Whether you’re a parent to a teen or just remember what it was like to be one yourself, you probably know that prioritizing a balanced diet during this particular life stage is, uh…not always so simple. In fact, according to national data, teens’ diets are among the worst in the US. That means that most teenagers fall below recommendations for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other nutrient-dense foods. (1)
At Ritual, we believe in a food-first approach: the idea that the best way to meet your nutrient needs is to focus on what’s on your plate. But the truth is that nutrient gaps can still happen even for those of us who eat pretty healthfully—which means that those who don’t follow a balanced diet may be particularly vulnerable. So while a multivitamin can never replace a healthy diet, it might come in handy when it comes to bridging some of those nutrient gaps—especially if it was formulated with a particular life stage in mind, along with the common dietary gaps of that age group.
That’s all to say that teens may need a slightly different multivitamin than kids under 13 or adults over 18, based on their specific life stage needs as well as those common nutrient gaps. Makes sense, right? And beyond that, there are other factors worth considering—like the way the multivitamin is formulated and the ingredients that aren’t included, like sugars or shady additives.
With all this in mind, here’s what to look out for in a quality teen multivitamin.