A daily multivitamin can be so important for helping a toddler reach key milestones in growth and development. As a dietician, I know that diet is the most important factor in getting the nutrition needed for healthy growth and development. As a parent, I know that it's often tough to get toddlers to get everything they need through food alone. Cranky days, busy days, finicky days, and days spent on the go can all place us in a position to allow our toddlers to eat "whatever works." The good news is that a multivitamin can help to fill in the gaps.
A client recently asked me about the best multivitamin for a 2 year old. This led me to wonder how many other parents without access to a dietician have the same question. That's why I've compiled a list of the best multivitamins for a 2 year old.
Should a 2 Year Old Take a Multivitamin?
The truth is that a 2 year old doesn't necessarily need a multivitamin. Most kids will get the vitamins and nutrients they need through diet. Pediatricians and nutritionists typically view a multivitamin for kids as an "insurance policy" that guarantees that a kid will get what they need for health and growth when their diets lag behind a bit. In addition, a multivitamin can provide some great peace of mind if you're the parent of a finicky eater. Multivitamins can also be important for kids who are on limited diets to allergies or medical issues.
There's also something else that pediatricians have been looking at recently that may encourage more parents to look at the importance of multivitamins for kids. There's some emerging research that shows that supplementing with vitamins and minerals can improve symptoms for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While nobody is claiming that a multivitamin can cure behavior issues in kids, this research is important for understanding the link between nutritional decencies and childhood development.
The Best Multivitamins for 2 Year Old's
Parents can find great vitamins that don't cost a ton. I've curated a list of the best multivitamins for ages 2+ that kids are sure to love!
#1. Hiya Kids Multivitamin Ages 2+
Hiya kids multivitamins clearly state on their website that they are for ages 2+, which is peace of mind when looking for a 2 year old multivitamin - hiya is definably the best choice out there.
They sweeten its vitamins naturally using monk fruit. This is a great alternative to the many popular "gummy" vitamins that contain sugar, additives, artificial flavorings, and dyes. Something I like about Hiya multivitamins is that they are shipped in pouches to ensure freshness. What many people don't realize is that vitamins that sit on shelves in porous plastic bottles for months actually lose nutrients.
Formulated by pediatricians, Hiya vitamins are made with 15 essential vitamins and minerals known to benefit growth, development, and a healthy immune system.
- Non-GMO, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free vitamins.
- Made in the USA.
- Monk fruit is used for natural sweetness kids love.
- Developed by pediatricians.
- Features key nutrients needed by kids.
- Packed in a pouch for freshness.
- Tons of positive reviews from customers.
- Discounts when ordering vitamins for multiple kids.
- The natural sweetness of monk fruit can take adjusting for some kids.
- No discounts for subscribing.
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#2. 1st Phorm M-Factor Kiddos Ages 2 and Up
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The 1st Phorm Kiddos series are excellent kids supplements. M-Factor Kiddos are colorful gummies can be purchased in mixed berry or strawberry. They cover all of the basic vitamins and minerals needed to support the brain, eyes, muscles, teeth, and bones. I really like the completeness of a multivitamin for kids that offers all the essential vitamins (A, B6, B12, C, D, and E), biotin, iodine, and zinc.
While there's nothing about these vitamins that makes them shockingly different from vitamins you'll find at the store, you are getting the perks of high-quality ingredients, kid-friendly flavors, and automated shipping that ensures you won't run out!
- Covers all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for growth and development.
- Available in two tasty flavors.
- No discount for subscribing.
- Not the cheapest vitamins for kids.
- No artificial dyes or flavors.
#3. Mary Ruth’s Kids Multivitamin Gummies Ages 2+
Use code fit.healthymomma15 for 15% off
I'm always quick to recommend Mary Ruth's products to my adult clients because this brand does such a great job of bringing together quality, clean ingredients. Mary Ruth's kids multivitamin gummies are not exceptions! These sugar-free gummies get their sweetness and texture from pectin and xylitol. Each batch contains papaya, strawberry, and punch gummies.
Parents can find peace of mind from reading the hundreds of five-star reviews online for these vitamins. This multivitamin does a great job of covering all of the essential vitamins (A, B6, B12, C, D, and E), folate, biotin, iodine, choline, and zinc.
- These are non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free gummies.
- Tastes great to kids.
- Discounts when you sign up for a subscription.
- Tons of positive reviews online from parents.
- Slightly pricey for vitamins.
#4. Rainbow Light Kids One Multivitamin
This multivitamin stands out because it features 15 million CFU of probiotics that support normal digestion. In addition, probiotics also help with strengthening the immune system. Vegetable juice is used to flavor each tablet. Something that stands out to me is that this formula is much more complete when compared to many of the other multivitamins for kids out there. In addition to all of the vitamins and minerals offered in comparable formulas, Rainbow Light Kids One Multivitamin also contains calcium, magnesium, copper, chromium, niacin, riboflavin, and several other essentials for growth and development.
- Features probiotics to support gut health.
- Very complete formula.
- No artificial colors or flavors.
- No discounts for subscribing.
#5. Mary Ruth’s Liquid Morning Multivitamin for 2-3 Year Olds
I'm adding a second vitamin from Mary Ruth’s that is something the whole family can actually share. This liquid multivitamin is packed with trace minerals, amino acids, and multiple essential vitamins needed for healthy growth and development. The standout ingredients are vitamin C, vitamin D3, beta carotene, B12, zinc, and chromium.
- This is a non-GMO, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and sugar-free vitamin.
- Easy to take for kids who don't like chewing vitamins.
- Features trace minerals and amino acids.
- A little pricey.
#6. Smarty Pants Toddler Formula for 2 and 3 Year Olds
This is my top pick for brain growth and development. The simple reason why is because it features omega-3 EPA and DHA essential fatty acids from wild-caught fish. It also offers a complete list of 15 essential vitamins and minerals that support growth, development, immune function, and energy metabolism. All of the vibrant colors in the bottle come from organic maqui berry, organic black carrot juice concentrate, and organic turmeric.
Smarty Pants is one of the top brands when it comes to purity testing. The company is actually the winner of the Clean Label Project's Purity Award and Clean Label Certification.
- One of the rare toddler vitamins to contain omega-3 EPA and DHA essential fatty acids for brain health.
- Big savings when you sign up for a subscription.
- Incredible price for the quality.
- Free of wheat, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, and milk.
- Not a sugar-free vitamin.
#7. Future Kind Organic Vegan Multivitamin for Children 2-3 Years of Age
This is a great pick for getting in all the core vitamins your child might not be getting from meals and snacks alone. You're getting all of the essential vitamins (A, B6, B12, C, D, and E), folate, biotin, iodine, choline, and zinc without any frills.
The reviews I've seen from parents who have tried these vitamins make it pretty clear that kids love them. The naturally bright colors in the bottle come from organic fruit and vegetable juice.
- A very basic formula that provides what kids need without extras.
- Great flavor.
- Big savings when you subscribe.
- Not a sugar-free vitamin.
- Free of GMOs, gluten, wheat, yeast, soy, animal derivatives, artificial colors, and preservatives.
Buying Guide for Choosing a Vitamin for 2 Year Old
I know that shopping for a great vitamin for a 2 year old can be hard. I've found that many brands focus on using characters and bright colors to sell vitamins instead of focusing on what kids really need. Let me help you cut through the cartoonish nature of some popular vitamins to learn how to find the right one for your child.
What to Look For
Let's start with the core points to look for when shopping for a vitamin for kids. A big part of knowing what's safe and effective actually comes down to knowing what to avoid when shopping for a toddler vitamin. I'll show you what I mean when you keep reading!
Make Sure The Multivitamin Is for 2 Year Olds and Up!
This is the first thing to look for before you pick up any vitamin. The good news is that most vitamins are actually appropriate for all kids age 2 and up. That means that your child can actually "grow up" with the same vitamin year after year without the need to make drastic changes. However, you need to confirm that the vitamin you choose is safe for kids as young as 2 before you begin. You'll also notice that many brands will actually "tweak" the dosage based on age. While the serving might be two vitamins for a kid at age 2, the serving might jump up to three vitamins for ages 4 and up.
Transparency is something I talk about with my clients whenever recommending any kind of supplement. I think it becomes even more important when we're talking about vitamins that you're giving to your child. Brand transparency is very simple. It means that a brand is willing to put all of the ingredients used right on the label. Here's what you want to see when shopping for vitamins:
- The total amounts per serving for all vitamins and minerals.
- The daily value of each vitamin and mineral.
- All ingredients used for flavor and coloring.
- Information about allergens.
I also encourage my clients to focus on how brands handle quality testing. Ideally, a brand will do third-party testing for purity and quality. Most brands publish their testing practices right on their websites. Don't be afraid to reach out to a brand to get the most recent test results if you don't see information clearly posted.
A Brand That Specializes in Kids Health and Vitamins
Something that you'll notice about my list of the best vitamins for kids above is that I used a well-rounded approach when picking brands. While some of my favorite vitamins for kids come from brands that focus only on supplements for youngsters, others come from established brands in the world of health and wellness. The one thing you need to be consistent with when shopping for a vitamin for a child is that brands need to have well-established product lines that cater to kids. My experience has been that some brands that focus on adult nutrition will sometimes try to push out vitamins for kids that aren’t really any different from what you'd find in your local big-box store. Supplement brands for kids and families tend to offer the best products.
Quality of Ingredients Used
Don't just focus on the amounts of vitamins and minerals in a multivitamin. Yes, these are important details. However, I want to make sure that you're also reading the full list of ingredients to get a feel for what your child is actually consuming. Some popular vitamins out there are nothing more than vitamin-infused candies. They are full of sugar, filler, and dyes.
A good multivitamin for kids will use fruit juice, vegetable juice, and other natural ingredients to flavor their products. I'm not personally opposed to vitamins that use cane sugar for flavoring. However, you'll want to avoid vitamins with processed sugars. If your child has any kind of allergy, make sure you're reading labels to confirm that a vitamin is free of wheat, dairy, gluten, eggs, or any other potential allergens. I personally like to see vitamins made from non-GMO ingredients.
Positive Reviews and Feedback From Parents
This is another big one for me! As a dietician, I believe that real people can be the greatest resources when making decisions about brands. I've just seen the way that far too many supplement brands use buzz words and slogans to try to sell products. That's precisely why I weighed real customer reviews from real parents so heavily when compiling my list of the best vitamins for 2 year olds shared above.
A product doesn't need to have a "perfect" rating to be worth considering. However, I do look for products that have strong five-star reviews. Some things you want to look for when reading reviews of vitamins include how kids like the taste, how easy the vitamins are to chew, and how "little digestive systems" seem to tolerate the vitamins.
Frequently Asked Questions
I know parents have tons of questions about choosing the best vitamins for their kids. Trust me when I say I've been asked everything as a dietician. Let's go through the top questions that are probably on your mind if you're gearing up to shop for a good vitamin online.
What vitamins can a 2 year old take?
Any multivitamin formulated for kids should be just fine. While I personally like vitamins that contain DHA, amino acids, and probiotics, the truth is that these aren't necessary in every case. Parents can make personal judgment calls based on the unique traditional needs of their kids.
Can a 2 year old have gummy vitamins?
Gummy vitamins should be fine as long as your child has no problem chewing and swallowing foods. Gummy vitamins should always be consumed under adult supervision. My review list above contains a liquid vitamin for kids who have difficulty with chewing! Always consult your doctor before giving your child any supplement or multivitamin.
When can 2 year olds start taking multivitamins?
Generally, a 2 year old can start taking a multivitamin whenever a parent feels that this is necessary. It's always a good idea to check in with your pediatrician whenever you're introducing a new supplement into your child's diet.
How can I boost my 2-year olds immune system?
The best way is to make sure that your child is eating a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy carbohydrates. Another great option is to start your child on a multivitamin containing probiotics. Between 70% and 80% of the cells in the immune system are contained within the gut! You could be setting your child up for a lifetime of good gut health by introducing probiotics!
The Bottom Line
Most kids can benefit from a high-quality vitamin. The decision to give your child a multivitamin is a personal one. However, you'll only be wasting time and money if you opt for a "mainstream" vitamin that focuses more on fun colors and characters instead of delivering the quality ingredients kids need for growth and vitality.
Recap of the Top Multivitamins for a Two Year Old
Ages 2+ Multivitamin
Where to buy
$30 (50% off your first purchase using any link on this page)
#2. 1st Phorm M-Factor
$24.99 (free shipping with our link)
#3. Mary Ruth's Kids Multivitamin Gummies
$29.95 (use code fit.healthymomma15 for 15% off)
Tips for Success From the Nutritionist
I want to make it clear that my recommendations for vitamins are not intended to be "prescriptions" for supplementing an incomplete diet. You might be looking for a good multivitamin for a 2 year old who is a picky eater. Even the best vitamin simply can't make up for a lack of nutrients in a child's diet.
If you're concerned that your child isn't getting the nutrients, vitamins, protein levels, or calories needed for their age, I urge you to speak with a pediatrician to develop a plan for getting the balance that's needed. However, a good multivitamin can definitely provide peace of mind when it comes to making sure those inevitable gaps that happen will be filled in whenever your child doesn't get that ideal "rainbow diet" on any given day.
My tip for the right way to give your kid a multivitamin is to pretend that the vitamin doesn't even exist as you're planning your kid's diet. You shouldn't reduce fruits, vegetables, or protein sources to adjust for the nutrients provided by the vitamin.
Finally, be consistent about giving your child a multivitamin. The effects of most vitamins and minerals are cumulative. That means that it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to start seeing the benefits.