Which brand of multivitamins should I get for my child? This is a tough question for many parents. You want to ensure the health of your child but you also hear conflicting advice from various blogs, advertisements, and other parents.
Look no further, I have you covered! I am a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), a mom of two, and a gal seeking truth and transparency in a consumerism world. I would love to share with you my method of selecting these vitamins, so I created a post for some behind-the-scenes thought and detail.
If you’re curious about what to look for or wondering how I chose these top 5 multivitamins, check out my post, How to Choose the Right Kid’s Multivitamin
Please keep in mind that this is a ranking from a nutritional perspective by a registered dietitian. This is not a prescription or a recommendation for you or your children. Please discuss this with your healthcare provider before consuming nutritional supplements.
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
Pros: The Olly Kids multivitamin is one of the few multivitamins that is designed for toddlers (age 2-3) and kids (4 years and older). All Olly supplements are 3rd party tested. The flavor is delightful and free of artificial flavors and sweeteners. The only downside is that some parents prefer no sugar added, and these have 2g of sugar per vitamin. If this is concerning to you, check out my post Added Sugar, Should We Allow It?
Taste: two thumbs up! (taste like candy)
Nutrients: The nutrients align with the nutrients I recommend to offer toddlers & children to fill any nutritional gaps. Olly does not include iron or calcium which are recommended to be fulfilled through food first. In addition, Olly Kids has added probiotics, which is an added bonus!
Price: $11.99/70 count on Amazon (price at the time of product review)
My Take: The price, flavor, and nutrient profile make these vitamins my number one recommendation for parents who are not confident that their children are receiving adequate nutrition through food first.
Smarty Pants Kids Formula (Amazon)
Smarty Pants Toddler Formula (Amazon)
*Note that Smarty pants kids if for children aged 4+ and Smarty Pants Toddler is for ages 2-3*
Pros: Smarty Pants Kids serving size is 4 gummies. That might seem like a bummer to most parents (depending on the taste of the multivitamin) but from a nutritional perspective, your child will absorb the nutrients much better! This mimics the natural pattern of eating – through meals throughout the day. You can either offer your child a vitamin with each meal or offer only 1 vitamin per/day instead of the full serving of 4. I recommend this option if you believe your child is receiving adequate nutrition through his or her diet alone. This brand is 3rd party tested.
Taste: two thumbs up! (tastes like candy)
Nutrients: The nutrients align with the nutrients I recommend to offer toddlers & children to fill any nutritional gaps. Smarty Pants does not include iron or calcium which are recommended to be fulfilled through food first. In addition, Smarty Pants has added Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, which is great for kiddos who don’t consume fish!
Price: $17.72/120 count Kids on Amazon; $16.49/90 count for Toddlers on Amazon (price at the time of product review)
My Take: I recommend this brand for parents who are confident in the nutrients that their children are consuming through food first. The serving size is a bonus, and I would recommend this brand to any parents who want to fill in any hidden nutritional gaps their children may have.
Pros: Garden of Life supplements are sourced from fruits, vegetables, and herbs and they are not synthetically manufactured. Garden of Life products are 3rd party tested, one of which is the NSF (National Science Foundation). They are USDA-certified organic, certified carbon neutral, and have a web page dedicated to their product traceability. Similar to Smarty Pants, Garden of Life provides a serving size of 4 gummies, which is beneficial for the way your child digests and absorbs their nutrients. Once again, I recommend either consuming the vitamins with each meal (ex: 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch, 1 with dinner, etc.). Or, consider offering just 1-2 vitamins per day and focus on food first to meet the nutrient needs of your child!
Taste: two thumbs up! (tastes like candy). 2g of sugar per serving.
Nutrients: The nutrients align with the nutrients I recommend to offer toddlers & children except for iodine (which is a nutrient primarily found in saltwater seafood or iodized salt) and the nutrients are provided at a lower dose than many multivitamins. This may be appropriate for some children who are receiving moderate nutrients from food first. Garden of Life does not include iron or calcium which are recommended to be fulfilled through food first, and these vitamins do not include omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics.
Price: $25.12/120 count (price at the time of product review)
My Take: I recommend this brand for any vegan/vegetarian children as it has a higher dose of Vitamin B12, and includes the minerals selenium, chromium which is primarily found in animal products. On that note, if your child is vegan or vegetarian I would recommend assessing their iron, calcium, and iodine levels with their healthcare provider.
Disclaimer – I’ll start by saying this vitamin is wonderful but it seems to be out of stock often! Keep that in mind if you want to purchase a consistent vitamin.
Pros: I love the thought behind Ritual – The Ritual website provides an in-depth explanation of various factors including the traceability of their products, scientist, dietitians, and physicians on the council, and a great deal of transparency regarding product production – Check out their Who We Are page to learn more. Rituals products are traceable and 3rd-party tested. Ritual is designed for children aged 4-12. Ritual provides a subscription option which is helpful for many parents, however, it runs the risk of being out of stock.
Taste: (eep I have NOT tasted this one. If you have PLEASE leave a review in the comments!)
Nutrients: The nutrients in Ritual align with most nutrients I recommend for toddlers & children – although it is missing a few such as vitamin B1, B2, B3 (thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), pantothenic acid, and biotin – these nutrients are found in a variety of foods including fish, meat, poultry, dairy, cereal, fruits, and vegetables – if your child is consuming these foods daily, they are likely receiving these nutrients. Ritual also contains a prebiotic fiber blend and omega-3 fatty acids.
Price: $33.00/30 count
My Take: Considering the nutrient profile, Ritual is a great option for parents who are confident that their children are receiving a well-balanced diet but want to ensure these essential nutrients are covered via supplementation! Ritual might be an option to consider for kiddos who struggle with digestive issues as it contains a prebiotic and fiber blend with no sugar alcohol or potentially GI-triggering ingredients. This brand is on the pricy side, which may be an important factor for your family to consider.
Centrum Kids Multivitamin (Amazon)
Pros: Centrum is one of the most clinically studied products, with the first Centrum product hitting the market in 1978. Check out the Science Behind Centrum page to learn more. Centrum is the most affordable vitamin on this page and includes all of the essential nutrients for immunity, energy, and growth and development for children. These Centrum kid gummies are free of gelatin, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial They are 3rd-party tested. Centrum Kids contain the lowest dose of micronutrients per serving, which is a bonus for children who eat a well-balanced diet. Centrum Kids is designed for children 4 and older.
Taste: two thumbs up! 1g of sugar per serving.
Nutrients: The nutrients align with the nutrients I recommend to offer toddlers & children to fill any nutritional gaps. Centrum Kids Multivitamins do not include iron, calcium, probiotics, fiber, or omega-3 fatty acids, which are recommended to be fulfilled through food first.
Price: $15.49/150 count (price at the time of product review)
My Take: The price, flavor, and nutrient profile make Centrum Kids multivitamins my number 1 recommendation for parents who are looking for affordability and are confident in the nutrients that their children are consuming through food first.
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
I hope you find this post helpful and empowering! If you’re curious about what to look for or wondering how I chose these top 5 multivitamins, check out my post, How to Choose the Right Kid’s Multivitamin
Written by Sheridan Glaske, MS, RDN, LD