As parents, we want the BEST for our children.
And sometimes, we go to some pretty far extremes to make that happen.
I know because I’ve been that parent.
(Boy oh BOY, was I! lol smh)
My poor kids were actually ‘sneaking’ snack foods from their friends because they felt so deprived back in the early to mid 2000’s when my family and I were eating a raw (nothing cooked), plant-based diet!
And don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret that decision, as it had it’s pros & cons… mostly pros, I would say. I just wish we had done things a little differently, such as supplementation – in which case a good vitamin supplement or healthy meal replacement shake would have been ideal.
Since there was a very limited amount of foods the kids were WILLING to eat (without a battle) coupled with the fact that we were led to believe that we didn’t need to supplement our diet; they (we) ended up with nutritional deficiencies.
Now, at the OTHER end of the spectrum…
There are parents who allow the kids to eat ANY and EVERY thing: soda pop, candy, cookies, chips… you name it, they can have it.
Before the raw food lifestyle thing happened, we’d been there too. :/
And it’s that latter category that makes me a little bit salty at the fact that we’re even sitting here questioning whether or not kids can or should drink meal replacement shakes because I feel that there are way worse things they could be consuming.
In hindsight, a (healthy) meal replacement shake would have been beneficial for our kids during the raw food days.
Should You Give YOUR Child Meal Replacement Shakes?
Before we firmly plant our flag on a “yay” or “nay”, let’s dig a little bit into this matter.
Now, in all truth and honesty, I’d have to say that it really depends.
Well, for starters:
1. What’s the reason you’re giving them the shakes?
Are they for weight loss or general health? If they’re for weight loss, is a meal replacement shake plan the BEST option for your child at their age? Do your research & due diligence!
2. What’s in your shakes?
Are the ingredients something you feel CONFIDENT feeding your child? Is there anything that he or she is allergic or has a sensitivity to?
3. What does your child’s doctor say?
Now, I am NOT a physician, so I am NOT giving a “professional” recommendation here… just my own personal view & opinion as a fellow parent, and based on my personal experiences.
Having said that…
Personally, I’m not so much about what the doctor says all the time because parents (again, myself included) give our kids a whole BUNCH of crap that we don’t go run and check with the doctor about.
SIDE NOTE RANT: That’s what really burns my buns about when people first get introduced to health products, period… as I said before, we will consume & allow our children to consume soda pop, candy, chips, cookies, fast food, and not bat an eye.
But let something with all-natural, healthy ingredients get introduced and it’s…
“What’s in it?”
“Oh I need to ask my doctor”
But I digress. I am going to give the “talk to your doctor” disclaimer here in order to keep my rear safe!
And I believe that most meal replacement shake companies do the same in order to keep THEIR rears safe as well.
So basically, “Mom” or “Dad”…
Use Your Own Discretion
Personally, I DO allow my youngest son (13 years old at the time of writing) to drink them.
And no, he isn’t doing two shakes a day.
He honestly isn’t even doing ONE shake… more like 1/4-1/2 of a packet because he gets really full off of it and he’s already typically not very hungry upon waking up at 6:00 a.m.
Initially, I caught him skipping breakfast a couple of times and said,
Oh no, no, NO you don’t! You’ve got to eat SOME-thing!
And his response was, “But I’m not really all that hungry in the morning!”
So most mornings, instead of eating cereal, he requests having a shake – he loves how I make it with peanut butter and banana!
In my opinion, it’s GOTTA be good for him since he’s getting his calcium, protein, and other important nutrients.
Sometimes I even “sneak” some liquid multivitamin in the shake and he doesn’t even notice it 😉
I’m not sure if there are actual meal replacement shakes JUST for kids, but I feel pretty confident in giving him the ones I drink.
And if you’re looking for a good, wholesome REAL MEAL shake for your child(ren) and even for yourself, I invite you to check out the shakes my son drinks.
If that one product they advertise on TV (you know the one) can tout how it “helps kids grow“, although the second flippin’ ingredient is SUGAR…
There should be nooo problem giving your child a healthy, wholesome meal replacement shake that has NO sugar, is dairy-soy-gluten-GMO-FREE, has 21 g of protein, 500 mg of calcium, probiotics and antioxidants.
No, I don’t necessarily recommend the whole, “2 full shakes a day to replace two meals” thing BUT…
If your child does need to lose weight and you’re looking into doing shakes for that purpose; check with your child’s Pediatrician to make sure it’s okay for them to do a shake-based program.
And again, use your own parental discretion & intuition.