Can You Buy Meal Replacement Shakes With Food Stamps? [Learn The Facts]

Food stamps are a fantastic way to keep healthy on a limited budget, but many people ask if this covers meal replacement shakes and other similar goods.

We have some interesting information that can help you identify and purchase the correct goods with your EBT card. Because the list of approved products may be very complex, several items are left in the “gray zone.”

You will be able to plan your shopping and meals with confidence, so stay tuned and read all of the tips and techniques we have provided for you.

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Can You Buy Meal Replacement Shakes With Food Stamps?

The simple answer is yes, but not all of them.

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There’s a reason why that sounds a little perplexing.

While the main purpose of the food stamps movement is to aid families in need of additional financial support in purchasing vital meals, it has left some individuals wondering what those items are.

A basic distinction between edible and non-edible items is not always sufficient, therefore we must be more specific.

If the replacement shake in issue contains nutrition facts on the label, you can use your EBT card to buy it. If there is just supplement information, it is considered inedible and hence ineligible for payment using an EBT card.

How can you tell them apart?

Take a closer look at the label whenever you are unsure whether a product, in this example a meal replacement shake, is something you can buy with your food stamps.

If it states Nutrition facts and contains statistics like fat and calories, it is deemed food by the US government and will be covered by SNAP.

On the other hand, if the label has no calories and only the supplement information, it is not considered food and cannot be paid for using food stamps.

Because various brands of meal replacement shakes use different labeling, you must be cautious. Keep in mind that protein shakes are often labeled as a supplement and are not considered nutritious.

Is this true for other types of replacement meals, such as soups and bars?


The label-based edible and non-edible distinction applies to all goods, including replacement bars and soups.

Check the label to prevent potential difficulties, since purchasing goods that are not permitted by the government with your food stamps might result in significant repercussions.

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What Can You Buy With Food Stamps?

Now that we’re better acquainted with the issue, we can compile a list of products that you may purchase and even substitute for protein shakes.

This includes the following:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Products derived from milk
  • Meat
  • Bread
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Plant-growing seeds

What Can’t You Get With Food Stamps?

So you can’t buy any supplements, but there are a few more products on the list, including:

  • Vitamins
  • Medications available without a prescription
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Toiletries
  • Products made of paper

Final Thoughts

As you can see, even if your favorite meal replacement shake includes a supplement label, you may still use your EBT card to purchase healthful and protein-rich goods. 

The even better news is that most businesses are already changing their labeling to meet the new and evolving food stamps program.

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