As a nutritionist, I have some pretty well-developed ideas about what constitutes a healthy diet. It isn't always easy, but I strive to get plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and lean protein every day.

As a mom of two toddlers, I also try to encourage my kids to enjoy a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods that will help them grow big and strong. Of course, I'm going to tell you what you already know. My efforts to get my kids to eat healthy foods frequently go awry.

Who knew that hot dogs and macaroni and cheese would become staple foods in my home? I regularly provide all sorts of healthier alternatives, but when you've got a really picky eater on your hands, this can become an exercise in frustration.

From my training and professional experience, I know that the foods on which my toddlers rely so heavily today will probably be less in favor in the future. Between now and then, I needed a way to make certain that my kids were getting all of the nutrients that their brains and bodies need to continue developing.

That is how my quest to find an excellent, high-quality, great tasting multivitamin for kids got started, like when I shared the top multivitamins for 2 year olds. Since I feel confident that mine are not the only toddlers with picky eating habits, I'm sharing my discoveries here with you.

Should 3-Year Old Kids Take Multivitamins?

The most obvious question to settle is whether or not two-, three- and four-year old kids even need to take multivitamins. Ideally, toddlers, adults and everyone in between would get the essential nutrients that they require in the appropriate amounts through the foods that they eat every day.

Unfortunately, reality rarely lives up to this standard.

Some nutrients are quite difficult to find in foods in adequate amounts. That's assuming that you even like the foods in which those vitamins and minerals are found, that they are in season and that they are available to you wherever you may live in the world.

The situation is even more complicated for toddlers, who are much less likely to have appetites that are as adventurous as an adult's. I've had many moms in my community ask for assistance with a toddler who refuses to eat anything save four or five favorite foods. How can any child possibly get the nutrients that are necessary from such a limited diet?

It's an impossible and frustrating situation, but multivitamins for toddlers are here to save the day. Multivitamins can also be called "supplements," meaning that they are a supplement to the diet that your child eats every day. As such, they can be viewed as an insurance policy that provides toddlers with the coverage that they need to be healthy and strong.

Even if your toddler loves eating leafy green vegetables and other nutritious foods, chances are good that he's not necessarily getting a perfectly well-rounded diet. In fact, most toddlers don't get quite enough iron, calcium and vitamin D.

The situation may become more complicated for families who are following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. In these circumstances, supplementation with a multivitamin for toddlers is crucial. That's because even a child who is eating a clean, healthy diet that is free of virtually all processed foods may not be getting all of the nutrients that are needed.

Of course, the main goal is developing several strategies that optimize the child's palate and attract them to new and nutritious foods, but when those fail, as they sometimes do, a vitamin supplement for toddlers is imperative.

What Should Parents Look for in Vitamins for a 3 Year Old Kid?

Perhaps it goes without saying, but it is crucial to choose a vitamin that is designed for a toddler. That's because the dose of each nutrient in the supplement will be proportioned correctly for the child's weight and their developmental stage.

Vitamins that are designed for adults are intended to be taken by people who weigh more than 100 pounds. Accordingly, they have higher content of vitamins and minerals that may not be safe for children to consume in these amounts.

Quality of Ingredients

In addition to choosing a vitamin that's formulated for kids, each option should be weighed for the purity of its ingredients. Far too many children's multivitamins include unnecessary additives, fillers and chemicals. Binding agents, artificial colors and flavors and tons of sugar are other unnecessary ingredients for which it is essential to screen children's vitamins.

Avoid Additives

Additives that you want to avoid include: talc, magnesium stearate, magnesium silicate, titanium dioxide, soy lecithin, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, butylated hydroxytoluene and dicalcium phosphate.

Absorption Effectiveness

It's also wise to check for the absorbability of the nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are easier to absorb when they are in particular forms or combined with certain enzymes. For instance, calcium carbonate is harder to absorb than calcium citrate. Similarly, magnesium sulfate is not as absorbable as magnesium citrate or glycinate.

Therapeutic Doses

A reliable toddlers vitamin also will have nutrients in therapeutic doses. Calcium citrate should be included in doses of between 50 and 100 mg, magnesium citrate in a similar dose, vitamin C in a dose of 250 mg and folic acid at 150 mcg.

Liquid Could Be a Smart Option for Your Three Year Old

It further may be sensible to opt for a water-soluble liquid vitamin as they tend to have fewer additives and be more available for complete absorption.

The Best Kids Multivitamins for 3 Year Olds

If you have decided that supplementing your child's diet with a multivitamin is the right choice, then the next step is choosing the best possible option. The products listed below are backed by science, contain high-quality ingredients and taste great. Best of all, they provide well-rounded profiles of vitamins and minerals in formulations that are designed specifically for small children and their nutritional needs.

manna kids liquid multivitamin

Manna company founder Jeff Hill created this business with the goal of making vitamins and supplements that are honest, plain and simple. Working with nutritionists, Hill developed the proprietary liposomal NANOFUSE technology. Accordingly, Manna's products, like their liquid vitamin for kids, include minuscule particles called liposomes that consist of the same materials out of which the body's cells are made. This makes these vitamins more readily absorbable by the body.

The Formula

In addition to the exclusive NANOFUSE technology, this formula includes vitamins A, C, D3, E, B6, B9, B12, B7, B5, choline and zinc. The product is free of fillers and sugars, is non-GMO and contains no colorants. With 13 critical vitamins and minerals, this product easily fills in the nutritional gaps that are common in many children's diets.

What I Like

The Manna formula is clean and straightforward. In addition to supporting healthy growth and development, this liquid vitamin for kids supports a robust immune system. One of the main reasons to choose this product over many of the alternatives is its incredibly high absorption rate. With traditional multivitamins, only approximately ten percent of the nutritional content actually is absorbed by the body. The vitamins in this formula are much smaller, which significantly boosts absorption rates. By all reports, this formula also tastes great, which we all know is critical if you want your kids to make a daily habit of taking their multivitamins.

What I Don’t Like

It's hard to argue with this product. The liquid delivery ensures greater absorption rates, and the mix of ingredients is fantastic. If I have to quibble, I suppose I'd say that I wish the packaging was more eco-friendly.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

You can make a one-time purchase of this liquid multivitamin at the Manna website for $29.95. When you subscribe for regular refills, it brings the cost per delivery down to $25.46. One serving is three tablespoons, which means that there are approximately 30 servings in each bottle. The cost per serving is $0.99 at the one-time purchase price and $0.84 per serving at the subscription price.

#2. Yumi Toddler Biteamin (Gummies)

yumi toddler vitamins 3 year olds

Yumi is primarily known as a company that makes and delivers fresh food for babies and toddlers, but yumi biteamins are becoming very popular for the organic folks. One thing that's particularly interesting about these gummy vitamins is that there are different formulas for kids ages two to three and those who are four and older.

The Formula

The formulas for both toddlers and kids contain 21 essential vitamins and minerals, but they are in differing amounts. These ingredients are derived from organic fruits and vegetables including spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, sunflower seed, orange, apple, strawberry, kale and others.

What I Like

I love Yumi's reliance on whole fruits and vegetables as sources for these gummy multivitamins for toddlers. All of the produce used is certified organic, too.

What I Don’t Like

This is a gummy vitamin, which means that you'll find quite a number of extra ingredients in the bottle. Things like pectin, cellulose, carnauba wax and sunflower oil are additives that don't add to the product's nutritional profile. Moreover, each gummy has two grams of added sugar. With a single dose being five gummies, that's quite a bit of added sugar and extra "empty" ingredients. I also think that Yumi is less than transparent as they don't disclose how many micrograms of each vitamin and mineral is actually contained in each gummy.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

Visit the Yumi website to purchase a one-month supply of these gummies for $30. Buying a three-month supply will bring the cost per delivery down to $76.50, and a six-month supply brings the price down to $135. Accordingly, the one-month supply costs approximately one dollar per dose. The price comes down to $0.85 per dose with a three-month supply and $0.74 per dose for a six-month supply.

#3. Hiya Kids Multivitamin (Chewable Tablets Option)

hiya kids vitamins 3 year old

If your little ones are fans of SweeTarts, chances are good that they'll enjoy the flavor and texture of this chewable kids multivitamin from Hiya. Despite the alluring flavor, these vitamins have zero added sugar. Another reason to appreciate this brand is their eco-friendly packaging.

The Formula

These Hiya vitamins are just as notable for what they don't contain as what's in the formula. Namely, these chewable tablets have no sugar, wheat, yeast, eggs, gluten, milk, soy or artificial flavors. The sweet flavor comes from monk fruit extract and mannitol. A dozen organic fruits and veggies are featured in the formula. These include tomato, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, spinach, parsley, kale, cabbage, carrot, broccoli, apple and beet. Each serving contains 15 essential vitamins. Also included in the formula is natural, rather than synthetic, folate.

What I Like

There's a lot to like about the Hiya Kids Multivitamin. It's easy to chew, and the texture is not at all objectionable. The list of ingredients is admirable. You can feel comfortable providing this to your picky eaters to ensure that they are getting a more balanced diet. I especially love the eco-friendly re-usable glass bottle that you receive with your first shipment. This does away with the need to toss out a plastic bottle every month.

What I Don’t Like

Hiya Kids Multivitamins are only available via a subscription. This means that you can't really buy one bottle to give it a try. The good news is that you can cancel your subscription at any time. Just be sure to stay on top of this if you ever want to stop receiving the deliveries. The price at $30 per bottle per month might seem a bit steep for some parents too.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

The dose for this multivitamin is one tablet per day. At $30 per month, that works out to one dollar for every dose. You can start your monthly subscription at the Hiya website.

1st phorm kiddos vitamins

1st Phorm has actually developed an entire line of Kiddo products (1st Phorm Kiddos supplements) that are designed to help kids grow up healthy and strong. This particular option is designed for toddlers ages two and up. It tastes great, but these gummies do have three grams of added sugar.

The Formula

Packed with 13 essential nutrients, these M-Factor gummies are designed to support a healthy immune system, keep hair and skin healthy and support good brain development. Including biotin, folate, iodine, zinc and more, this formula has many ingredients that will help your kids stay healthy as they grow.

What I Like

These gummy vitamins break down quickly upon the first bite, so there is little risk of choking. The flavor appeals to most kids, and it's hard to quibble with the list of ingredients as it boasts plenty of essential vitamins and minerals.

What I Don’t Like

As with any gummy vitamin, this formula includes numerous extra ingredients that don't provide any nutritional value. Also included in each bear-shaped gummy is three grams of added sugar, something that can easily be avoided by choosing an alternative product. I would prefer it if 1st Phorm would provide some kind of discount for parents who decide to subscribe to regular deliveries of these multivitamins for kids.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

Most parents get the M-Factor Kiddos multivitamin at the 1st Phorm website. Make a one-time purchase for $24.99. Even if you decide to subscribe to receive a new bottle every 14 to 30 days, the price remains the same. Each bottle contains 60 gummies, with one serving consisting of two gummies. Accordingly, the price per serving is $0.83.

ritual kids vitamins

The formula behind these First Day kids multivitamin gummies is backed by a great deal of science. In fact, the friends who founded this company are dedicated to using only the most bioavailable ingredients to ensure the ultimate in absorption. Components in the gummies are derived from organic fruits and veggies.

The Formula

Packed into this nutrient-dense formula are vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, folate, B12, C, D3 and K2. Extract of carrots and grapes is used to give the gummies their color rather than relying on artificial dyes. Moreover, these gummies do not have any artificial flavors. Extracts from oranges and strawberries are used instead.

What I Like

This is another multivitamin for kids that comes in an eco-friendly container for the first shipment. Each subsequent shipment arrives in a pouch, and you simply empty the contents of the pouch into the re-usable container. Kids seem to love the flavor, and although these are gummies, they are pretty easy to chew. The vast majority of ingredients are derived from organic produce, so no complaints there.

What I Don’t Like

I'd prefer that there weren't two grams of sugar in each serving, and this is definitely one of the most expensive options.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

The only place to purchase these multivitamins is on the First Day website. You'll pay $36 for a one-time bottle, which contains 30 servings of two gummies. If you subscribe and save, you'll bring the per-bottle cost down to $30.60. Accordingly, the per-serving price is $1.20 or $1.02, respectively.

future kind kids multivitamins

These organic gummies have no GMOs as well as being vegan and free of all allergens. Made in a Good Manufacturing Practice certified facility, quality control is pretty intensive with this product. Future Kind states that these multivitamin gummies are suitable only for kids over the age of two because of the choking hazard.

The Formula

Because these are vegan gummies, you won't find the usual gelatin or animal-related byproducts in this vitamin. In the formula are all of the essentials such as vitamin D, omega-3 and B12. With 42 vitamins and minerals, these supplements for kids pack a serious nutritional punch.

What I Like

Future Kind puts this product in bottles that are made from 100-percent recycled material, which I definitely appreciate. The strawberry, lemon and orange flavors seem to be appealing. This is one company that really relies on science to back up their claims, so I'm inclined to trust the quality of their products.

What I Don’t Like

I'd like to see them remove the one gram of added sugar from each gummy. Alternatives, like monk fruit extract, are healthier and readily available. While having a bottle made of recycled materials is nice, I'd prefer to have a refillable, re-usable bottle instead.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

Browse the Future Kind website to make a one-time purchase for $24.99. You'll save 20-percent if you subscribe, which means you'll pay $19.99 per bottle. A serving for children between two and three years of age is one gummy. Kids four and up take two per day. Accordingly, there are 60 servings in a bottle for young toddlers and 30 servings for kids four and up. The cost per dose for little kids is $0.41 for a one-time purchase and $0.33 for a subscription bottle. That makes this a very inexpensive supplement for kids.

olly kids multivitamin

Olly is a recognizable brand that is available in stores across the country. You're probably already familiar with their packaging, and this is a decent choice for a toddler's vitamin supplement.

The Formula

Olly's multivitamins for kids include healthy ingredients such as folate and vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B12 and biotin. Choline, iodine and zinc are present as well. Unique to this formula is the addition of bacillus coagulans, a probiotic that supports healthy, efficient digestion.

What I Like

The addition of probiotics to the formula may be extremely helpful for regulating a child's digestive system. If this has been a concern for your little one, this is worth a shot. Of course, you can find other ways to supplement probiotics into your toddler's diet if you prefer the formulation of one of the other multivitamins on this list.

What I Don’t Like

I definitely don't see as many research and science-backed claims from Olly as I do from other manufacturers of multivitamins for kids. They do claim that their products are NSF Certified, but I'd like to know more details. Moreover, this is another example of a pretty good product that adds sugar into the formula. This just isn't necessary.

Cost and Where You Can Purchase It

Olly products are available in grocery and drug stores everywhere. You may also visit the Olly website to order. A 35-serving bottle costs $13.99 for a per-serving price of approximately $0.39, which is really affordable. Also available at the website is a 50-serving bottle for $17.99, which works out to a per-serving cost of $0.35. A pouch with 120-servings goes for $21.59, giving you a per-serving price of $0.17. It's also possible to join the subscribe and save program on the Olly website, which gives you a 15-percent discount on each bottle.

Tips From The Nutritionist and Mom of Two Toddlers

It's always best for your toddler to get as much nutrition as possible from the foods you provide. Even if your little one refuses to eat anything beyond four or five particular foods, don't give up on your quest to broaden their palate. At this stage, your kids are growing and changing on a daily basis. You never know when an objectionable food might turn into something that's tolerable.

If your child is having significant problems with food pickiness, then it might be worth considering working with a nutrition to pick up a few helpful hints and strategies.


By far my favorite multivitamin on this list is the Manna Liposomal liquid vitamin for toddlers. I love its list of ingredients, and the fact that it is water-soluble means that kids get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

My kids love the taste of this product, which means that they actually enjoy taking their daily multivitamin.

Even though I'm giving them this healthy supplement, I haven't abandoned my efforts to get them to like more foods. I'm taking things one day at a time.

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Macro Coach, Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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