The Best Vitamins for Kids (According to Experts)

Most kids won’t need nutritional supplements, but if they do it's important to find the best vitamin for your child’s specific needs. Keep scrolling to find out more.
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By Martina Garvey, E-Commerce Editor
Updated June 8, 2023
Best Vitamins for Kids
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Babies and tots grow at a rapid pace, so it’s important to nourish them with essential vitamins that support healthy development. To be clear, breastmilk, formula and mealtime staples contain most of the vitamins and minerals needed for physical growth and cognitive development. But if your little one happens to be a picky eater or has a preexisting condition, they may need a little extra help meeting their nutritional needs. That’s where vitamins for kids come in. It’s important to note that you should always seek medical advice before introducing a kids’ vitamin to your little one. With that said, the best multivitamins for kids can help fill any nutritional gaps while supporting development and a strong immune system.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to picking the best vitamins for kids? Read on for answers to all your questions—plus expert advice and top-notch product recommendations.

According to Loretta Cody, MD, a board-certified pediatrician based in Connecticut, most children with a well-balanced diet do not need vitamin supplements.

With that said, there are a few notable exceptions. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) states that: “Children who follow vegetarian or vegan diets may need to supplement with vitamin B12 since it’s only found in animal-based foods.” Cody also notes that children with celiac disease, cystic fibrosis or an inflammatory bowel disease may need supplements as these conditions can affect vitamin absorption. Have a picky eater on your hands? Don’t panic. According to Cody, even children that are a tad picky consume all the nutrients they need from food and drink. If your child has extreme eating habits, reach out to your care provider: “If your pediatrician feels it’s necessary to add a multivitamin they will guide you on what your child may be lacking and they may recommend a certain multivitamin,” continues Cody.

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Aside from these lifestyle and medical factors, many infants and young children require a Vitamin D supplement to support healthy development.

Are vitamins safe for kids?

Vitamins are safe when used in-line with medical advice and under adult supervision. Consult your child’s pediatrician before introducing a supplement to your little one. According to the AND, taking a large amount of vitamins that exceed the recommended daily amount can be toxic and lead to symptoms such as nausea, headaches or diarrhea. With this in mind, always store supplements out of reach from children.

Ingredients to Look for in a Kids’ Multivitamin

While a healthy diet should provide a high proportion of your child’s vitamin and mineral needs, a multivitamin can help them hit their daily nutritional goals. So what ingredients should you look for in a kids’ multivitamin? Below find a list of vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in your child’s diet.

  • Iron: According to the AAP, toddlers need to receive at least 15 milligrams of iron per day from food. As many children don’t meet these daily iron goals the AAP recommends that all babies be screened at 12 months of age for iron deficiency. If the test reveals that your little one is iron-deficient or anemic, your pediatrician may prescribe an iron supplement.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin is important for healthy bone development. According to Cody, toddlers, big kids and adolescents need to get 600 IU of vitamin D per day. Children that receive less than the daily requirement may need dietary supplementation.
  • Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 prevents anemia and supports healthy neurological function. It’s typically found in most over-the-counter infant vitamin drops and many fortified ready-to-eat cereals and soy milk.
  • Vitamin A: The AND states that Vitamin A is important for normal growth and promotes healthy skin, eyes, immunity as well as tissue and bone repair. Natural sources include yellow and orange vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs. Overconsumption can be dangerous, so always consult your care provider before giving your child a vitamin A supplement.

Best Vitamins for Kids

Overwhelmed by aisles and aisles of vitamins? Don’t worry—we’ve done our due diligence and sourced 6 of the best vitamins for kids.

Best toddler vitamin

SmartyPants Organics Toddler Formula
Image: Walmart

First up is a toddler multivitamin packed with 14 essential nutrients—including vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin B12 and zinc to help support a healthy immune system. Tasty and easy to take, these gummy vitamins for kids don’t contain artificial colors or sweeteners. Better yet, the formula is non-GMO project verified, USDA certified organic and free from the eight major allergens. We also like that this multivitamin is third-party tested for purity and potency.

Age range: 2 to 3 years | Serving: 2 gummies per day

What We Love
  • Contains 14 nutrients, including omega-3
  • AVA certified vegetarian
  • Third party tested
Things To Consider
  • Serving contains 2 grams of sugar

Best budget-friendly kids’ vitamin

Flintstones is pegged as the number one children’s vitamin brand—with good reason. The affordably priced multivitamins contain key nutrients like vitamin D and C, zinc and biotin that contribute to overall health and wellness. The chewable vitamins have a fruity taste and come in cute cartoon characters. Not to mention that Flintstones vitamins have been a trusted name on the scene for over 50 years (not exactly prehistoric, but we’ll take it!).

Age range: 2 years + | Serving: For children 2 to 4 years old: Fully chew one-half tablet daily, with food; For children 4 years and up: Fully chew one tablet daily, with food

What We Love
  • Sugar-free
  • Ingredients include calcium, iron and vitamins A, B12, C and D
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Some people say the new formula tastes unpleasant

Best kids’ multivitamin with iron

Next up on our list of the best vitamins for kids is a formula designed for picky eaters. Enriched with iron, these melt-in-the-mouth tabs were specially formulated to cover any nutritional gaps in your child’s diet. Aside from iron, these kids’ multivitamins contain vitamins A, C, D3, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12 plus folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, iodine, zinc, selenium and chromium (phew!). And they taste great, despite being sugar-free.

Age range: 2 years + | Serving: For children 2 to 3 years old: Half a tablet daily; For children 4 years and up: Two full tablets daily

What We Love
  • Tablets contain 18 minerals and nutrients
  • Free from sugar, artificial colors and flavors
Things To Consider
  • Some parents say the tablets fall apart when cut in half for a lower dose

Best kids’ multivitamin with a probiotic

Support gut health with a daily dose of probiotics. This chewable gummy vitamin for kids contains vitamins A, C, D, E, Bs and zinc—plus probiotics to support good belly bacteria and a strong immune system. Better yet, the vitamins have a yummy berry flavor that kids will happily munch on.

Age range: 2 years + | Serving: For children 2 to 3 years old: Chew one gummy daily; For children 4 years and up: Chew two gummies daily

What We Love
  • Contains probiotics, vitamins and zinc
  • Made with no synthetic colors or flavors
  • Gluten-free
Things To Consider
  • 2 grams of sugar per serving

Best liquid kids’ multivitamin

ChildLife Multi Vitamin & Mineral
Image: Amazon

If your child can’t swallow a tablet and dislikes the taste of vitamin gummies, try a liquid formula. Developed by a pediatrician, this supplement is suitable for children as young as 6 months old and is packed with 14 vitamins and 8 minerals to support health and development. It has a natural orange and mango flavor and can be taken on its own or mixed with a drink if your kiddo is reluctant to slurp it off a spoon.

Age range: 6 months to 12 years | Serving: For infants: 1 teaspoon daily; For children 1 to 4 years: Up to 2 teaspoons daily; For children 4 to 12 years: Up to 3 teaspoons daily

What We Love
  • Contains calcium, zinc and vitamins A, C, D, E and B12
  • Third party tested for purity and strength
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors
Things To Consider
  • High cost per serving

Best subscription kids’ vitamin

Hiya Kids Daily Multivitamin
Image: Hiya

Fancy having a reliable kids’ vitamin shipped directly to your door? Say hello to Hiya. This subscription service serves up balanced multivitamins for kids that taste great and don’t contain any junk (AKA sugar). Once you sign up you’ll get a reusable glass bottle and a 30-day supply of vitamins. Then, in an effort to reduce waste, you’ll receive plastic-free refill pouches sent monthly on a pediatrician-recommended schedule. Bonus: You can add multiple children to your plan.

Age range: 6 months to 12 years | Serving: For infants: 1 teaspoon daily; For children 1 to 4 years: Up to 2 teaspoons daily; For children 4 to 12 years: Up to 3 teaspoons daily

What We Love
  • Contains calcium, zinc and vitamins A, C, D, E and B12
  • Third party tested for purity and strength
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors
Things To Consider
  • High cost per serving

How We Chose the Best Vitamins for Kids

For people young or old, eating a balanced diet is the best way to load up on essential nutrients. But, persuading a picky eater to load up on greens and other healthy ingredients can be tricky (to say the least!). Fortunately, kids’ multivitamins can help supplement your child’s diet.

Once you’ve been given the go-ahead by your doctor, it’s time to find the right supplement for your child’s needs. To streamline your decision-making process, our goal is to do the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through online retailers. We do this by considering a list of criteria when sourcing vitamins for kids, including dosage, formula type, ingredients, sugar content and, last but definitely not least, safety. This way you can count on getting the best bang for your buck, while also gaining a well balanced vitamin for your little one.

To decide which kids’ multivitamins are the best options on the market, we leverage our familiarity with leading brands to make sure items are from reliable manufacturers. We read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these products work for people, prioritized products that have been third-party tested and avoided anything with less than an average four-star rating.

To make sure we’re highlighting supplements that are safe and effective, we consulted a pediatrician to understand essential factors and safety considerations to keep top of mind. We also read recommendations from the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Expert sources:

Loretta Cody, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician based out of Connecticut. She received her medical degree from New York Medical College and completed her residency at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kids Eat Right Logo Does My Child Need A Supplement, September 2021

American Academy of Pediatrics, Dietary Supplements for Toddlers, May 2017

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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