Vitamins and Supplements for Children

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I’ve shared before the supplements I take regularly, and  which ones are I add in specifically during pregnancy or nursing.

Supplements for Children…

Another time when nutrition is incredibly important and sometimes difficult to accomplish is during childhood. I can’t emphasize enough how important a healthy diet is for growing children, but some nutritional gaps can still occur because of soil deficiencies, lack of variety in the diet, or environmental factors.

A high quality and varied diet should absolutely be the top priority but there are some supplements that can help fill in any holes in a child’s diet. Just as during pregnancy or nursing, this is a time when one should be very careful about the supplements given and choose only high-quality supplements from verifiable sources after checking with a healthcare practitioner.

On top of making sure that kids are consuming a lot of protein from quality sources, an abundance of green veggies and plenty of healthy fats, I often find that children benefit from:


If they’ve ever been on antibiotics, children can greatly benefit from quality probiotics. Their gut flora is still developing, and supporting gut health during childhood will have much more of an effect than attempting to supplement later in life (though I recommend it then too). We now all take Probiotics which have worked really well for all of us. For kids, I open capsules and dump them into smoothies or bake them into foods since they can survive even at high heat.

It is unfortunate that probiotic supplements are even necessary. Once upon a healthier time, we were able to obtain all the strains of probiotics we needed from the food supply. Vegetables were not irradiated and sterilized so they contained soil based probiotic strains. Foods were often fermented to preserve them, creating a wide variety of native probiotic strains, and we didn’t use and overuse antibacterial soaps and antibiotics, which can alter gut bacteria.

With the constantly emerging evidence about the importance of gut bacteria for all aspects of health, this is one area I don’t skimp on with our family. Though we ferment foods like sauerkraut and water kefir for probiotics, don’t shy away from gardening and interacting with dirt, and don’t over sanitize, I still feel it is important to provide a variety of probiotics on a regular basis to support gut health.

I am hopeful that with all the emerging research, we will again start to understand the importance of living, probiotic-rich foods and bacterial exposure from other sources and address this problem on a wider level as well.

Vitamin D

Just as we used to effortlessly get Vitamin D from the environment (the Sun) as we did probiotics from food and soil, modern living has interrupted this normal pattern.

I’m a firm believer that kids should be getting their Vitamin D outside, in the sun, and preferably barefoot. This works great in the summer, but it is more difficult in the winter, or if you live in an area where you don’t have access to direct sun daily. We make a sincere effort to spend time outside gardening or playing each day in the summer to get both probiotics (from soil) and Vitamin D (from sun) but in the colder months, I am more careful to supplement if needed.

Most children’s vitamins contain Vitamin D but the issue of supplementing Vitamin D in children can be controversial. To make sure my kids don’t get too much or too little, we check their levels about once a year in the winter and supplement based on the results. I’d definitely recommend this, especially if you plan to give your children higher doses or supplement on a regular basis.

Vitamin C

I always keep Vitamin C on hand, and we’ve avoided many trips to the doctor because of this and Homemade Elderberry Syrup. I add about 1/4 tsp of vitamin C powder to the kids water or smoothie once a day (it is bitter!) to keep their immune systems bolstered… mainly in the winter. During illness, we take Vitamin C powder more often until the illness passes.

Magnesium Spray + Baths

Magnesium has been a miracle mineral for me and it also helps my kids sleep well. Our favorite is this topical magnesium spray which can be sprayed on the whole body for absorption. It doesn’t burn or tingle like some brands do and I’ve also never had trouble with it drying out my skin like some types of magnesium do. I spray this on myself and my kids each night and it helped me avoid morning sickness with this pregnancy.

Another easy way to give kids a magnesium boost is to add about 1/2 cup of epsom salts or magnesium crystals to their bath water so they can absorb it through their skin.


Gelatin is excellent for intestinal health and for hair, skin and nails. We try to eat homemade bone broth regularly, but I also occasionally make the kids healthy jello and gummy vitamins to give them some extra gelatin intake. I drink it in smoothies or in warm water, and also sometimes sneak it into the kids smoothies. A kid-favorite treat at our house is homemade probiotic marshmallows with gelatin. I’ve been able to verify that this brand is from grass-fed, humanely raised cows and doesn’t contain any additives or pesticide residue.


We don’t routinely give our kids a multivitamin, but we have given them this brand before, especially during the winter or if there is a lingering illness just to give us all an extra boost. Learn more about how to optimize your child’s health from Dr. Talya Miron-Shatz on Medical Decision Making & Being an Informed Patient.

Do your kids take supplements? Which ones do they take? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


193 responses to “Vitamins and Supplements for Children”

  1. Kate Avatar

    Do you rotate your kids and your own probiotic every 60-90 days ? If so, what other probiotic would you use other than just thrive ?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      No, the Just Thrive one is the best I’ve found, so there’s not a need to use an inferior one… that said, I don’t take the same supplements every day, or give them to my kids every day either. It’s good for the body to learn adaptability, so I cycle on and off of different supplements and foods.

  2. Patty Avatar

    Hi I love thrive probiotic also but it says 3 years old and I have a 2 year old. Do you have a probiotic recommendation for the toddlers? My two year old has horrible eczema and want to try probiotic. Thank you

  3. Leslie D Avatar

    Hi Katie — we were giving our kids gummy vitamins until I heard a podcast with the founder of Hiya Health and the founder was go great that he convinced me to stop giving our kids sugar gummies and seitch to Hiya, which is an adorable brand with a no-sugar chewable and so far my boys love it. What’s your thoughts on gummy vitamins and whether we should just abandon them altogether?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I didn’t know about Hiya when I wrote this post and think they are great. I still make homemade gummies for my kids with gelatin and fruit but don’t do many gummy vitamins.

  4. Sandy Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    Great info. I was just reading how 80% of people are low in magnesium. We’ve added Epsom salts to baths before, but not regularly. Definitely going to do this more often! Thanks! I’m not sure if you’ve tried it before, but I’ve been using Produce Concentrates for my family over the past 8 years and we absolutely love them. Instead of a vitamin.

  5. Julie Avatar

    Hi Kate! I am new to your site. I found it while searching for sleep and probiotic gummies for my children. I was looking at the Just Thrive probiotics but it says on their website that they are recommended for children over age 3. Do you have any recommendations for my 1 year old? I am going to try your tart cherry sleep gummy recipe. Do you have any gummy recipes for probiotics or vitamin d? Thanks so much!!

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I use them for mine under that age, but I have to open the capsules and sprinkle it in a drink, since they’re not able to swallow pills at that age…

  6. Deanna Andrews Avatar
    Deanna Andrews

    You mentioned using a powder vitamin C for your kids. I followed the link you provided and while it took me to a website that sells vitamin C, it looks like they are capsules and not powder? Do you open the capsules and pour the power in them with some water for your kids? Or is this a different Vitamin C than what you mentioned?

  7. violetta Avatar

    Has anyone tried MaryRuths Organic immunity bundle? I just ordered some for my 2 year old and a friend of mine told me to be careful with multivitamins..

  8. Marissa Adrian Avatar
    Marissa Adrian

    Is the Paleovalley Essential C safe to give my 9 month old? Do you just break open the capsule and put in their food?

  9. Amber Avatar

    Hello, sweet Katie!
    Do you still give your kids FCLO? I was just about to order my kids some more and thought to double check your blog for the brand you like best. I noticed it’s not on your list anymore.
    I’m starting to build my cold/flu season arsenal. We’ve been [occasionally/seasonly] using a brand of VitaminD that we purchased through your link and I noticed the brand on this post is different. The newer suggested NOW brand says “for adults only.” Do you give that to your kids anyway? I know you are not a doctor and would recommend for me to consult one, but I would like to know what you do, if you would share.
    I adore and admire you from afar. Your blog has totally changed our lifestyle and opened our eyes over the past 5+ years! So thankful for all that you do!!

      1. Jessica Avatar

        My family’s been taking Omega Care/Omega 3 Innovations brand fish oil and it seems to be a reliable source. Does anyone have experience otherwise with this company? Thanks!

  10. Lydia Avatar

    What is your opinion on fish oil supplements? My 8 year old boys took fermented cod liver oil until they were 3 years old but then started hating the taste. I have been giving them fish oil soft gels since then.

  11. Kelly Brown Avatar
    Kelly Brown

    Great information. The quality of diet and vitamins are very important for kids. For children personally prefer Kidzomega Syrup which contains high EPA to improve concentration.

  12. Anastasia Avatar

    We take some similar vitamins. Vitamin D in the winter months and vitamin C powder and elderberry during sickness. For magnesium, we use Kids Calm from Nature Vitality. It is kind of like a multivitamin for us! Not only does it have magnesium and calcium, but it also has trace minerals, B vitamins, DHA, and more. We take probiotics also. Right now we are trying out hyperbiotics. They are very stable and supposed to make it through stomach acid. The last one my kids take that you didn’t mention is DHA for brain development.

  13. Caitlin Avatar

    Hello, my son is 19 months old, and I’m wondering if he’s too young for magnesium oil?

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