After finding myself frantically searching through reviews on a multivitamin for children on Amazon (for the 3rd time in a year) I decided that I really needed to do some digging and do a best kids multivitamin comparison so that I could stop feeling so darn confused about what to choose.
Part of my search has to do with the fact that I’ve quickly realized how expensive it can be do give 2 kids multivitamins, probiotics and fish oils every single day (a post on probiotics and fish oils is coming later, by the way). I kept finding myself decreasing the dosage I’d give out so that my vitamin bills weren’t crossing over $60/month.
Is it REALLY necessary to spend this much on vitamins? Shouldn’t I start with just feeding my kids nutrient-dense foods?
Well, that really is my first conclusion. If you are spending $60/month on vitamins for your kids but not feeding them plenty of veggies and fruits, then my personal advice (which is not medical advice, by the way…I’m not a doctor and not pretending to be one!) is to put that money into trips to the produce section because that’s really the best place to start.
But I’m also realistic. I know that kids struggle with veggies, sometimes, and that they go through phases where they just want to eat 2 or 3 things (usually brown, carb-filled things) and that’s it. So multi-vitamins still have a place, for sure.
And I also believe that there are ABSOLUTELY vast differences in quality on the market. It is up to you, as the parent, to do your homework on how easily the vitamins and minerals in a product can be absorbed by the body. In so many cases, we are just paying to have expensive urine (sorry to be a bit crude, but it’s true). If the body can only process 10-20% of the vitamin content in a supplement, then the vitamin is only offering a tiny amount of what the child actually needs and the rest is getting sloughed off and sent right back out.
So here’s what we’ve tried and what it costs to use each product. Affiliate links included at no cost to you.
My Top Pick: Child Life Liquid Multi Vitamin & Mineral
So one of the best ways to ensure bio availability and absorption is to get a liquid multivitamin. My kids started taking Child Life Multi Vitamin & Mineral and they REALLY love the taste. I feel great about what’s included in the product and having researched the company a bit, I feel confident in this company and in their commitment to providing very high quality vitamins and minerals.
On Amazon, as of this writing you can purchase one 8 oz bottle for $16 or a two-pack for $22.99, which is a much better deal. The serving size is 2 tsp and a bottle has 24 servings, so that’s almost one month for 1 kid. If I were to continue with this brand, I would purchase them 2 at a time since I have 2 kids and since the price per serving is much better when you buy 2, and that would make my multivitamin costs $11.50 per child, per month. For me, that’s an acceptable price.
Let’s look at some other products on the market that you might want to consider, too. Solgar sent us U-Cubes, and these were the big winner as far as overall flavor. The kids wish they could have more than the serving size. I appreciate that they have a child-proof container because I can see kids attempting to break into these yummy treats. Children ages 4 and up get 4 gummies, and 1 container has a 30 day supply for 1 child taking 4 gummies/day. As of this writing, 1 container is $12.80 on Amazon.
This is another big winner in the taste department. It contains 35 servings so it will last you a few days over 1 month for the price of $13.99. This particular multivitamin also contains probiotics, a topic I will discuss in a later post. If you want your children to get probiotics every day this makes this particular brand a very good value since it is included.
I’ve purchased this product on a few occasions, especially when Amazon offers $3 off coupons to help bring the cost down. You should note that they also sell a multivitamin that is just like this one in its offerings, only without the extra fiber and with a sugary coating, and therefore, 3 more grams of sugar per serving. My kids prefer the more sugary one, but I prefer to give them less sugar and more fiber, so of the 2 I’d recommend this one.
The serving size is 4 gummies, and one bottle has enough for 1 child for 1 month. As of this writing, this product is $13.76 per bottle. It is important to note that this particular multivitamin does also contain fish oil, so if you want to give your children some fish oil each day, this vitamin can also take care of that need for you without you having to purchase something else. That’s a significant perk because as you’ll see in a later post, it can really help you save money!
Because of the additional fiber and the fish oil, this particular vitamin is my second favorite pick, and one that I will keep on hand in addition to the liquid multivitamin.
Unfortunately this product is the one my kids really did not like. I really like this brand and the fact that the vitamins are certified non-GMO but they just couldn’t get over the taste. It comes in tablet form that can be chewed though if your child can swallow pills, it is smooth and so can be swallowed. If you are looking for a multi-vitamin for a child who can swallow pills, I do think this is a good option. I tried chewing up the pill and I agree with my kids…tastes gross!
As of this writing, this product is $25.62 for a bottle that contains a 2 month supply for one child, bringing the per month, per child cost down to $12.81.
Young Living is one of the companies that I have full and total faith in, as far as their commitment to providing the very best. I have been a member for 4 years, now, and place an order with the company monthly. I’ve only been able to order this product once because it is out of stock nearly constantly. I also find the price point to be painfully high, as the wholesale price is $25.74 for a one month supply per child. They do offer discounts for folks who order every month, so I do have a 25% discount off of that wholesale price, bringing it down to $19.31/child/month. This still makes it significantly more expensive than the other options I have highlighted, and I also cannot count on getting to order it each month. So this is a product that I will order when I can, but it won’t be the primary vitamin. I will point out that this product offers some whole foods components and also contains ningxia wolfberries, so it does go beyond simply offering vitamins, which is why it is something I will continue to buy when it is available and my budget allows for it. If you would like me to order a bottle for you using my discount, please email me at stuffparentsneed (at) gmail (dot) com and I’d be glad to help you out.
My girls used to take Honest Company multivitamins all the time, and that was back when they didn’t taste all that great! Now they have been reformulated and are much more like the other gummy, sugar-dusted products that always go over well with kids. It is $15.95 and has a one month supply for ages 4 and up. It is also frequently out of stock, unfortunately. I like to add these on to a bundle I’m already buying with the honest company, because add-ons are offered at 25% off, which brings the price down to $11.96 per bottle.
Vitamin Ingredient Comparison
One thing I noticed when reading the labels for all of these different vitamins is that they do not all contain the same amounts of everything. One brand might have 20% of the needed vitamin A and another carry 40%, for example. I think the most dramatic differences I saw were with vitamin B12. Smarty Pants offer 1,117% (no idea why they need to include so much!), Child Life offers 100%, Olly offers 50% and U Cubes offers 40%. It’s really going to take more internet research on your part and conversations with your doctor about which vitamins and minerals you need to be working the hardest to get in your children’s systems. For me, after reading up on how the body absorbs vitamins, I’m going to stick with the liquid form in addition to offering my kids as many veggies and fruits as I can.
I also very firmly believe in the power of a good fish oil, and so we’ll take up that topic next time! Stay tuned!