protein powder for teens, kids, and toddlers. Furthermore, this protein powder only delivers 1 gram of sugar per serving (note: it is sweetened with natural stevia instead of sugar).

Stir two scoops of the powder with your child’s favorite milk or cold water to serve. Parents report that children love the chocolate milkshake flavor, according to reviews on the 1st Phorm website.

First Phorm does make a bit of a larger dent in the pocketbook because each container delivers 30 servings whereas most other brands offer only 15 servings per container. This all-in-one protein, multivitamin, and probiotic supplement is more than worth it.

Where To Buy: Company Website

Price: $49.99 for 30 servings.

Contains non-GMO fruit, vegetable, and whole grain blend 

All-in-one supplement: contains a multivitamin and probiotics 

Low sugar (only 1 gram) 

Tasty chocolate milkshake flavor

No artificial colors or flavors

Large container (but the total cost is more expensive than other protein powders) 

Not dairy- or lactose-free

Buy Now

Best Collagen Protein Powder For Kids 

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Bottle of Vital Proteins collagen powder.

Why I Love It: You may be aware of collagen peptides for adults, but did you know that it can also be a great protein supplement for children? Collagen has many benefits for children, including keeping connective tissue and joints strong. It is also the most abundant protein in the body, making it an important one to prioritize (source).

Since Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are made with just one ingredient (bovine collagen peptides), they do not have any added sugars, artificial ingredients, or other unhealthy ingredients. They stir seamlessly into many foods—from hot liquids to cold yogurts and breakfast cereals—making them versatile and easy to add to many young children’s diets.

Note: Because a full adult’s serving size delivers 20 grams of collagen protein, a children’s serving size is just 1-2 tablespoons, which would be between 5 grams (1 tablespoon) to 10 grams (2 tablespoons) of collagen protein.

For children who do not eat meat or parents who prefer pescatarian sources, Vital Proteins now also makes a marine collagen peptides option.

Where To Buy: Company website, Amazon, & at some Costco locations

Price: $47.00 for 56 1-scoop servings. Subscribe and save up to 15% off.

Grass-fed & pasture-raised collagen 

Mixes very well with hot and cold ingredients 

Allergen-friendly: dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free

Not suitable for a vegetarian diet, not vegan-friendly

Depending on how sensitive your child is to different tastes and what you mix this with, they may be able to detect the taste if it’s not blended well into a smoothie or with other ingredients

Buy Now

Best Protein Powder For Toddlers

NutriKid Chocolate Kids Protein Shake

Bottle of Nutrikid chocolate protein shake.

Why I Love It: You may know that infancy is the most rapid growth period of a person’s life, but toddlerhood is a close second for rapid growth rates and important developmental changes. In fact, most children will be close to half of their adult height by 3 years old (source)!

For this reason, it is important to ensure your toddler gets adequate nutrition to fuel this period of growth. If you are concerned about their protein consumption, NutriKid Protein is the best option to discuss with your child’s doctor. It is specifically formulated to support childhood growth.

It is the best nutrition powder for child growth with 10 grams of protein per serving, probiotics, fatty acids, and 36 vitamins and minerals. Parents report that their children willingly drink it and that it mixes well, according to website and Amazon reviews.

Where To Buy: Company website & Amazon

Price: $30.39 for 16 servings

All-in-one supplement: contains a multivitamin and probiotics 

Low in sugar (1.5 grams per serving)

100% Money back guarantee

Not dairy-free or lactose-free

Buy Now

Best Allergen-Free Protein Powder For Kids 

Nuzest Kids Protein Powder 

Can of Nuzest kids' good stuff protein powder.

Why I Love It: If your child has any food allergies, Nuzest Kids is a great consideration. It is free of gluten, soy, peanuts, dairy, and lactose, with amazing texture and flavor.

This is one of the best protein shakes for kids available. Each 2-scoop serving contains 9 grams of protein, a multivitamin, probiotics, and prebiotics, eliminating the need for additional supplementation. Kids love the chocolate, wild strawberry, and vanilla caramel flavors, but they will never know that this protein powder is sugar-free (note: it does have stevia included).

Nuzest also contains a fruit, vegetable, and seed blend, adding natural nutrition to your child’s day. This protein powder is third-party tested and non-GMO. Though it is more expensive compared to other brands, this one product can replace additional probiotics, prebiotics, and multivitamin supplements, saving money overall. Nuzest also frequently runs sales.

Where To Buy: Company website & Amazon

Price: $29.99 for 15 servings. Subscribe and save 20%.

Allergen-friendly: no gluten, soy, peanuts, dairy, or lactose 

All-in-one supplement: contains a multivitamin, probiotics, and prebiotics

Contains fruit, vegetable, and seed blend 

Zero grams of added sugar 

Buy Now

Best Peanut Butter Protein Powder 

Naked PB Powdered Peanut Butter

Bottle of Naked PB protein powder for kids.

Why I Love It: If your child doesn’t have a nut allergy, peanut butter powder is a fantastic way to add protein to their diet and Naked PB is the best brand. It is all-natural, vegan and vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and made with only 1 ingredient.

This peanut butter powder is also the most affordable protein powder on this list, coming in at about only $.25 per serving. It mixes easily and is made with US-grown peanuts. It is also third-party tested for purity, contaminants, and heavy metals.

Best of all, many kids love this peanut butter powder. It is delicious mixed into oatmeal, sprinkled on yogurt, stirred into your child’s favorite baked goods, or added to energy balls.

Where To Buy: Company website & Amazon

Price: $19.99 for 76 servings. Subscribe and save 20%.

Only 1 ingredient (US-grown peanuts) 

No additives or artificial sweeteners 

Dairy-free and lactose-free

Vegan and vegetarian-friendly 

Good source of dietary fiber 

Has a great peanut butter flavor 

Buy Now

Best Single Ingredient Protein Powders For Kids 

Bottle of Naked Almond protein powder.
Naked Almond Butter Protein Powder

Made with only US-grown almonds, Naked Almond Butter Protein Powder is a great peanut butter powder alternative for youngsters who have a peanut allergy. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and sugar-free. Each serving has 10 grams of protein, making it a great option for children.

Bottle of Nutiva hemp protein powder.
Nutiva Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Protein Powder

Add protein and omega-3 fatty acids to your child’s diet with Nutiva’s hemp seed protein powder. This plant-based organic and non-GMO protein powder is made with just organic hemp seed protein, offering all nine essential amino acids, fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Note that a full 4-tablespoon serving of this powder has 15 grams of protein, so most children will only need 2–3 tablespoons as a supplement.

Bag of organic pumpkin seed protein powder.
Probase Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder

Pumpkin seeds are naturally protein-rich, making them an exceptional base for single-ingredient protein powder. Probase pumpkin seed powder is organic and non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan-friendly, and great for food allergies. Each 2-tablespoon serving offers 19 grams of protein, so children will only need 1 tablespoon of it as a supplement.

Bottle of Naked Rice protein powder.
Naked Brown Rice Protein Powder

This protein powder only contains organic sprouted whole grain rice, making it vegan-friendly, fantastic for children with food allergies, and high in iron. With a neutral flavor, brown rice protein powder is perfect for adding to smoothies, stirring into pancakes or waffles, or whisking into soup. Whereas some brown rice protein powder can be high in heavy metals, Naked is independently tested for purity and safety. Each 2-scoop serving delivers 25 grams of protein, so children will only need ½–1 scoop to supplement their protein needs.

How My Team And I Picked The Best Kids Protein Powders 

When I was evaluating the best protein drinks for kids, healthy ingredients came first. I looked at whether the powder was made with whole foods and whether it contained no processed or artificial sugars. Third-party testing for heavy metals and being non-GMO, if not organic, was also important; and including a fruit and vegetable blend or added probiotics or prebiotics was an added plus.

I also wanted to make sure to include at least a few options for a protein powder for kids that catered to various dietary needs—for example, plant-based or allergen-friendly powders—and that were safe for children with a lactose intolerance or who followed a vegetarian or vegan diet. 

My team’s dietitian approves every powder on this list for safety and nutrition. Most importantly, I have given or would feel comfortable giving each of these powders to my kids. 

What To Look For In Kids Protein Powders (And What To Avoid)

The options can be overwhelming when shopping for the best protein powder for children, especially when you might not be sure what to look for on the nutrition label, and whether you can trust the claims made on the packaging!

I’ve created this short list to help you out. Here’s what to keep your eye out for and what to avoid when scanning the shelves: 

  • Natural Sweeteners: If the protein powder is sweetened, look for natural and less-refined sweeteners maple syrup, maple sugar, honey, or coconut sugar. Other natural sweeteners like cane sugar and tapioca syrup are ok too but are more refined. Note: monk fruit and stevia are alternative sweeteners, and are not ideal. However, I prefer monk fruit or stevia to other alternative sweeteners like sucralose or sugar alcohols.
  • Protein Sources: Look for whey, brown rice, pea, pumpkin seed, nut, concentrated milk protein (casein), or bovine or marine collagen.
  • Reduced Protein Dosages: Children’s protein powders should only have 6–12 grams of protein per serving (source), so avoid feeding adult protein powders or protein powder with more than this dosage per serving to your little ones. 
  • Additional Nutrients: If the powder also contains probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, fruit and vegetable blends, leafy green vegetables, or added vitamins and minerals, that can be a plus, but not essential (ask your child’s pediatrician about whether they should have these included in their protein supplement).
  • Third-Party Testing: The FDA does not approve protein powders, so it is ideal for kid’s protein powders to be third-party tested for purity and safety to confirm the absence of heavy metals and toxins (source), as these substances can be very dangerous—especiallyfor young, growing bodies. All but one of the protein powders on this list have been third-party tested for safety and purity. 
  • What To Avoid: Sweeteners such as corn syrup; artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols such as sucralose, mannitol, or xylitol; over-supplementation of vitamins and minerals (i.e., more than 100% of the recommended daily value—although some kids may need more if they have a certain genetic condition, are taking a medication that depletes it, are recovering from surgery, etc., so ask your child’s pediatrician about what’s best for them); protein powders made for adults; or powders with more than 12 grams of protein per serving.


Which protein is best for children? 

The best protein for children comes from whole food sources such as beans, seafood, meat and poultry, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

If you are concerned that your child is not eating enough dietary protein sources or is showing any signs of being protein deficient, reach out to your pediatrician to discuss supplementing with one of the high-quality and safe protein powder options above.

Can kids drink protein shakes?

With all of the kid protein shakes available today, many parents wonder “Is protein powder safe for kids?” The short answer is that yes, kids can theoretically drink protein shakes—ideally, shakes that are made with whole food proteins, naturally sweetened, tested for safety, and with reduced protein dosages. However, many kids are actually not protein-deficient, so discuss protein shakes with your child’s healthcare provider before adding them to their diet.

Can toddlers have protein powder? 

If your toddler is a picky eater or you know for any other reason that they do not consume the recommended 13 grams of protein per day, kid and toddler-specific protein powders can be safe for them (source). 

Can kids have whey protein?

Yes, if your child’s pediatrician recommends that they take a protein supplement, whey protein can be a good option and is considered safe by the CDC (source). Look for whey protein powders with minimal added ingredients (such as processed sugar or artificial sweeteners) and kid-appropriate protein doses of only 6–12 grams per serving.

Final Thoughts

I hope this list of the best kid’s protein powders answers your questions about protein powders and kid protein drinks. Many great, high-quality, and safe options are available to meet various dietary needs and taste preferences. The protein powders on this list contain healthy protein to fuel your child’s growth, fruit and vegetable blends, probiotics, omega-3s, and more. 

Always be sure to consult your child’s doctor or dietitian before starting any supplement program, as they can guide you to the best option for your child. 

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