Horlicks Vs Complan

Chocolate drinks like Horlicks Vs Complan are tasty and very popular among children. Parents often prepare these drinks to improve their nutrition, especially in picky and active children. Both drinks are delicious, but they have different formulations. If parents wonder which to give to their kids, let’s see the benefits and possible concerns below.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • How to Increase Protein Intake for Children
  • What are Horlicks and Complan
  • What are the Variants of Horlicks and Complan
  • How to Prepare Horlicks and Complan
  • What are the Ingredients of Horlicks and Complan
  • What are the Nutrition Facts of Horlicks and Complan
  • What are the Benefits of Horlicks and Complan
  • What is the Concern about Horlicks and Complan
  • Horlicks Vs Complan

Protein for Children

A balanced diet is not only for adults, but we have to help our kids get their balanced meals starting at a young age. One of the main challenges for parents is probably facing a picky eater because many kids are not eating well, which is concerning because they are growing and need plenty to strive for. Especially for their protein intake because protein is a macronutrient, and our body needs a relatively high amount of it from the diet.

Protein-rich foods like meat and eggs may not be as appetizing or attractive to your kids, so we struggle to give the daily recommendation. But, worry not because protein doesn’t always mean meat or animal products. One of the most convenient methods to add protein into your kid’s diet is by using flaxseed. It doesn’t have any distinct taste, so we can easily incorporate it into their favorite drinks like a smoothie. Children love baked goods, and parents can try swapping flour with oats in their muffins.

If your kids can eat veggies well or don’t mind it, edamame can be an excellent healthy choice. It contains high protein and tastes amazing while also cheaper than meat. Parents can buy frozen edamame and cook it for a snack or add it to the rice for a more colorful presentation. Parents can try red lentils, too, which are both cheap and tasty. It is easy to cook and incorporate into your kid’s favorite soup or dishes. Half a cup of lentils will add 9 grams of protein to the dish.

About Horlicks and Complan

There are also many other protein sources that parents can try, such as milk and nutrition drinks. Many children love milk but not the plain variant, so nutrition drinks can be a good helper to make the milk more appetizing. Nutrition drinks, especially those marketed for children, will contain milk or a type of protein. They are typically malt drinks because the cereal can improve the texture and taste of the milk. They are nutritious and contain added protein to boost the intake.

Some of the most popular nutrition drinks you can prepare for the kids are Horlicks and Complan. These drinks are tasty and very popular in India, primarily marketed for children to aid or boost their nutrition intake. Many parents may think of Horlicks and Complan as milk replacement or powdered milk, but they are not. They contain a portion of milk, but it is not the only ingredient here. Both beverages are designed to improve plain milk taste and boost the nutrient content.

Children love them because they are tasty, like chocolate milk, and if your kids are picky or don’t have an appetite, we can prepare them the drink with milk to give them some energy. While equally tasty, Horlicks and Complan are not the same based on the formulation. The main ingredients make the difference because Complan uses a good amount of milk, and hence it will provide more nutrients found in the dairy product. Horlicks, on the other hand, is a malted drink.

Its composition contains mostly malted cereal, which gives the creaminess to the milk. Both Horlicks and Complan contain added sugar that is still below the daily recommended intake, but it is if the kid or you only drink them throughout the day, which is most likely not. On the good side, these malted drinks will enrich your kid’s milk with more protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals.

Horlicks and Complan Variants

Horlicks and Complan are available in different variants or flavors like most powdered drinks. You can find the original flavors from both brands, but kids usually love chocolate drinks because they are tastier and significantly improve plain milk’s taste. Complan has many different variants, including Original, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry. It usually comes in a plastic canister or box with a plastic pouch inside. Horlicks is also available in several variants, but its Chocolate flavor is the most popular.

It has Original, Instant, and Vegan options. The instant variant is convenient if you want to prepare the drink on the go because it only needs hot water. The standard packaging is a plastic canister, but you can find Horlicks in a pouch and a small sachet for a single serving. The small packets are very convenient if you want to bring the powdered drink to the office or while camping. Read also: Ovaltine Vs Horlicks here.

Preparing Horlicks and Complan 

Both Horlicks and Complan are not powdered milk like the baby formula, so you need to add milk powder or fresh milk into the cup. Their serving method is identical by adding a serving size of the powder to a cup and filling it with warm or cold milk. Parents can add sugar too, but we don’t recommend it because they already contain sugar. We can use plain water too, but they won’t taste as good. Not only milk, but we can also use the powder for making other creamy beverages like smoothies.

Horlicks and Complan Ingredients

Now for the most important part, let’s see what Horlicks and Complan are because parents must decide whether their kids need these in their diet. We will not list everything, but the top ingredients of Horlicks chocolate flavor are sugar, malt extract, wheat malt, cereal extract, cocoa powder, and soy protein. On the other hand, Complan is made with milk solids, sugar, peanut, maltodextrin, and food coloring. Both drinks add vitamins to the formulation.

Horlicks and Complan Nutrition Facts

Next, for the nutrition facts, both Horlicks and Complan are usually served with milk, so the total nutrient will vary based on how you make them. The serving size of Complan is 60 grams, which provides 251 calories, 37.2 grams of carbs, with 14.4 grams of it coming from sugar. It will give 10.8 grams per serving of an additional protein with other minerals and vitamins. It is pretty high in calcium; one serving should provide 480 mg of extra calcium into the milk.

The serving size of Horlicks Chocolate is 27 grams. Each serving will give you an additional 199 calories. It also serves an amount of protein, but it is very little, or 3.6 per 27 grams of powder. It also contains sugar, around 8 grams or will be 20 grams for the overall carbs content. It has pretty high calcium for bones at 224 mg per serving.

Horlicks and Complan Benefits

One of the main reasons parents give these nutritious beverages is to increase protein intake because they contain milk. A 40 lbs. kid will need approximately 18 grams of protein per day, which is necessary for their growth. Protein is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our body, so it needs protein to strive, grow, and repair. It is also fulfilling for a snack before a kid’s meal to prevent overeating or losing the appetite.

Calcium is also an important reason why Horlicks and Complan are very popular. Both contain a relatively high amount of calcium, and the older the kid, the more they need this mineral. For parents with kids aged 4-8, we need to give them 1,000 mg of calcium per day or 1,300 from 9 to 18. The body needs calcium to build strong bones and muscles. It is beneficial for children and adolescents to maintain bones and teeth and assist in muscle contraction. Calcium is also essential to regulate blood pressure.

Horlicks and Complan Concerns

Lastly, let’s see the possible concerns about Horlicks and Complan. Peeking at the ingredients, it is easy to say that Complan is sweetened milk and Horlicks is a cereal. They are safe to consume, and the ingredients are very common but not for everyone. For example, Horlicks contain a mix of cereals that can be bad if your kid is overweight or the diet is already filled with grains. Remember that powdered grains are high in glycemic index, so it will increase sugar levels besides the added sugar itself.

Horlicks also contain slightly more sugar per serving than Complan, even though Complan has a higher serving. We can modify the serving size to measure how much sugar is added, but it is less convenient than choosing something with zero sugar or less sugar.

Horlicks Vs Complan

Both Horlicks and Complan are tasty drinks to improve your kid’s daily nutrition. They are improving the milk taste for picky eaters who only enjoy drinking milk. But, Horlicks is more similar to an instant cereal which depends on the kid’s diet; they may already be eating many grains. Powdered grains have a high glycemic index, and Horlicks also contain higher sugar. Complan, on the other hand, is made from milk, lower in sugar, higher in protein and calcium.

- Made with cereals- Made with milk
- Higher in sugar- Lower sugar
- Higher in sugar- Higher in calorie
- Less protein- Higher protein
- Less calcium- Higher calcium


Both powdered drinks are delicious, but we recommend Complan because it is more nutritious. The drink is made from milk, has lower sugar per serving, and has higher calcium or protein. It is a good solution for parents with picky eaters who love drinking chocolate milk.