Here’s what you need to know about elderberry syrup for kids and how to choose one you can trust.


Elderberry Syrup for Kids

Elderberry syrup has become so popular in recent years as a way to stop a cold before it starts or at the onset. Elderberries come from a plant called Sambucus nigra, and have been used medicinally for thousands of years. The berries are an antioxidant and high in vitamin C and fiber.

Today, they’re often made into syrups or gummies and taken as a supplement believed to help prevent illness or to soothe cold-and-flu symptoms once they start.

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What to Keep in Mind  

Like many natural remedies, a lot of people swear by elderberry syrup and its popularity has spread by word of mouth and parents who will try anything to keep their kiddos healthy during cold and flu season. But, as is the case with these sorts of things, the research isn’t always so clear.

A few years ago, a pair of two studies did find that taking elderberry extract when symptoms started reduced the duration of the flu by an average of 4 days (!), however, a later (and larger) study failed to back that up.

Also, it’s worth noting that the American Academy of Pediatrics says this about supplements: “…believes that healthy children receiving a normal, well-balanced diet do not need vitamin supplementation over and above the recommended dietary allowances…”. They go on to remind us that megadoses of vitamins (like large amounts of vitamins A, C, or D) can produce toxic symptoms and adverse reactions.

Which is to say: Always talk to your own pediatrician before giving a supplement, no matter which one it is, both for safety purposes and also because supplements are expensive and it’s worth it to make sure it’s actually money well spent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is elderberry syrup safe?

Like many natural remedies, elderberry products are not a cure-all and shouldn’t replace other stay-healthy measures like hand washing and recommended vaccines (such as the flu shot), which are the real keys to staying healthy. Some doctors believe that elderberry is likely safe if taken in small doses, while others are hesitant to recommend it since products are unregulated (these are considered a health supplement, which is not regulated by the FDA).

Bottom line: You’ll want to get your own pediatrician—who can take your child’s specific needs into account—to weigh in before using elderberry products, just as you should for any new supplement or medication.

At what age can a child take elderberry syrup?

You’ll want to touch base with your pediatrician on this, and also follow the instructions for the specific brand of elderberry syrup you purchase. Most of the syrups recommended below are for ages 1 and up, while the gummies and powders typically have slightly older age recommendations. (Some of the syrups also contain honey, which is not recommended before age 1.) 

What are the benefits of elderberry syrup?

Elderberries are extremely high in both Vitamin C and fiber.


Best Elderberry Supplements for Kids

Below are some of our top picks when considering which supplement to buy. Always check in with your pediatrician before starting a new supplement with your child. You’ll also want to check these options against any multivitamin you’re offering, too. Some of them include other vitamins and minerals and we want to make sure we’re not overdoing it.

GAIA Kids Black Elderberry Syrup 

This classic syrup option is made with just five organic ingredients—including elderberries for immune support, and honey for additional help soothing cough and cold symptoms. It’s also certified organic, and includes specific dosing instructions for different ages from 1 to 11.

BUY: GaiaKids Black Elderberry Syrup


Childlife Essentials Elderberry Soft Melts

This option is a super soft gummy dissolves in kid’s mouths for an option that’s easy to take, but not as much like candy as a traditional gummy—and is much easier for little kids to chew. This supplement has elderberry and vitamin C, and also includes folic acid.

The company includes dosing information for ages 1 to 13 and up, and also mentions that you can break up the tablets into food if that works better for your littles. 

Buy ChildLife Essentials Elderberry Super-Immune Softmelts


Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Elderberry Immune Support Gummies

If you prefer a gummy option, these ones from Zarbee’s are an excellent choice. (These gummies are made with fruit pectin instead of gelatin, so they’re vegetarian friendly too). Or, checkout Zarbee’s popular syrup version, also for kids ages two and up.

BUY: Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Elderberry Immune Support Gummies 


Rainbow Light Kids Counterattack Elderberry Gummies

Let’s start with what you won’t find in these gummies: They’ve got no artificial preservatives, colors, or sweeteners. They’re free from major allergens and are vegetarian. But what do you get? A lot: These little gummies, for ages 4 and up, are packed with 100 mg of elderberry extract per serving, plus extra Vitamin C, D, and zinc. We also love that their packaging is made from recycled materials. 

Buy Rainbow Light Kids CounterAttack Elderberry Gummies


Nature’s Way Sambucus Standardized Elderberry Immune Syrup for Kids

Another classic syrup option for ages 1 and up, Nature’s Way uses hand-packed elderberries. (That may or may not matter, but we guess it’s nice to know!) Their syrup also includes echinacea.

Buy Nature’s Way Sambucus Standardized Elderberry Immune Syrup for Kids


MegaFood Kids Daily

This is a great option for slightly older kiddos—it’s for ages 5 and up—because the powder can be mixed right into a smoothie or even oatmeal. The powder is made with real food including, of course, elderberries but also oranges, blueberries, cranberries.

Buy MegaFood Kids Daily

For more on all things vitamins and supplements, check out my Ultimate Kids to Toddler Vitamins.

This post was first published February 2021.

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  1. Good Morning Amy,
    Thank you very much for this lists.
    I have taken note and also added 2 in my Amazon cart.
    Keep up with the amazing work because it is greatly appreciated daily.