Our email box is full of parents, concerned that their child is not getting enough protein for one reason or another. It’s a valid concern! Sometimes, picky eaters might barely get the proper amount of any micronutrients in a given day, let alone the right amount of macronutrients . Protein is vital for kids to grow and thrive, which is why this shake might be exactly what they need. Next week we are going to spend an entire week on plant based protein sources!
My 11 year old is a small kid. He doesn’t have much genetic hope of getting tall having me as his mother. I barely reach 5 feet. And he definitely takes after me. However, he’s an athletic kid and is desperate to not be the smallest kid in his class. When I tell him that a diet with 10 servings of bread a day isn’t going to help him get big or strong, he listens. While he wants to eat toast and tortillas all day long, he knows that adding protein to his diet is his best shot at getting “big” in his eyes.
This shake has 22 grams of protein for 12 ounces. A basic rule of thumb for protein needs (which we’ll talk about more next week), is half a gram per pound of body weight. So, my 11 year old is about 75 lbs, so about 37 grams of protein in a day is plenty! This drink alone would get him almost there.
The high protein foods we added to this Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake Recipe include:
- Milk– with 8 grams of protein per cup, milk is a great choice for kids (who are tolerant of course). If you have a dairy allergy, you can use soy milk, which ALSO has 8 grams of protein! Soy milk is a great dairy alternative.
- Silken Soft Tofu– Adding 4 grams of protein, the silken soft is a great choice for smoothies! It even says it’s for sauces and smoothies right on the package!
- Chia Seeds- With 2 grams of protein for just 1 tablespoon, chia seeds are a perfect addition. It not only adds the protein, but also some fiber, and omega 3 fats, enhancing absorption of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin D.
- Peanut butter– Not only is this a delicious addition, 2 tablespoons also have 8 grams of protein! As much as the milk! We know that nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, but I think we don’t realize how much. 8 grams for 2 tablespoons makes peanut butter a great source.
And to make it delicious, we added cocoa powder and honey. If you are using commercial peanut butter, with sugar already added, there is no reason to add the honey. But if you grind your own peanut butter or purchase all-natural peanut butter, the sweetener is kind of important. (full recipe below)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and you’re done! Once you make a shake, you can store it in the fridge until kids are ready to drink it. Unlike a “smoothie”, that tastes best slushy- this shake is more like chocolate milk! Keep it in the fridge for 1-3 days, and let the kids take it with them on the way to soccer practice, or wherever they are going.
Thanks for joining us for smoothie week! We shared more ideas on Facebook and pinterest if you aren’t following us over there, please do! Also, we round up the week every Saturday in our weekly newsletter. Sign up today and you’ll also get our 21 Day Picky Eater guide.