How To Choose Multivitamins For Your Kids: Guide To Supplements and More

how to choose a multivitamin for your kids

The power of nutrition is every kid’s best defense against illness, and the guideline for raising healthy kids requires providing them with a daily diet of a variety of healthy foods. But we all know that’s easier said than done. Kids are confronted by the temptation of packaged foods – these typically do not support a balanced diet. Some kids are picky eaters who just won’t eat  the wholesome foods their growing bodies need without instruction from parents or caretakers. And truth be told, there are days when parents simply do not have the time and energy to cook or supply healthy meals. That’s why multivitamins and supplements can be so effective.

Even if kids choose fresh foods over packaged most of the time, we have to remember that today’s food system is stressed by environmental factors like the use of chemicals and pesticides. These environmental stressors lower the quality of the nutrients in food, and this can lead to a deficit of essential dietary nutrients, which can lead to health issues.

Selection Criteria for Kids’ Multivitamins

One look at the packed shelves in any pharmacy or grocery store shows you why it is so important to know what you are buying. The best way to acquire a supplement that has been properly formulated and addresses a child’s individual needs is to consult with a holistic functional medicine practitioner who is trained in pediatric and adolescent nutrition.

If you do make the selection on your own, look for the following symbols on the product packaging and consider the tips that follow in your selection criteria.

The Importance of the USP Symbol

The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) is the only independent, not-for-profit, nongovernmental pharmacopeia in the world. USP sets the quality, purity, strength, and identity standards for medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements. Look for the USP symbol on dietary and nutritional supplements. This ensures that the product meets high standards of quality and safety.

Avoid Fillers, Toxins, and Added Sugar in Multivitamins and Supplements

Check labels to be sure the product is free from fillers, toxins, and added sugar. Products that feature cartoon characters are fun to look at, but upon closer inspection you’ll see they may lack the quality features that impact bioavailability. High-quality multivitamins should provide the necessary nutrients without unnecessary additives.

How Do Toxins, Fillers and Added Sugars Hurt Efficacy in Multivitamins and Supplements?

Fillers, toxins, and added sugar can significantly impact the bioavailability of nutrients in multivitamins and supplements. Fillers and binders, often used to bulk up supplements, can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Toxins and artificial additives may interfere with metabolic processes, reducing nutrient efficacy. Added sugars not only contribute to poor health outcomes but can also impair nutrient absorption and utilization. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), unnecessary additives can diminish the overall quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements, making it crucial to choose products free from these components .

Be Careful with Gummies

The gummy variety of any supplement can contain refined sugars. Also, gummies can inadvertently send the wrong message to younger kids that vitamins are candy. If you must go with the gummies, look for one sweetened with natural fruit flavors. It’s important to balance the appeal of gummies with the need for a truly beneficial supplement.

Additional Selection Criteria

Other selection criteria that may be of importance to you include GMO-free, organic certified, whole-food based, vegetarian or vegan-friendly, allergen-free, and cruelty-free products. These should be clearly marked on the label. You likely won’t find all of them in a single product, so prioritize what is important to you. If you are unsure, speak to a holistic naturopathic medicine practitioner who can make recommendations suited to your child’s individual needs.

Checking Dosages and Consulting Professionals

Another important consideration is that most over-the-counter multivitamins have negligible amounts of vitamins and minerals packed in one pill. It is always good to check with your qualified naturopathic doctor to understand ideal therapeutic dosages for your child that could benefit his/her overall health based on the demand. This ensures you are getting the best for the money spent and that your child receives an adequate amount of each nutrient.

The Correct Dosage Can Determine Efficacy

The correct amount of nutrients in supplements and multivitamins is crucial for their effectiveness and how well your body responds to them. Proper dosages ensure that the body receives an adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal physiological functions. When the nutrients are provided in the right amounts, they can effectively support metabolic processes, enhance immune function, and promote overall well-being. For example, appropriate levels of Vitamin D are vital for calcium absorption and bone health, while the right amount of Vitamin C boosts immune defense and aids in collagen synthesis.

Conversely, insufficient or excessive dosages can lead to inefficacy or adverse effects. Too little of a nutrient fails to meet the body’s needs, potentially leading to deficiencies and health issues. On the other hand, excessive intake can cause toxicity and disrupt metabolic balance. Therefore, it’s essential to choose supplements that offer balanced, scientifically-backed dosages to maximize their benefits and ensure safety.

In Conclusion: Dosage, Quality, and Other Factors Matter

Choosing the right multivitamin for your child can be a daunting task, but it is an important one. By considering factors such as the USP symbol, avoiding fillers and added sugars, being cautious with gummies, and prioritizing additional criteria that matter to you, you can make a more informed decision. Always consult with a children’s health specialist in Singapore  or naturopathic doctor to ensure the supplement meets your child’s specific needs. With the right multivitamin, you can help support your child’s health and well-being, providing them with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.


Gaby, A. Nutritional Medicine. Concord, N.H.: Fritz Perlberg Publishing: 2011.

DeSoto, CM., Naturopathic Pediatrics Blog: “What’s in Your Child’s Multivitamin?” Accessed 13 April 2021:

US Pharmacopeia: “Choosing a Quality Supplement.” Accessed 13 April 2021:

NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. “5 Things to Know About Safety of Dietary Supplements for Children and Teens.” Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed 13 April 2021:

Skowron, J. M. Fundamentals of Naturopathic Pediatrics. Toronto: CCNM Press: 2009.

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