In a perfect world, your child’s diet would consist of a rainbow of fruits and veggies, giving them the full range of vitamins and minerals in whole-food form. In the real world, even eating a well-balanced diet may not fully address all of their nutritional needs. And that’s not counting the many picky eaters with gaps in their diet. Having a mountain of multivitamins to choose from also doesn’t help. But by better understanding children’s vitamins, their different types, and their role in nutritional and immune system support, you can find the best multivitamin for kids that suits both you and your child’s needs.
It might seem complicated when you are choosing the right multivitamin supplement for kids, but it does not have to be. Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know about kids vitamins in this ultimate guide to multivitamins for kids.
What Are Multivitamins for Kids?
Despite the fact that more than half of all Americans take one or more nutritional supplements daily, totaling billions spent nationally every year, experts often argue their effectiveness1. Others say multivitamins can be a good insurance policy, helping to fill any nutritional gaps or deficiencies in the diet.
Since most U.S. children, according to a 2021 study in the journal Nutrients2, are deficient in Vitamin D, DHA, iron, and calcium, adding in a multivitamin can be a good way of ensuring they are getting these essential nutrients. Vitamin D (found in Kids Good Stuff) can be especially difficult to obtain from food sources3, and is produced primarily in the body through sunlight exposure, which can explain why nearly 87% of children are deficient. For these reasons, finding the best multivitamin for kids can act as a form of nutritional security4, especially for children who are picky eaters. Sometimes getting children to take a multivitamin isn’t easy, and you have to get creative. There are tons of easy recipes out there to incorporate a multivitamin.
Since vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are needed daily, it’s best for children who are taking multivitamins to have them daily. And while making multivitamins a part of your child’s daily routine is more important than the specific time, it is generally better to take vitamins in the morning so as to avoid increased energy later in the day or causing restless sleep. And given that eating a healthy breakfast is shown to help improve cognition5 and improve mood, what better time to also serve up the multivitamin?
When giving your child their vitamins, keep in mind that some vitamins, such as C and B-12, are water-soluble, so you want to give them with water. Others, such as Vitamin D, are fat-soluble3, so it’s best to take them with some fat. Typically, vitamins take several hours to be absorbed by the body, although this can be impacted by deficiency, which can cause absorption time to increase.
Do Children Need to Take a Multivitamin?
What do multivitamins and minerals do? Is it worthwhile to give kids a multivitamin? There isn’t a consensus among experts about whether kids need a multivitamin or not. While many argue that children should ideally get their nutrition from food, others point out that many of the foods deemed healthiest for children may not be palatable to them. Others defend multivitamins as a viable option for addressing any deficiencies, especially for picky eaters or for children with underlying medical conditions or restricted diets. While most researchers do agree that, ideally, children should obtain their nutritional needs from food, they also recognize the important role that multivitamins can play in filling in the nutritional gaps. Even healthy children may benefit from such an insurance policy.
Multivitamins can be taken by children of all ages, including teenagers, whose nutritional needs mainly differ in that they need a higher number of calories each day6. Otherwise, teenagers, just like younger children, need adequate levels of vitamins and minerals, in particular Vitamins C, D, iron, folic acid, and iron. Generally, teenagers can start taking an adult multivitamin between the ages of 12 and 14, although some multivitamins are formulated for teenagers as well as younger children.
Will Multivitamins Support My Kids’ Immune System?
Which vitamins are important for children to support their immune systems? Having a strong immune system is key for fighting off viruses and other illnesses, according to a report published in the journal Nutrients7. And although there are a number of vitamins that play a crucial role in that fight, some of the most significant players are Vitamin C and D. Vitamin C supports a range of cellular functions, including T-cell function, which help protect the body from infection. The same report also finds that Vitamin C supplementation may prevent and treat infections. Vitamin D has similarly powerful properties in that it increases the impact of the immune system’s white blood cells, in turn decreasing inflammation and promoting an immune response8. A good kids multivitamin with these vitamins in them may, together with a well-balanced diet, help support the immune system.
What Types of Multivitamins Are There?
Looking for the best kids multivitamin for picky eaters (or even a good eater)? Or wondering what is the best low-sugar multivitamin for kids?
There are a few options of vitamins to give your children. Kids multivitamins come in three main forms: powders, such as Kids Good Stuff, kids multivitamin chewables, including gummies, and liquid multivitamins for kids. There are also vegan kids multivitamin versions, with no gelatin or other animal byproducts. This is very important for families, parents and children alike, who follow a plant-based diet.
Aside from the obvious differences in texture and taste, powders, unlike chewables or liquids, can be given to your children in a variety of ways, by adding to various recipes such as smoothies, bars, pancakes, or oatmeal. And while they may taste like candy, gummy chewables frequently have fewer vitamins than regular versions, and ones made with sugar can have between 2 and 8 grams per serving, up to a third of the total amount recommended for children by the American Heart Association9. Another difference to keep in mind includes shelf life: chewables and powder are more shelf-stable, while liquids are often perishable and must be refrigerated.
What is the Best Multivitamin for Kids?
Recognizing that children often have selective eating habits, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends that children between 4 and 13 take a daily multivitamin containing 100% of the daily value of most vitamins and minerals10. It’s also important to consider the company, and choosing the right vitamins for your children from a reputable brand that has ethical manufacturing standards and utilizes third-party testing to ensure quality and safety.
Other important features to look for in multivitamins are that they are free from fillers, food dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors, and sugar. Kids Good Stuff Multivitamin Drink by Nuzest is a great option with no added sugars that contains a broad spectrum of nutrients that support children’s growth in a number of areas, including digestive, immune, and circulatory systems.
Other tips to consider include discussing your options with your pediatrician, and making sure the brand you choose is formulated specifically for children.
How Can I Incorporate a Multivitamin Into My Kids’ Daily Diet?
Kids Good Stuff by Nuzest makes it easy to incorporate a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, not to mention antioxidants like alpha-lipoic acid and superfoods like wheatgrass and spirulina. You can whip up a protein shake for kids like the Green Strawberry Smoothie or the Chocolate Oatmeal or Brain Bliss Balls. There are plenty of sneaky recipes for incorporating powder multivitamins! But it doesn’t have to be done all in secret; in fact, by involving your children in the cooking and shopping process, you’ll be involving them in their own health, empowering them to make healthier choices while seeing just how much fun you can have with food!
Armed with knowledge about what to look for and what to avoid, finding the best multivitamin for children doesn’t have to be super complicated. High-quality ingredients, reputable sourcing, and low-sugar multivitamins that also taste delicious make it easy to give your children the nutritional foundation they need for greater peace of mind. Kids Good Stuff Multivitamin Drink by Nuzest comes in Rich Chocolate, Vanilla Caramel, and Wild Strawberry, and has a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including 200mg of calcium and 8g of plant-based protein per serving. It also contains 11 fruits and veggies, pre- and probiotics, superfoods, and antioxidants, and best of all, it’s kid approved!