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Homemade Protein Shakes for Kids

By Holly Klamer

Adequate protein intake for children of all ages is important for muscle and organ development and proper growth. Protein shakes can be a quick, tasty way to provide protein for children. Adding fruit, vegetables and dairy or a dairy alternative will provide added nutrition. Children ages 4 to 8 years require 19 g of protein and children 9 to 13 years require 34 g of protein per day.

Fruit

Fruit is often the core ingredient for protein shakes and can add sweetness that kids will enjoy. Popular choices for shakes are bananas and berries. Add 1/2 to a whole ripe banana, depending on how big or how many smoothies you are making. Combine fresh or frozen fruit such as berries, peaches or cherries. Frozen fruit provides a colder, slushy texture. If using fresh fruit, you may or may not want to add ice for texture or volume. Experiment with different fruits for a variety of flavors.

Liquid

Add milk or a dairy alternative to fruit for a more liquid consistency for a shake. Typical amounts for a liquid may be 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid. Soy, rice, hemp, coconut or almond milk may be used as a substitute. Adding juice or water for a liquid may be done, but this will not add protein to the shake.

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Protein Powder

Adding protein powder provides the bulk of protein for homemade shakes. Popular choices of protein powder include whey and soy. Hemp, egg or other vegetarian protein powders are also available, but the consistency of these powders varies. Add one to two scoops of protein powder. Protein powders come in vanilla or chocolate -- flavors that may appeal to kids' taste preferences.

Optional Ingredients

If you're trying to add more calories to a child's diet, include a tbsp. of peanut butter to boost calories and protein. Adding avocados also boosts calories, fiber and essential fats. A small amount of oatmeal can be added to increase fiber and thickness, and leafy green add-ons pump up vitamin, mineral and fiber amounts.

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