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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: 2020

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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. A few vitamins on the list (like Llama Naturals Organic Gummies) are 100% organic and free of ALL allergens as well!

Note: ALL of the vitamins I recommend below do NOT contain gelatin. They are all vegetarian friendly!

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!
  • 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

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 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 two other great options, Raise them Well and UpSpring makes a pure vitamin D with only coconut oil added.

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 gummy, I recommend Olly Kids Immunity 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. 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).

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. 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. 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!)
  • 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!
  • 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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1,082 responses to “The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2020”

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for taking the time to write this and update this. I used to give my daughter the honest organic multi vitamin gummies but they were discontinued. I was looking into the company Brandless and discovered their kids multivitamin gummies. Do you have any comments or research on Brandless multi vitamin gummies for kids?

    Thank you

    • Hi Nancy! Brandless’ Organic Kids Multivtamin actually looks pretty good! They do add “Organic Flavors” which to me, sounds like it’s “natural flavors” which are essentially artificial flavors – but other than that they only have 2g sugar and their ingredients list is pretty clean. I also love that they are Organic. So overall I’d be supportive of these!

  2. Hi!
    I really appreciate all of your research into the ingredients of the multivitamins – it simplified my search greatly! However, my son is only 19 months old and many vitamins either say 2 yrs and older or don’t give an age suggestion (that I can see). Is there one with iron that you’d recommend for a toddler under 2? Side note: I tried Zarbee’s but he cannot stand it and it made him throw up! 😳

  3. Have you researched or looked into plexus x-factor kids multivitamin?
    I’m currently trying to compare it to the vitamin friends gummies which to me have the best ingredient list of the others.

    • Hi Jennifer! Overall Plexus is pretty good – they just have two ingredients in their vitamins that I’m not a huge fan of: 1) Hydroxypropyl Cellulose – which I don’t love as an emulsifier because it’s made from refined wood pulp – but it’s not harmful as far as I can tell from a research standpoint – it’s not absorbed by the body so it just passes through and 2) Xylitol & Erythritol – which are sugar alcohols. In the quantity that’s in the vitamin it’s probably fine – sugar alcohols are to be avoided in large quantities because they can cause gas/bloating/diarrhea – but again, in the quantity used for the vitamin it’s probably ok! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi!
      I have an 11 & 7 year old. Both extremely picky eaters & drinkers. They will not eat fruits, veggies or drink juice or milk. I feel like the only thing I’m doing right is getting them to drink water. What multivitamin would you suggest? Thank you for your research & opinions!

      • Hi Misty! I’m so sorry you’re struggling with picky eaters – that is really tough! Since your kids are a bit older, I’d go with Thorne Research – it has really high quality vitamins and a large variety of vitamins included, and is meant for older kids. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Anjali,

    Which multivitamin will you recommend for a 7 year old picky eater?
    Also,you have suggested to go for Nature’s Nutra easy iron for kids.It is for babies or i can give it to my son as well?I yes,how much dose?

    • Hi Rakhi! I’d recommend Thorne Research or Super Mini Multi – both are good for older kids. Kids aged 4-8 years generally need about 8mg iron (total – so this could come from food and/or supplementation), and the Nature’s Nutra supplement has 5mg iron per serving. So, as long as your pediatrician is ok with it, that should be fine for your 7 year old. So I’d just ask your pediatrician how much supplemental iron your son needs based on his diet, and use the Nature’s Nutra based on the dosing instructions on the bottle. But definitely talk to your pediatrician about dosing first since they know the details about your son’s blood work and diet!

  5. Hi, thank you so much for this insightful article. I’ve been giving my two daughters the megafood multivitamin and probiotics. But I want to find the best for each of them. My 11 year old girl just got her period, is low on vitamin D, anxiety has sleeplessness, and sensitive to gluten and lactose. She’s also got constipation issues and sometimes diarrhea after having lactose. My 6 year old daughter has no food sensitivity so far, but has ongoing constipation issue. What would be the best supplements for each of them?

    • Hi Jennifer! If your 11 year old has been diagnosed with low vitamin D, I’d add this Vitamin D supplement to her diet (and just ask your pediatrician what the dose should be). If she is sensitive to gluten and lactose it makes sense she would be having digestive issues — you said the diarrhea often accompanies the lactose, so does the constipation happen after eating too much gluten? If she removes gluten and dairy from her diet does she still have digestive issues? For the anxiety & sleeplessness, there are a number of reasons why this might be occurring and this is typically something that I work with parents through my 1:1 programs – so if you’re interested in learning more about that go ahead and schedule a free consultation with me here! For your 6 year old – if you are sure she doesn’t have any food intolerances – I’d want to look at her diet in detail to figure out what’s causing her constipation. This is something that we can also chat more about if you schedule a call with me 🙂 Hope that helps, I hope you do get in touch because I think there is probably a lot more to talk about here! 🙂

  6. Hi,
    Just wanted to let you know that Plexus just came out with a new kids chewable multivitamin that has probiotics in it and it’s fantastic. All natural planted-based ingredients also. (vegan friendly). You should definitely check it out and maybe add it to your list. My preschooler has been taking them since a month before he started school and has not caught any of the sicknesses from the other kids like I was told he would being his first time in such an environment. (SAHM here). And he LOVES the taste of them too. Definitely check it out. Go to plexus worldwide and click on the vitamin and you can find all of the Ingredients listed for you. 😊. Sincerely, Heather

    • Thanks for the heads up! I agree Plexus’s vitamin is pretty good! I don’t love the use of “natural flavors” and the sugar alcohols can be an issue for kids with sensitive digestive systems, but other than that it looks good to me!

  7. Hi,
    I have a 12 yr old daughter who is a very picky eater. She doesn’t like fruits or vegetables. She’s been picky since about age 5 and even now as an older child she will try a variety of things and just doesn’t like them. I’m worried that she’s just not getting the right nutrients. What would be the best vitamin to try and should I still be looking at Childrens or adult vitamins

    • Hi Jessica! Generally, pediatricians say it’s ok to give kids aged 12 and up an adult multivitamin. But I would check with your pediatrician before going with an adult vitamin over a kids vitamin for her. For a kids vitamin, I’d recommend Thorne Research, and for an adult’s vitamin I’d recommend Naturelo. But again, check with your pediatrician to figure out which of these two would be the better fit for your daughter! And if you’d like support on the picky eating issues, that’s something I work with parents on through my 1:1 programs – so if you’d like to explore that go ahead and schedule a free call with me here! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi Olivia! I looked at the ingredients and it looks pretty good. The only ingredient I don’t love is the “natural flavors” — because that’s essentially artificial flavoring. They are also sweetened with stevia (but at least it’s stevia leaf extract — although it would be better if it was organic stevia leaf extract). Hope that helps!

  8. I reference your site often, thank you!
    I’ve heard some not so great things about Zarbees which i have been giving my kids. I’m looking for the best Elderberry or immune support gummy if you have any suggestions.
    much appreciated!

    • Hi Vanessa! Can you share more about what you’ve heard about Zarbee’s? If it’s really a problem then I’ll remove them from this list so would love to know what you’ve heard! For an alternative to Zarbee’s – I’d recommend Olly Kids. It has Elderberry along with other immune boosting ingredients. It does have gelatin (so it’s not veggie friendly) but as long as that’s not an issue for you it should be a great option. Hope that helps!

  9. I am using vitaspectrum from klair lab. Just noticed that it doesnt have iron and my son has low ferritin.
    Can you please suggest some good iron/ ferritin suppliment for 5 years old.

  10. Hello! Thank you for this post! I was hoping you (or someone) could answer a question I have. I’ve been giving my son NovaFerrum since he was 4mo as an iron supplement and switched to the multi-vitamin with iron when he was 10mo (as he started to naturally decrease his breastmilk increase in favor of solids during the day). The other day I was looking over the ingredients list more carefully, and noticed it includes Benzoic Acid. I can’t find information on this ingredient. Is this ingredient safe for infants? Thank you.

    • Hi Lindsay! Benzoic Acid is a preservative and is categorized as safe by the FDA, but I don’t love it because when combined with Vitamin C it can form benzene (which is a carcinogen). This article explains it pretty well. That’s actually why I don’t recommend NovaFerrum as an iron supplement for kids and instead recommend Nature’s Nutra which has a cleaner ingredients list. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  11. Hi!

    What are your top 3 choices for kid’s supplements to increase appetite? Preferably chewable and with probiotics.


  12. Hi, this is all very helpful. My son is 6 months old. He’s been almost excursively breastfed (supplementing with formula occasionally). And we’re starting to explore solids, but not really rushing it. My pediatrician recommending using a multivitamin. I tried Zarbees but he doesn’t really like the taste and I don’t like that its so sticky and seems to stain. I was going to switch to Rainbow light. I wanted to know if you can recommend a DHA. I know nordic naturals seems to also contain vitamin D. Since there is vitamin D in most multis, I wasn’t sure it would be too much for him?

    • Hi Keri! I’m so glad this post was helpful! For DHA, I’d go with this infant DHA from Nordic Naturals. It has 75% of the daily value of Vitamin D for your little one, and Rainbow Light has 50% of the RDA for vitamin D. So you would be a little bit over. I’d ask your pediatrician if that’s ok and if they say it is, then you can go ahead and give both supplements. Otherwise for DHA you can also use ChildLife Cod Liver Oil which only has up to 20% the RDA for Vitamin D — and then you wouldn’t really be overdosing at all. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Hi Anjali,
        Thanks so much for the reply. Your blog is so helpful and your responses are all so thoughtful. I’ll definitely ask my pediatrician. Do you have any thoughts on Nordic Naturals vegetarian infant DHA? It doesn’t seem to contain vitamin D.

      • Hi Keri! The vegetarian infant DHA from Nordic Naturals is totally fine to use. It doesn’t include Vitamin D, but you can always just supplement with Vitamin D separately. Recent research has shown that both algae-derived DHA and fish oil have similar bioavailability, so it doesn’t really make a difference which one you use. Hope that helps!

  13. Thanks so much for the great information that so long I’m searching for the best multivitamin for my 8 yrs ol day daughter since she’s very picky eating.Last month I just bought childlife multivitamins for her. Is this good good vitamins no artificial ingredients?

    • Hi Grace! If you bought this vitamin from ChildLife then yes, it’s great! It’s a little higher in sugar than I’d like, but other than that it has good ingredients. If you’re looking for a liquid vitamin with good ingredients that has no sugar added then I’d recommend this one from Premium Children’s. Hope that helps!

  14. Hi my son has sickle cell disease,he takes folic acid every day.but don’t eat and not getting weight what vitamins or mutivatimin you recommend me please sorry my English is not to good!!

    • Hi Jennifer! So sorry to hear that your son struggles with sickle cell anemia! That must be so stressful! Regarding which vitamins – deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid occur more frequently in people with sickle cell anemia than in others – so I’d focus on a vitamin on this list that has a good amount of those b vitamins. If your son is 4 or older, Thorne Research would be the best option for him. If he’s younger than 4, then Super Mini Multi would work well. Hope that helps!

  15. Hello please help me here. i am a mother of a 2yrs and 4 months old son. he was on formular and never ate well at all. one morning he woke up and left milk as well. know i am struggling to feed my kid as he is very picky. refuses healthy foods. I see him and I see that he needs something to help him get all the eccentials to grow healthy everthing. please advice me which one will be best for my son.thank you

  16. Hi,

    I have a 2yr with bowl irregularly. Which multi vitamin you recommend with added fiber plus probiotic that’s for his age?

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