Get Your Child's FREE
Multivitamin Recommendation

We'll search our database of over 100 multivitamin brands
to find the Top 3 that match their needs most closely

Best Children's Multivitamins

Comparison of 89 Multivitamins Designed for Kids

Supplementing your child's diet with a daily multivitamin can be one of the best things you can do for their health. There are 13 vitamins and 14 essential minerals that an infant needs in order to grow and develop properly. Here are several examples of what some of these essential nutrients can do for your child:

  • Vitamin A: improves eye health, repairs damaged tissues
  • The B vitamins: boost metabolism, produce energy
  • Vitamin C: fights infections, reduces the duration of colds
  • Vitamin D: improves bone, heart and brain health
  • Calcium: builds strong bones and teeth
  • Iron: needed for red blood cells, stimulates muscle growth

What is the best multivitamin for children?

As you might suspect, not all multivitamins are created equal. Supplements vary significantly in quality amongst the different manufacturers. For example, the vitamin C in Product A may not be as potent or bioavailable as the vitamin C in Product B.

To help you navigate through the maze of vitamin supplements for kids, we analyzed 89 different multivitamin products specifically designed for children. We rated each of them on four key parameters by using a scale from 1 to 10, with ten being the highest score.

Effectiveness Scores of Children's Multivitamins

The table below provides a summary of the Effectiveness Scores of 89 multivitamins for children that are currently available on the market.

RankManufacturerProductScore
1 NATURELO Premium Supplements Chewable Multivitamin for Children 9.22
2 Xtend-Life Total Balance Children's 8.94
3 Mercola Children's Multivitamin 8.72
4 Garden of LifeVitamin Code Kids 8.68
5 SolgarKangavites Chewable Tablets 8.56
6 VitalahOxylent Children's Multivitamin Drink 8.45
7 ProtheraVita-Tab Chewable 8.36
8 Trace Minerals Research Complete Children's Chewable 8.32
9 Carlson LabsCarlson for Kids Multi 8.31
10 USANA Health SciencesUsanimals 8.28
11 Life Extension FoundationChildren's Formula Life Extension Mix 8.19
12 Shaklee Shakleekids Incredivites 8.16
13 JarrowKid Bear Kids Multi 8.12
14 Ola LoaOla Loa Kids Multi 8.10
15 Super NutritionPerfect Kids 8.10
16 Greens Today (Natures Answer)Greens Today Children's Formula 8.08
17 Isotonix (Market America)Isotonix Might-A-Mins 8.05
18 FreeLifeDinoPals 8.03
19 Pioneer NutritionalPioneer Childrens Multi 8.03
20 SupraLifeSupralife Kids Toddy 8.01
21 One-A-Day (Bayer) Kids Scooby Doo Gummies Multivitamin 7.98
22 Progressive Laboratories Inc. Progressive Child Chewable Multi 7.96
23 Mannatech Glyco Bears 7.95
24 Melaleuca Koala Pals 7.95
25 Veglife (Nutraceutical) Vegan Kids Multiple 7.94
26 MegaFood Kid's One Daily 7.92
27 Nature's Way Alive! Children's Chewable 7.89
28 Seeking Health Kid's Optimal Multivitamin 7.88
29 Country Life Dolphin Pals 7.83
30 Buried Treasure (Life Line Foods) Buried Treasure Children's Complete 7.81
31 Kirkman Labs Children's Chewable Wafers 7.81
32 Thorne Research Children's Basic Nutrients 7.80
33 Rainbow Light NutriStart Chewable 7.76
34 Flintstones (Bayer) Flintstones Complete 7.75
35 Enzymatic Therapy Sea Buddies Daily Multiple 7.72
36 GNC GNC Kids MultiBite plus Minerals 7.69
37 KAL (Nutraceutical) Dinosaurs Multisaurus 7.67
38 Progressive Nutritional Therapies Progressive Child Chewable Multi 7.66
39 Solaray (Nutraceutical) Children's Chewable 7.65
40 Centrum (Pfizer) Centrum Kids 7.64
41 Kirkland Signature (Costco) Children's Chewable 7.63
42 Metagenics Multigenics Chewable 7.59
43 Natural Factors Big Friends 7.57
44 NOW Foods Kid Vits - Orange Splash 7.55
45 Nature's Plus Animal Parade 7.54
46 FoodScience of Vermont Kids Superior 7.53
47 Dr's Advantage Liquid Children's Super MultiVitamins 7.52
48 Thompson's Junior Immunofort 7.47
49 21st Century Zoo Friends Complete 7.46
50 Nordic Naturals Nordic Berries 7.44
51 Bluebonnet Nutrition Super Earth Rainforest Animalz 7.40
52 DaVinci Laboratories Kid's Mighty Vites 7.36
53 PediaKid (Laboratories Ineldea)PediaKid 22 Vitamins & Multiminerals7.32
54 Vitabase Kid's Stuff Multivitamin 7.31
55 Freeda Vitamins Vitalets 7.29
56 Equate (Walmart) Children's Multivitamin Complete 7.25
57 Thompson (Nutraceutical ) Children's Chewable 7.20
58 Jamieson Vita-Vim for Kids 7.17
59 Irwin Naturals Irwin Kids BerryLicious Super Multi 7.16
60 Swiss Natural Sources Total One Kids 7.13
61 Douglas Laboratories Basic Preventive Junior Tab 7.12
62 Quest (SunOpta Inc.) Quest Kid's Daily One Chewable 7.11
63 Doctor's Nutrition Kid's Mega Vites 7.10
64 Nutrilite (Amway, Quixtar) Nutrilite Kids MultiTarts 7.10
65 Hero Nutritional Products Yummi Bears Organics 7.09
66 G&G Vitamins Children's Vitamins and Minerals 7.07
67 Natural Vitality Kids Calm Multi 7.04
68 Mountain Naturals of Vermont Kid's Superior 7.03
69 Allergy Research Group Children's Multi-Vi-Min Vegetarian Caps6.98
70 Better Bodies By Chemistry BBBC Bengal Bites 6.94
71 Nature's Sunshine Sunshine Heroes 6.90
72 Alacer EmerGen-C Kids Multi 6.79
73 Vita Logic Daily Extra Powder Blend 6.79
74 TwinLab Animal Friends Chewable Vitamins 6.78
75 Vitamin Power Children's Multi-Vites & Minerals 6.60
76 Natrol Inc. Liquid Kid's Companion 6.57
77 Purity Products I.Q. Essentials: Kid's Perfect Multi 6.56
78 Schiff Children's Multivitamin Chewable 6.55
79 Herbalife MultiVites 6.51
80 SmartyPants SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins for Kids 6.51
81 Sundown Marvel Heroes Multi Gummies 6.47
82 Puritan's Pride Children's Multi Gummies 6.44
83 Vitamin World Fantastic Kids Gummies Multivitamin 6.20
84 Wellgenix Super Bears 6.13
85 Northwest Natural Products L'il Critters Gummy Vites 6.06
86 Natural Dynamix Gummy Cuties Multi-Vitamin 6.03
87 Flora (Salus-Haus) Floradix Kindervital 5.96
88 Walgreens Children's Gummies 5.82
89Action Labs Sentinel Children's Chewable5.64

Findings of the Comparison

After evaluating all 89 products we noticed several recurring issues:

How Are the Scores Calculated?

Here is more detail on what goes into calculating each of the scores:

Composition

This metric represents how many of the 13 vitamins and 14 essential minerals are included in the product. Surprisingly, a number of products are missing key ingredients, such as iodine, chromium, and magnesium. We also consider the number of additional active ingredients because lesser-known nutrients, such as choline, inositol, and lycopene have well documented health benefits, but are typically not included in the more basic multivitamin formulations. We give extra credit to products that contain such beneficial compounds.

Potency

Our potency score has two components: the chemical form of the nutrient, as well as the total amount of each nutrient contained in one serving. Depending on the chemical form of the nutrients it uses, Product A can be several times more potent than Product B. For example, Magnesium Citrate contains 16.2 percent of elementary magnesium, while Magnesium Oxide contains 60.3 percent of elementary magnesium. A product containing magnesium in the Oxide chemical form would be 3.7 times more potent when it comes to that one nutrient than a product containing magnesium in the Citrate chemical form.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability is the portion of a given active ingredient that is capable of being absorbed through the intestinal membranes so it becomes available for use by the cells and organs of the body. A given nutrient can come in many different chemical forms and some of these forms may be more bioavailable than others. For example, a study by the University of Texas published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that one common form of calcium, called Calcium Citrate, is 2.5 times more bioavailable than another popular form, called Calcium Carbonate. Based upon these findings, we've assigned a lower Bioavailability score to products containing Calcium Carbonate rather than other, more bioavailable forms of calcium.

Safety

When it comes to children's multivitamins, we put safety first. We prefer a less potent, but safer product, rather than a product packed in nutrients that are well in excess of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs). The standards against we measure potency and safety of children's multivitamins are based on the RDAs for children four to eight years of age, as put forth by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council.

When determining the Safety scores, we look for two things:

1. Harmful additives. We analyze the list of ingredients to see if any artificial flavors, preservatives, coloring, sweeteners and binding agents are included. All such ingredients are then cross-referenced against an ingredient safety database to check for compounds with potential toxicity. Points are deducted from the Safety score of each product that includes substances with potential toxicity.

2. Risk of overdose. We cross-reference every single ingredient to make sure it falls within the safe Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) for children as set out by the Food and Nutrition Board. Ingredients that exceed the UL get a deduction in their Safety rating. For example, the vitamin A UL for children aged four to eight is 3000 IU; however, quite a few products contain 5000 IU and higher. When children take multivitamins that exceed the UL for vitamin A, they can experience side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, and irritability. To avoid this risk, keep an eye on the Safety score of the product you are considering.

Overall Effectiveness

To calculate the Overall Effectiveness score of a given product, we take the average of the other four scores: composition, potency, bioavailability, and safety. For best results, we recommend choosing a multivitamin product that has an Overall Effectiveness score of 8.0 and above.

 

At what age can my child start taking multivitamins?

Unless your child has a specific medical condition which requires supplementation, it is best to wait until a child reaches the age of four before giving him or her a multivitamin supplement. If your child has been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency and their doctor has advised you to start supplementing their diet, a safe product that we generally recommend for babies and toddlers is the Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol multivitamin drops. For babies under one year old, it is also highly recommended to use vitamin D drops such as Enfamil D-Vi-Sol, as vitamin D is critical for the proper development of the infant.

 

How much do children need of each vitamin and mineral?

The ultimate goal of multivitamin supplementation is to elevate the level of vitamins and minerals in your bloodstream so they can reach the cells and organs that need them. Each nutrient has an optimal range for effective functioning of the body. If children have too little of a given nutrient, they can suffer a deficiency disease. If they have too much, they may develop undesired side effects such as diarrhea and nausea.

For the optimum range of each vitamin and mineral, please see the table below which was published by the National Academy of Sciences and lists the RDA and the UL of each nutrient. In this data, the RDA is the minimum amount of the nutrient a healthy person has to have through their diet or by taking supplements. The UL is the maximum amount of the nutrient a person can consume on a daily basis without risking any side effects. If there is not enough data to assess the potential for adverse effects in a particular age group, ND (Not Determined) will appear in the column.

Table 2: Optimal range of vitamins and minerals for children aged 4 to 8

NutrientUnitRDA for
4-8 year olds
UL for
4-8 year olds
Vitamin AIU13333000
Vitamin Cmg25650
Vitamin DIU6003000
Vitamin EIU10447
Vitamin Kmcg55ND
Thiaminmg0.6ND
Riboflavinmg0.6ND
Niacinmg815
Vitamin B6mg0.640
Folatemcg200400
Vitamin B12mcg1.2ND
Panto. Acidmg3ND
Biotinmcg12ND
Cholinemg2501000
Calciummg10002500
Chromiummcg15ND
Coppermcg4403000
Fluoridemg12.2
Iodinemcg90300
Ironmg1040
Magnesiummg130110
Manganesemg1.53000
Molybdenummcg22600
Phosphorus mg5003
Seleniummcg30150
Zincmg512
Potassiumg3.8ND
Sodiumg1.21.9

 

Table 3: Optimal range of vitamins and minerals for children aged 9 to 13

NutrientUnit RDA for
9-13 year olds
UL for
9-13 year olds
Vitamin AIU20005667
Vitamin Cmg451200
Vitamin DIU6004000
Vitamin EIU16894
Vitamin Kmcg60ND
Thiaminmg0.9ND
Riboflavinmg0.9ND
Niacinmg1220
Vitamin B6mg160
Folatemcg300600
Vitamin B12mcg1.8ND
Panto. Acidmg4ND
Biotinmcg20ND
Cholinemg3752000
Calciummg13003000
Chromiummcg25ND
Coppermcg7005000
Fluoridemg210
Iodinemcg120600
Ironmg840
Magnesiummg240350
Manganesemg1.96000
Molybdenummcg341100
Phosphorus mg12504
Seleniummcg40280
Zincmg823
Potassiumg4.5ND
Sodiumg1.52.2

 

What are the different measurement units in the RDA/UI table?

The following measurement units are used in the table: mcg, mg, g and IU.

1000 mcg (micrograms) = 1 mg (milligram)

1000 mg (milligrams) = 1 g (gram)

IU stands for International Unit. It represents a measurement of a particular substance based upon its effect or activity within the body. Since the IU is established for each nutrient independently, it cannot be used to compare one nutrient to another in the same fashion as one can use grams to compare the mass of one substance to another. For example, 100 IU for vitamin D is not the same as 100 IU of vitamin E.

Leave a comment


-->