As a parent, you might have put your kids on a multivitamin. But what are the best multivitamins for kids out there? What do you look for in a multivitamin for your child to make sure they’re getting the most out of the supplement?
We hear these questions all the time here at Natural Super Kids. Our head naturopath Jess has reviewed 5 of the most popular multivitamins for kids, along with 2 practitioner-only brands that our naturopaths use in the clinic.
Watch the video or keep reading below to learn more about which options are the best multivitamins for kids.
Is a multivitamin essential for kids?
Ideally, our kids would get all of their vitamins and minerals through the food they eat. This should always be the first step for boosting nutrient levels.
But the truth is, it’s hard for kids to get sufficient nutrition through just the diet these days.
There are a few reasons why kids struggle to get the nutrients they need:
- The typical Western diet is higher in processed foods and lower in wholefoods. This means that the overall intake of nutrition is lower.
- The soils that crops are grown in are becoming depleted of nutrients due to over-farming. That means even if your kids eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and so on, they may not get sufficient nutrition.
- Kids these days have higher nutrient requirements. They are exposed to more environmental toxins that have to be detoxified by their liver and detox pathways. These pathways need nutrients to function properly. So kids end up using more nutrients to detoxify.
- Kids are busier than ever. Their schedules are sometimes fuller than ours! This type of busy lifestyle can be stressful for them, which can further increase their nutrient requirement.
Overall, the trend is that their nutrient intakes have decreased while their needs have increased. A high-quality multivitamin can help to fill that gap.
What age can a child start taking a multivitamin?
Unless it has been prescribed, I don’t recommend starting them on a multivitamin under 2 years old.
How often do they need a multivitamin?
For generally robust and healthy kids, a multivitamin 2-3 days a week is a good insurance policy.
There are a few reasons why I might prescribe a daily multivitamin to a child:
- The child is a fussy eater. A multivitamin is a good way for parents to make sure their kids are getting the nutrients they need when they’re not eating a variety of foods.
- The child is experiencing recurrent infections. This sign of low immunity is often due to low nutrition, or at least is exacerbated by it.
- The child has health symptoms or a health condition. This includes a variety of physical and mental symptoms such as allergies, eczema, asthma and behavioural issues.
In this case, I may prescribe specific nutrients to address the symptoms, but a multivitamin helps to boost their overall nutrient levels.
What to look for in a multivitamin for kids
When it comes to ranking the best multivitamins for kids, there are 5 essential nutrients I look for.
Zinc plays an important role in growth and development, immunity, gut health and brain health. Kids are often deficient in zinc, which can contribute to common kids’ health issues.
Iodine is important for brain function and thyroid health. It can be difficult for kids to get enough iodine through the diet unless you’re using seaweed sprinkles regularly.
Magnesium calms the stress response and encourages healthy sleep. It can be hard to get enough through the diet as it’s often depleted in the soils.
Iron is important for energy and brain function. When it comes to iron, you don’t want a huge dose as not all kids need that much.
Vitamin D is required for immunity. It supports a strong and well-regulated immune system, so it’s particularly important for kids with allergic and atopic conditions.
Comparing the best multivitamins for kids
Nature’s Way Vita Gummies Multivitamin
There are different varieties of Vita Gummies – I looked at the Multivitamin + Vegies. You can find them in your local supermarket.
Zinc – 0 mg
Iodine – 0 mcg
Magnesium – 0 mg
Iron – 0 mg
Vitamin D – 50IU
B vitamins – 4.5mg of vitamin B3, 5mg of vitamin B6, and 0.25mcg of vitamin B12. It does not contain vitamins B1, B2, or folate.
Honestly, the only thing this option has going for it is the taste. The gummies contain liquid glucose and a berry flavour. They taste like lollies, and nutritionally speaking are not much better than lollies.
Juice Plus Orchard & Garden Chewables
These chewables are usually available via Juice Plus sales representatives, or ‘distributors’.
Unlike the other options, these chewables don’t contain individual nutrients. Instead, it uses fruit and vegetable powders and extracts. This might make it helpful for fussy kids, but it also means that we don’t know how much of each nutrient is in the chews.
Zinc – Unknown
Iodine – Unknown
Magnesium – Unknown
Iron – Unknown
Vitamin D – Unknown
B vitamins – Unknown
The chews are sweetened with tapioca syrup and cane syrup, which are both forms of sugar. As there is not a known quantity of nutrients, we have to assume that the doses of nutrients are well below therapeutic.
Bioceuticals Multifactors For Juniors
You’ll find this brand in health food stores and even behind the counter of your local pharmacy.
Zinc – 1.5mg
Iodine – 45mcg
Magnesium – 15mg
Iron – 2mg
Vitamin D – 200IU
B vitamins – 5.5mg of vitamin B1, 5mg of vitamin B2, 5mg of vitamin B3, 10mg of vitamin B5, 4mg of activated B6, 10mcg of vitamin B12.
These chewable tablets are naturally sweetened using xylitol and stevia and contain natural flavours. However, the doses are on the lower side.
Blackmores Super Kids Multi
This chewable option is available in pharmacies, supermarkets and even Blackmore’s online store.
Zinc – 1.2mg
Iodine – 75mcg
Magnesium – 24mg
Iron – 3.8mg
Vitamin D – 100IU
B vitamins – 0.35mg of vitamin B1, 0.55mg of vitamin B2, 6mg of vitamin B3, 1.5mg of vitamin B5, 0.53mg of vitamin B6, 50mcg of folic acid and 0.75mg of vitamin B12.
This option contains a decent amount of iodine, but everything else is on the lower side. Many of the B vitamins are in micro-doses that are well below therapeutic ranges.
There is no information about what it is flavoured with, which makes me wonder what they use and if it’s ideal for kids.
doTERRA A2Z Chewables
These chewables are usually available via doTERRA sales representatives, or ‘wellness advocates’.
Zinc – 3mg
Iodine – 100mcg
Magnesium – 38mg
Iron – 5mg
Vitamin D – 400IU
B vitamins – 1.5mg of vitamin B1, 1.7mg of vitamin B2, 20mg of vitamin B3, of vitamin B5, 2mg of vitamin B6, 200mcg of folic acid, 6mcg of vitamin B12
These chewables contain good levels of iodine, iron and vitamin D. But the magnesium, zinc and many of the B vitamins are on the lower side.
The chews also have sugar and sunflower oil added, which I’m not a fan of.
Metagenics Multicare for Kids
This is a practitioner-only supplement brand, so you can only access this via a qualified practitioner. It comes in a powder form.
Zinc – 10mg
Iodine – 150mcg
Magnesium – 600mg
Iron – 5mg
Vitamin D – 400IU
B vitamins –10mg of vitamin B1, 10mg of vitamin B2, 30mg of vitamin B3, 10mg of vitamin B5, 50mg of vitamin B6, 200mcg of folate, and 20mcg of vitamin B12.
This supplement contains excellent levels of nutrients. It’s a great option for active kids or kids who are prone to stress and anxiety, as it can support energy levels and the nervous system.
The powder is sweetened with stevia and has an orange flavour. You can mix into juice, water or even a smoothie. Some fussier kids don’t like the taste, but reducing the dose can help counteract this.
Orthoplex Pure Children’s Essentials
This is another practitioner-only brand, so it can only be accessed through a qualified practitioner. It comes in powder form.
Zinc – 6mg
Iodine – 90mcg
Magnesium – 130mg
Iron – 4mg
Vitamin D – 400IU
B vitamins – 3.92mg of vitamin B1, 3.65mg of vitamin B2, 15mg of vitamin B3, 15mg of vitamin B5, 4.69mg of vitamin B6, 200mcg of folinic acid and 15mg of vitamin B12.
What is unique about this option is that it contains activated B vitamins. That makes it a great option for kids who have issues with MTHFR.
It also contains good levels of other nutrients. The powder has a neutral flavour, so it’s easy to disguise in liquids.
So which are the best multivitamins for kids?
My top pick is Metagenics Multicare, although Orthoplex is a close second and is better for kids with MTHFR issues.
Bioceuticals, Blackmores and doTERRA are ranked somewhere in the middle. They contain beneficial levels of some nutrients, but could be improved in terms of dosage and/or added ingredients.
Juice Plus and Nature’s Way are at the bottom of the ladder in terms of nutrients.
Want access to the highest quality multivitamins for your kids?
Why not book an express consult with one of our Naturopaths? You’ll have access to practitioner-only brands like Metagenics and Orthoplex, as well as getting professional advice on the supplements that are best for your child’s specific needs.