Why It’s Important to Get the Best Multivitamin for Kids
- Growing children need a range of the right nutrients to make sure they develop healthy bodies and minds.
- If your child is eating a healthy, balanced diet of whole foods, they’re probably getting all the nutrients they need from their food.
- However, certain children need extra nutritional support from dietary supplements that have been specially formulated for little ones.
- To optimize that support, make sure you choose the best multivitamin for kids you can get your hands on.
If you want your child to grow up big and strong — and what parent doesn’t? — they need all the right nutrients from an early age. After all, there’s a lot of development happening between birth and adulthood. The challenge is getting those essential nutrients into them.
It’s ideal if you can manage that through your child’s diet. If you can’t though, you may need to consider a daily multivitamin supplement.
Let’s look at which vitamins and minerals are especially important and why your child might need multivitamins for kids. We’ll also explore how to choose the best multivitamin for kids — because quality does matter.
What Kids’ Vitamins Does Your Child Need?
Nutrition plays a critical role in your child’s development. When they get the right essential nutrients, they can build healthy bones and teeth, strong muscles, reserves of energy, and a calm and active brain that helps them navigate the world. They’ll also have a resilient immune system that can fight off infection and keep them healthy their whole life.
As they grow, they need the full range of nutrients for optimal development. However, these are some of the most important to focus on:
- For strong bones and teeth: calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K
- For immune health: vitamin C and zinc, vitamin D3, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids — including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — magnesium, iron, and most of the B vitamins
- For healthy brain development: vitamin A, folate (or folic acid), vitamin B12, vitamin D, choline, iodine, iron, zinc, and omega-3s
- For plenty of energy: iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and the B vitamins
As a parent, making sure your child gets these nutrients is one of your primary jobs. As a bonus, if you get it right, it’ll also make your life easier. Less exhaustion, better immunity, and fewer struggles at school … need we say more?
When Does Your Child Need Children’s Multivitamins?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if your child is eating a balanced diet based primarily on whole foods, there’s a good chance they’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals they need. That means giving them the right amounts of protein, grains, fruit, and vegetables, plus some healthy fats. If you're lucky enough to have a child who happily eats healthy food, they probably don't need a kids' multivitamin.
However, if you have a picky eater on your hands — which let’s face it, is pretty common — or your child chooses not to eat certain foods, they may not be getting enough of certain nutrients. For example, if your child is vegan or vegetarian, they might be missing out on important nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, and B12.
If your child has a condition like celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or they’ve had surgery that affects their digestive tract, they may not be able to absorb nutrients very effectively.
If you suspect your child isn’t getting enough of the essential vitamins they need, it’s worth considering vitamin supplements — and you’ll want to make sure you’re investing in the best multivitamin for kids.
But before you start buying every random multivitamin or mineral supplement you can find on Amazon, consult your pediatrician or another healthcare professional. They’ll be able to advise you on whether you should get your child tested for any deficiencies, and the best way to go about boosting the essential nutrients they need.
Why Your Child Needs Children’s Vitamins
Because your little one’s body is a miniature version of your own, they need the same essential vitamins and minerals. The keyword here though is “miniature” — they don’t need the same amounts as adults.
How much they need depends on your child's age. In fact, giving them more than the recommended daily value of some nutrients for their age can be toxic. So be sure to keep kids’ multivitamins well out of reach of little hands and read the dosage instructions carefully. The multivitamin packaging should specify how much to give for different kids’ ages.
The best vitamins for kids are specially formulated for children and contain the right amounts of the nutrients they need.
Children's multivitamins are also usually “kid-friendly,” making them appealing to little ones. You’ll find them in several forms:
- Daily gummy vitamins — kids’ gummies come in fun colors and shapes
- Chewable tablets that can taste like candy
- Liquid or powder multivitamins that are easy to mix into food or drink — these often work best for younger children
How to Choose the Best Multivitamin for Kids
Firstly, check exactly what’s in that kids’ multivitamin supplement you’re considering. Start by reading the label carefully.
The best multivitamins for kids come from natural, whole-food sources, like fruits and vegetables — the body knows exactly what to do with those and can easily use them. Synthetic products are often not absorbed as well and can cause side effects.
When you’re choosing a good multivitamin for your child, look out for these important nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (or thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (or riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (or pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B7 (or biotin)
- Vitamin B9 (or folate/folic acid)
- Vitamin B12 (or methylcobalamin)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Some complete multivitamins for kids come with added probiotics to help keep your little one’s gut healthy. In fact, if the multivitamin you choose doesn’t contain probiotics, it’s worth considering adding a separate, high-quality probiotics supplement to your child’s routine.
Make sure there’s enough of each of the nutrients in the supplement, according to the recommended dietary reference intakes (DRIs) — or recommended daily allowances (RDAs) — for your child.
RDAs are set by the Food and Nutrition Board at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. They’re based on a healthy person’s age and gender (with recommendations for pregnancy or breastfeeding as well), and tell you how much of each nutrient you should consume daily.
You won’t see RDAs on supplement labels though. Labels show percent daily values (%DV) instead. This reflects how much of the daily value (a figure based on the average needs for anyone age 4 or older) a serving of the supplement or food source contains. This makes it easy to compare nutrient content across labels.
Since daily values are so general and not really designed for children, comparing the actual amount of a nutrient in a supplement with the RDA for your child’s age and gender may provide a more accurate guide. That said, generally the best multivitamins for kids contain about 50% of the DV — especially bearing in mind that your little one should already be getting a good proportion of their nutrients from whole foods.
Free of the Bad Stuff
Then, look for what the children's multivitamin doesn’t contain. The problem with kids' multivitamins is that they often come loaded with added sugar and other artificial substances that work against your child’s health. Remember, sugar shows up in many different forms — for example, high fructose corn syrup. The best multivitamins for kids are sugar-free and contain no other ingredients that might harm your child, like artificial additives, gluten, or other common allergens.
Also, make sure that your child’s vitamins are made by a reputable manufacturer and third-party tested so you know they’re safe and effective. Dietary supplements are regulated differently than food and drugs, so it’s important to do your research before you buy to make sure you’re getting the best multivitamin for kids.
For example, look out for high-quality products like Llama Naturals Whole-Fruit Multivitamin Gummies for kids. Llama Naturals products are made from real fruit plus whole-food vitamins, slow-cooked to retain all the nutrients and sweetness, without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. You’ll find no artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, gelatin, or fillers in this gummy multivitamin. They’re also vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and certified organic by the USDA. Best of all, they’re absolutely delicious and kids love them.
So What Are the Best Multivitamins for Kids?
For optimal development, energy, and immune support, children need a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients while they’re growing up. These should come first and foremost from a healthy, balanced diet. If your child isn’t getting what they need from whole foods though, consider starting them on a good whole-food multivitamin for kids.
The best multivitamins for kids are the ones that contain exactly the right amounts of nutrients for your child. They’re free of substances that might harm your child’s health, and they’re also delicious so your little one actually looks forward to them. No more fights over breakfast — just healthy, happy children.Llama Naturals is a plant-based nutrition brand that has created the World's First Whole Fruit Gummy Vitamins that are made with no added sugar and whole-food vitamins. They are USDA Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, free of common allergens, and are slow-cooked on low heat to retain rich phytonutrients & fruit flavor. It’s a win-win gummy vitamin that the whole family will love.