Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post Cooking Light Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network

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

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

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.

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?  

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. 

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.

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!

the best healthy vitamins for kids. healthy baby vitamins, best healthy vitamins for babies and toddlers

 

1,082 responses to “The Healthiest Children’s Vitamins: 2020”

  1. Hello! My name is Nancy, I have 2 children. One of them has autism spectrum and ADHD, eats a lot, but has a lot of difficulties concentrating and staying still. My other son has the autism spectrum, he doesn’t eat fruits, he doesn’t eat vegetables, he’s super picky for all food. I can’t get him to try new things, to see if he likes them or not. We think he has problems with some textures, and he will soon have an Occupational Therapy Assessment. You have a lot of concentration and anxiety problems. I would like to know if you could please give me your opinion and recommend some supplements for them. I am desperate, as they feel very frustrated at not being able to focus on very simple school problems. I appreciate your time!

    • Hi Nancy! While I’m not an expert on ADD, Autism, 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 kids):
      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 focusing/ADHD issues in kids can be exacerbated by dietary issues — like too many processed foods, too much added sugar and artificial flavors/colors in their diet. So I would make sure your kids’ diet is free of these as well. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. Hi, I have a 3yrs daughter who is a picky eater, not focus when I want her to learn and very busy body, she’s well focus when on her tablet or watching the TV. I need a gummy vitamins r supplement that have everything including DHA which one would you recommend please/ thankyou.

  3. Hi,
    I am still doing research on choosing the correct vitamin for my kids. Have you heard of Naturelo Whole Food Multi Vitamins for kids? The Vitamin C does not contain the Ascorbic Acid that I did not want, however, I’m not sure if the vitamins in it meets the daily value for kids ages 9 & 11. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!

    Thanks,
    D. White

    • Hi Deshawn! Do you mean this Naturelo Gummy for Kids? I have heard of that vitamin and the ingredients are good. The only thing to keep in mind is that it is sweetened with stevia, so I’m not sure if you’re trying to avoid that for your kids. It does meet the daily value for kids aged 9 and 11 — for 9 year olds you’d have to do 2 gummies, for 11 year olds you’d have to do 3 gummies daily. The only reason it’s not on my list is because I haven’t seen it be consistently in stock for almost a year! But if you can find it online or at your local store, it’s a good option – as long as you are ok with stevia!

  4. Hello,
    I am looking for a children’s vitamin 10 years and older (boy 10 and girl 11) that is liquid, and is derived from the food groups. Like Spirulina and Broccoli, etc. I’m also looking for the Vitamin C to be natural instead of Absorbic Acid with soy excluded. Can you find such multivitamins in the one I’m seeking?

    • Hi Deshawn! The best vitamin I can find is Garden of Life’s Liquid Vitamin – it’s meant for toddlers but can be used for older kids too. All of the vitamins, including Vitamin C are derived from organic foods. All of the other liquid vitamins on the market for kids are not derived from organic foods. There are plenty of chewables or gummies derived from organic food but liquid vitamins are more limited! Hope that helps!

  5. Thank you so much for your informative post! Can you recommend a liquid probiotic for a 20 month old? My daughter is fed by g-button and I’m having difficulty finding a great liquid probiotic.

  6. Hi my children are of age 4 years and 9 years .the elder one is my daughter and is very fuss in eating vegetables she like eating everything plain for eg plain noodles,plain pasta so what should I do and the younger one my son eats fruits but he also don’t eat vegetables like carrot,capsicum and beans

  7. Hi-looking for a good daily probiotic for my 5 and 8-year-old. My 8-year-old also gets occasional constipation issues, so need something to help keep him regular, but of course doing the right diet for him too.

    Thanks!
    Tina

  8. Hi I have three boys 3/5/7 and looking for vitamins/probiotics. My 5 yr old has celiacs and a dairy allergy. The other two have tree nut and peanut allergies. I would prefer for them to all take the same kind if possible. As much as I don’t care for added sugar I want them to taste good and not be a fight to take. Your suggestion is appreciated.

  9. i wonder if they have any multivitamins without any added ingredients like citric acid steric acid all them unnecessary ingredients like all natural multivitamins for toddlers?

      • Hi, I came across your blog by accident and I am loving the articles that you post. Having read your article on healthy vitamin supplements for kids, I was trying to find a post on calcium supplements or multivitamin with calcium but I was not able to find a post with a recommendation where the product was still available. My son is 9 years old and recently developed a higher intolerance towards cows milk. Could you recommend a multivitamin that would contain calcium to supplement his intake please as milk is no longer an option for us anymore?

      • Hi Lynn! I’d recommend Smarty Pants Mineral Vitamin that has calcium added. 1 serving has as much calcium as half a glass of milk – but unless you supplement with calcium separately, most multivitamins won’t contain much more than that. Also – even if he doesn’t like milk there are lots of other ways for him to get calcium in his diet! Cheese (especially parmesan cheese), yogurt, cottage cheese, beans & lentils (especially white beans), almonds, greens like spinach/kale/collard greens, edamame, tofu, and if you’re into trying different grains – amaranth is packed with calcium too. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. My 6 years old she is a picker eater and she likes to drink water. I was hoping to find a vitamins with no flavor to desolve in her drink.🙂

    • Hi Irene! I love this no-flavor powdered vitamin from Garden of Life, but like all powdered kids vitamins, this one is best dissolved when mixed into a smoothie / using a blender. Will your daughter drink smoothies? Or will she drink milk? Then you could easily use the Garden of Life vitamin for her. I haven’t found a kids vitamin that can be mixed into plain water and doesn’t change the flavor of the water (yet!)

  11. My daughter is 8 years old and she is a picky eater. She only eats French fries, macaroni with no sauce or meat, sweets like cakes and chocolate. The only healthy thing she it’s once in a full moon cucumber and banana.
    I don’t know what to do. Whenever she smells a food that she doesn’t like she gags or runs away. I am worried that not eating well balanced meals is going to cause health problems when she is older she already has vision problems . What type of vitamins do you recommend she can take to compensate for the lack of fruits and veggies she is not consuming ?

  12. Hi. I have a grandson that will only eat pop tarts,strawberries, bananas french fries or tots, and Ritz crackers and cheese. He gags at “everything “else! Need help.

  13. Hi, I am looking for an easily chewable multi vitamin for a 2 year old (he won’t take liquid). He also can’t chew gummies very well and spits them out because they are too chewy or hard.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Meghan! I’m so sorry but I actually don’t know of a non-gummy chewable vitamin for kids that young! There are quite a few good ones for 4 year olds and up like Raise Them Well, or Garden of Life. But all of the vitamins for kids under 3 are typically either gummies or liquid. One option is – you could ask your pediatrician about dosing for either Raise Them Well or Garden of Life — e.g. should you do a half dose, a quarter dose, etc. and follow those instructions!

  14. hi i have 3 girls, 11 yrs old, 12 yrs and 16. i am looking for multibitamina with iron and for eye health and dha omega multi vitamins for my girls preffrebly organic s

  15. Had our chiropractor recommend Nordic Naturals, but don’t see any mention of that brand either way here. Thoughts? I know there are probably tons of brands and all can’t be covered, but thought Nordic might be fairly common?

    • Hi Dan! I love the Nordic Naturals DHA supplements for kids and have listed them in this post. But unfortunately the multivitamin from Nordic Naturals (called Nordic Berries) has 8g sugar per serving. That is almost as much as a fun sized Milky Way bar! That’s why I wouldn’t recommend their multivitamin for kids – and instead would choose one of the other options on my list. Hope that helps clarify!

    • Hi! currently giving my 3yr & 18mth ChildLife multivitamin. However, my 3yr has become very picky with foods. I am considering Mary Ruth multivitamin/ Omega gummies as I read many positive reviews but I don’t need see those listed above. What are your thoughts about this brand.

      • Hi Linda! I actually didn’t realize that Mary Ruth’s had a gummy that was approved for kids 2 and up! The reason I didn’t have Mary Ruth’s on this list originally is because I only knew of their liquid multivitamin, which is technically for teenagers/adults (kids over 12). Overall Mary Ruth’s is a great brand – the only thing to keep in mind about their gummy is that it’s sweetened with stevia. But as long as you don’t mind that it’s a good option. I have just updated my list to include their gummy as well!

  16. Hi Anjali,

    Between First Day or the Organic Smartypants vitamins for my almost 5 year old and 8 year old, which do you highly prefer? I’m out of the Smartypants, so debating if I reorder those or try First Day? Especially one that is better ingredients and good for concentration since both kids are doing schooling from home now.:)

    Thanks,
    Tina

    • Hi Tina! It just depends on how well your kids are eating honestly! If your kids are eating a wide variety of foods and eating well, then I would choose FirstDay since that is a great “nutrition gap” supplement – just to provide the nutrients you may not get from food even if you are eating well. But if your kids are on the pickier side then I’d go with SmartyPants because that contains a larger variety of vitamins so its better for picky kids that are likely getting minimal nutrition from food. Hope that helps!

  17. My 7, almost 8 year old son has always been a picky eater. Hello literally gag just looking at different foods when I try to have him taste new things. He also is ADHD and was prescribed Vyvanse 20mg and I’m wanting to know the best multivitamin to give him due to these factors. BTW, he’s been taking Vyvanse for about a year already. He’s lost weight, which pediatrician said was okay, because he was a little overweight when he started the medication. He’s now slimmed down a lot and looks healthier, but I know he’s not getting the vitamins he needs. He also had a weakened immune system so I’ve been told since he was about 4, so that’s another factor.

  18. Hi! I am looking for a liquid multivitamin with probiotics for my picky eater. He is 9yrs old and has autism hence the picky eating. I did have him taking Bio Natural Children’s Liquid Vitamin but they are out of stock. I read your blog a year or so ago and I think you mentioned the Bio Naturals( not 100% sure on that. Sorry!). Im definitely open to trying a new brand. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Ananya! I actually don’t know of any multivitamin that excludes Vitamin C. There are plenty of vitamins that don’t include 100% of the daily value of Vitamin C – like FirstDay has one of the lowest amounts of Vitamin C I’ve seen in a kids vitamin, but even FirstDay doesn’t eliminate it altogether. Is there a reason why you want to exclude that particular vitamin?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2020 The Picky Eater. All rights reserved.