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

  1. Hello Mam
    My son is 6 year old, he has lactose allergy, hates eating vegetables, and if we force him he feels like puking, and we are vegetarian jain.
    I am okay if medicine or vitamin contains any non vegetarian elements as long as it is healthy for him.
    Please suggest

  2. Hi! I have a 2 year old and my main concern with her is her weak thin hair! Especially by the root… I have done some research and found great vitamins for adults but not sure for kids! Please please help!

      • Thank you so much for responding ! Really appreciate it! Just wondering if there was a liquid form? As I’m not sure my daughter will take this one? And also is it ok to give her this one you recommended with a smarty pants supplement ?

      • Hi Tanea! Unfortunately I haven’t found a good liquid form for a B-Complex vitamin, and this particular one does not come in liquid form either. But what you can do is just crush up the tablet into a powder and mix it into your daughter’s food or favorite drink — then she probably won’t even be able to tell it’s there! As for combining this with a smarty pants supplement, I would check with your pediatrician on that. Technically, B vitamins are water soluble so it shouldn’t be an issue, but every child is different and your pediatrician would have a better sense of whether doubling up on B vitamins (from the multi + this one) is ok for your daughter.

    • Hi Ella! These vitamins aren’t great mainly because they contain sucralose (artificial sweetener), maltodextrin (high glycemic processed additive), “natural flavors” which are basically artificial flavors, and sorbitol which is a sugar alcohol that can upset the digestive tract for some kids. I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Thank you very much for such a helpful advice. I found Nature’s Way Alive! which is the last on your list, but I guess it’s better than nothing. Thank you again. 🙂

  3. Thank you so very much for putting this list together. It is obvious that you did a lot of research and put a considerable amount of time into compiling it. I am truly appreciative and just want to say thank you!

  4. Hi most vitamins cause constipation, what are the best adult vitamins I can buy with out side affects also I’m sensitive to high concentrations of vitamin C , thanks

    • Hi Deborah! Most of the cheaper adult vitamins do cause constipation because they have a very harsh form of iron in them that isn’t easily digested. But I really love two brands of adult multivitamins: Naturelo and Garden of Life. Both are made from whole food, organic sources and are very high quality. As for vitamin C, I’d need to know more about what you consider to be “high” because every multivitamin will contain a good amount of Vitamin C (usually 100%-200% DV). For more details on additional adult vitamins I recommend – check out this post: https://pickyeaterblog.com/best-daily-adult-vitamins-help-boost-immunity/ – hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Hi.
    Thanks for your useful post. For Iron only supplement you mentioned Nature’s Nutra, which has potassium sorbate!!
    Do you have any other suggestions for iron supplement? My daghter is 4.

  6. Hi,
    I’m looking into a multi vitamin for my daughter. I can’t decide between Nature’s plus animal parade cherry or bluebonnet animalz cherry. How do they compare in taste? I grew up on Nature’s plus and loved them. Also, besides for the maltodextrin and prop65 warning (did they answer you about that?) in the Nature’s plus, is there any other reason in terms of nutrition why bluebonnet would Be better than Nature’s plus?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lea! I can’t vouch for the taste unfortunately since I haven’t tasted both – but I’d go with BlueBonnet for exactly the reasons you mentioned – Prop65 + maltodextrin. This is what Nature’s Plus had to say about the Prop 65 warning:
      “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.”
      It sounds like they have the warning to comply with CA standards, but it doesn’t explain why they have the warning label and other vitamins don’t – which is why, again I’d go with Bluebonnet first!

  7. Hi Anjali!!!
    My son is 20 months. He was recently diagnosed with ASD. I started him on a gluten-free and Casein-free diet. As he is not taking dairy products I was worried he might be deficient in calcium. He is a picky eater too. I have read some articles saying that Multivitamin tablets, Cod liver oil supplements actually help in treating kids with Autism. I am very desperate to try them. Could you please suggest any brands which are gluten and dairy free?
    Appreciate your response!!!

    • Hi Hima! I’d recommend Thorne Research which is gluten and dairy free (you just open the capsules and mix into food – just make sure you have the correct dosing). And for Cod Liver Oil I’d recommend Child Life – which doesn’t specifically say that it’s gluten and dairy free, but I see no gluten or dairy ingredients listed on their label! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi! Yes I did – this is what they said: “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.”
      I have updated the post with that info as well!

  8. Great article, thanks!
    I have an 11 yr old boy, he’s an extremely active sports player, baseball and soccer. He is is quite a good eater but if I’m honest probably doesn’t get the full amount of veggies and fruit that he should every day. He has some concentration issues at school and picks up colds quite often.
    Do you have a recommendation for muscle support, concentration and immune support?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Rebecca! For muscle support I’d recommend a protein powder that has a fruit/veggie blend included. I love Nutiva’s superfood protein powder – 100% organic, clean ingredients, with fruit/veggie powders added!
      For immune support, I like Olly Kids.
      And for concentration, here are a few supplements I have heard that can help (but make sure to talk to your pediatrician before you give any of these to your son): 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 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 son’s diet is free of these as well. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  9. Hi,

    My son is a very picky eater, sometimes he will eat his veggies and sometimes he wont! It’s very rare he will eat all his food and for sure wont eat the meat! He is very little in height. Which vitamins would you recommend? My pediatrician, just said he’s fine for and sending us to an endocrinologist. Please advise, I am uncomfortable with her “for now” statement as in for now can affect his “later on” wellbeing.

    • Hi Cheyenne! I’d recommend Thorne Research which has iron (so if he doesn’t eat meat this vitamin will help supplement), and has methylated B’s which help with absorbability. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Hi there my son is 2 months and his doctor mentioned that I should be giving him mutli-vitamins everyday. Is there one that you recommend for a 2 month baby?

  11. I have a 4 year old so has become a very very picky, she stopped eating all veggies and fruits and some meat I am worried she’s not getting all the nutrients.. what vatimin do you recommend me for that? Thank you,

    • Hi Chantal! I have and unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend it. I think they are high in sugar because they have glucose syrup AND sugar listed in the first 3 ingredients. They are also made with gelatin so they aren’t vegetarian friendly, and they have “natural flavors” added which are really artificial flavors. I’d go with any of the vitamins on my list instead. Hope that helps!

  12. Hi Anjali!

    Thank you for this article. My husband and I spent quite awhile looking at children’s multivitamins at the store after our pediatrician recommended starting them with our toddler. My daughter doesn’t like gummies and I’m looking at the Bionatural liquid. It has over 100% daily value of B12. Is that one that is ok to have at a higher dose?

    • Hi Christina! B12 is a water soluble vitamin, so technically it is fine to have more than 100% of it. But I would double check with your pediatrician on dosing before you give her the full dose, because depending on her age your peds might not want her to go over 100% DV of B12. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  13. Wondering if you ever heard back from the company regarding the prop 65 warning on the Natures Plus Animal Parade Gold Vitamins?

    • Hi Jen! This is what Nature’s Plus has shared about 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.” I have updated my post with this info as well! Hope that helps!

  14. Hi
    I guess as a busy mom of 3 I got caught up in the hype. I’ve been giving my kids Flinstones vitamins almost everyday since they were 2, my oldest is 7. Should I be worried about all the chemicals?

    • Hi Alex! No worries at all – that’s totally understandable because the marketing around the most popular kids vitamins doesn’t tell parents what’s actually in them! Instead of worrying about the chemicals in Flinstones — I would just switch from Flinstones to one of the vitamins on my list. Your kids are still little and it’s not too late to switch to a vitamin with cleaner ingredients! 🙂 Hope that helps!

  15. Hi Anjali,
    My 17 month old won’t eat any dairy, and has a very limited diet (picky eater). Do you have any liquid vitamin supplements you recommend containing calcium? I’m concerned about healthy bone development.
    Thanks so much for your helpful posts.
    Warmly,
    Samantha

  16. Hi, I have a two and a half year old son diagnosed with autism and is a picky eater. I usually hide his vitamins within his breakfast in the morning as he is still have issues to chew any gummies or tablets. Do you know of a good liquid multi-vitamin to recommend for him?

  17. my nephew 5 yrs old is very picky and doesnt want to take his milk at his young age..can u help me find a vitamins that would be effective for him and an appetite boosting vitamins that fits for him..thank you..

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