With simple ingredients, naturally sweet flavor, and about a third of your kiddo’s protein needs for the day, these protein shakes for kids are a great breakfast or snack option. Bonus: They take only about 5 minutes to make!
Protein Shakes for Kids
I love any excuse to try a new smoothie combo, especially if I can pack in extra nutrients that can be hard to incorporate into our kid’s diets. These protein shakes are made with whole foods you can find at any supermarket, but they include extra probiotics from cultured dairy, veggies, and protein.
They’re a nicely balanced mix of nutrients to serve up at breakfast or snack time. And the colors are fun too!
TIP: Read more about kids and protein here.
What is kefir?
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink that tastes a lot like drinkable yogurt. It’s refreshing and a little tangy and contains probiotics, which may help digestion and overall health. We like it as an alternative to yogurt—and because it’s easy to blend into a seriously creamy and delicious smoothie.
TIP: Look for kefir in your supermarket near the yogurt or milk as placement can vary depending on your store. Or you can use your favorite nondairy milk—that works fine in this recipe.
Protein Shakes for Picky Kids
I have three flavors to share in this recipe, which all start with the same three ingredients. For each flavor, you’ll start with plain kefir, hemp seeds (which add more protein and healthy fats), and a nut or seed butter like almond, peanut or sunflower seed butter.
TIP: You can add a little maple syrup or honey (for kids over age 1) for a little extra sweetness if needed to taste.
Ingredients in Strawberry Cauliflower Protein Shake for Kids
To the smoothie base of kefir or nondairy milk, you’ll add frozen strawberries and raw frozen cauliflower to make this berry flavor. To freeze cauliflower, simply put raw cauliflower florets into a zip top freezer bag and seal. Add right into the blender. They add nutrients and creamy texture, but zero flavor!
Ingredients in Mango Sweet Potato Protein Shake for Kids
To make this flavor, you’ll add frozen mango and roasted sweet potato to the kefir or milk. Plan to roast the sweet potato ahead so it can cool (or you can use canned butternut squash to make it a little easier). The sweet potato makes this one super creamy!
Ingredients in Banana Spinach Protein Shake for Kids
To make this banana protein smoothie, you’ll need frozen banana and baby spinach. If you have a powerful blender, you can simply half the bananas and stick them into a zip top freezer bag to freeze. If your blender has some difficulty blending mixtures very smooth, slice your banana first and then freeze. The smaller pieces will be easier to blend.
How to Make a Protein Shake
Here’s a look at the easy process involved in this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom for the full information.
- Add the ingredients to your blender.
- Add any optional add-ins.
- Put the lid on and blend, starting on low and working up to high to make a creamy smoothie.
TIP: You can taste and add a little honey or maple syrup to add sweetness if desired.
Easy Protein Smoothie
The only method involved in this recipe is to add everything to the blender and blend it up! You’ll want to blend it well to make sure all of the ingredients are super well combined for the best overall texture.
Do I need to add protein powder?
Kids really don’t need extra protein from protein powder—most get enough protein in their diets without us having to try—so you don’t need to add it to this recipe.
Tips for Making the Best Protein Shakes
- Start the blender on low and work up to high. Blend for 30-60 seconds to allow ample time for the mixture to become super smooth.
- Sweeten to taste with a little maple syrup or honey (for kids over 1).
- Serve immediately, or store for up to 6 hours in the fridge. See Notes in the recipe for more info on making these ahead.
- Use plain whole milk kefir for probiotics, protein, and creamy texture. Or you can use your favorite nondairy milk.
- If you are unable to find kefir, use half milk and half plain yogurt instead.
- Add 1/2 banana for additional creaminess in any of the smoothies.
- Add 1/4-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for additional protein.
I’d love to hear your feedback on these protein shakes if you try them, so please comment below to share!
Favorite Protein Shakes for Kids (with Veggies!)
Serve up a simple, yet nutritious protein smoothie with three flavor options to choose from.
- 1 cup whole milk plain kefir (or your favorite nondairy milk)
- 2 tablespoons almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- Strawberry-Cauliflower: add 1 cup frozen strawberries and 1/2 cup frozen raw cauliflower
- Mango-Sweet Potato: add 1 cup frozen mango and 1/2 cup cooled roasted sweet potato
- Banana-Spinach: add 1 frozen banana (about 1 cup) and 1/2 cup lightly packed baby spinach
- Add the kefir, nut or seed butter, and hemp seeds to a blender.
- Add the desired fruit and veggie according to the flavor you want to make.
- Blend very smooth, starting on low and working up to very high.
- Serve immediately.
You can store these for up to 6 hours in an airtight container or reusable pouch in the fridge. They will be slightly less thick and you may need to stir them slightly, but they store well.
Omit the hemp seeds if needed or desired.
Add 1/4-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for additional protein.
Serve in a small open cup, a straw cup, or a reusable pouch.
Start the blender on low and work up to high. Blend for 30-60 seconds to allow ample time for the mixture to become super smooth.
Sweeten to taste with a little maple syrup or honey (for kids over 1).
If you are unable to find kefir, use half milk and half plain yogurt instead.
Add 1/2 banana for additional creaminess in any of the smoothies.