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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!

The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2019

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Note: I update this post monthly to ensure all of the information is accurate! The original post was created in 2017, but the most recent update has been done as of May 2019. If you’re looking for the best adult vitamins, go to this post.
the best healthy vitamins for kids. healthy baby vitamins, best healthy vitamins for babies and toddlers
 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?
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Recently, I was talking with a friend and realized that 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 to multivitamins for kids: what to buy, what not to buy, and what to look out for!
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So 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.
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When buying a multivitamin, what should you look for? 
So to start, 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.
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 (Red #40 anyone?), 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.
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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. 
the best healthy vitamins for kids. healthy baby vitamins, best healthy vitamins for babies and toddlers
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.
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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 red all of the ingredients to avoid):
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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.
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.
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Let’s take these one by one:
  • Sorbitol and Mannitol are sugar alcohols. They have been known to cause digestive issues and discomfort in some people because they can’t be digested properly by the body.
  • 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. I mean, #wtf. 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.

So what should you buy instead? What’s the healthiest multivitamin 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 some 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: ALL of the vitamins I recommend below do NOT contain gelatin. They are all vegetarian friendly!

With Iron:
Without Iron:

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)
  • Bio Naturals – this one has no sugar added, has a probiotic added and you can use it starting at 1 year of age. It does have “natural flavors” which is not ideal, but I haven’t found a liquid vitamin with probiotics that has a cleaner ingredients list yet!
  • Premium Children’s – no sugar added and you can use it starting at 4 years of age
  • Tropical Oasis – sweetened with xylitol (just note that’s a sugar alcohol) and you can use it starting at 4 years of age

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 like Nature’s Nutra because of relatively its super clean ingredients list. For older children (or with pediatrician’s approval for babies) – this one from Gaia Herbs has the cleanest ingredients list I’ve found and is nonGMO!

For Omega 3s: 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!

For Vitamin D: If you’re just looking for a Vitamin D supplement – e.g. in the winter, I love (and use) these Vitamin D Drops. 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 another great option, UpSpring makes a pure vitamin D with only coconut oil added.

For ProbioticsI 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). Three other probiotic options that I like are 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).

Runner Ups:

  • 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!)
  • Natures Plus (another one that has a Prop 65 warning! This is what they have said regarding Prop 65: “Proposition 65 was passed in California in 1986 and requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. The list includes over 800 chemicals and compounds, including some which occur naturally in the environment and some common substances that are beneficial when used in appropriate doses. In order to comply with California Proposition 65, we print a warning on every invoice being shipped into the state of California. Some of the substances on the Proposition 65 list occur naturally in both the environment and the human body and also exist naturally in many of the foods we eat. Therefore, it can be expected that trace levels of the same chemicals would be detectible in virtually all herbal and natural dietary supplement products. If you would like further information on Proposition 65 please contact The Food and Drug Administration or The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Outreach and Information Center, maintains a consumer information hotline at the following number: Toll-Free Information Line: (888) 723-3366.”
  • 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!

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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644 responses to “The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2019”

  1. Hi. I was doing some research on some vitamins and I came upon your page. I was looking for something to help my 6yr old daughter. My nephew was diagnosed with ADHD very young and sometimes I see some signs in my daughter. School and doctor haven’t said anything, which is great. I want to do anything possible to NOT give her medication for it. I read B6 is good for that. Is there any vitamins you recommend? She loved the Olly multivitamin. What do you think of continuing that? Thank you!

    • Hi Lana! While I’m not an expert on ADD or ADHD, there are a few supplements that I have heard can help with concentration in kids (but make sure to talk to your pediatrician before you give any of these to your daughter): 1) Fish Oil, 2) A B-Complex Vitamin, 3) A Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium supplement like this one, 4) A probiotic, and 5) Rhodiola Rosea – which is an herb that can help with focus. I like this supplement for Rhodiola Rosea for kids. Another thing to keep in mind is that most focusing/ADHD issues in kids are due to dietary issues — like too many processed foods, too much added sugar and artificial flavors/colors in their diet. So I would make sure your daughter’s diet is free of these as well. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. Hi there,
    I was just wanting some advice or pointers on where to start with which vitamin to go with for my 14 month old son, lately had been prone to getting sick alot lately and will be starting daycare in a few weeks… I was wondering if there was a chewy multi vitamin or some kind of thing for him to take once a day to keep his immunity up and also getting vitamins as he is quite a fussy wee eater. Thank you so much 🙂

  3. Hi Anjali,
    Your post is very helpful.
    My LO is 15months old. He catches cold and cough very often so I thought of giving him some multivitamin to boost his immunity. I tried polyvisol and Allkids. But he gets choky and vomits it. I recently switched to Nature’s plus Animal parade liquid multivitamin. He likes it due to the thick consistency. I don’t see any prop65 warning on the bottle. After reading your blog , I was worried if it’s safe for him to take it.
    Please reply
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Shasha! The Nature’s Plus Animal Parade vitamin listed on this post is a chewable, it’s not the liquid version. If the bottle you have does not have a Prop 65 warning, it’s probably fine! I know the chewable does have a prop 65 warning on the bottle, which is why I mentioned it in this post. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Anjali!

    My daughter is 21 months and a picky eater to say the least. She has a small appetite and is still breastfeeding at night and on the weekends so her caretaker has had a hard time trying to get her to eat certain foods, the girl sticks to what she knows.

    Her pediatrician recommended that I give her the childlife multivitamin which is great except that she throws a tantrum and most of the time ends up spitting all of it out. I’m looking for a chewable multivitamin option that will taste good and has the same amount of vitamins as Child’s life but in gummy form.

    What would you suggest for her age?

    • Hi Sasha! Once your daughter turns 2 years old, she can have this vitamin from Smarty Pants which is a gummy. All of the gummy vitamins start at age 2, so I’d just wait a couple of months and switch her on her 2nd birthday. Or you can ask your pediatrician if they’re ok with her having the Smarty Pants gummy just a couple months early! Hope that helps!

  5. Hi. I’m interested to know your thoughts on which fiber &or probiotic I should give my 3.5 yr old daughter. She has constipation issues, making poop training difficult. Pediatrician advised to keep her on high fiber foods and liquids, but she doesn’t always eat drink like that. Looking to supplement. Thanks!

  6. Hi,
    Wow I’m so happy to have come across your page. Thanks for highlighting the downside of the Flinstones vitamins.

    My kids are 6-4-3 years old and are all VERY picky eaters. My concern is they are not growing as tall as they should be for their age (I’m on the tall side myself). This is worrying me and I wanted to ask you which vitamin would you recommend for that? I read that B Complex is needed ?
    Also my kids have been taking the Bluebonnet on your list for the past 6 months – I don’t see anything exceptional in them (Heights / weight wise).

    Awaiting your reply

    • Hi! I’m so glad you found this post helpful! I totally understand your concern but to be honest, no vitamin is going to make your kids grow tall or gain weight. Height (and weight) are determined by a few things: genetics, calorie/protein intake, sleep (getting enough of it), and exercise. Vitamins are great, and there are 5 vitamins that can help with growth, but they aren’t the primary drivers of it. Those vitamins are: D, B1, B2, C, and Calcium. In general, vitamins are more for supplementation and immunity, they can’t replace what your kids aren’t getting from the caloric density of food. You mentioned they are all picky eaters – so I would focus on getting them to eat more nutrient-rich, protein-rich foods and making sure they’re getting enough healthy fats (from nuts, seeds, oils, avocado, etc.) — and that will likely help with their growth and then the vitamins can just fill in the gaps if they have a handful picky eating days here or there! 🙂 Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  7. My daughter is anemic and she uses Renzo’s iron tablets. They seem to do well with those. Any thoughts? Opinions?

    • Hi Courtney! Renzo’s is sweetened with mannitol which can cause digestive issues (which is why I tend to avoid it), and the “natural flavors” could be artificial flavors (no regulation there) – but other than that it looks ok! It’s good that it has no added sugar or other processed ingredients in it!

    • Hi Abril! Unfortunately no vitamin can help your daughter eat more, but if you’re worried about the nutrients she’s getting, I’d recommend Thorne Research which has a comprehensive list of vitamins and methylated B’s to help with absorption!

  8. Hi Anjali,
    Thank you for such a great and helpful post. I started giving vitamins after reading your post. My kids are aged 8 and 3. I am giving them Nature’s plus animal parade gold and Nordic children’s omega 3. Should I continue with nature’s plus? as I don’t see that in your list now ! Also is pediasmart by nature’s one good? My children are very much addicted to it. If you can suggest me what I should give them it will be great.

    • Hi Nishara! I’m so glad this post was helpful! The reason I removed Nature’s Plus was because of the Prop 65 warning/issue. So if you can, I’d switch to one of the other vitamins on my list – there are lots of good options! Nordic Children’s Omega 3 is great! Regarding Pediasmart, unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend it. While it is organic, the first ingredient is Corn Maltodextrin (high glycemic, highly processed), and the second ingredient is Cane Sugar! Each serving of Pediasmart has 14g of sugar – that’s the equivalent to eating almost two fun-sized Snickers bars! Is there a reason why you’re giving them Pediasmart instead of just regular milk? Regular milk has just as much protein as PediaSmart but has no added sugar! You could also give them higher protein, healthier dairy like Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt, etc. Let me know if that makes sense and if you have any other questions!

  9. Hello! This was a great article thank you! What would you recommend for a 2 and a half year old who is an EXTREMELY picky eater?

  10. Hi Anjali,

    My daughter was diagnosed with Hypermobility and Ive changed her diet. I realized her vitamins were not very good. I was told by the doctor to give her vitamins and also vitamin B. She is 7 years old, what vitamin would you recommend? Can I give her the multivitamin plus complex b?

    • Hi Shirley! I’m actually in the process of reviewing First Day — just received their product and am trying it with my daughter! Will update this post when I have more details!

  11. Hi,
    My son who will be 3 in 2 months was diagnosed with low iron when he was 1. Our pediatrician says he must have iron with his vitamin or a multivitamin “complete” and actually suggested the Flinstones brand and is what he has been taking for 2 years. His iron levels are normal now and our Dr wants us to continue keeping iron in his daily vitamin. I have been searching for a more natural option because I felt like there had to be something better than Flinstones. But the Flinstones gummy is the only one that I can get him to swallow. Ive tried Zarbees gummy with iron and KidVits chewable with iron but both of these have that strong iron taste and he will not chew it and swallow it. We have had this issue since he was a baby and trying to use Polyvisol. Do you have a suggestion of a multivitamin with iron or a multivitamin “complete” that does not have that strong iron taste? Would prefer a gummy if possible.

    Also my daughter just turned one. Our dr wants her on a multivitamin with iron as well. Until recently I was using the Zarbees liquid multivitamin with iron (grape flavor… she tolerated it a little better than my son). I unfortunately had to stop when her teeth came in because it was staining them. I have also tried the Rainbow Light powder form and it works except that most days I have trouble getting her to finish whatever I have mixed it into (usually oatmeal). So I feel like I’m wasting a lot if it. I’ve tried to get her to finish it again later at another meal but she won’t. Do you have a suggestion for her? Would love a liquid form or a melt with iron?

    • Hi Katie! For your son, I’d recommend trying Children’s Best or Raise Them Well — both have iron but from what I’ve heard from other parents, both taste really good for kids. My daughter has tried the Raise Them Well vitamin and loves it! For your daughter, I’d try this liquid iron (just make sure you have the correct dosing instructions from your pediatrician). But if you need a multivitamin with iron, then your only option really is the rainbow light powder. What I would do to help her finish it is spread it out across multiple meals. And make smaller portions of her meals so you know she’ll finish it. Like for her oatmeal, if she usually only eats half of it, just make that quantity and add 1/3 of the rainbow light powder to it. Do the same thing with lunch and dinner, and then you should be all set — and if that works you won’t need the additional liquid iron. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  12. Please help! I have two grandsons one 3 yrs and one 1 year… both have very healthy diet and lifestyle with mindful parents but constantly suffering from coughs and colds – this is partly due to daycare and passing around viruses but i feel their immune systems have become low and therefore more predisposed to pick up whatever is around. Have looked at various options but concerned at their young age and what to g ive. Specifically looking for immune system boosters??? Can u help please/

    • Hi Katie! I hadn’t heard of this vitamin before – thanks for sharing! You’re right – the ingredients look pretty clean. They do have “natural flavors” which are basically artificial flavors, but is hard to avoid in most vitamins (even some of the vitamins on my list have them although I try to avoid it whenever possible). The only thing I don’t love is that it has 4g sugar per serving which is on the higher side (equal to 1 tsp of sugar) but it’s not totally out of bounds from a sugar standpoint. The DHA & probiotics look awesome! So overall this is great!

  13. Hi Anjali,
    I found this very helpful, but most of the gummy vitamins options you have are for kids 4 yrs and up, my kids are under 3 yrs old, is there any other you recommend for my kids? They are taking the Enfamil Trivisol liquid, but looking to make the change.
    Thank you

  14. Hi! Do you recommend taking a mineral supplement as well as a multi and Omega? If so, what do you liked so we take these at night in order to help with sleep?

    • Hi! I think if you’re taking one of the multivitamins on my list that will include some basic minerals so you should be good there. At night, you can take Magnesium to help you sleep but I wouldn’t recommend that for kids! Hope that helps!

  15. Hi! Very helpful post, thanks. In the past, I’ve given my girls (ages 7 and 4) Animal Parade and Nordic Berries (they definitely like the gummies better as far as taste goes.) I recently came across the following vitamins, and my kids really like them, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on the ingredients and anything else you can find out about the company:
    http://www.firstdaylife.com

  16. Hi Anjali,
    Thanks for taking time and making this post, it is REALLY helpful. After an extensive search on multivitamins for kids, i decided that Garden of life – my life multivitamins are the best choice for my family who has a 3.5 year old and a 1 year old. The point where i took a pause is that the fact that they don’t have Iron, Calcium & Magnesium included in them. And that is the case with most of the gummy multivitamins out there. Will you recommend giving a separate calcium, magnesium and iron supplements apart from giving a daily dose of multi vitamins, if so, what is the brand that you would recommend? I ask because there is only a 600IU – 1000IU of vit D3 is recommended for toddlers. And the Garden of life has around 800IU of D3, so supplementing with more D3 might not be good for kids. So with your expertise, if you can suggest me an option which also includes calcium and magnesium (Iron if possible :))

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