In this comparison article, I’m tackling sugar content, texture, packaging and sustainability, cost, ingredients, and more. Let’s compare!
Sugar and Sweeteners
A multivitamin is a place for vitamins and nutrients – not sugar. However, many vitamin brands load their vitamins up with sugar to make them taste like candy. SmartyPants is one of those brands. One serving size (4 gummies) has 5 grams of added sugars.
According to the AAP, a toddler should aim for less than 25 grams of added sugar per day. That means their vitamin is already accounting for a fifth of their ideal sugar intake!
Hiya does not include any added sugars. Hiya sweetens its vitamins with monk fruit extract and a touch of mannitol.
Monk fruit is a super fruit that gets its powerful sweetness from its unique antioxidants, and mannitol is an all-natural sweetener found in fruits and vegetables and suggested by dentists in their fight against tooth decay.
So, when it comes to added sugar, Hiya definitely wins this one.
When we’re talking about vitamins for toddlers, texture is important. I get a bit nervous with gummy foods, as my niece had a choking incident with gummy bears when she was young. In fact, foods with a gummy or gelatinous texture are one of the seven most common choking hazards among kids.
In 2001, the FDA banned the import of jelly fruit candies after they were linked to choking deaths in children.
That’s why I really like Hiya, which is a chewable vitamin – very similar to Tums or sweetarts. It’s a bit chalky, so when you bite down, it just breaks apart into a powder.
SmartyPants is a gummy vitamin, which can be a concern for some parents. It’s also gummier than other gummy vitamin brands on the market like First Day. It didn’t break down quite as quickly as the First Day gummies do.
I really prefer the Hiya chewable texture. There’s absolutely zero concern about choking, and my kids really love it!
So in the texture department, I have to give the upper hand to Hiya.
Packaging and Sustainability
Hiya has incredible packaging that promotes sustainability and less waste. When you first sign up, you get a reusable glass vitamin container. After that, you get refill packets that you simply pour into the vitamin container.
SmartyPants, on the other hand, sends a new plastic bottle each month (or each time you place an order). Even if you purchase directly from the SmartyPants website, there’s no refill system in place.
It irks me to throw away a plastic bottle each month when it’s just not necessary.
So, I have to give Hiya the win when it comes to packaging and sustainability.
A big factor for me when comparing vitamins for my toddlers is price.
Vitamins are a constant thing, and with Hiya and SmartyPants, you’re on a subscription where you pay monthly for your vitamin refill.
Hiya definitely has the leg up on your first month, as they give you 50% off your first order. That brings the cost of your first month to just $15.
However, after that first month, Hiya’s vitamins are more expensive than SmartyPants. Hiya charges $30 for a 30-day supply, though the price does drop down on a sliding scale if you have more than one child.
SmartyPants charges $20.46 for a 30-day supply, though the price drops down to $18.41 if you subscribe and save. You can also save between 5-15% if you have more than one kid (it’s also a sliding scale).
Note: if you buy the SmartyPants from Amazon, the price fluctuates, sometimes even multiple times per day. You need to visit the product listing at the time you read this to see the current Amazon price.
So, Hiya wins on price for those who want to try it out for a month. But for those who plan to continue reordering, SmartyPants is definitely the more affordable choice.
After the discounts end, here’s a price comparison chart:
$28 per child
$19.44 per child
$25 per child
$18.41 per child
$24 per child
$17.39 per child
$23 per child
Both vitamin brands lower their cost per refill as you add more kids to your monthly subscription. However, SmartyPants wins on price, no matter how many kids you are shopping for.
Another important distinction between these vitamin brands – and others on the market – is the age range. SmartyPants is advertised as suitable for ages 4+ whereas Hiya is for ages 2+.
If that labeling is important to you, Hiya is the obvious winner. Age 2 is often when toddlers go through a bout of picky eating, so having a vitamin that’s marked as appropriate for that age is nice. I know our family started shopping for vitamins right at age 2 when my daughter started living on bread and plain pasta.
Hiya wins in this category for being suitable for ages 2+.
If your toddler or child won’t eat the vitamin, you’re out of luck.
Good news here: my kids loved both SmartyPants and Hiya vitamins. There were no complaints, and I don’t blame them! Both of these kids’ vitamin brands taste like candy.
The Hiya vitamins are less sweet than the SmartyPants brand, but that’s unsurprising as the SmartyPants gummies are literally rolled in sugar. I’ve also tried both, and each one has a nice fruity flavor.
My kids have no issues with taking their vitamins for either brand, so this one is definitely a tie.
Included Vitamins & Ingredients
Here is a look at what’s inside the SmartyPants and Hiya vitamins:
✓ (as 50% beta carotene, retinyl palmitate USP)
✓ (as 65% beta carotene and 35% retinyl palmitate)
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)
✓ (as cholecalciferol USP)
✓ (as vegan cholecalciferol)
✓ (as d-alpha-tocopherol from sunflower oil)
✓ (as d-alpha-tocopherol)
✓ (K-1 as phylloquinone)
✓ (as menaquinone-7)
✓ (as thiamine mononitrate USP)
Vitamin B2 (as riboflavin)
✓ (as methylcobalamin)
✓ (as L-methylfolate, calcium salt)
✓ (as calcium L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate)
Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin)
Pantothenic acid (as D-calcium pantothenate)
Calcium (as calcium carbonate)
Iodine (as potassium iodide)
Zinc (as zinc citrate)
Selenium (as selenomethionine)
Manganese (as manganese citrate)
✓ (as choline bitartrate)
Both vitamin brands have a really impressive list of vitamins. I feel really good about both of these brands, in terms of which vitamins are included in the formula.
There are a couple of differences to point out:
- Hiya includes Selenium, which supports sleep, mood, and inflammation. It’s an essential mineral that little bodies can’t make on their own yet, yet most vitamin brands leave it out, including SmartyPants.
- Hiya includes Manganese, which supports the metabolism and helps with inflammation. It’s also often overlooked in vitamins, and it’s left out of the SmartyPants version.
- Hiya includes Calcium, which supports bones and development. Kids don’t naturally produce calcium, and most kids don’t get the calcium they need from food alone. When that happens, their bodies start “borrowing” calcium for their bones. SmartyPants does not have calcium included.
- SmartyPants includes Choline, which is vital to the formation of cell membranes. However, choline supplements are not recommended for children. Foods that contain choline include egg yolks, red meat, salmon, chicken breast, tilapia, and legumes. Hiya’s multivitamin does not include choline.
- SmartyPants includes Fish Oil, which is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, which assist with lots of things like muscle activity and cell growth. For kids who don’t eat fatty fish like salmon, fish oil could be a good idea. Hiya doesn’t include fish oil.
I have to say that when it comes to included vitamins, this one is basically a tie. For me, Hiya has a slight edge with the level of research that has gone into their vitamin formula. But the SmartyPants version is extremely similar and has all the goodies your child needs.
The bigger difference is going to be the gummy junk that goes into the SmartyPants vitamin. In order to make it gummy, it has some ingredients in there like tapioca syrup, gelatin, pectin, and citric acid. And for that, I’m going to give this one to Hiya.
Both Hiya and SmartyPants manufacture their vitamins in a cGMP-compliant facility, or a facility that adheres to current good manufacturing practices, enforced by the FDA. All of the systems in a GMP facility assures proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes.
In addition to that, both vitamin brands go above and beyond by doing third-party lab testing to ensure the quality of safety of their vitamins. These tests look for trace amounts of heavy metals, allergens, and pathogens. This testing is not required by vitamin brands, so both brands are really going above and beyond!
I will say that Hiya actually provided me with a copy of their latest third-party lab results when asked. The transparency and security they offer parents is unmatched!
Which Kids’ Vitamin Brand Wins?
Hiya wins the most categories, but in this comparison, I think the better vitamin for your family will depend on what matters to you.
Hiya wins when it comes to no added sugars, chewable texture, a sustainable refill system, a wider age range that goes down to age 2, and a slightly better ingredient list.
But SmartyPants wins when it comes to price. At the end of the day, it’s much better that your child has a vitamin, even if it’s not the best on the market. So if the price is the main factor for you, I definitely would go with SmartyPants.
If you end up choosing Hiya, don’t forget to snag 50% off your first order!