Staying Healthy Medication & Vitamins Vitamins The Best 6 Vitamins for Kids, According to a Dietitian We researched the best vitamin supplements to cover nutritional gaps for kids By Shushy Rita Setrakian MS, RD and Holly Klamer, MS, RDN Updated on May 25, 2023 Share Tweet Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: Parents / Kristin Kempa Getting kids to eat a variety of healthy foods can be tricky. Kids who are picky eaters, have specific health issues, or must follow special diets may especially find it challenging to get all the needed nutrients in their diet. In these cases, vitamin supplements can play a crucial role in helping kids meet their daily nutrition requirements. The best vitamins for kids to supplement will vary depending on diet concerns, age, gender, and overall health. And it’s important to remember even if a child does take a vitamin supplement, they should still eat balanced meals—including a variety of fruits and vegetables. Picky eating specialist Jennifer Friedman MS, RD says, “Kids with overly restricted diets… and those with medical conditions might need a [specific] vitamin supplement to meet their nutritional needs.” Bloodwork to check specific vitamin levels before supplementing and guidance from a healthcare professional can help determine any specific nutrients of concern. Friedman suggests it’s important for parents to remember every vitamin supplement is not best for every child. Friedman recommends a multivitamin can act as a security blanket for most kids and help fill some nutrition gaps for most kids. Multivitamins usually don’t have high, potentially harmful doses of single-ingredient vitamins or minerals and are generally safe for most kids. Because of this, we focused on multivitamins to include for our recommendations for vitamins for kids. Another factor to consider for supplements for kids is the often added sugars, flavors, and colors. We kept this in mind when picking out the best vitamins for kids. We researched the vitamins and minerals most kids can benefit from, the amounts of each nutrient in supplements, and we only picked recommendations with quality ingredients, taste, and third-party testing when possible. A Note About Supplements Dietary supplements are minimally regulated by the FDA and may or may not be suitable for you. They also may interact with other supplements or medications your child is taking. Please always speak with a healthcare provider first to discuss any supplements you plan on giving a child. Remember to always store supplements out of reach for kids. Our Top Picks Best Overall: Smarty Pants Best Chewable: Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi Best Subscription: Hiya Best Organic: Garden of Life MyKind Organics Kids Gummy Vitamins Best Dissolvable: Thorne Kid’s Multi Plus Best with Iron: NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron Best Overall: Smarty Pants Kids Formula Amazon Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: This multivitamin is third-party tested, safe for common food allergens (except fish), and contains a variety of vitamins and has omega 3s. Plus, it’s a tasty gummy your kids will want to eat. But Take Note: Each serving has five grams of sugar. It’s also worth noting these gummies do not have some minerals like calcium and iron. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, aiming for less than 25 grams of added sugar per day is recommended for kids 2 years and older. So, that may be important to consider for Smarty Pants gummies, as each four-gummy serving has five grams of sugar—one-fifth of the maximum recommended added sugar. Friedman admits this amount of sugar is higher than she prefers but still likes these as a supplement because of the nutrients they provide. If you’re concerned about the amount of sugar, you can try giving these in place of a treat after a meal. A benefit of Smarty Pants Kids Formula is it can be easier to get your kids to take them because they taste so good. The range of vitamins includes A, C, D, E, and K, plus the B vitamins, iodine, and zinc. All amounts of vitamins and minerals are 100% Daily Value or less making them a safe choice for most kids. We like that this multi includes omega 3s, which are important for kids’ developing nerve cells in the brain and eyes. However, it’s important to note that these gummies don’t have iron, magnesium, or calcium. Therefore, if a healthcare professional has recommended these specific nutrients for your child, this may not be the best choice. Smarty Pants Kids Gummies are NSF-certified meaning they are third-party tested for ingredient amounts and that they don’t have any harmful contaminants. They are non-GMO and free of any synthetic colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives. They’re also free of gluten, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy, so if you have a child with food sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies, these are a great choice. Price at time of publication: $20 ($0.67 per serving) The Details: Recommended age: For children 4 years of age and olderKey ingredient(s): Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B vitamins, iodine, zinc, and omega-3sForm: GummiesType: MultivitaminDose: 4 gummiesOther notable ingredients: organic cane sugar, tapioca syrup, gelatin, and pectinAdded sugar: 5 grams per servingPotential allergens: fish Best Chewable: Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Renzosvitamins.com Why We Like It: These chewable tablets are third-party tested, sugar-free, and have a kid-approved flavor. But Take Note: Although these vitamins are sugar-free, they do have sugar alcohols like mannitol and xylitol that may not sit well with all children. Renzo’s Picky Eater Kids Multivitamin provides at least 75% Daily Value of 18 vitamins and minerals for kids who are 4 years of age and older. This includes vitamin D, iron, and zinc which are common nutrient deficiencies in school-age children. This makes it a great choice, especially for those picky eaters who struggle to eat a variety of foods. We also like that Renzo’s can meet a variety of dietary needs, as it is vegan, non-GMO, free from common food allergens, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Plus, the green apple and cherry flavors are kid-approved and fun to eat. While they are considered safe, and these tablets would only provide a very minimal amount, note these do have sugar alcohols. Excessive sugar alcohol intake can cause a laxative effect for some, especially in high doses. This may be an important consideration if a child gets many other sources of sugar alcohols throughout the day or are sensitive to these ingredients. Price at time of publication: $26 ($0.87 per serving) The Details: Recommended age: For children 2 years of age and olderKey ingredient(s): Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B vitamins, iodine, iron, and zincForm: Chewable/meltable tabletsType: MultivitaminDose: ½ tablet for children 2 and 3 years of age; 2 tablets for children 4 years of age and olderOther notable ingredients: Sweetened with stevia and some sugar alcoholsAdded sugar: 0 gramsPotential allergens: None Best Subscription: Hiya Hiya Buy on Hiyahealth.com Why We Like It: This pick comes with the convenience of a subscription, has a fruit and vegetable blend, is third-party tested for contaminants, and the serving is just one tablet. But Take Note: This multi does not have iron. And while it provides 100% or more Daily Value for most vitamins for kids 2-3 years of age, some vitamin amounts (except vitamin D) are only 40-50% Daily Value for kids 4 years of age and older. If you don’t want to think about re-ordering or shopping for kids' vitamins before you run out, a subscription (with a reusable bottle) can be convenient. We like Hiya’s Kids Daily Multivitamin as a subscription, but note this multi may be best for kids who eat a fairly balanced diet. The amounts of vitamins and minerals are lower than some other picks. But, we appreciate that these taste great without the added sugar of most gummies. The tablets have monk fruit—a zero-calorie sweetener—for added flavor. An important note to keep in mind is that this multi doesn’t contain any iron, which can be a nutrient concern for kids. Each tablet contains a blend of 12 fruit and vegetables on top of the 15 essential vitamins and minerals. Even with this addition, it’s always important to remember to aim to feed children a variety of foods—even vegetables—in addition to a vitamin supplement. The benefit of having a subscription-based vitamin is that they are shipped fresh each month automatically. If you have a tough time giving your kids pills, unlike other vitamins that require 2-4 tablets or gummies per serving, Hiya’s is just one easy tablet per serving. Friedman recommends Hiya as a subscription multivitamin for kids, as she likes the nutrients it provides. She also notes the folate is in the methylfolate form, which is better absorbed and used in the body. Lastly, we appreciate these tablets are third-party tested for heavy metals, common food allergens, and pathogens. Price at time of publication: $30 ($1.00 per serving) The Details: Recommended age: For children 2 years of age and olderKey ingredient(s): Vitamins A, C, D, E, B vitamins, zinc, manganese, seleniumForm: chewable tabletType: MultivitaminDose: 1 TabletOther notable ingredients: Fruit and vegetable blendAdded sugar: 0 gramsPotential allergens: None The Best Electric Toothbrushes for Kids, Tested on Our Own Children’s Pearly Whites Best Organic: Garden of Life MyKind Organics Kids Gummy Vitamins Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on IHerb Buy on Vitacost Why We Like It: These gummies are sweetened with an organic fruit blend and are made with whole foods. But Take Note: The serving size of this multivitamin is 4 gummies, and some vitamin amounts are only about 50% Daily Value or less. If you’re looking for a vitamin for kids that is organic and naturally sweetened, Garden of Life MyKind Organic Kids Gummy Vitamins are a good choice. This brand is known for strong manufacturing practices with many third-party tested products. We like that it has an organic fruit blend of apples, peaches, and oranges to add a sweet flavor without added sugar, artificial flavors, or colorings. The vitamin blend comes from real foods, including beets, spinach, tomatoes, cherries, Brussels sprouts, and more. Plus, there’s no gelatin or cornstarch if these ingredients are of concern to you. Garden of Life’s MyKind Organics Kids Gummy Vitamins are gluten-free, kosher, vegan, and free of soy and dairy making them suitable for a range of dietary restrictions. Even the pickiest eaters will enjoy these (naturally flavored) delicious gummies. Each four-gummy serving provides 100% Daily Value of vitamins C, D, and the mineral chromium. A serving is on the lower end for minerals zinc (15% Daily Value), selenium (30% Daily Value), and manganese (10% Daily Value). It does not provide any iron and provides a range between 30-150% Daily Value for vitamins A, K, and B vitamins. Therefore, since some nutrients are in a lower amount and they do not have iron, this supplement may be best for kids who generally eat a varied diet. Price at time of publication: $27 ($0.90 per serving) The Details: Recommended age: For children 4 years of age and olderKey ingredient(s): Vitamins C, D, B6, B12Form: GummiesType: MultivitaminDose: 4 gummiesOther notable ingredients: Fruit-base blend and organic food blendAdded sugar: 4 grams from organic fruitPotential allergens: None Best Dissolvable: Thorne Kid’s Multi Plus Thorne Buy on Amazon Buy on IHerb Why We Like It: This disc is convenient for kids who don’t want to take a pill. They also have unique ingredients added like omega 3’s, antioxidants for eye health, and choline for brain development. But Take Note: They only come in a strawberry kiwi flavor which may not be preferred by all kids. They are also only recommended for ages 4-12 years. Thorne’s Kid’s Multi Plus is a great choice for kids who don’t want to take a pill or would prefer to take a supplement mixed in a drink, yogurt, applesauce, etc. Thorne is a trusted supplement brand that has its products tested in house and works in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Mayo Clinic, and Johns Hopkins University among others for research trials with their product ingredients. We appreciate Thorne uses more absorbable forms of vitamin D, folate, and zinc in this supplement. Something unique about this multi is it also contains added antioxidants for eye health to help protect against harm from blue light screens, it has a vegan source of omega 3’s, and it has choline—a nutrient needed for brain function. The dosing for each vitamin and mineral is on the lower end—the highest dose is 208% Daily Value for vitamin B12. Other vitamins and minerals are around 100% Daily Value or less. You may appreciate this dissolvable supplement does not have any added sugar, is vegan, and is free of gluten, dairy, soy, artificial colors, and flavors. However, note this multi does not have iron or calcium. Price at time of publication: $36 ($1.20 per serving) The Details: Recommended age: For children 4-12 years of ageKey ingredient(s): Vitamin A, C, D, E, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and iodine Form: DiscType: Multi PlusDose: One disc Other notable ingredients: DHA (omega 3), choline, and eye antioxidantsAdded sugar: 0 gramsPotential allergens: None The Best Laxatives for Kids Who Just Can't Go Best with Iron: NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Why We Like It: This multivitamin is higher in iron than other multivitamins and uses a well-tolerated, research-backed form of iron. It can be taken as is or stirred into baby food, smoothies, or yogurt. But Take Note: It’s only intended for children under 4 years of age. Most multivitamins for kids are not very high in iron or contain no iron at all. If a healthcare professional suggests iron is a nutrient of concern for your little one and you also want a multivitamin supplement, NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron is a good choice. Freidman, who works with picky-eaters, also recommends this choice and personally uses it at home. NovaFerrum multivitamin is a good source of most B vitamins, vitamins A, D, and E. Each serving provides 91% Daily Value of iron for infants and 143% Daily Value of iron for children up to 4 years. The best thing about this supplement is it probably won’t cause any stomach issues for kids, which can be a concern for some iron supplements. NovaFerrum uses a polysaccharide-iron complex—a research-backed form of iron that has been shown to be well-tolerated and absorbed to help increase blood iron levels in children. Kids will love the raspberry grape flavor, and parents will love there is no added sugar, artificial colors, or flavors. Because of the appealing taste, it’s important to remember to keep this out of reach of kids to avoid an accidental overdose of iron, which could be potentially fatal. Follow the recommended serving size and guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure the iron amount in this supplement is best for your child. Price at time of publication: $30 ($0.25 per serving) The Details: Recommended age: infant up to 4 years of ageKey ingredient(s): Vitamins A, D, E, most B vitamins, and ironForm: liquidType: Multivitamin with ironDose: 1 milliliter (mL)Other notable ingredients: NoneAdded sugar: 0 gramsPotential allergens: None listed Are Vitamins for Kids Beneficial? Under certain circumstances, vitamin supplements can be beneficial, but whether or not they are necessary depends on each child’s diet and health status. All kids, whether they take supplements or not, should aim to get a variety of foods in their diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and some dairy products to get all the vitamins and minerals they need. However, if your kids are picky eaters, refuse to eat certain food groups, need to follow a diet that would limit certain nutrients, or have a medical condition that limits their ability to eat certain foods, they may most benefit from a vitamin supplement. Otherwise, kids who are eating plenty of variety are the ones who may not benefit from a vitamin supplement. Some kids may be better off taking individual vitamins instead of a multivitamin, so be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before adding a vitamin to your kids’ regimen. It's important to know that taking too much of certain vitamins can also be harmful. Which Kids May Not Benefit from Vitamins? Vitamins for kids are generally safe, but too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful in higher doses. If your child is already eating a variety of food, especially fortified foods, a multivitamin may lead to reaching the upper limits of certain vitamins. This is especially the case if the vitamins contain 100% or more of recommended daily amounts. It is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional on the necessity of vitamins for kids as well as look for a product that does not overdo the amounts of vitamins for your child’s needs. It is extremely rare to get excessive amounts of vitamins from food alone; this is usually just a concern from supplements. How We Select Supplements Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements. We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com. It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend. We interviewed Jennifer Friedman, MS RD, picky eating specialist and founder of Jenny Friedman Nutrition for insights on what she recommends for vitamins for kids and her brand recommendations. What to Look For Third-party Testing Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note: Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications. Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. The third-party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab.com, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification. Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, it does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer, and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement. Form Vitamins come in different forms including tablets, pills, liquids, chewables, powders, and gummies. While there is no “best” form, the one you decide on giving your kids should be based on the nutrients it provides as well as the child’s willingness to take it. If you prefer one brand over the other, but it becomes a chore every day when you try and give it to your kids, it might be a good idea to find an alternative they would be more comfortable taking. Ingredients and Potential Interactions It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included, relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking. Deciding on whether or not your kid needs a vitamin supplement is something you should ask a healthcare professional about, especially for individual vitamins or amounts needed to correct a deficiency. It's also important if a child takes any medication or has an underlying health condition. If your child does not get enough iron in their diet, this can lead to iron deficiency anemia, which would result in symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and pale skin. Healthcare professionals can check blood iron levels and will advise on whether or not your child needs iron supplements. Note that too much iron can be toxic, so only give iron supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Calcium is another mineral that is important for kids, but it is not always included in multivitamins. This is because it is a larger mineral and would make the multivitamin large and difficult to swallow. You can include calcium in the diet by adding foods like cheese, milk, yogurt, fortified juices, and dairy alternatives, as well as dark leafy greens. Vitamins for Kids Dosage There is no standard formula for kids' multivitamins, so the nutrients and dosages they contain vary. In general, they typically include some combination of all or some vitamins and minerals. They can provide all or part of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for each nutrient. Multivitamins are considered safe for most kids, but keep in mind this can vary especially if other supplements or medications are taken. Always follow the recommended serving based on age, and consult a healthcare professional before using. How Much is Too Much? When it comes to multivitamins, there are no specific dose recommendations. Instead, manufacturers will provide Daily Value (DV) amounts, dietary reference intakes (DRIs), and adequate intakes (AIs) to create products with specific doses of each vitamin or mineral. Remember, more is not always better with supplements for kids. Some nutrients, especially minerals, can be harmful at very high doses. Check the ULs (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for vitamins and minerals as outlined by the National Institutes of Health to ensure you are staying at a safe level for supplements, especially if multiple supplements are taken throughout the day. Most multivitamins provide amounts that are 100% DV or less for each nutrient which is usually considered a safe dose for most kids. A healthcare professional can give further guidance if your child needs more or less of a nutrient in a multivitamin. Your Questions, Answered Should kids take multivitamins? Multivitamins for kids can be a useful tool to make sure kids are getting enough nutrients. So while kids still should eat a variety of foods, supplementing with a multivitamin can be helpful. Generally, most kids will get enough vitamins through diet alone, and a multivitamin might not be necessary. On the other hand, it could help set your mind at ease that your child is getting enough vitamins even during periods when they are not eating a balanced diet. Ultimately, consult a healthcare professional to see if a multivitamin, or individual vitamins/minerals, is a good idea for your child. What is the best supplement to help kids grow? Many different supplements can help kids grow. However, there is no single “best” supplement because kids need a variety of nutrients to grow and develop. This can be done by having a balanced diet that would provide all of the necessary nutrients, including enough protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Specific vitamins and minerals are important for aspects of growing. For example, vitamin D and calcium are needed for bone growth, iron is needed for red blood cells, zinc for immune function, and omega-3 for brain function. While supplements can help kids meet goals for their dietary needs, supplements cannot replace a balanced diet or guarantee they will grow more when taking a supplement. What are the best children’s vitamins for picky eaters? When it comes to picky eaters, vitamin supplements can be a good idea. You’ll want to consider which foods your child is avoiding. A healthcare professional—like a dietitian—can help give further guidance on which vitamins or minerals your child may benefit from depending on what foods they avoid. For example, if a child does not eat animal foods, a B12 or iron supplement might be helpful. Supplementation is very individualized, so there is no single best option for every child. How do you choose a multivitamin for your child? Choosing a multivitamin can be confusing as there are so many options on the market. A good starting point is to figure out which form your child is willing to take. Would they prefer a chewable, liquid, or dissolvable tablet in their juice? Once you’ve figured this out, you can start looking at the best options for the form of vitamin your child will take. Next, look at the nutrient amounts. Look for a multivitamin that has a range of essential vitamins and minerals and their percentages. The specific amounts will depend on your child’s age, gender, and other individual factors. You also want to look at the label to see if products are allergen-friendly if necessary. Also consider if these products are third-party tested, to ensure you’re getting what the label claims. The 8 Best Vitamin D Supplements for Kids Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! 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