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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.

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) are 100% organic and free of ALL 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 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. Four other probiotic options that I like are Llama Naturals, 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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1,144 responses to “The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2020”

  1. Hi Anjali!
    I have a four years old girl who is very picky eater. She doesn’t like the taste of meat or seafood. She only eat corn, French fries and rice with soy sauce or sometimes tofu. She drinks a lot of milk though. What do you recommend for me to get for her? I been researching but it is so overwhelming. Thank you

      • Hi Anjali!
        Thank you for your recommendation. However, my girl is so picky, I am afraid she will hate the taste of it. Do you have any other recommendations for like gummie or drops? I think she will agree with that. I even have hard time giving her any medication since she is very smart . Sorry to bother you and thank you so much for taking the time to answer me.

  2. Hi just wondering what you thought about plexus xfactor kids. It’s super confusing if it a good one. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old just want a good vitamin with a probiotic already in it and doesn’t have to be refrigerated

    • Hi Natalie! 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!

      • I have 4 kids and Plexus really adds up financially. Is it worth the $$ or are these other options just as good/better for less?? We have been using Plexus for a while but would love a better cost efficient but great for my kids option.

      • Hi Lindsay! These other options are just as good or better depending on which one you choose and are likely more affordable too! I’m happy to recommend a couple depending on how old your kids are!

  3. Hello! I love this article, it really helped put vitamins into perspective. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old about to turn 3 and 5 at the end of January/beginning of February. My 4 year old is iron deficient but my 2 year old has not been tested yet. I have been supplementing vitamin d (we live in Alaska) and using Nordic Naturals for some time. But I would like to find a multivitamin for them. What vitamin do you recommend for a 5 year old with iron deficiency and a 3 year old who has not been tested? Also, do you have recommendations for elderberry syrups and vitamin C? Thank you.

  4. Thanks for all your research! I have an eleven year old daughter, 117 lbs, who just started menstrual cycle. Currently i have been giving her Kirkman Children’s Multi Vitamin/Mineral Capsules. They are Hypoallergenic || Vegetarian Capsules || Free of Common allergens ||Tested for More Than 950 Environmental contaminants. Free of soy, wheat, casein, gluten, milk, egg, yeast, artificial flavorings and colorings, peanuts or tree nuts. It is available on Amazon. I hope it is ok or do you recommend one of the others you listed or one for younger women?

  5. Thank you for doing the research!!! My 5 yo son is very picky and allergic to lots as well so his diet is very minimal and not healthy. I give him Fiber Gummies to have regular bowel movements. I ordered First Day, haven’t received yet, but not sure if this will be enough to give him everything his diet lacks. Anything else you recommend? Thanks 🙂

  6. Hi Anjali,

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and research. My almost 2 year old has a milk protein allergy and nut allergies. He has recently been on a vegetable strike and is not drinking as much of his plant based “milk” (Ripple). Our doctor suggested a liquid vitamin and calcium supplement. Any recommendations?

  7. Hi! I just got sucked into FirstDayLife vitamins via Instagram ad, now second guessing and found your blog!
    Do you know anything about them? Yay/Nay?
    Twin 4 yr old girls!
    Thanks

    • Hi Maggie! FirstDay Vitamins are actually great! I just updated my post and added them in. Here’s why I like them:
      1) They’re 100% organic and food based
      2) They are non-GMO, low in sugar, have nothing artificial, are gluten-free, gelatin free, and are free of all allergens (tree nuts, fish, eggs, shellfish, etc.)
      3) Every gummy also contains 27 organic fruits and veggies full of good-for-you antioxidants and phytonutrients
      4) Their vitamins are easily absorbed by the body since they use bio-available forms of the vitamins
      5) This gummy is meant as a “food-gap” gummy for kids who are already eating relatively well. For kids who are eating well, they already get most of their nutritional needs from their diet. So First Day is focused on the 8 micronutrients that children most commonly lack. Their gummy is made to fill the gaps in kids’ everyday needs.
      So I’d say they’d be a great option for your girls as long as you’re not looking for a vitamin meant to replace all of their nutritional needs (e.g. for super picky eaters) vs. just supplement. Hope that helps!

  8. Hello,

    I have a 14 months old baby. He’s a bit picky and I noticed his hair growing is very slow. Do you think I need to add the multivitamins? Doctors keep saying its normal no need but, me as a mother I feel he need more vitamins especially he’s grown with formula milk!

    • Hi Emma! If your doctor says there is no need for vitamins, then it sounds like he’s not worried about your baby’s nutrition based on what he’s eating currently! As for hair growth – every baby’s hair grows at a totally different rate – some babies are completely bald until they’re 2 and then by the time they’re 3 they have a head full of hair! So that may or may not be related to your baby’s nutrition – it’s too hard to tell. If you’re really concerned, ask your doctor if they’d be comfortable with you using this liquid vitamin for your little one. That’s the one I’d recommend for a 14 month old! Hope that helps!

  9. Hi, what do you recommend for the 13 year old girls who have regular menstrual cycles and weight is at 125? Thinking women’s vitamins, but I don’t have a great go to women’s multivitamin.

  10. Hi, this article is super helpful.
    Could you please recommend the best multivitamin with iron (since we’ve vegetarian and i know we could be deficient) for a 9 month old and a 3yo?
    What are your thoughts about the well baby vitamins please (not sure if available in the US)?
    Thank you

    • Hi Alex! For kids under 4 years old, there aren’t good quality multivitamins that contain iron, so instead I’d recommend this multivitamin from Zarbee’s for your 9 month old and this multivitamin from Smarty Pants for your 3 year old, plus this iron supplement from Nature’s Nutra for both kids. I think I found some info for Well Baby vitamins online, and they do add sugar as well as some synthetic ingredients which is not ideal, but I couldn’t find out how many grams of sugar are in each serving of the vitamin. I do think the vitamins I recommend are higher quality than Well Baby though! Also, one note about iron – I would get both of your kids tested to make sure they actually are deficient in iron and talk to your pediatrician before supplementing with iron for them — because if they are not deficient you risk overdosing them on iron. Hope that helps!

  11. Hi. Thanks for the info and helping. I’m not sure if I should give any multivitamin syrups or something like Nestle Nan to my 20 months old son. He just eats (with whinging) normal food and goes to the daycare. He has cold most of the times. Thanks

    • Hi Max! I wouldn’t recommend Nestle Nan since it’s not organic and doesn’t have high quality ingredients. But if your son is eating well and is eating a wide variety of foods (even if he whines, if he eats it that’s still good!), he might not need a multivitamin at all. I would tell your pediatrician the details about what your son is currently eating, and whether they think your son needs additional supplementation. If they say your son likely does need a vitamin, I’d recommend ChildLife Vitamins for a 20 month old. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  12. I have a 2 yr old who does not like gummies and is a VERY picky eater. My ped suggested a multivitamin. I was leaning towards the powdered Mega Foods one but it says it’s for children 5+. Is there a different powdered option that would be suitable?
    Thanks so much for your helpful articles. They are very educational!

    • Hi Sam! Unfortunately I haven’t found a good powdered multivitamin for toddlers that has clean ingredients! So for your 2 year old, I’d recommend trying a liquid multivitamin like childlife (which you can add to their drinks or food). Alternatively, you can ask your pediatrician what dosing of the Mega Foods one would be suitable for your 2 year old. Hope that helps!

  13. Hello and thank you for all of the information. I’m looking for a multivitamin with iron for my 5 year old son. He’s experiencing some health complications, specifically with sleep apnea, night terrors, sensation sensitivity, and energy levels, to name a few. Which vitamin would you recommend? In addition, we have a 7 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. Should they be on different vitamins? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Andres! For your 5 year old, I’d recommend Raise Them Well which is a very clean comprehensive vitamin — it likely won’t address the sleep apnea/night terrors/sensitivity (no vitamin really will), but it will help supplement the gaps in his diet and hopefully help with energy as well. Your 7 year old can take the same vitamin! For your 2 year old, I’d recommend Smarty Pants, and once your 2 year old turns 4 they can use Raise Them Well also. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  14. Hi Anjali! I have a almost 3 year old whose doctor mentioned he is borderline anemic. Which vitamin with iron do you recommend ? He’s very into gummies 🙂

  15. I have a 9 year old who takes medicine for ADHD thus his appetite is minimal. Plus he is super sensitive to food textures and tastes. The only foods he’ll eat are doughnuts, cheese pizza, macaroni, drinks 1% milk and pop. He is very thin. Plus he refused to poop. He’s been to ER, doctor, we’ve tried medicine….can’t stand the taste. We’ve tried pediasure, but can’t stand the taste. Is there a tasteless liquid vitamin/mineral suppliment to add to milk do he can get nurishment and gain health and weight, and poop.

    • Hi Betty! I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s struggles with his diet. Have you tried occupational therapy for his texture/taste sensitivities with food? If not, I would recommend trying that as I know that’s helped many parents who have struggled with many of the same issues you describe. For a vitamin, I would recommend using these capsules from Thorne Research — what you can do is open the capsule and empty the powder into milk and stir it up. It should be tasteless and should mix in well. Alternatively you can try this liquid vitamin from Premium Kids but that does have a sweet flavor to it so I’m not sure how your son would like that. No vitamin will help your son poop unfortunately, you need either a fiber supplement or you can try Miralax if you haven’t already – which is tasteless and mixes into foods or liquids well. Of course, make sure your pediatrician is ok with it before you try any of these options! Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  16. Hello Anjali, I just wanted to say that I appreciate your effort to make the research and share it online. It helps a lot of moms out there, who like me constantly searching for better healthy options for their kids :)) Your blog is a big help!

  17. Hi, this is great information so thank you so much! What would you recommend for a 2 year old girl, the doctor just said she has high lead levels and to start a multivitamin with iron. Any more advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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