The Best Meal Replacement For Kids

What is the best meal replacement for kids?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement for kids. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

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drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement for kids.

Kids need to eat healthy.

We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself. It also helps to establish healthy eating habits and nutritional knowledge that will serve your child throughout her life. Moreover, healthy eating, even at a young age, can help kids achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Believe it or not, nutrition for children is essentially the same as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — fat, carbohydrates, protein, etc. – children just need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. Please refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 to learn more about your child’s nutritional needs. In a nutshell, it recommends eating a balance of foods like protein, fruit, vegetables, and grains, and limiting foods high in added sugars and sodium.

What is a meal replacement? 

A meal replacement is a product intended to replace the nutritional value of a meal. Many people use meal replacements as a convenient, on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is important to note that although meal replacements are often championed as a weight loss food, they can also help you gain weight, or just get you the nutrition that you need to be healthy. 

There are two main types of meal replacements, ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes and meal replacement powders. Meal replacement powders, like protein powders, must be mixed with milk or water.

Can kids have meal replacements?

So, can kids have meal replacements? Kids can absolutely have meal replacements. That said, meal replacement should not replace normal food. Whenever possible, you should feed your kid balanced, nutritious meals. For most kids, this should be more than enough to cover their nutritional needs. Some kids, however, may need an extra calorie or protein boost – maybe they are picky eaters, maybe they suffer from a chronic illness, or maybe they have a dietary restriction. If this is your kid, a good meal replacement can be a life saver. 

The right meal replacement can help your child get the calories and nutrients that she needs. They are also easy to make, easy to drink, and easy to clean up. Our meal replacements, for example, can be mixed with milk or water, blended into your kid’s favorite smoothie, or added to baked goods. They are versatile, delicious, and hassle-free.

Are meal replacements safe for kids? 

At the end of the day, meal replacements are just food. They are theoretically safe for anyone, including children. That said, not all meal replacements are created equal. There are two types of meal replacement shakes, ready-to-drink (store-bought) shakes, and shakes made with meal replacement powder. In order to make a shake with meal replacement powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shake bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people buy ready-to-drink shakes instead of meal replacement powder because they value convenience, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. 

Ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes are full of food additives like emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. Ingredients like these help with shelf stability (sitting on the shelf for a long time without spoiling), and can replicate the creamy, dairy-like mouthfeel that people crave. Although this sounds like a good thing, food additives look nothing like real food and can cause a number of side effects. This is why I recommend that you make your own meal replacement shakes with meal replacement powder. Unfortunately, however, not all meal replacement powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink shakes. You will therefore have to read ingredient lists to find the good ones. Keep reading to learn more about the top ingredients to avoid when buying meal replacement powder.  

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Avoid food additives.

Again, most meal replacements are full of food additives. Additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a meal replacement shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems and widespread inflammation. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in meal replacements:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying a meal replacement for kids, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, almonds, oats, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling meal replacements in the United States.

Avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free meal replacement made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most meal replacements are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming meal replacement. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.

chocolate meal replacement powder
vanilla meal replacement powder

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use high protein ingredients like egg whites, which are simply pasteurized and dried. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein.


“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have a sensitive stomach and every meal replacement powder makes me bloated…except drink wholesome!”


Again, drink wholesome makes the best kids meal replacement. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes for kids.

Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of meal replacements that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.