Best Meal Replacement Powders of 2024

Brianna Maguire

Written by Brianna Maguire on Thu Dec 21 2023.

Meal replacement powder.

Meal replacement powders are great options for caregivers looking to support their loved one's nutritional needs. With many varieties and flavors available, deciding which meal replacement powder to purchase can be challenging. In this guide, we've compiled a list of the best meal replacement powders to help you make the best choice.

How We Chose the Best Meal Replacement Powders

This list of the best meal replacement powders has been carefully compiled based on real caregiver feedback. In addition, we use feedback from our in-house RN to ensure the safety of each recommended product. The products on this list come from a range of price points. However, they all offer equal high-quality nutrition for your loved one.

Our care team has vetted all of the most popular meal replacement powders on the market to compile this trustworthy list. However, as always, it is important to consult with your doctor or your loved one's care team when making decisions pertaining to their diet, health, and nutrition.

Best Meal Replacement Powders

1. Ensure Original Nutritional Powder: Best Overall Product

Ensure's Original Nutritional Powder is a great option for a well-rounded meal replacement powder with plenty of nutrients. Each serving of this vanilla-flavored powder contains 250 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 25 vitamins and minerals to support health. This product works well in a variety of scenarios, including those where individuals cannot meet their nutritional needs from food alone. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • 7 servings per can

  • Great for individuals seeking weight gain

  • Addresses appetite loss

  • Tasty vanilla flavor

Ensure Original Nutritional Powder, Can, 00750, Vanilla, 14oz, 1ea
Ensure Original Nutritional Powder, Can

Calories Per Serving: 250

Protein Per Serving: 9g

2. Orgain Organic Superfoods All-In-One Super Nutrition Powder: Best for Organic Nutrition

The Orgain Organic Superfoods Nutrition Powder is a good choice to support overall nutrition, containing over 50 organic superfoods all in one serving. This nutritional powder suits organic, vegan, kosher, or gluten-free diets. This versatile powder can support a daily serving of phytonutrients and antioxidants, helping to support overall health and well-being.

Key Benefits & Features

  • USDA Organic Certified

  • Low Calorie -only 40 calories per scoop

  • Mixes well into food or beverages

  • Contains added probiotics

3. PediSure Grow & Gain Pediatric Oral Supplement: Best Meal Replacement Powder for Kids

PediaSure Grow & Gain Pediatric Oral Supplement supports the nutritional needs of growing kids. This meal replacement powder can be used in the foods and beverages of kids who need nutritional support to reach their growth goals.

Key Benefits & Features

  • 23 vitamins & minerals

  • 6 grams of protein per serving

  • Delicious vanilla taste

  • Contains nutrients that support eye and brain health

  • Antioxidants for immune system health

Hear it from a caregiver

"My relative loves the taste of PediSure Grow & Gain."

- Pamela H.

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4. Carnation Breakfast Essentials Packets: Best for Complete Nutrition 

Available in individual breakfast packets, the Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder is an excellent choice to start your day. To make this drink, simply mix with one cup of skim milk and blend well. Each serving has plenty of high-quality protein and 21 vitamins and minerals.

Key Benefits & Features

  • 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C

  • 50% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin D

  • 220 calories per serving

  • No artificial coloring or flavoring

  • Rich milk chocolate flavor

Hear it from a caregiver

"This is one thing my mother will consume and it’s full of nutrients. I appreciate how quickly it was delivered to our house."

- Diana S.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder Packets
Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder Packets

Price: $5.54 - $42.08

Comparison of Meal Replacement Powders

How to Choose Meal Replacement Powders

Before purchasing a meal replacement powder, consider the following:

  • What flavors does your loved one enjoy?

  • Is weight gain the goal?

  • Do they need additional essential vitamins and minerals from vegetables?

  • Are they eating a plant-based diet?

Answering these questions can help you narrow your choices to find the best meal replacement powder for your loved one's dietary needs.

Commonly Asked Questions

1. Should meal replacement powders be refrigerated?

Meal replacement powders are shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration. However, after the powder is mixed with water, the drink should be refrigerated. Always check your powder's best-by date to ensure optimal freshness.

2. Can meal replacement powders be consumed in warm beverages?

Meal replacement powders can be mixed into warm or cold beverages. Some individuals may prefer heating their shakes to enjoy a warm, comforting drink, whereas others may prefer drinks cold or poured over ice. Once mixed with water, the shake can be frozen to create an icy dessert as well.

3. Can I use milk to blend powder instead of water?

Each meal replacement powder may blend differently into different liquids. Refer to your product's instructions for mixing. Adding milk instead of water will change the nutritional profile of the beverage but may be suitable for some individuals.


With a variety of different meal replacement powders on the market, it's important to do your research before purchasing. These best meal replacement powders are a great place to start your shopping journey, offering suggestions for customer favorites, organic nutrition, and more.

Meal replacement powders offer a quick, easy way to support your loved one's nutritional needs, with options for high protein and meeting fruit and vegetable requirements. Always consult with your loved one's healthcare team to ensure they are consuming a rich, well-rounded diet suited to their body's unique needs.

Compare all of the products in this article

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Have More Questions?

Choosing the right product can be overwhelming — Carewell is here to help!

If you need help finding the perfect meal replacement powder for your needs, talk to one of our caregiving specialists today. Call us at (800) 696-CARE. We're here to support you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Our support team can also be reached by email anytime at

In addition, check out more of Carewell's nutritional product offerings to find more ways to support your loved one's nutritional needs.

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Brianna Maguire
Brianna Maguire

Brianna Maguire heads up Carewell’s Customer Care Team, and serves as a resource for caregivers that need support. Whether it’s helping customers decide which products are best for their needs, answering caregiver questions, or just providing a shoulder to lean on on a tough day, her job is to make caregivers’ lives easier.