Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that parents follow their pediatrician’s guidance in regard to children’s vitamins.
Hiya Vitamins is a children’s vitamin brand that’s marketed as a healthier alternative. The brand states the following on their website: “Many children's vitamins include added sugars, dyes, and gummy additives. So instead, we made Hiya.”
But do children even benefit from supplementing with multivitamins? Does Hiya contain any questionable ingredients? How do the ingredients in Hiya Vitamins compare to other children’s multivitamins? And how do real parents rate and describe the effects of Hiya Vitamins on their kids?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we review medical studies on children’s multivitamins to see if the research suggests they're beneficial.
We’ll analyze the ingredients in Hiya Vitamins and compare them to another popular children’s multivitamin brand to give our take on whether Hiya is actually a healthier option.
Finally, we’ll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand.
Do Children Even Need Multivitamins?
Whether or not children benefit from multivitamin supplementation has been studied in medical research.
A medical review published in the Journal of Nutritional Science suggests that multivitamin supplementation can be beneficial in children in the case of a documented nutritional deficiency, or if the child has an imbalanced (unhealthy) diet.
So if a child is found to have low vitamin D levels on an annual lab test, for example, a multivitamin may be useful. Multivitamin supplementation may also be useful for children who refuse to eat vegetables and thus are at risk of nutritional deficiencies.
A 2019 medical review on multivitamins marketed to children in Canada found that the nutrient levels in these vitamins were high enough in some cases to potentially pose a health risk:
“Yet our study reveals that the median dose levels for all of these nutrients (with the exception of vitamin K) far exceed the AI recommendations.”
A 2012 medical review assessed potential benefits and risks of multivitamin supplementation in children and concluded that “the benefits appear to be limited.”
Overall, our take is that multivitamin supplementation may benefit some children depending on nutritional status, but it should be assessed on an individual basis with the help of a licensed healthcare practitioner.
The nutritional needs of developing bodies and brains are more sensitive than the nutritional needs of adults, and it would be very challenging to take a one-size-fits-all approach to pediatric vitamin supplementation.
But what does a holistic doctor have to say about multivitamin use in children? We’ll feature a YouTube video answering that question in the next section of this article, before analyzing the ingredients in Hiya Vitamins.
Holistic Doctor on Children’s Vitamins
An MD and YouTube creator named Ana-Maria Temple has a video on whether or not multivitamins are bad for kids that has over 17,000 views:
Hiya Ingredient Analysis
Most of our analysis of multivitamin ingredients will focus on other active ingredients and inactive ingredients, because as cited in the first section of this article, the optimal dose and balance of vitamins and minerals will vary so much child-to-child that it’s challenging to compare multivitamin brands on active ingredients.
The Fruit and Vegetable Blend in Hiya Kids Daily Multivitamin are shown above.
We want to call the reader’s attention to this section due to the incredibly low dose. There are 12 ingredients in this blend, with a total dose of 25 milligrams (mg), or 2 mg per ingredient.
One dried apple ring provides a dose of 6,400 mg according to the USDA, meaning one single dried apple ring provides 3,200x the dose of the apple in Hiya Vitamins.
We have not come across any clinical evidence that fruits and vegetables at such minuscule doses provide any health benefits, nor does the brand cite any.
The inactive ingredients in Hiya’s multivitamin are shown below:
This is where the brand really stands out compared to the competition, because there is only one additive ingredient we consider questionable from a health perspective.
As we discussed in our review of First Day Vitamins, flavoring additives may be unhealthy based on some clinical trial data.
Especially in a product marketed to children, we would prefer the brand to use whole fruits for flavoring instead of “natural flavors.”
Overall, we don’t recommend Hiya Vitamins due to the inclusion of natural flavors, but we do find this brand to be effectively formulated and to be the best children’s multivitamin we’ve reviewed to date on Illuminate Health (as we’ll explain further in the next section).
Hiya vs. the Competition
The ingredients in Flintstones Gummy Vitamins are shown above.
This is one of the most popular multivitamins for children, and is marketed as “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice.”
Glucose syrup and sugar are two refined, caloric sweeteners, and a 2019 medical review found that “children are at a high risk of sugar overconsumption” and that intake of added sugars in excess is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Citric acid is clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we documented in our Olly Vitamins reviews article.
Natural flavor is also included, and we discussed our concerns regarding that ingredient in the ingredient analysis section.
Overall, we consider Hiya Vitamins to be significantly superior to Flintstones Vitamins and other commercial children’s multivitamins from a formulation standpoint, due mostly to its minimal additive ingredients.
But how do real parents rate and review Hiya? We’ll feature some unsponsored customer reviews in the next section.
Real People Try Hiya Vitamins
A YouTube creator named “What’s Happenin’ With Hannah V” shared her experience as a parent purchasing Hiya Vitamins:
A YouTube creator named “Fit Healthy Momma” compared Hiya to First Day Vitamins, another vitamin brand for children:
Is Hiya False Advertising?
An independent testing laboratory we trust called ConsumerLab published a concerning report on their website in March of 2023.
The report claims that Hiya was running paid advertisements stating that ConsumerLab recommended their supplement(s), while ConsumerLab claims they never made such a recommendation:
“An ‘advertorial’ for Hiya Kids Daily Multivitamin appearing on the website ‘The Daily Post’ provided misinformation and suggested that ConsumerLab.com recommended this product, which is completely false. ConsumerLab has not evaluated any product from Hiya Health.”
Even if this was due to the actions of a third-party marketing agency, we consider this to be a red flag. Companies have a responsibility to ensure accurate advertising.
Pros and Cons of Hiya Vitamins
Here are the pros and cons of Hiya as a brand in our opinion:
- Better formulation than most children’s vitamins
- Natural colorants
- No refined sugar
- Multivitamins may benefit children with poor diets
- Multivitamins may benefit children with vitamin deficiencies
- Brand may have engaged in false advertising
- Contains natural flavors
- Unclear if otherwise healthy children require multivitamins