7 Best Protein Powders for Kids (2024) Buyer’s Guide

Supplements Considered 21
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James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 4, 2024
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

Protein intake is vital to a growing child's health, and yet they may not be getting enough and may need to supplement their diets.

So, I teamed up with a pediatric dietitian and spent several weeks of research to put together a list of the best protein powder for kids that can help you improve your child’s protein intake quickly and won’t take much work or convincing on your part.

The Best Protein Powders for Kids

Editor's Choice
Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey
Transparent Labs
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.8
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Ladder Whey Protein
Ladder
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.8
4.8
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Ora Organic So Lean _ So Clean
Ora Organic
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
4.1
Ingredients
4.3
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.6
4.6
Click For Best Price

Our Top Protein Powder for Kids (February 2024)

1 - Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey (Best Overall & Protein-Rich)

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 5.0
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 28g of premium whey protein isolates per scoop
  • 100% grass-fed whey
  • Comes in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla, and salted caramel
  • No artificial ingredients, sweeteners, or colors

Cons

  • May be pricey for some people

After extensive tests, I can vouch for the purity of Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey - no artificial sweeteners, food dyes, gluten, or preservatives.

With 28g of protein and 120 calories per serving, it's made from naturally fed, hormone-free cow whey. All these features make it a good protein supplement for children to properly grow and develop [1].

Several parents have shared that this supplement has effectively helped their children feel fuller for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary snacking.

Your kids won't gag from the taste as it's tasty with water or with milk. My favorite is the french vanilla, although there's other flavors like strawberry, chocolate flavor and salted caramel.

There are more choices gluten free protein powders available both for kids and adults.

2 - Ladder Whey Protein (Most Delicious & Without Artificial Sweeteners)

Ladder Whey Protein
5.0
Effectiveness
4.6
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 4.8
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • CFS Certified
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Contains Probiotics
  • Tastes good even without artificial sweeteners

Cons

  • Can be on the expensive side

The pediatrician I consulted said that kids love the taste of the Ladder Whey protein. It was created by renowned personalities like LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The product comes in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla.

Ladder uses all-natural ingredients such as cocoa and vanilla beans, salt, and a little sweetener to bring out that awesome taste.

If you want a protein powder that tastes like dessert, then this is it.

You can also check out our review of the Ladder protein powder.

I found that even if it’s mixed with water, you can still taste the rich flavor of chocolate and vanilla.

The best thing about this is that it’s not all about flavor. The product contains the optimal amount of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids to improve cognitive function and linear growth [2].

3 - Ora Organic So Lean & So Clean (Best Organic & Vegan-Friendly)

Ora Organic So Lean _ So Clean
5.0
Effectiveness
4.1
Taste
4.3
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

  • May be a unique taste to your kid.

I’m one of those people who still struggle to eat enough greens. The turning point was when I discovered Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder. I was amazed at how easily it blended into my smoothies, and I loved the taste. It’s packed with organic superfoods and greens, making it a win-win for both parents and kids.

Parents of children who have used this product have consistently noted that their kids experience sustained energy levels throughout the day, which in turn helps them remain attentive and alert in their classes.

Since it tastes great even without added sugar, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives, kids will see it as a treat. Also, it mixes well with whole or almond milk.

A bonus is the added digestive enzymes in this protein powder that will help your kids say goodbye to tummy issues.

4 - BPI Sports ISO HD

BPI Sports ISO HD
4.8
Effectiveness
4.1
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 4.5
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 25g of 100% premium whey protein isolates
  • No fillers (only 2g of sugar)
  • Contains fast-absorbing protein
  • Wide range of delicious flavors

Cons

  • Your kids may binge on this delicious drink.

My youngest clients report a noticeable difference since they started using BPI Sports Best Protein. The blend of whey isolates and hydrolysates seems to really agree with their system. It’s easily absorbed, and they have noticed they are more energetic and focused since introducing this into their diet.

Its muscle-building properties are also especially beneficial for their age because this is when they are most prone to growth disorders and nutrient deficiencies [3].

Parents of physically active children have reported that this supplement plays a valuable role in aiding post-exercise recovery and promoting a feeling of fullness. This, in turn, helps reduce the tendency to overeat and indulge in unhealthy snacking.

BPI ISO HD assists in muscle recovery so they can continue enjoying their playtime activities with their friends and playmates.

5 - Paradise Herbs Orac Energy (Best With Probiotics)

Paradise Herbs Orac Energy
4.7
Effectiveness
4.1
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Overall Score 4.5
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free of animal products and artificial fillers
  • Contains no artificial sweeteners
  • Does not cause bloating or gas
  • Makes delicious protein drinks for kids

Cons

  • Lacking in calcium and some other minerals

My clients report that beneficial probiotics and certified organic ingredients made a noticeable difference in their kids' digestion and overall energy levels.

While not specifically designed as one of the protein drinks for kids, it’s actually a natural fit given the purity of its composition and its overall effectiveness.

Parents noticed that the Orac Energy from Paradise Herbs assists their children in recovering more swiftly from physically demanding days without leading to bloating or gas issues.

It’s going to cost a bit more than some other brands, but it's worth it to know your children are getting the extra protein they need with none of the fillers, sugar and artificial additives they don't need.

6 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (Best for Muscle Recovery)

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
4.6
Effectiveness
4.2
Taste
4.3
Ingredients
4.6
Price
Overall Score 4.4
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Highly effective for kids
  • High concentrations of protein and glutamine
  • 5.5 grams of important branched-chain amino acids
  • Makes a great tasting shake

Cons

  • It’s going to cost more than some others

Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey protein powder for toddlers is high in branch chain amino acids that stimulate muscle recovery [4].

But, before you start thinking your child is going to be transformed into the Hulk, remember that kids’ muscles are constantly growing and evolving [5].

In fact, kids and their boundless energy put far more stress on their muscles than adults ever will, which is why protein is so important for their health to begin with [6].

Our tests found that, unlike other brands, this protein powder mixes smoothly in a protein shaker without any clumps, which could be more appealing for kids.

This type of whey protein for kids has been shown to support a healthy immune system, support fat burning and promote the production of important antioxidants [7,8].

You may want to check our article on Recommended Egg protein powders, where we featured another product from Optimum Nutrition.

7 - Pro JYM (Cheapest Option)

Pro JYM
4.6
Effectiveness
4.1
Taste
4.2
Ingredients
4.5
Price
Overall Score 4.4
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Mixes well with shakes or other food
  • No spiking ingredients like creatine
  • 3 types of protein for well-balanced digestion
  • One scoop per day should do it

Cons

  • Costs a bit more than some others
  • Includes non-dairy creamer for some reason

Pro JYM contains slow, moderate and fast-digesting proteins that help promote long-term synthesis and healthy muscles.

Another great thing about Pro JYM is what it doesn’t contain. There are no “spiking” ingredients. These are sometimes added to the powder because they’re an inexpensive way to boost protein levels.

The problem is those spiking ingredients don’t often provide any actual nutritional value.

So, we may be able to say that it’s 15% concentrated but because it contains beta-alanine, creatine or other spiking agents, the effective percentage of protein is actually much lower.

Pro JYM then is great for keeping track of just how much nutrients your kid is actually getting, which makes those drinks seem all the more sensible.

How We Chose the Best Protein Powder for Kids

Here’s a detailed look at our process.

Comprehensive Research

Our journey begins with extensive research. We delve into the vast market of protein powders, sifting through countless products. We examine each product’s ingredients, nutritional value, and the credibility of the brands behind them.

Expert Consultations

We collaborate with pediatric nutritionists and dietitians to gain insights into the specific nutritional needs of growing children. Their expertise guides our selection, ensuring each product aligns with the recommended dietary allowances and nutritional standards for kids.

Quality of Ingredients

The ingredient list is scrutinized. We prioritize products with natural, organic, and non-GMO ingredients. Artificial additives, preservatives, and sweeteners are red flags, and products containing them are eliminated from our list.

Allergen Considerations

Children’s safety is paramount. We pay special attention to common allergens and provide options that cater to kids with specific dietary restrictions and allergies, ensuring there’s a safe and effective option for every child.

Taste and Mixability

Let’s face it, kids are picky eaters. The taste and texture of the protein powder are crucial. We opt for products that are not only nutritious but also palatable and easy to mix, ensuring your kids will love them.

Price

We checked the price per gram of pure protein powder, rather than just the overall cost of the container, as this can provide a more accurate reflection of the long-term expense.

Additionally, some brands offer subscription services or bulk purchases that can reduce the cost over time.

Effectiveness

We checked the effectiveness by looking at the protein content per serving and ensuring it aligns with the recommended dietary allowances for the child's age group.

Reviews and testimonials from other parents can also be insightful, providing real-world feedback on how the protein powder has benefited their children.

Buyer's Guide for The Best Protein Powder for Kids

A scoop of protein powder spilled on floor

When choosing the best protein powder for your child, you should look for qualities such as sufficient protein content, the absence of excessive sugar or salt, and the exclusion of artificial flavors.

Other qualities you should look for in a child-friendly protein powder are:

  • That the powder has ample protein content
  • That the powder is low in fat (should not contain trans fats)
  • That it is generally low in carbs unless those carbs are fiber-based
  • That there are 200 calories or less per full serving
  • That there are no artificial additives, such as colors and sweeteners
  • That it isn’t loaded with sugar or salt
  • That the ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced
  • That the protein powder won't impact allergies or dietary restrictions of the child

It can also be helpful if any prospective kid’s powder contains supporting minerals and other nutrients like calcium to help build strong bones. Though this isn’t essential.

Related Articles:

How Much Protein Do Kids Need?

While children are as physically different as adults, there are nonetheless some general conclusions that can be drawn about their need for protein:

  • For kids between 1 and 3 years of age, it's typically recommended that 5 to 20 percent of their total daily caloric intake be protein. Depending on their size, that would be somewhere between about 60 and 250 calories per day.
  • For kids between the ages of 4 and 8, the recommended amount rises a bit to between 10 and 30 percent of their caloric intake per day. In this case, it would mean anywhere from 150 to 450 calories per day, depending of course on their size.
  • For kids between 9 and 13 years of age, the percentage of their total dietary intake is unchanged at between 10 and 30 percent. But, because these kids are bigger, that means that anywhere from 175 to 550 calories per day should be protein.

When kids eat protein-rich foods, their bodies break the protein down into amino acids that they need to grow and function optimally. Taking in too much protein can cause weight gain, so kids get maximal nutritional benefits by staying within the recommended guidelines.
- Maia Appleby, SFGate

Can I Give My Kid Protein Powder?

A kid drinking milk with protein shake

Yes, you can give your kid protein powder if they cannot get it from a healthy diet.

Some children are notoriously picky eaters, and as much as we may try to convince them to eat what's in front of them, the fact is their diet sometimes needs supplementation.

All parents can relate here, right?

As such, a protein powder for kids is aacceptable alternative, as long as it’s not also packed with sugar or other harmful ingredients.

Here are 5 healthy protein shake recipes for kids.

youtube

FAQs

What is the Minimum Age for Protein Powder?

The minimum age for protein powder is age 1. Between ages 1 and 3, a daily protein intake of 13 grams is recommended. For 4 to 8-year-olds, the recommended protein consumption increases to 19 grams per day.

Is Whey Protein OK for Kids?

Yes, whey protein is OK for kids as long as they stick to the recommended amount. However, it could cause symptoms such as gas, bloating, and cramps.

Our Verdict on the Best Protein Powder for Kids

After extensive testing and consultation with a pediatric dietitian, my top pick for the best protein powder for kids is Transparent Labs.

It doesn't have any artificial sweeteners, food dyes, gluten, or preservatives. It's a relief to find a product that's not only clean but also effective, with 28g of protein per serving.

Your child will feel fuller for longer, cutting down on unnecessary snacking.

While it may be a bit pricier, the quality and peace of mind it offers make it a worthwhile investment for my child's nutrition.

Our #1 Protein Powder for Kids

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey (Best Overall & Protein-Rich)

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.8
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Pros
  • 28g of premium whey protein isolates per scoop
  • 100% grass-fed whey
  • Comes in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla, and salted caramel
  • No artificial ingredients, sweeteners, or colors
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of February
Cons
  • May be pricey for some people
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2 thoughts on “7 Best Protein Powder for Kids (2024) Buyer’s Guide

  1. I was looking for a whey protein to supplement my son’s healthy eating and I saw this article. Thanks! We’ll try out your recommendation to see if it’s really the best protein powder for kids.

  2. I appreciate the lactose-free options discussed in this article. As someone who avoids meat, finding alternative sources of protein can be a challenge. Thank you for the helpful guide.

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