If you’re trying to teach your kids how to start eating healthy, you might consider giving them children’s vitamins. Of course, you want to teach them to eat healthy, whole foods, but sometimes picky eaters may need a supplement.
There are many options to consider when you’re in the market for a vitamin or mineral supplement. You might be overwhelmed trying to choose one that is a good fit.
Below, we take some of the stress out of the selection process. We’ll discuss the best multivitamins for kids so you can make an informed decision for your family.
Best Multivitamins For Kids In 2024
- Hiya Kids Multivitamin – Editor’s Choice
- Megafood Kid’s One Daily Multivitamin – Best For Value
- SmartyPants Kids Formula Multivitamin – Best Chewable Vitamins
- MyKind Organics Kids Multi Fruit – Best Organic Option
- ChildLife Essentials Multivitamin – Best Liquid Option
- Thorne Kids Multi+ – Best Dissolvable Vitamins
- Bayer Flintstones Complete Chewables Multivitamin – Best Budget
- Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi With Iron – Best For Picky Eaters
- Llama Naturals Plant-Based Vitamin Bites – Best Plant-Based Option
- OLLY Kids Multi + Probiotic Gummy Multivitamin – Best Probiotic Gummy Option
Do Kids Need To Take Multivitamins?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children obtain vitamins from food rather than supplements. However, some children may not obtain adequate nutrients from food. If their diets are not varied, they may lack some key nutrients.
Children may need a multivitamin if they are deficient in nutrients from inadequate intake or lack of nutritious food. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended for breastfeeding infants. Non-breastfed infants and older children need a vitamin D supplement if it is lacking in their diet.
Children on restrictive diets, such as vegan diets, may need a supplement to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.
Best Multivitamins For Kids In 2024
Hiya Kids Multivitamin
- The company offers discounts for multiple children.
- Contains zero sugar.
- Comes with a reusable jar and decorative sticker pack.
- Third-party tested for allergens, heavy metals, and pathogens.
- Contains proprietary blends.
If you’re trying to learn how to get vitamin D in your child’s diet, you’ll love Hiya vitamins. It contains over 100% of the daily value of vitamin D for children.
Hiya is also one of the best fruit and vegetable supplements for children, made from organic fruits and veggies. Furthermore, it’s one of the top vitamin supplements for 2-year-olds. Many supplements are not recommended until age four or five, but this one is for ages two and up.
Some parents prefer Hiya to other brands because it contains no sugar or artificial sweeteners. It’s sweetened with monk fruit extract and not made from gummy ingredients.
In addition to vitamin D, Hiya includes vitamins A, C, and E, as well as B vitamins and folate. It contains a small dose of calcium and doses of iodine, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Calcium is rarely found in multivitamins, so adequate dietary intake is important.
- No added sweeteners.
- Made from real foods, including brown rice and broccoli.
- Available only as a tablet.
- Contains only 17% of the required daily vitamin D.
- Includes a proprietary formula.
- Lacks omega-3 fatty acids.
The Megafood Kid’s One Daily Multivitamin is packed with vitamins and minerals. It contains real food products, including brown rice and carrots. It’s appropriate for children aged five and older.
Some children may find it less palatable than a gummy vitamin. However, the product is sold as mini tablets to make it easier for children to swallow.
The Megafood Kids multivitamin is lower in vitamin D than other supplements. It contains just 17% of the daily required dose for vitamin D, a common deficiency in children ages 6-12. However, it contains over 100% of the needed dose of many of the B vitamins.
Other vitamins and minerals in this multivitamin supplement include vitamins A, C, E, and K. Zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, molybdenum, chromium, and iodine are also included.
What makes the Megafood vitamin unique is its fruit phenolic blend of organic oranges, blueberries, and cranberries. Phenols are compounds found in fruits and vegetables, and they can prevent disease. Research has shown that supplementation with phenolic compounds can help individuals obtain the benefits of these substances.
Surveys indicate a wide range of children (20%-60%) do not get adequate levels of the essential omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. Unfortunately, this nutrient is not in this supplement.
- Available in three different flavors.
- Contains omega-3 fatty acids.
- Third-party tested.
- Requires four vitamins a day.
- Includes 5 grams of added sugars.
The SmartyPants kids formula multivitamin is among the top gummy vitamins for children. It contains 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin D. It is recommended for children aged four and over.
It also includes omega-3 fatty acids with eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, which may benefit cognitive functioning. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve attention, focus, and school performance. However, the dosages given to children in brain health studies are typically higher than 100 mg, the amount contained in this multivitamin.
The makers of SmartyPants indicate that their product contains 50% more nutrients than other leading children’s multivitamins. This multivitamin contains other essential vitamins and minerals beyond vitamin D. These include vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins.
The B vitamins in this supplement can be especially beneficial, as B vitamins are involved in metabolic functioning. They are also important for brain health, and research suggests that B vitamins may benefit intelligence and behavior in children if such nutrients are insufficient in the diet.
Other vitamins and minerals in the product include zinc, iodine, biotin, and folate.
MyKind Organics Kids Multi Fruit
- Contains 100% of the daily value of vitamin D.
- Made from organic ingredients.
- Free from artificial flavors or colors.
- Has fiber.
- Requires four gummy vitamins daily.
- Contains proprietary blends.
- Does not contain omega-3 fatty acids.
The MyKind Organics multivitamin is a chewable gummy available in two flavors for children aged four and up. It contains 100% of a child’s vitamin D daily needs. It also provides 2 grams of fiber per four-gummy serving.
This multivitamin provides 100% of the vitamin C and chromium that children need each day. It also contains vitamins A, E, and K, as well as folate and several B vitamins. Other minerals in the multivitamin include zinc, selenium, and manganese.
This brand sets itself apart from other dietary supplements for children by using organic ingredients. It is also free from artificial flavors and colors.
ChildLife Essentials Multivitamin
- Suitable for infants as young as six months old.
- Comes in natural orange mango flavor.
- Can be used through the teenage years.
- Third-party tested.
- Available only as a liquid.
- Contains lower amounts of vitamin D than other children’s vitamins.
- Contains added fructose.
The ChildLife Essentials multivitamin is a liquid multivitamin, different from children’s chewable vitamins. It is one of the best pediatric multivitamins because it is suitable for infants as young as 6 months old. It can be used through the teenage years in higher doses, making it one of the best vitamins for 12-year-olds.
The natural orange mango flavor of this multivitamin is designed to be palatable. However, some younger children may not be fond of the liquid formulation.
This multivitamin contains less vitamin D than some of the other top picks for children. It contains small amounts of sodium and potassium and a small dose of calcium.
This product is one of the top mineral supplements for children. It contains iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, and chromium. It also contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as B vitamins and folate.
Like some of the other vitamin supplements, this one contains added sugars. However, at 3 grams of added sugar per serving, ChildLife Essentials is lower in sugar than other brands.
Thorne Kids Multi+
- Uniquely supports eye and brain health.
- No sugar.
- Contains DHA.
- Contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
The Thorne Kids Multi+ is a unique option for ages four to 12. It is a dissolvable disc which can be added to water or another beverage. You can also dissolve it in yogurt or oatmeal to easily add nutrients to your child’s diet.
Another feature that differentiates Thorne from other options for the best children’s vitamins is its lutein and zeaxanthin content. These two substances play an important role in eye and brain health.
In addition to these unique features, the Thorne vitamin contains 100% of the daily vitamin D requirement. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as B vitamins and folate. Minerals include choline, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.
The Thorne multivitamin contains the fatty acid DHA but in lower doses compared to other options that include DHA. However, at least this supplement contains it, as some of our options do not include any omega-3 fatty acids.
Bayer Flintstones Complete Chewables Multivitamin
- Recommended by pediatricians.
- Available in quantities of up to 180 tablets.
- Not gluten-free.
- Contains artificial sweeteners and fructose.
- Contains red and yellow dyes.
The Bayer Flintstones Complete Chewables Multivitamin contains most of the vitamins and minerals included in other products. It’s a good source of vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins. It also contains folate, iron, calcium, iodine, zinc, and copper.
The Flintstones vitamin comes in an easy-to-chew tablet. It’s also conveniently available in packages of up to 180 tablets.
The product contains added fructose and artificial sweeteners, including sucralose, which directly increases the incidence of heart disease. It also contains red and yellow dyes, which could be a drawback. Some research suggests that food dyes could lead to behavioral problems in children.
Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi With Iron
- Contains iron.
- Gluten and sugar-free.
- Third-party tested.
- Does not contain 100% of the daily value of vitamin D.
- Contains artificial sweeteners, mannitol, and xylitol.
Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi is unique from other children’s supplements because it contains a significant amount of iron. Since children are disproportionately affected by iron deficiency, some, especially picky eaters, may require a supplement.
Additional benefits of this supplement include the fact that it is gluten-free and sugar-free. It is sweetened with monk fruit extract, a natural sweetener, and sugar alcohol. Renzo’s vitamins are available in two flavors: cherry and green apple. They are suitable for ages two and up. The vitamin is a dissolvable tablet, making it appropriate even for young children.
One drawback of this product is it does not contain 100% of the daily value of vitamin D or any omega-3 fatty acids. It also uses artificial sweeteners, including mannitol and xylitol.
The Renzo multivitamin contains vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins. It also contains folate, iodine, zinc, selenium, and chromium.
Llama Naturals Plant-Based Vitamin Bites
- Made from real fruit.
- No added sugar cane.
- Vegan and dairy-free.
- Third-party tested.
- Lacking minerals like zinc and selenium.
- Contains proprietary blends.
The Llama Naturals Plant-Based Vitamin Bites are made from real fruit with a dash of fiber. They’re completely vegan and gluten-free, making them appropriate for a vegetarian or vegan diet. They meet children’s nutritional needs from nutrient gaps in their diet without any added cane sugar.
This vitamin supplement is appropriate for ages two and up. It contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. It also contains B vitamins and folate. It meets 100% of vitamin D needs for ages four and up with a serving size of three gummies.
The primary drawback of this product is that it doesn’t contain minerals like zinc, chromium, and selenium. These are present in most other children’s dietary supplements. Zinc and selenium play a key role in several metabolic processes.
OLLY Kids Multi + Probiotic Gummy Multivitamin
- Contains probiotics.
- Pleasant flavor.
- Third-party tested.
- Contains added sugar.
The OLLY Kids Multi + Probiotic Gummy Multivitamin is made for ages two and older. It comes in a pleasant fruit punch and berry blast flavor.
Its ingredients are similar to those in most children’s supplements. It contains vitamins A, C, D, and E, and several B vitamins. It also contains folate, iodine, zinc, and choline. However, it does contain 2 grams of added sugar.
OLLY’s makers market their kid’s multivitamins as the best vitamin for energy. This is based on the gummy’s content of B vitamins. The claim might be true, as the B vitamins can reduce fatigue in diets where intakes are not sufficient.
The probiotics in the OLLY multivitamin set it apart from the competition. Bacillus coagulans can reduce stomach pain and the need for laxatives in children with constipation.
The probiotics in the OLLY multivitamin make it the best multivitamin for teen girls with polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. Probiotic supplementation is helpful in reducing inflammation and improving hormonal profiles in obese teens with PCOS. Probiotics can also be helpful for weight loss and correction of metabolic disturbances in PCOS.
Benefits Of Taking Vitamins For Your Little Ones
In general, taking multivitamin supplements can improve overall health for children with deficiencies. It can also fill in nutritional gaps if your child is a picky eater. Children who do not eat a balanced diet may not get all the nutrients they need from foods.
The Western diet, in particular, may be lacking in nutrients. If you’re worried your child isn’t getting enough nutrients from the typical diet, multivitamins may give you peace of mind.
Multivitamins can also correct deficiencies that occur from issues like poor nutrient absorption.
There are also benefits associated with specific nutrients in dietary supplements. For example, omega-3 supplements containing DHA and EPA may improve cognitive functioning in children. In addition, B vitamins can improve behavior and enhance intelligence.
Finally, vitamin D supplementation can be especially helpful. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, and obtaining sufficient amounts from foods can be difficult. Selecting a supplement containing just vitamin D may be helpful to ensure adequate intake.
Potential Risks Of Children’s Multivitamins
Vitamins and minerals have a tolerable upper intake level, and consuming more than this upper intake can be harmful. Remember that experts do not really support supplements for healthy children following a balanced diet. So, it’s possible your child is already getting enough nutrients, and supplementing could be excessive.
Below are some symptoms associated with excessive doses of various vitamins and minerals.
Excessive amounts of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A can be stored in the body and, over time, lead to nausea and vomiting. Some people may also experience headaches, blurred vision, and dizziness.
Overdosing on B vitamins, including niacin or vitamin B3, can cause skin flushing, burning, and blurred vision. Pyridoxine, or vitamin B6, can cause peripheral neuropathy in high doses.
In large doses, vitamin C can cause kidney stones in people susceptible to them.
Vitamin D intoxication is rare. However, taking multiple supplements containing vitamin D can lead to overdoses. Excessive doses of vitamin D can cause thirst, excessive urination, seizures, coma, and even death.
Too much vitamin E can cause muscle weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and bleeding. In addition, these supplements have the potential to interact with many medications and may increase the risk of prostate cancer in males.
Too much zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Some people may experience diarrhea and headaches. Chronic high doses of zinc can damage the prostate in males.
A child given excessive doses of selenium can experience moodiness, fatigue, mottled teeth, and skin rashes. Other signs of selenium intoxication include hair loss, nausea, and diarrhea.
Extremely high doses of folic acid can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, and a bitter taste in the mouth.
Too much iron also comes with risks. It can cause diarrhea, inflammation, decreased growth, and cognitive and motor development impairments.
Given the risks of toxicity from excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals, it’s important to monitor how much your child is consuming. Read multivitamin labels to learn what percentages of the recommended dietary allowances they provide for each nutrient. Then, consider how much of each nutrient your child consumes in their regular diet.
Supplementing could be excessive if they’re already getting enough nutrients from food. Talk with your doctor if you’re not sure.
How Much Is Too Much?
The use of multivitamins for kids can ensure optimal nutrition. However, it can also lead to overexposure to vitamins and minerals.
The product label of multivitamins will indicate what constitutes one serving. It will also indicate how much of each nutrient the product contains. Exceeding one daily serving could lead to overexposure.
Keep the container out of reach to ensure your child does not take too much of a multivitamin for kids. Give your child their daily dose, and ensure they do not take more than the daily serving size.
For young children, gummy vitamins can look especially appealing and may even taste like candy. It is especially important to ensure that young children do not accidentally ingest large doses of vitamin supplements.
Finally, if your child is taking multiple different vitamin supplements, you risk giving them too much. There could be overlap among different supplements, causing overexposure to certain vitamins or minerals. Check the labels of all products you give your child to ensure you are not exceeding dietary reference intakes.
How Many Vitamins Do Kids Need?
The daily value of vitamins depends on a child’s age and whether they eat a well-balanced diet or have medical conditions affecting absorption.
For example, children with inflammatory bowel diseases, especially Crohn’s disease, may require zinc and selenium supplementation.
Vitamin supplementation is also helpful for picky eaters who may not get certain vitamins from foods. Additionally, since iron deficiency is common in children, some may need an iron-containing supplement.
If you’re not sure if your child is getting enough nutrients from healthy or fortified foods, they may need a supplement. Talk with your pediatrician or a dietitian to determine if your child’s intake of their nutrients is adequate.
Signs Of Deficiency
If your child shows signs of deficiency, it might indicate they are not getting enough essential nutrients from their diet. In this case, kids’ vitamins may be warranted.
The specific signs of deficiency can vary based on the nutrients lacking in your child’s diet. Certain nutrients come with unique signs of deficiency.
It’s important to consider vitamin D deficiency since this nutrient is lacking in breast milk. It can also be difficult to obtain adequate amounts from the diet. Signs of vitamin D deficiency in children include movement disorders and nervous system abnormalities.
Vitamin E deficiency can cause impaired coordination, neuropathy, muscle disorders, and eye damage. A child with vitamin C deficiency may have muscle pain, and vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological symptoms.
Discussing all the symptoms of nutrient deficiencies in children would be impossible. If your child appears unwell, it’s time to see a doctor to discuss potential deficiencies.
How To Ensure Your Child Gets Enough Vitamins
Remember, experts recommend children get all the vitamins they can from food. A multivitamin is only needed if a child isn’t getting enough nutrients from their regular diet. A well-balanced diet can ensure a child gets adequate nutrients.
Follow the tips below to ensure your child gets as many vitamins as possible from their diet:
- Prioritize fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients.
- Include a rainbow of color in your child’s diet to get a variety of produce.
- Emphasize whole grains, including bread and pasta.
- Incorporate dairy products like yogurts and cheeses.
- Ensure your child gets plenty of protein from lean beef, turkey, and chicken sources.
If your child’s diet is lacking, or they cannot access all of the food groups, a multivitamin can be added. The multivitamin should simply fill the gaps if they aren’t getting certain vitamins from their usual diet.
It can be especially important to evaluate whether your child is getting enough calcium in their diet. Many of the multivitamins reviewed here contain little to no calcium, so supplements will not fill the gap. Milk, yogurts, and cheeses are the primary calcium sources in the diet.
How To Choose The Best Multivitamin For Kids?
When picking a multivitamin for your child, it’s important to review dietary supplements on the market. This gives you an idea of what each supplement contains and the pros and cons of each. Below are some tips for choosing the best one for your child.
How To Choose From Multiple Options
It’s helpful to select a supplement that comes with positive reviews. Many parents also choose multivitamins for kids based on pediatricians’ recommendations.
It can also be helpful to check whether a multivitamin contains added sugar. In many cases, children are already getting excessive amounts of added sugar.
Finally, consider your personal needs. If these apply, you might want to consider cost, your child’s age, and whether a supplement is vegan and gluten-free. Also, consider whether your child needs certain supplements for a specific deficiency.
Considering Third-Party Testing
Once you decide what sort of multivitamin your child needs, making a quality choice is important. There will be various different brands that can address your child’s specific needs. One way to choose the best brand is to select one that uses third-party testing.
A third-party lab can test multivitamins for kids to ensure quality and purity. A third-party tester verifies whether the contents of a multivitamin are the same as what is reported on the label.
Third-party testing can ensure your child’s safety and prevent an overdose of vitamins and minerals. Research has shown that nearly half of children’s supplements exceed the tolerable upper limit of folic acid. Furthermore, 17% exceed the upper limit of vitamin A, and 14% exceed the limits for zinc.
Third-party testing can reduce the risk of overexposing your child to vitamins and minerals. When independent labs verify the content of supplements, you can be sure they don’t contain excessive amounts of nutrients.
Be Careful Of Interactions
Multivitamins for kids contain essential vitamins and minerals, and they are usually safe as long as doses are not excessive. However, some vitamins may interact with certain medications. If your child takes medications, it’s important to consider potential interaction effects.
For example, vitamin E can thin the blood and interact negatively with the blood thinner warfarin. Vitamin C can cause interactions with drugs used to treat cancer, making them less effective.
Not every child needs a multivitamin, but some may be deficient in essential vitamins. A multivitamin can fill the gaps if your child’s diet does not provide adequate nutrition. The options discussed here are some of the top choices on the market.
Remember, a multivitamin may not be necessary. Most of your child’s nutrition should come from real foods included in a balanced diet. These multivitamins should be used just to correct deficiencies or fill in when your children cannot get nutrients from food.
Talk with your pediatrician if you need help determining whether a multivitamin should be part of your child’s daily routine. If you notice signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency, a pediatrician can help you determine the cause. They can also provide guidance to ensure you avoid overexposing your child to certain nutrients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most multivitamins are intended to be taken daily. Read the product label for dosing instructions.
Infants may need to take a vitamin D supplement starting at birth, especially if they are breastfed. Talk with your child’s pediatrician about the best age to start a multivitamin.
The product label of your children’s multivitamin should indicate when it should be taken. Taking a multivitamin first thing in the morning with breakfast can be helpful so you don’t forget.
Multivitamins should be taken with a meal for optimal absorption and to avoid an upset stomach.
Multivitamins for kids are generally designed to be taken once daily. To make it part of your child’s daily routine, taking the multivitamin with breakfast in the morning is often easiest.
You should not mix different multivitamins that contain some of the same nutrients. Vitamins and minerals have upper daily limits. Mixing two supplements with some of the same nutrients could lead to excessive consumption.
If your child misses a dose, simply resume the usual dose the following day.