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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2021

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Are you looking for the healthiest children’s vitamins on the market today? This post (which I update monthly) will help you find the best one for your child! Note: If you’re looking for the best adult vitamins, go to this post.

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Kids Vitamins can be confusing. There are so many questions: Is there a such thing as an “unhealthy” kids vitamin? Do you need a vitamin with iron? Which vitamins are the best? Do kids even need vitamins at all?

A lot of these questions can be really overwhelming because there is so much information out there! So I did a bunch of research and found the healthiest kids vitamins out there today. This is your guide for the best multivitamins for kids: what to buy, what not to buy, and what to look out for!

First of all, do kids even need vitamins to begin with?

Most pediatricians will tell you that it’s not necessary for most healthy children who are growing normally (source). For kids who eat well and eat a variety of food, they can get all of the nutrients they need from whole foods. But many kids are very picky, or don’t eat a lot of food, or aren’t growing well, and that makes a lot of parents worried that they aren’t getting the nutrients they need! In those cases, I’d recommend talking to your pediatrician, and if they suggest giving your child a multivitamin then definitely do so. 

When buying a multivitamin, what should you look for? 

Kids multivitamins generally come in two groups: 1) With Iron and 2) Without Iron. You should buy a multivitamin that doesn’t exceed 100% daily value of most of the vitamins for your child’s age group – primarily Vitamins A, E and K (that will be indicated by the label on the back). The exception here is for Vitamin C and other water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin but is ok to have at more than 100% of the daily value because most people are deficient (including kids) and Vitamin D isn’t toxic unless it’s in exceptionally high doses which wouldn’t be in a daily vitamin. If the vitamin does have more than 100% of A, E and K then I would just give your child half the dose on the bottle.

Free Children’s Vitamins 1 Page Printable

Fill out the form below to receive your FREE 1-page checklist of the best vitamins by age (0-18 years) and the right dosing by age!

So what should you buy? What’s the healthiest children’s vitamin out there? 

Luckily there are tons of options! Below is a list of my favorites: they all are made with natural ingredients, have no weird preservatives or any of the ingredients above added, and a few even derive the vitamins from organic food sources which I absolutely love because they are better absorbed by the body that way. Most of these will have a tiny bit of cane sugar or fructose added, but as long as it’s less than 4g per serving it’s not a huge issue.

Note: Some of the items below were given to me to review by the manufacturer or as part of an affiliate program. I may receive commissions if you make a purchase through the links provided. I only recommend products I’ve actually evaluated, I believe are the highest quality, and can do the most to help you and your family. By purchasing any of these products from the links below, you help keep this blog running, so thanks for your support! I am not a doctor, so don’t disregard anything your doctor has told you based on what you read here. Please consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements.

ALL of the vitamins I recommend below do NOT contain gelatin. They are all vegetarian friendly! A few vitamins on the list (like Llama Naturals Organic Gummies, Hiya Vitamins, and Ritual) are 100% organic and free of ALL heavy metals, contaminants, and allergens as well!

The Healthiest Children’s Multivitamins With Iron

The Healthiest Children’s Multivitamins Without Iron

The Healthiest Children’s Liquid Vitamins Without Iron

  • ChildLife – it’s a little higher in sugar than I’d like, but you can start using it at 6 months of age (the other two options are for older kids)
  • Garden of Life for Toddlers – this vitamin is 100% organic, made from whole foods, has no sugar added, and you can use it starting at 1 year of age. I haven’t found a liquid vitamin with probiotics that has a cleaner ingredients list yet!
  • Best Nest Multi + for Kids – this is the most comprehensive liquid kids vitamin I’ve found that you can start at 1 year of age. It does have stevia extract added, so that is something to consider depending on whether you want your child to have stevia!
  • Premium Children’s – no sugar added and you can use it starting at 4 years of age

The Healthiest Children’s Iron Only Supplement

An iron-only supplement is a good option if you go with a multivitamin without iron, because it will add the iron missing from those vitamins back into your child’s diet. I generally recommend supplementing with iron if your child has been tested and is iron-deficient (otherwise supplementing with iron is not necessary for most kids). The two best iron-only supplements are:

  1. Nature’s Nutra because of relatively its super clean ingredients list.
  2. Gaia Herbs: Use for older children (or with pediatrician’s approval for babies) – it has the cleanest ingredients list I’ve found and is nonGMO!

The Healthiest Children’s Omega 3 Supplements

The primary Omega 3 supplement I’d recommend for kids is Nordic Naturals. They have an infant DHA supplement and a children’s DHA supplement – both of which are extremely pure, has no added preservatives or sugar, and are in liquid form so they can be added to just about anything! ChildLife Cod Liver Oil is also a good option for kids starting at 6 months of age!

The Healthiest Children’s Vitamin D Supplement

If you’re looking for a gummy Vitamin D supplement for kids, I love these Vitamin D gummies from Llama Naturals (and as a bonus, adults can use them too!). If you’re looking for a liquid Vitamin D supplement for babies, toddlers, and older kids, I love these Vitamin D Drops from Raise them Well. There is literally nothing added to them (no flavors, colors, etc.). They are liquid and you only need one drop in your child’s milk per day. They’re marketed for infants, but you can use them for any age. Super easy, tasteless and pure. For two other great options, BabyD Drops and UpSpring makes a pure liquid Vitamin D supplement as well.

The Best Vitamin C For Kids

Many of you have asked me for my thoughts around Vitamin C supplements for kids. Here are my picks for the healthiest, best Vitamin C for kids. If you’re looking for a chewable vitamin, I recommend Raise Them Well Children’s Immunity Chewable with Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and Zinc.

If you’re looking for a gummy, I recommend Llama Naturals Vitamin C with Elderberry added. Other good gummy options include Olly Kids Immunity, Children’s Best Immune Support, or WellVites. If you’re looking for a liquid vitamin, I like ChildLife Vitamin C. And if you’re looking for a gummy for older kids/adults, I like Mary Ruth’s Vitamin C. Lastly, if you’re looking for the best elderberry supplement for kids, I like Gaia Herbs Elderberry.

The Healthiest Probiotics Supplements For Kids

I love Garden of Life’s line of probiotics – they are shipped cold and their powdered kids probiotic can be added to your child’s drink (milk, water, etc.). They also have a kids’ chewable probiotic if you need an option that doesn’t require refrigeration (but it does have maltodextrin). If you’re looking for a liquid probiotic, I recommend this organic liquid probiotic from Go Healthy Natural. Four other probiotic options that I like are Llama Naturals, Children’s Best, Klaire LabsPROKids and Dr. MK’s Natural Probiotic (the only caveat with Dr. MK’s is that it’s sweetened with sorbitol which is a sugar alcohol).

The Healthiest Prebiotic Supplement for Kids

There is only one prebiotic I’ve found that’s safe for toddlers and kids, and has super high quality ingredients and no stabilizers or artificial flavors/colors added. I recommend BeginHealth if you are looking to supplement with a prebiotic for your child. It contains only three ingredients: 2’FL HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide) – with a Molecular structure identical to the one found in breast milk, Oligofructose (Chicory root fiber), and avocado oil. It’s super clean and really effective!

What Ingredients Should Be Avoided In Kids Vitamins?

It’s also important to look for the ingredients that are added to the tablet that aren’t vitamins. Ingredients like: Sorbitol, carrageenan, artificial colors and flavors (like Red #40), aspartame, sucralose, to name a few! You definitely don’t want to be dosing your child with these ingredients on a daily basis along with their multivitamin.

So let’s start with what not to buy: The answer here is most of the commercially available, leading brands of multivitamins. The biggest offender of which is Flinstones Chewable Vitamins. 

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What’s crazy is that on the label, Flinstones calls out that they are “Pediatrician’s #1 Choice.” And most people do buy Flinstones vitamins! I even remember eating them when I was a kid. They tasted so good! It was like a treat every morning. And if you are giving your kids Flinstones vitamins right now, don’t feel bad! You are not alone, and thanks to all of the deceptive marketing out there, there’s no way you’d know that Flinstones isn’t the best choice for any child. Before doing all of this research I didn’t realize how problematic they were, and why it’s important to switch away from them.

The reason they are problematic, is because there are a ridiculous number of offensive ingredients in Flinstones Vitamins that truly, should not be there at all, and are not necessary. Take a look at two of their best sellers (I’ve highlighted in bold all of the ingredients to avoid):

#1 |Flinstones Chewable Vitamins with Iron: Sorbitol, Mannitol, Fructose, Sodium Ascorbate, Ferrous Fumarate, Silicon Dioxide, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavors, FD&C Red #40 Lake; Less Than 2% Of: Aspartame†, BetaCarotene, Cholecalciferol, Cyanocobalamin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, FD&C Blue #2 Lake, FD&C Yellow #6 Lake, Folic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Soy Lecithin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate.

#2 | Flinstones Chewable Complete: Granulated Calcium Carbonate (Calcium Carbonate, Dextrose Monohydrate, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Microcrystalline Cellulose), Sorbitol, Sodium Ascorbate, Ferrous Fumarate, Natural and Artificial Flavoring, Pregelatinized Starch, dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate; Less Than 2% Of: Beta-Carotene, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Cholecalciferol, Cupric Oxide, Cyanocobalamin, FD&C Blue #2 Lake, FD&C Red #40 Lake, FD&C Yellow #6 Lake, Folic Acid, Gelatin, Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Stearate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Niacinamide, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Phytonadione, Riboflavin, Silicon Dioxide, Soy Lecithin, Sucralose, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate, Zinc Oxide.

Why are these ingredients bad? Let’s take them one by one:

  • Sorbitol and Mannitol are sugar alcohols. Some sugar alcohols can cause digestive issues and discomfort in some people because they can’t be digested properly by the body. Mannitol is typically better tolerated than sorbitol, so in choosing between the two, I would avoid sorbitol over mannitol.
  • Carrageenan is an emulsifier that thickens products, but it has been linked to high levels of inflammation in the body, digestive issues, etc.
  • Maltodextrin: this is an indicator that the food is highly processed. It’s used as a thickener, filler, or preservative in many processed foods, and it can cause spikes in your blood sugar because it has a high glycemic index.
  • Natural and Artificial Colors – Red #40, Blue #2, Yellow #6. What are these doing in a kids vitamin? These are so problematic and have been linked to all kinds of health problems including allergies, hyperactivity, learning impairment, irritability and aggressiveness.
  • Artificial flavors – also highly processed and unnecessary in a kids vitamin.
  • Aspartame and Sucralose – this is what diet sodas are sweetened with, and are highly controversial. Research hasn’t proven one way or the other whether they lead to long term health issues, but it has been proven that they cause an insulin-response by the body (because your body thinks you are eating sugar when you are not – source). If you wouldn’t give your child a diet coke, you shouldn’t give them a vitamin with this in it!
  • Mono- and Diglycerides is one of the most widely used emulsifers to keep oil and fat from separating. It’s just an indicator that the food is processed.
  • Oh, and gelatin. While this isn’t a harmful ingredient, it kind of sucks for any vegetarians or vegans out there who are giving their kids this vitamin without knowing that it’s not actually veggie-friendly.

Runner Ups / Children’s Supplements That Are Borderline

  • Solgar. This is one I’d get only if you can’t find any of the other ones on the list above, because while most of the ingredients are good, it does have carrageenan which – as I mentioned – it’s better to avoid.
  • YummiBears Organic Multivitamin (note: this vitamin does have cane sugar added – if you give your kids the full dose then it’s 6g sugar which is more than I would like in a vitamin)
  • Seeking Health (Note: The link may say women’s/mens but the label indicates this can be used for kids aged 4 and up. It’s also good for kids with MTHFR mutations. But I am waiting for a response from the company on the prop 65 warning on its label, so I’ve moved them down here for now!)
  • Nature’s Way Alive! The only downside to these is they are sweetened with sorbitol – which is a sugar alcohol that can be irritating to the digestive system. Other than that though, their ingredients look good!
  • Rainbow Light (this comes in powdered form). This was on my “top vitamins” list until August 2019, when news of a class action against Rainbow Light came out because their prenatal vitamins contained heavy metals (including high levels of lead). While this class action doesn’t apply to their children’s vitamins, I’d still be wary of buying from Rainbow Light until they have rigorous heavy metal testing in place for ALL of their vitamins.

I hope this helps you in navigating the world of kids’ vitamins!

If you’re looking for healthy meal inspiration in addition to the best vitamins for your child, pick up a copy of my newest cookbook here!

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1,356 responses to “The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2021”

  1. Hi! I love your article especially that you went into ones to avoid if possible! I’m looking for recommendations for my 4 year old (has milk allergy – casein & whey) and 2 year old boys. They eat pretty well but don’t get as much greens as they should. We live in Wisconsin. They gets colds every couple months but lately more often and sometimes turns into ear infection for my oldest so I’m looking at possibilities for immune support.

    I’m looking for one that doesn’t have anything more than vitamins if possible. Less sugar the better or even no sugar. Would it be better to take a multivitamin…looking for at least vitamin d, zinc and vitamin c maybe elderberry?, pre and probiotic. Anything you recommend would be greatly appreciated! I’m so glad I came across your article!!!

    • Hi Cassie! Thanks for reaching out, I’m so glad my post has been helpful to you! For vitamins, I’d recommend Hiya Vitamins because it has all of the vitamins you’re looking for (except elderberry) and can be used for kids aged 2+. If you want to add eldeberry, you could for your 4 year old with this supplement from Llama Naturals. For a really high quality probiotic and prebiotic you’ll have to supplement with each separately – no vitamins that include one or the other have a true comprehensive supplement of pre/probiotics included. For a probiotic I recommend Garden of Life, for a prebiotic I recommend BeginHealth. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks for this, it’s such valuable info! My 2.5yr old son is allergic to strawberries, apples, cherries, raspberries and peaches (so far), which means he doesn’t currently take any vitamins as they all seem to be flavoured/sweetened with one or more of the above. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Laura! Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately, I don’t know of any vitamins that are 100% free of all of those fruits, is made for kids under the age of 4, and don’t have any cross contamination with any of those fruits! Ritual might be free of all of those fruits, but is for kids aged 4+ – but could be a good option for your son when he gets older! Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

    • Hi There! So the iron one has artificial flavors & colors, and the multivitamin has artificial sweeteners (sucralose and aspartame it looks like). If you can, I’d look for a vitamin with no sugar added, no artificial flavors or colors, and no artificial sweeteners! Hope that helps!

  3. Thank you for the good info. Especially what to look out for and not to go over the 100% mark in Vit A,E,K. My grandkids (2 yrs on up) are always catching something(mostly cough, runny nose). They are eating good foods(not processed), but how about immune boosters? I am looking for a good product to give as a birthday gift etc. because the parents cannot afford it in their regular budgets. In my days of raising 5 kids, I gave liquid echinacea/golden seal for 10 days, three or four times a year. This is harder to do than a gummy (every day?). Do you have any opinion on Juice Plus products or the Shaklee brand products? Thank you.

  4. Hi there! I’m taking a trip with my 1 year old and 2.5 year old and I’m looking for a healthy vitamin for immune support! Any suggestions for us? I generally prefer liquid as it’s easiest for the 1 year old.. thanks!

  5. Hi there, this is so helpful! My child is allergic to dairy so I worry about her calcium intake. Is there a vitamin with calcium that you like?

      • Hi,
        I’m debating between Hiya or Ritual. My only concern with Hiya is that it contains a sugar alcohol, Mannitol. You had mentioned in your article above to stay away from sugar alcohols.

      • Hi Laura! Yes, if your child has a super sensitive stomach, then the sugar alcohol in Hiya might bother them. That being said, mannitol is typically better tolerated than sorbitol and I haven’t heard any complaints of children reacting badly to the mannitol in Hiya. If you are looking for a more comprehensive vitamin (with more vitamins included), I would still try Hiya. If not, Ritual is also a great option! Hope that helps!

  6. Hi Anjali,
    Thank you for this super helpful post. My daughter current takes olly kids multivitamin with probiotic along with olly immunity vitamin. She is 2 years old and has is struggling with constipation since we started potty training. Any recommendations for a vitamin with fiber and or magnesium that she could take?

    Thank you.
    Sri

  7. We’ve been taking Flintstones vitamins for my 6-year-old but now I’m concerned I’ve been doing something wrong after reading your post. All the moms in our FB group recently switched to hiya and rave about how great the ingredients are and how they just love the company. They think I’m crazy for still doing Flintstones. Sooooo am I crazy for sticking with Flintstones?

    • Hi Yazzi! If you are able to, I’d highly recommend Hiya Vitamins over Flinstones for all of the reasons I mentioned in my post! 🙂 Flinstones contains sugar alcohols, artificial colors (which are banned in Europe due to their link to hyperactivity and other health issues in kids), artificial flavors, and the forms of vitamins included are not the most bioavailable which means they aren’t absorbed well by kids. Hiya Vitamins is a much better, healthier, more natural, sugar free and more effective/absorbable vitamin for kids!

  8. This article was very informative. Thank you! What would you recommend for a 7, 9, & 12 year old. They currently all take Flintstones Complete plus a Culturelle probiotic daily, however I would like to find more natural options as well as add in more vitamins (Vitamins C, D & zinc)to help build the immune system before winter cold/flu season. Thanks for your suggestions.

  9. Hi, I was looking for the best multivitamin for kids ages 9, and 11. Just the best all around, my son sometimes gets constipated so any help with that but not necessary. I’m not sure if I should put them on one with a probotic, but immune system health is my number one. I just want them to be as healthy as possible.

    • Hi Jill! I’d recommend Ritual – it’s super comprehensive, great for kids aged 4-12, and it includes a fiber + prebiotic blend which should help with constipation. It also includes the key vitamins for immunity. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi there,
    Just wondering if you have heard of / what you think of Dr Wholeness Multivitamin Complete?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Sunkree! I would recommend Hiya Vitamins – it has the highest amount of Vitamin D among most of the other vitamins on my list! You might also need to supplement with Vitamin D separately depending on how much Vitamin D your pediatrician wants your daughter to be taking every day! Hope that helps!

      • We bought Hiya based on your recommendation and wow WE LOVE HIYA. Best vitamin, best customer service, best ingredients, best packaging haha. It’s really just the best. I wish they made adult vitamins but they’re 100% focused on kids.

  11. My 3 yo is a very picky eater- no vegetables, steak, French fries and strawberries. He lives on milk. I tried Hiya but he didn’t like the sour part of the”sweet tart” flavor. I am desperately in need of a great tasting supplement for him. Any suggestions?

  12. I’d love a great vitamin with Fiber and vitamin D but no fruits or fructose, also none of the other beyond terrible things. Any suggestions? My son is almost 4 has eczema, fructose and possibly dairy intolerance.

  13. I am looking for natural vitamins for children ages 5, 7 and 9-almost 10 (girls). Two have allergies and one has pretty severe eczema. Due to their schedule, they eat fast food frequently. I feel it would be safe to say they are not intaking the nutrients and vitamins they need at this point. I am not sure where to start in purchasing a vitamin that would fit all their needs. Thank you for any information you can provide.

    • I’d recommend Hiya Vitamins! They contain 12 organic fruits and veggies, and are a complete multivitamin to fill the gaps of picky eaters (or kids that tend to eat a lot of fast food!) It will work for all 3 ages. Hope that helps!

  14. Hi Anjali!
    I was so happy when I came across this post about the best kids multivitamins. My son is 10 and he makes picky eaters look easy; he’s a whole other level of picky! So naturally, I’m always worried he’s not getting all the vitamins and nutrients he needs. I loved reading all the info on this page and I appreciate how much time you’ve put into it. However, we live in Canada and after looking for several of them, I’ve found that most of these brands aren’t available here. Do you know of any that are available in Canada? I just thought I’d ask, just in case it might be a conversation you’ve had with other people.

    Thank you for all the helpful info!

    Anita Mestidor
    St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

    • Hi Anita! Thanks for reaching out! I’m so sorry – I don’t know what’s available in Canada – but if you find some options you want me to take a look at – feel free to email me a photo of their ingredients & nutrition info (to anjali@pickyeaterblog.com) and I can let you know my thoughts!

  15. Hi! Thanks for the good write up! I learned alot from it! What combination would you recommend for a 1 year old baby? it necessary to have additional supplement like vitamin d or vitamin c or zinc etc on top of a multi vitamin? Can we also add dha and cod liver oil? Thank you so much once again!

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