It is important to note that we do not endorse, support or contract with any specific brands. All products presented and discussed within this article have been found to be acceptable by nutrient breakdown and seem to work from a patient preference aspect observed through clinical practice alone. It is not a fully exhaustive list. Please be sure to check with your physician and/or dietitian prior to starting any vitamin/mineral supplementation.

Are your infants, toddlers and children eating the picture perfect balanced diet? Are they eating a diet with five or more fruits and vegetable servings daily? Are they eating a diet where the fruits and vegetables are all different colors and varieties? Do your children eat mostly whole grains? Do they drink 16 oz milk/milk alternative and eat yogurt every day? More than likely the answer is NO. Well, you are not alone.

I have 3 children and even as a dietitian my answer is NO. We have the best intentions as parents. There are many obstacles that often interfere with our best laid plans. For children who have feeding difficulties, these challenges become even greater.

On a routine basis, the UNC Feeding Team sees children who do not eat fruits or vegetables on a regular basis. Most often we find children will eat a few select fruits or vegetables but their variety and volumes are minimal. Fruits and vegetables alone do not provide enough calories or protein for best growth and development. However, they do provide extremely important vitamins, minerals and fiber that keep us healthy and boost our immune system.

We strongly encourage, promote and stress the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Vitamins and minerals from food sources have been shown in multiple studies over the years to be best absorbed and used by our bodies. Because it is hard to get the perfect diet every day, it is recommended that we have a “safety net”, a supplement, to fill any vitamin and mineral gaps in our diet. In general, a child or infant that does not consume large volumes of oral nutrition supplements will not receive excessive vitamins or minerals with an age appropriate “one a day” multivitamin and/or mineral supplement. An iron containing supplement is typically recommended for infants and children who don’t eat enough meat.

There is a never ending array of supplements on the market. It is important to understand that not all supplements are created equal. In general, gummies are not preferred. They do not contain all of the necessary vitamins or minerals and they increase the risk of cavities. Crunchy chewable or liquid vitamins are the best options for children. Below are some products we have found to be acceptable broken down by age.

Infants:

Name Serving Size Form Allergens Price per Serving Other
Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol 1 mL Liquid Top 8 Free $0.24 Multivitamin
Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol with Iron 1 mL Liquid Top 8 Free $0.26 Multivitamin with iron
Zarbee’s Baby Multivitamin with Iron 2 mL Liquid No gluten $0.37 Multivitamin with iron
Upspring Baby Iron and Immunity 1 mL Liquid No dairy, egg, gluten, nuts, corn $0.18 Multivitamin with iron
NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron 1 mL Liquid No gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, tree nuts $0.38 Multivitamin with iron
NovaMV Pediatric Multivitamin 1 mL Liquid No gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, tree nuts $0.38 Multivitamin
Natures Plus Animal Parade Baby Plex 1 mL Liquid Hypoallergenic $0.27 Multivitamin

 

Toddlers: 1-3 year olds

Name Serving Size Form Allergens Price per Serving Type
Zarbee’s Baby Multivitamin with Iron 2 mL Liquid No gluten $0.37 Multivitamin with iron
NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron 1 mL Liquid No gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, tree nuts $0.38 Multivitamin with iron
NanoVM
1-3
2 scoops Powder Hypoallergenic $0.67 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Flintstones Toddler Chewables 1 tablet Chewable Contains soy $0.09 Multivitamin and mineral
Animal Parade Gold Children’s Multivitamin 2 tablets Chewable Hypoallergenic $0.36 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Animal Parade Gold Liquid 15 mL Liquid Hypoallergenic $0.50 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Centrum Kids ½ tablet Chewable Contains dairy, soy, wheat $0.06 Multivitamin and mineral with iron

 

Children’s: 4 to 8 year olds

2-4 year olds; ½ standard dose daily

4-8 year olds and older; 1 full dose daily

Name Serving Size Form Allergens Price per Serving Type
Flintstones Complete with Iron 1 tablet Chewable Contains soy $0.18 Multivitamin and mineral
NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron 1 mL Liquid No dairy, gluten, soy, corn, peanuts, tree nuts $0.38 Multivitamin with iron
NanoVM
4-8
2 scoops Powder Hypoallergenic $1.92 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
NanoVM
9-18
4 scoops Powder Hypoallergenic $1.92 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Centrum Kids 1 tablet Chewable Contains dairy, soy, wheat $0.12 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Chewable Maxi Health 3 tablets Chewable No wheat, soy, dairy, gluten $0.67 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Animal Parade Gold Children’s Multivitamin 2 tablets Chewable Hypoallergenic $0.36 Multivitamin and mineral with iron
Animal Parade Gold Liquid 15 mL Liquid Hypoallergenic $0.50 Multivitamin and mineral with iron

Written by Kelly Brower, RD, LDN, CSP, one of our highly trained and enthusiastic Pediatric Registered Dietitians.