Not every child needs a multivitamin. However, kids raised on a more strict diet may benefit from the “insurance” that a multivitamin can provide nutritionally. This is especially true for potential nutrients of concern on a vegan diet, like vitamins D and B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Parents may enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a daily multivitamin helping to fill in any nutrient gaps. Young kids commonly go through phases of selective eating regardless of their diet, but nutrition is a long game. It’s important to implement practices that will help cultivate healthy habits for life while making sure your child meets their nutrient needs.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best options for vegan kids multivitamins, based on their nutritional makeup and quality of ingredients parents can feel good about.
Our Picks at a Glance
- Best Overall: Ritual’s Essential for Kids Multivitamin
- Best Without Iron: Complement Essential Liquid Vegan Nutrients
- Best Gummy: MaryRuth’s Vegan Kids Multivitamin Gummies
- Best for Infants: ChildLife Essentials Multi Vitamin and Mineral
- Best Melting Tab: Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi
What to Look for in a Vegan Kids Vitamin
Like all supplements, vegan multivitamins for kids are likely to vary between one another in terms of ingredients and amounts. Here are some things to look for when you begin comparing different options.
- Essential to have: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 (unlikely to be met on a vegan diet alone)
- Nice to have: Omega-3s DHA & EPA, Iodine, Vitamin K2
- Depends on the child’s diet: Iron
Ingredients to Avoid
- Gelatin (look for Pectin instead, especially in gummies)
- Added Sugar
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial Sweeteners (e.g., sucralose, aspartame)
- Synthetic Food Dyes (e.g., yellow #5, red #40)
Keep in mind that no multivitamin is designed to meet 100% of your child’s nutrition needs. Rather, it’s intended to complement an overall healthy diet and help fill in any gaps.
Before adding any supplements to your child’s routine, always consult with a qualified healthcare provider to make sure that the one you choose is safe and appropriate for your child.
It’s a good practice to look for supplements that bear a third-party testing seal. Some of the most reputable examples include NSF International, Consumer Lab, or USP, but there are many labs that offer independent testing services for supplements.
A third-party testing seal generally indicates that the product has been tested by an unbiased body for its purity and quality, is free from contaminants in potentially harmful amounts, and verifies that what’s in the bottle matches what’s on the bottle.
A Note on Vitamin D
Check the form of vitamin D used in your multivitamin. D2, or ergocalciferol, has been shown to be less effective at raising blood levels of vitamin D than D3, or cholecalciferol. If your child doesn’t eat many foods that contain or are fortified with vitamin D, and you live in an area where you don’t get direct sunlight year-round, choosing a multivitamin with D3 is prudent (1).
Additionally, if vegan ingredients are important to you, look for vitamin D made from lichen, a type of moss. Most vitamin D used in supplements is derived from lanolin, the natural oils produced by sheep’s wool.
The Best Vegan Kids Vitamins
Ritual is a female-owned company that takes pride in creating evidence-based products primarily for women, mothers, and children. Plus, every Ritual product undergoes third-party testing to ensure the highest quality.
In a clinical study, Ritual’s vegan-certified vitamin D3 and omega-3 DHA from algae were both found to increase blood levels of adult women by over 40%. Both of these ingredients are used in their multivitamin for kids as well.
Ritual’s Essential for Kids is a gummy. Unlike many vitamins for kids, it doesn’t contain added sugar. Instead, it’s flavored with lemon oil, raspberry extract, and monk fruit. This option is also free from artificial colors, synthetic fillers, and other unnecessary ingredients.
Per serving, it contains 100% of the daily value for vitamins D and B12, and 20% for iodine. It also provides 50 mg Omega-3 DHA so that you don’t have to find a separate supplement.
Additionally, it has 45 mg of vitamin K2, which may offer heart and skeletal health benefits. While vitamin K1 is concentrated in leafy green veggies, K2 is primarily found in animal products and fermented foods and therefore may be lacking on a vegan diet (2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
Unlike some other vitamins, Ritual doesn’t contain calcium. This is because calcium supplements haven’t consistently been shown to support developing bones the same way foods do, and may even come with adverse effects on heart health later in life. Ritual encourages a calcium-rich diet instead (7, 8).
Note that the Ritual Essential for Kids is a multivitamin designed for kids at least 4 years old.
Complement’s Essential Liquid Vegan Nutrients is a family-focused liquid multivitamin designed to complement a plant-based diet for all ages. Dosing instructions are provided for ages 1 year to adult so everyone can use it.
It contains highly bioavailable nutrients, including both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin forms of vitamin B12, vitamins D3 and K2, omega-3s DHA and EPA, iodine, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. It’s sweetened with stevia and contains no excess ingredients or fillers.
Every batch of Complement is third-party tested for purity and quality. While it carries a higher price point, this product has the added benefit of being packaged in more sustainable glass bottles. A portion of each purchase also goes to supporting sanctuary animals and environmental issues.
MaryRuth’s multivitamin gummies use pectin instead of gelatin to make them vegan. They’re made with several organic ingredients and use natural plant-based flavors and colors.
One serving provides 213% of the daily value for vitamin B12, in its more bioavailable methylated form. It also contains choline. While this isn’t an essential nutrient, it does offer potential benefits in early childhood. Choline may be especially beneficial for brain development in the first two years of life (9).
However, MaryRuth’s only contains 30% of the daily value for vitamin D3, which is significantly lower than some other options. This may not be sufficient for vegan kids who don’t consume fortified foods or get regular exposure to sunlight.
Note that it also uses stevia as a natural sweetener, which some parents may be looking to avoid due to the lack of research on long-term health effects, particularly among kids. However, some human studies have found no concerns around its consumption, and stevia is recognized as safe by the FDA (10, 11).
Use this multivitamin for kids who are 2 years old or older.
This is a comprehensive child’s multivitamin that contains the whole gamut of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins D and B12, iodine, and choline.
It comes in liquid form, which can be taken as-is or mixed in with a child’s favorite drink. This also makes it ideal for babies.
Note that it does contain small amounts of fructose and stevia for sweetening. However, it doesn’t use artificial colors or flavors and is Non-GMO Project Verified.
This multivitamin can be given to kids between 6 months and 12 years of age, with dosing instructions on the bottle.
Renzo’s is a line of melt-in-your-mouth tablet vitamins for kids. It was created by Dr. Rocca, a pharmaceutical research scientist and father.
After his son, Renzo, was born prematurely and experienced numerous health struggles, Dr. Rocca created this brand to make the same high-quality nutrition his son received accessible for all children.
This option contains 18 essential vitamins and minerals, which is more than you might find in many gummy vitamins for kids. This list includes vitamins B12 and D, iron, and iodine, but no omega-3s. It also doesn’t contain calcium.
It uses natural plant-based flavors and colors and is sweetened with a combination of monk fruit and the sugar alcohols mannitol and xylitol.
One serving meets 75-100% of the daily value for each nutrient for kids 4 years old and older. However, Renzo’s Picky Eater Multi can be given to children as young as 2 years old, and dosing instructions to do so are listed.
Vegan Kids FAQ
Kids on a strict vegan diet need to make sure that a few nutrients of concern are adequately provided, and the most consistent and reliable way to do so is through using a supplement.
It’s totally up to you to decide whether your child takes a daily multivitamin or a few individual nutrient supplements. Just make sure you’re not getting the same nutrient from multiple supplements, as this carries the risk of overdose for certain ones.
Either way, it’s important to prioritize vitamins B12 and D, as well as iodine and omega-3 fatty acids for vegan kids. Iron may also be important to supplement, depending on how much iron your child already eats.
Whether vegan or not, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that partially or exclusively breastfed babies receive 400 IU of vitamin D daily starting at birth. Additionally, breastfed babies should get an iron supplement 4-6 months of age until they’re able to get enough from foods.
Otherwise, vegan children don’t necessarily need to begin other supplements until around 6-12 months or getting the majority of nutrition from food. This depends on the child and is best discussed with your healthcare provider.
Most vitamins designed for children are not designated for males or females because the nutrient needs of pre-adolescent kids are generally similar across the board. More drastic changes in needs don’t show up until closer to puberty, which is why you see vitamins marketed for teen boys or teen girls.
Kids and adults have different recommended intakes for vitamins and minerals. To best meet the micronutrient needs of an average adult, it’s a good idea to choose a multivitamin that’s age-appropriate.
About the Author
Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and writer with over a decade of experience in various areas of health and wellness. After graduating from Colorado State University with her undergraduate degree in dietetics, Lauren completed her dietetic internship at the University of Michigan Health System. Shortly thereafter, she obtained her Master of Public Health degree at Michigan State University with a focus on the environmental health impacts of the standard American diet. Read more about Lauren.