The 5 best vitamins for teens, according to a dietitian

Mamas everywhere understand the challenges of ensuring our children eat well, especially as they grow older and become more independent. It’s no secret that when kids reach their teen years, they have much more control over what they eat. From late nights to hanging out with friends, it can be harder to monitor their meals. And let’s not forget those rushed mornings when breakfast is often skipped in the mad dash out the door!

If you ask teenagers to name their favorite foods, don’t be surprised if their list is missing a few essential nutrients. While some teens may still choose broccoli and chicken, many rely heavily on ultra-processed foods for their daily caloric intake. According to research, these ready-to-heat meals, snacks and sweets make up almost 70% of the average teen’s diet. 

Multivitamins offer an easy way to ensure your teen gets all the essential vitamins and minerals if you’re concerned their diet is lacking. The best vitamins for teens complement their diet so they get the daily nutrients required for growth and development—and we’ve compiled some of our favorites below.

Does my teen need a multivitamin?

Teenagers go through so many changes—brain development, changing bodies and surging hormones. Bone growth in the teen years influences how strong bones are in adulthood. Nutrition matters for all of these. And if your child is an athlete, they may need even more nutrients to support performance and muscle repair. 

In a perfect world, your teen is getting all the nutrients they need from their food, but for those who need a little extra support, multivitamins can be a way to ensure they meet their needs (even if they eat nothing but pizza for a week). Giving your teen a multivitamin doesn’t mean the food they eat doesn’t matter—it’s a simple way to bridge the gap. Same goes if they’re following a predominantly plant-based diet—your teen may need a supplemental source of vitamin B12 to ensure they’re meeting their nutrient needs. 

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Can I give my teen adult vitamins?

Technically teens can take adult vitamins, but you may need to adjust how much they take. A 14-year-old’s dietary needs differ slightly from a 30-year-old’s, so a multivitamin designed for teens may be a better fit so you don’t have to worry about your teen taking too much of any one nutrient.

If you do choose to give your teen an adult multivitamin, just make sure you double-check the label and dosage instructions (and if you aren’t sure, it’s always a good idea to chat with your child’s doctor).

What to look for when buying a vitamin for teens

With so many options available, it’s hard to know which is the right fit for your teen. Aside from choosing brands with good reputations for quality and safety, you also may want to consider extra ingredients your child doesn’t need, like excess sugar and preservatives.

Many vitamins and minerals work together for your teen’s energy production, brain development, blood health, bone strength and immunity—including B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium and zinc. Adolescent girls have higher iron needs, so you may see iron added to some vitamins—often needed if your teen has a heavy period or doesn’t eat meat or iron-containing plant foods.

Here are 5 of the best teen vitamins


$33 per month

1. Essential for Teens

Subscription-based vitamin brand Ritual offers two vitamin options based on gender because the best vitamin for teen girls may differ from the best vitamin for teen boys (non-binary kiddos should chat with their doctor about the best choice). Ritual prides itself on its “made traceable” products, meaning customers know exactly where their ingredients come from and how the vitamin is made.

Both options include easy-to-absorb essential vitamins and minerals (plus omega-3 DHA for brain development), but the Multivitamin for Her also contains iron and slightly more folate than the Multivitamin for Him.

Ramp nutrition protein powder for teens



2. RAMP! Up the Day Nutrition Protein Powder

Designed by two moms who noticed a gap in quality products for teens and tweens, RAMP! Up the Day Nutrition Protein Powder contains vitamins C, D and K, but also ingredients you won’t find in other products, like L-theanine for focus, resistant starch to support a healthy gut, antioxidants to protect against blue light, and reishi mushrooms for stress resistance and immune support. It also provides 8 grams of plant-based protein, especially helpful for athletes or kids who live off carbs.

RAMP! comes in a delicious dark chocolate brownie flavor that you can easily mix into cow or plant-based milks or throw into a smoothie.

Smarty Pants Teen Vitamins

Smarty Pants


3. SmartyPants Teen

Smarty Pants recently launched a new and improved teen multi with over 18 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin K, making it one of the most comprehensive options on our list—a good choice for those kids who need a lot of extra nutrient support.

Free of artificial sweeteners and major allergens, SmartyPants provide a yummy lemon-flavored gummy option in case your teen doesn’t like swallowing capsules.

First Day Teens Kickstart - Best teen multivitamins

First Day


4. Teen’s Daily Kickstart

Another gummy option, First Day Teen’s Daily Kickstart is for ages 14 and older. Made with a blend of organic fruits and veggies, this multi is vegan, non-GMO, and contains less sugar than many gummy options.

The Daily Kickstart has absorbable forms of essential vitamins and minerals like folate, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc and is specifically designed to provide less than 100% daily intake so you can use it to fill in those nutrient gaps.

Pure Encapsulations Junior Nutrients - best teen vitamins

Pure Encapsulations


5. Junior Nutrients

Pure Encapsulations is known for its high-quality ingredients backed by decades of research and science. Pure Junior Nutrients is a comprehensive multivitamin that provides all the essential vitamins and minerals without added sugar or artificial flavors (or iron). It also contains antioxidants for vision support and gut-supporting inulin, a prebiotic. It’s a capsule, so your teen will need to be comfortable swallowing pills, but if you’re looking for a clean vitamin made by a professional-grade brand, this one is worth considering. 120 capsules cost $28.50 if you order directly from the company.

Related: Got a picky eater? Here are the 5 best vitamins for kids to make sure they get enough nutrients

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