The general diet that most kids get regularly does not have some of the nutrients required for healthy growth, especially where the kids have growth challenges and struggling with malnutrition. Healthy kids also need some trace elements that sometimes are not available in their regular diet. Nutritional shakes supplement the diet by providing various nutrients that include minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Some shakes can be used as food replacements, especially where the kid is struggling with excessive weight or has a poor appetite.

Benefits of Healthy Drinks for Kids

• They prevent the kids from being constipated by enhancing hydration

• They come with antioxidants that play a role in improving their immunity

• They contain healthy, natural sugar that helps underweight children gain some weight

• Healthy drinks have plenty of nutrients that include minerals and vitamins which aids in child growth and development

Best Nutrition Shakes for Kids Buying Guide

There are tens of brands selling all manner of nutritional shakes for children. However, not every brand lives to the required nutritional and quality standards. Below are some few areas that you should check when buying nutritional shakes for your small kid.

1. Go for Products that do not Have Artificial Growth Hormones  

Synthetic growth hormones may be added to milkshakes to enhance the growth in kids. However, studies have shown that the use of growth hormones may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and increased risk of such conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

2. Stay Away from Products with Artificial Sweeteners

Some of the popular artificial sweeteners include saccharin, sucralose neotame and acesulfame, while some shakes may contain organic sucrose and other forms of refined sugar. Artificial sugar may cause several conditions from mild bloating to altered taste buds and lung problems. Real sugar leads to rapid increase in weight, which is unhealthy for the Kid. However, expect small amounts of sugar to enhance the taste.

3. Go for GMP labelled Products

GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. It means that your nutritional shake was produced in a facility that discloses all the ingredients used to create the product. It also means that the manufacturer follows the best industry practices.

4. Be Careful on the Flavours

Unlike adults, children may be pricky on the flavours and may reject a product just because it does not taste good. If you would like to purchase a nutritional shake in bulk, consider buying small quantities of different flavours so that you can pick their most favourite flavour.  

Lets us compare two of the most popular nutritional shakes, Pediasure and Orgain.

PEDIASURE

Pediasure prepares various nutritional shakes for the kids to rump up their vitamin, mineral and protein intake. The B000ARPKBM is meant for children of ages of two to five years. The composition of the ingredients has been optimised to meet the daily nutritional allowance of this group.

The product has been clinically proven to help the young ones grow. The manufacturer carried studies on children that were facing malnutrition. Each of them was given two Pediasure bottles each day for eight weeks (Huynh DT et al.) along with dietary counselling. It was noted that the children who were in the 5th to 25th weight-for-height percentiles recorded speeded up growth, which included weight gains and increases in height. Each of the children was allowed to choose his or her most favourite flavours. He or she got the same flavour throughout the study.

Features of the Product:

The shake is packaged in a 237 ml reclosable plastic bottle. Each pack contain 24 bottles that do not require any refrigeration until after opening them. The shake comes in six great tasting flavours that include banana, chocolate, vanilla, berry, Strawberry and S’mores. This product is sold ready to drink, but it is recommended that you shake well before giving the kids.  

It has a smooth consistency. However, given that nature of the ingredients, there might be some settling after lying still for some time. That is why it is recommended that you shake for a minute. While you do not need to chill the product before opening, it must be chilled while closed after opening. It is best taken within a week after opening.

Composition:

The shake provides complete balanced nutrition for kids that contains a mix of proteins, omega-3 fats, vitamins and antioxidants. Each bottle contains 7 grams of high-quality proteins, 27 vitamins and 32mg DHA omega-3 oils. Among the vitamins, it has a high concentration of vitamins E, C and selenium. It has low fat content at about 9 grams per bottle and delivers 240 calories.  The product does not contain the artificial growth hormone, and therefore, safe for regular intake by the kids.

• Six flavours that include s’ mores, vanilla, banana, berry, chocolate and strawberry

• 27 vitamins with a high concentration of vitamin E, C and selenium

• 7 grams of high-quality proteins

• 32mg DHA omega-3 fats

• 240 calories per bottle

Pediasure comes with two protein sources, milk proteins concentrate, and soy protein isolates that provide a balanced blend of all the essential amino acids that your child require for rapid growth and development. The product also has FOS, a non-digestible dietary fibre that is good for digestion. Live cultures of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus also assist in digestion.

The high DHA omega-3 oils concentration is particularly important in the kids’ brain health as well as their general health. It may also help children with poor sleep quality and those who have ADHD as well as allergic conditions such as asthma.

The products are halal, kosher and gluten-free. Therefore, vegan children and those with gluten intolerance or conditions such as the celiac disease can take it.

Whom is the Product For?

You can give the shake to any kids between the ages of two to six years. At this stage of their growth, they need high amounts of proteins for bodybuilding and various vitamins for healthy growth and fight illnesses. This formula has essential nutrients that the child needs to grow healthy and strong.

The product is also highly recommended for children that may be facing growth and nutritional challenges as follows:

• Has little supply of fruits and vegetables

• Has a poor appetite

• Is highly selective on the kind of foods it takes

• One accepts very few new types of food

• Does not stay still during mealtimes and often leaves the food on the table

• A child that is recovering from medical conditions that have severely affected  growth and weight gain

• Lactose intolerant children

Who Should Not Take the Product?

The product has milk proteins and sugars. Therefore, it is unsuitable for children that suffer from galactosemia. This is because people with the condition get a build-up of undigested sugar in the blood when they take foods containing milk or ingredients derived from milk. The product also contains soy protein isolate. Therefore, it is not recommended for children that suffer from a soy allergy.  Most children outgrow the soy allergy after their third birthday into adulthood. If you are not sure, seek the assistance of a paediatrician. Besides, if you have a child that is below two years of age and has problems with stunted growth, seek a recommendation from your paediatrician before giving the product.

When Should the Child Take the Product?

a) As a Snack

You can give the nutritional shake at snacking times across the day. The child may take it alone, with fruit or any other snack. It can also be taken with honey, oats and other cereals.

b) In a Recipe

You can use the nutritional shake for garnishing other dishes. However, it is not recommended for cooking as heat destroys the vitamins and changes the structure of the proteins therein.

c) Take it with Meals

You can serve the drink along with your main meals, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. It helps seal the vitamin and mineral gap in your meals.

For effective results, do not give more than two bottles a day. You should also space the two bottles so that they take it at different times of the day. For overweight children, you may give the drink to supplement regular snacking. Its fibre content and slow-release carbohydrates help your child stay full for an extended period. This, in turn, lowers the urge to snack now and then and may eventually help in weight management.

Conclusion:

Pediasure is an all-inclusive nutritional shake. It contains the right balance of nutrients required by kids between ages two and five years. With several essential nutrients lacking in the daily diet, this product supplements the daily diet with a punch of vitamins and proteins. However, for your child to realise benefits from taking the nutritional shake, it is essential to provide a balanced diet, manage portions and lead a healthy lifestyle. Your child should not experience any issues when taking the product except for the conditions discussed above. However, if you notice any reactions or allergies, please discontinue the product and seek medical attention.  

ORGAIN

Orgain has prepared a protein supplement for the young kids in the form of a ready-to-drink nutritional drink. This product is ideal for kids between the ages of two to 10 years. At this stage of their growth, they require high amounts of proteins and vitamins, most of which are not sufficient in their daily meals. Therefore, this product seals the gap by blending the vitamins that are not generally found in most foods. Various paediatric medical institutions have approved the formulations for the protein shake.

Features of the Product:

The protein shake is packaged in bottles of 244 ml (8.25 fl oz). A straw opening is put on top to allow children to take the drink on the go. These bottles are sold in packages of 12 shakes. The product does not require refrigeration before opening and can be carried around in ambient temperature. Each package is meant to be consumed once opened as it does not come with a cap for storage. You have a choice of three flavours that include chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

The product has a thick, smooth consistency, which should go up the straw without a problem. However, expect some settling if the product has been staying still for some time. Therefore, shake it before giving it to your kid.

Composition:

This shake contains 8 grams of organic protein along with 21 vitamins and minerals. Part of these vitamins are included in the vegetable and fruit blend. The manufacturer has blended ten different fruits and vegetables into the supplement. Each serving delivers 200 calories per serving from 23 grams of carbohydrates. There are also 3 grams of fibres and 13 grams of sugar in each package.

The milk concentrate is derived from grass-fed cows, and therefore, does not contain the synthetic growth hormones given to cows. Besides, there is no artificial human growth hormone in the product.  The product is gluten-free and does not contain any GMO ingredients.  

• 200 calories per serving

• 23 grams net carbohydrates

• 3grams of fibre

• 13 grams of sugar

• 21 vitamins and minerals

• Does not contain synthetic growth hormone

• 8 grams of organic protein

The organic fruit blend in the product includes raspberry, apple, acai, banana and blueberry. All these are good sources of vitamins. On the other hand, the vegetable blend includes tomato, carrot, spinach, kale and beet, all of which are good sources of vitamin A, E, and potassium. Vegetables are also good sources of dietary fibre and aids in digestion. The product has carbohydrates derived from complex sources such as brown rice. This allows for a slow release of the same in the body, thereby keeping the kid feeling full for longer.

This product is USDA organic, non-GMO, carrageenan-free, soy-free and gluten-free. It also conforms to Kosher and halal certifications and does not contain any artificial colours. However, it has artificial thickeners s such as the locust bean gum and gellan gum, which may upset some children’s digestion systems. It is recommended that you start with moderate amounts and see if there is an adverse reaction before giving them more.

Who Should Take the Drink?

As said earlier, this is ready to drink protein for any children above the age of two to about ten years. It offers an excellent protein and vitamin supplement to enhance the little ones immunity while at the same time, enhances their growth and development.  It can also be considered for children with the challenges below.

• Children with low weight than their peer at the same age

• Pricky eaters who most of the time do not take vegetables

• Children that may have been malnourished

• Overweight children that require a meal replacement to manage their weight

• Children whose immune systems are weak  

• Any child that is recovering from a long illness

Who Should Not Take The Drink?

The product contains milk and ingredients derived from milk. Therefore, it should not be taken by kids who allergic to milk proteins and glucose. The product should also not be used to supplement milk for children under the age of two years. If you feel that the drink could be f aid to children at that age, seek advice from a paediatrician.

When should the product be taken?

a) As a Meal Replacement

The drink makes for a good meal replacement due to the blended vegetables and fruits. If taken to improve health, consider giving it alongside other foods or between the meal times. On the other hand, if taken for weight management, it best works during snack times such as mid-morning and late afternoon to cut down those hunger pangs and help reduce potions in the meal times.

b) As a Snack

The kid can take the Orgain drink as part of a snack, whether alone or with fruits and cereals, especially in the morning.

c) With meals

The Orgain nutritional drink can replace other fluids taken with meals. You may use it as a drink on the side or put it in dishes such as crackers and oats. When taken with meals, it adds those nutrients that might not be in the dish that the kid is taking.

Conclusion:

Orgain is an organic protein shake for kids of the ages of two years. It has an excellent formula that includes real vegetables and fruits, besides other nutrients. Most diets lack vital vitamins and minerals since most of it lacks fresh greens and fruits. This drink can help kids meet their daily vitamin and mineral requirement while giving them essential proteins to enhance their growth. The product does not have many allergens. Therefore, kids without dairy allergies should be able to take the drink without a problem.  

Which of the Both Nutritional Shakes is Good for Your Kids?

Your choice of the nutritional drink largely depends on the specific health goals that you would like to achieve on your kids. This then transcends to the ingredients that you are going to pick for the nutritional shake. Let us compare these two products to determine which is best for particular cases.

Similarities between both Products​:

Both products have high amounts of vitamins and minerals. The Pediasure nutritional shake comes with 26 vitamins while the Orgain product has 21 vitamins. Each also has relatively the same amount of proteins. Therefore, if you are looking for a nutritional drink to boost the general health of the kids by increasing their vitamin intake, both of them will do. Besides, both of them have several flavours from which your child can pick one.

You can also order a sample of each flavour to help your child choose the best flavours. The size and type of package use are generally similar although Orgain uses a sealed container with a straw opening. Both nutritional shakes do not require refrigeration before open, and you can carry them as on-the-go drinks.  

Differences:

The Orgain protein shake incorporates organic vegetables and fruits in its formula, thereby giving kids more benefits that include natural fibre and trace minerals found in the natural food. Besides, it does not have soy-based ingredients, and therefore, safe for kids that experience allergic reactions towards soy. The Pediasure has higher amounts of minerals, especially the Omega-3 oils that are good for brain development. It also has a lower fat content and less sugar than the Orgain nutritional shake.

Overall, both products meet the basic requirements for general health and growth of the children. You may go for any of them and enjoy their benefits. However, if you are looking to increase fibre and vegetable intake, Orgain has the best product. For higher mineral content, pick the Pediasure product.