Calories provide energy, which we need to survive and perform daily activities. The calories we get from food and beverages allow us to breathe, walk, run, laugh and even pump blood. Calorie needs vary depending on age, sex, height and activity level. Calorie needs are often higher during the teenage years than any other time of life. During this period of rapid growth and development, boys require an average of 2,800 calories a day, while girls require an average of 2,200 calories a day.
Below is a detailed list of calorie needs for teens by age, sex and activity level.
2,000 – 2,200
2,400 – 2,600
2,800 – 3,000
Not Active – Minimal activity, only moving for tasks needed for daily life, such as walking to the mailbox.
Moderately Active – Engages in activity needed for daily living, plus activity equivalent to walking 1.5 to 3 miles daily, or 30 to 40 minutes.
Active – Engages in activity needed for daily life, plus activity equivalent to walking 3 or more miles daily, or more than 40 minutes.
A Well-balanced Eating Plan
The amount of calories in food vary depending on how much carbohydrate, protein and fat it contains – both carbohydrates and protein provide four calories per gram, while fat provides nine calories per gram. It is important that teens obtain calories from nutrient-dense sources, which are higher in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, and limit added sugars, salt and saturated fats. A well-balanced eating plan includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and lean protein foods.
Body image may be a concern for teens, as they start to form thoughts and feelings about the way they look. Body image can be positive or negative and may have little to do with actual appearance. Parents are the most influential role model in a teen’s life, so it is important to teach healthy body image by being a positive example. Avoid dieting, eat an overall balanced diet and try not to talk negatively about your body around your children. Avoid putting emphasis on people’s physical appearance and engage in discussions with your teen about body image portrayed in media. Encourage your teen to exercise for energy, health and strength rather than for outward appearance.
Just like adults, teens come in all shapes and sizes. A balanced eating plan and regular physical activity will help your teen grow into their healthy weight. While nearly 20% of teens have an obese body mass index, nearly 3% of adolescent girls meet the criteria for an eating disorder. If you are concerned about your teen’s weight or relationship with food, seek guidance from a registered dietitian nutritionist or physician.
Feeding Chart, Meal Ideas, and Serving Sizes
Experts explain how to provide toddlers with the nutritious food they need for their growing bodies.
Written by Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD
Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 31, 2022
Your child is walking, climbing, running, and "talking" nonstop now. Such developmental milestones mean their nutritional needs have changed, too.
Welcome to toddler territory. Armed with some basic know-how, you'll discover how best to nourish your child up to age 3.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much to Serve?
It's ironic: Because of a slowdown in growth, toddlers, who are far more active than infants, have lower calorie needs, pound for pound. That doesn't diminish the importance of good nutrition, but it does present some challenges.
Toddlers need between 1,000 and 1,400 calories a day, depending on their age, size, and physical activity level (most are considered active). The amount of food a toddler requires from each of the food groups is based on daily calorie needs.
In addition to choices from each of the food groups, toddlers need the equivalent of 3 to 4 teaspoons of healthy oils, such as canola oil.
Toddler Feeding Chart
3, at least half from whole-grain sources
5, at least half from whole-grain sources
1 slice of whole-grain bread; 1 mini bagel; 1/2 cup cooked pasta, rice, or cereal; 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal
1 small apple; 1 cup sliced or cubed fruit; 1 large banana
1 cup cooked mashed or finely chopped vegetables including legumes (chickpeas, black beans, etc. )
1 cooked egg; 1 ounce cooked meat, poultry, or seafood; 1 tablespoon nut butter; 1/4 cup cooked legumes
1 cup milk or yogurt; 2 ounces processed American cheese; 1 1/2 ounces natural cheese, such as cheddar (low-fat for ages 2 and older)
Feeding Toddlers: Signs Your Toddler Is Ready to Self-Feed
Every day, toddlers hone their motor skills, including at the table. Mastering the pincer grasp, which allows children to pick up small bits of food (and other objects) between their thumbs and the forefingers, is one of the first steps to self-feeding, says pediatrician Tanya Remer Altman, MD, author of Mommy Calls.
Children start to develop the pincer grasp around 9 months, the same time they're ready for a lidded sippy or straw cup filled with infant formula or breast milk.
Many toddlers can self-feed an entire meal at around a year old, while other toddlers may need help until 18 months or so, Altman tells WebMD.
"After age 2, most toddlers can use a regular cup without a lid without spilling, but if they enjoy a straw cup or a sippy cup, there's no harm in that," Altman says.
Once a child discovers they can get food into their own mouth, they may not want you to help so much anymore.
Toddler self-feeding gives a whole new meaning to the term mess hall, but it's worth it to let them try to get food into their mouth, says Elisa Zied, MS, RD, author of Feed Your Family Right! and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
"Self-feeding is an important developmental skill that parents should nurture," Zied says.
Allow children to self-feed as much as they can and want to, advises Altman, but if they aren't getting enough food, you can help, too.
Feeding Toddlers: Milk and Other Dairy Products for Toddlers
Dairy foods, particularly milk, are rich in bone-building calcium and vitamin D. There's no rush to serve a child milk, however.
"Wait until his first birthday to offer cow's milk," says Zied.
The reason? Unlike fortified infant formula, cow's milk is low in iron and may lead to iron deficiency that compromises a child's thinking capacity, energy levels, and growth. Breast milk is low in iron, but the iron is well-absorbed by the child's body.
Most toddlers begin by eating full-fat dairy foods for the calories, fat, and cholesterol necessary to fuel their growth and development. In some cases, your pediatrician or registered dietitian may recommend 2% reduced-fat milk, so ask what is right for your child.
By the age of 2, most toddlers can start transitioning to lower-fat dairy foods, such as 2% reduced-fat milk or 1% low-fat milk, Zied says.
Milk is particularly beneficial because it provides vitamin D. Children of all ages need 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Toddlers require 16 ounces of milk or another calcium-containing product every day. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, however.
Like any beverage, filling up on milk leaves less room for foods, including iron-rich choices such as lean beef, chicken, and pork.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much Juice?
Strictly speaking, children do not need juice. The AAP recommends limiting fruit juice intake to 6 ounces a day or less until 6 years of age.
"It's better to get your child accustomed to the taste of water than juice at a young age," Altman says.
It's not that fruit juice is bad. It's an important source of several vitamins and minerals that fuel growth, including vitamin C. Fortified juices offer additional nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, too.
The problem is, drinking [fruit] juice, even when it's diluted, may give kids a taste for sweets, Altman says. Drinking fruit juice at a young age could encourage the consumption of the "liquid calories" that some experts have fingered as a contributor to childhood obesity. And excessive fruit juice intake may cause cavities.
Altman suggests sticking with whole fruit for toddlers. "I don't know very many toddlers who don't like fruit," she says.
Feeding Toddlers: What About Multivitamins?
A multivitamin/multimineral supplement (multi) designed for toddlers won't hurt and may even help a child's diet, Zied tells WebMD. Opt for a liquid formulation until the age of 2 and then discuss a chewable with your pediatrician.
"Toddlers are erratic eaters, and some may go days or even weeks coming up short for one or more nutrients," she says.
Dietary supplements provide some insurance against a toddler's unpredictable eating, but they are just that -- supplements, not substitutes for a balanced diet. Multis fall short for many nutrients toddlers need every day, including calcium.
Multis with vitamin D may be in order if your toddler doesn't get the recommended 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
The body makes vitamin D; its production is initiated in the skin by strong sunlight. Living in a northern climate increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults, making the case for supplemental vitamin D compelling.
Few foods other than milk are good sources of vitamin D. Some good ones include:
Cereal, ready-to-eat, fortified: 40-60 IU for 3/4 to 1 cup.
Fortified orange juice: 50 IU for 4 ounces.
Eggs, whole (yolk): 20-40 IU for one large.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much Salt?
Zied and Altman agree: Children should become accustomed at a young age to the natural flavors of food rather than to a salty taste.
But it may come as a surprise that the salt shaker is a minor source of sodium in the American diet.
Processed foods, including toddler favorites such as hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets, provide 75% of the sodium we eat.
Too much dietary sodium has been linked to high blood pressure in adults. Research suggests a lower sodium intake during childhood may lessen the risk of high blood pressure with age.
While it's a good idea to avoid the salt shaker, it's even better to cook from scratch as much as possible. "Limit processed products and season food with herbs and spices to cut down on the salt in your family's diet," Zied advises.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much Sugar?
It’s not possible to totally escape sugar. Natural sugars are present in some of the most nutritious foods, including fruit, veggies, and milk.
But a bigger concern is the overall quality of the food. Whole foods have many nutrients to offer. Processed, sugary foods -- such as candy, cake, and cookies -- are often packed with fat and lack other nutrients. Added sugar is found in healthier choices also, such as breakfast cereals, yogurt, and snack bars.
Zied says older children get upwards of 25% of their calories from sugar, far too much to ensure nutritional adequacy.
"Generally speaking, sugary foods are OK in small doses," Zied says.
"She suggests avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice intake as well as serving more fruits and vegetables with each meal you give your little one."
How much junk food can a child eat per day? – “Food”
From a utilitarian point of view food is a source of energy and building materials for the body. Food products are made up of various components: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, macro- and microelements. The ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates determines calorie content of food. Proteins are the least caloric of the entire BJU company. it high-molecular organic substances consisting of alpha-amino acids, connected in a chain by a peptide bond. One of the main roles of protein in the body human - to participate in the construction of new cells. Part of the amino acids necessary for a person cannot be synthesized by the body and must be supplied outside - with proteins.
Fats are compounds necessary for the release of energy and the construction of connective fabrics. By increasing the number of fat cells, the body accumulates energy. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy.
The so-called BJU balance is the way to a healthy and beautiful body from a young age. We turned to those operating in the Russian Federation standards and studied how much favorite food for children of all ages they matches.
The rules are as follows.
Energy. Children from 3 to 7 years old should receive 1800 kcal per day, children from 7 to 11 years old - 2100 kcal per day, boys from 11 to 14 years old - 2500 kcal per day, girls - 2300 kcal per day.
Proteins. Children 3 to 7 years of age should receive 54 g per day, 7 to 11 years of age 63 g per day, 11 to 14 years of age 75 g (boys) and 69 g (girls) per day.
Fats. Children 3 to 7 years of age should receive 60 g per day, 7 to 11 years of age 70 g per day, 11 to 14 years of age 83 g (boys) and 77 g (girls) per day.
Carbohydrates. Children 3 to 7 years of age should receive 261 grams per day, 7 to 11 years of age 305 grams per day, 11 to 14 years of age 363 grams (boys) and 334 grams (girls) per day.
There are many other details that still affect nutritional value (for example, 60-70 percent of proteins should be - but according to the standards - of animal origin, fats should provide no more than 30 percent of energy, and so on). Plus - consumption rates depend on the mass, constitution and metabolic characteristics of each individual child. But we will make the most approximate calculations, because the main harm that the excessive consumption of the products of our choice brings is due to their nutritional imbalance.
Chips with salt
Consider the example of crispy potatoes with a girl in a circle on a pack, which used to be made in Moscow, and now in Kemerovo.
A large pack contains 160 grams of these chips. These 160 grams contain 816 kcal, as well as 9.6 grams of protein, 51.2 grams of fat and 80 grams of carbohydrates. The chips also contain salt, but its amount is not indicated on the pack, although this is also very valuable information from the point of view of the child's health.
If a child aged 3 to 7 eats a pack of such potatoes, he will satisfy his need for energy by 45.3%, proteins by 17.7%, fats by 85.3%, and carbohydrates by 30 .7%. That is, if he eats another such pack, he will receive almost all the energy he needs for the day, but will not satisfy the needs for proteins (especially) and carbohydrates, but will exceed the norm for fats by more than one and a half times. And if he eats only one, then he definitely can’t do anything very fatty anymore. So if you allow a child at this age to eat chips, then in a minimal amount.
With a child aged 7 to 11, the calculations are as follows: the daily need for calories will be satisfied by 38.9%, in proteins - by 15.2%, in fats - by 73.1%, and in carbohydrates - by 26 .2%. Again: the second pack cannot be allowed because of the fat, but after the first one you need something rich in proteins and carbohydrates.
Adolescents aged 11 to 14 will receive 32-35% of their energy needs, 13-14% of protein, 62-66% of fat and 22-24%. The second pack is again definitely not recommended, and a third of the required energy has already been received.
We took the most obvious option: the McDonald's cheeseburger. It contains 302 kcal, 12 g of fat, 30 g of carbohydrates and 16 g of protein.
If a child aged 3 to 7 is fed with a cheeseburger, then his daily need for kilocalories will be covered by 16. 7%. He will get 20% of fats, 29.6% of proteins, and 11.4% of carbohydrates. Three of these cheeseburgers - and almost daily protein intake and more than half of the required fat. Only after them it will be possible to allow him only a vegetable salad.
For a child aged 7 to 11 years, the need for calories will be satisfied by 14.3% of the daily norm, in fat - by 17.1%, in proteins - by 25.3%, and in carbohydrates - by 9, eight%. Adolescents will receive 12-13% of the required energy, 14-15% fat, 8-9% carbohydrates and 21-23% protein. It seems to be okay, but do not forget that McDonald's is not limited to a cheeseburger, there is also soda, and this is a shock dose of sugar (see below). And besides, the cheeseburger is small, one might even say thin, and more often they take more impressive things like the Big Mac, everything is much more serious there: 503 kcal, 25 g of fat, 42 g of carbohydrates and 26 g of protein.
McDonald's, by the way, lists on its website not only all these numbers, but also the fiber, sugar, and salt content. Other major chains do the same. Use it, it's really very useful information.
For example, we took ice cream “48 kopecks”. One cup contains 170 kcal, 2.4 g of protein, 9.5 g of fat and 18 g of carbohydrates.
Children aged 3 to 7 receive 9.6% of daily calories, 5% protein, 15.7% fat and 7.4% carbohydrates with one serving of ice cream. 6 ice creams - and the need for fats is almost satisfied, but not enough energy. However, two cups, if the child really wants to, is rarely allowed, but possible.
A child between the ages of 7 and 11 will receive 8.2% calories, 4.3% protein, 13.4% fat and 6.3% carbohydrate. He can even be allowed three - but again, not every day.
Adolescents will receive 7-7.5% energy, 3.5-4% protein, 11-12% fat and 5-6% carbohydrate. That is, you can, of course, eat nine ice creams at a time, but then there will be a lack of proteins and carbohydrates, and at the same time you will still want to eat.
Small package chocolate Kinder Chocolate contains 4 serving bars (50 g total), they generally contain 284 kcal, 4. 35 g of protein, 26.75 g of carbohydrates and 17.5 g of fat.
For a child aged 3 to 7 is 15 % of daily calories, 8% protein, 10.2% carbohydrates and 30% fat. If for breakfast there was porridge with milk or fatty cottage cheese, then after chocolates until the evening you will have to focus on lean food - lean meat (to get protein norm), vegetables and cereals (it will give carbohydrates). Permissible, if necessary, a snack, if in the afternoon no desserts are planned in the diet, but not on a daily basis.
Child in aged 7 to 11 years, a package of chocolate will give 13.5 % needed energy, 7% the protein he needs, 8.7% carbohydrates and 25% fat. The legend that Kinder Chocolate is a kind of deceptive way to give children milk to drink by serving it in the form of chocolate does not stand up to scrutiny a little: in fact, the filling contains vegetable fat along with milk fat. But from the point of view of the BJU, this is quite acceptable snack, though with a bias in fats.
Teenagers 11-14 years old Kinder Chocolate is 11-12.5% energy, 5.8-6.3% protein, 7-8% carbs and 21-22% fat. Quite nutritious and relatively safe thing with a reasonable approach. The main thing is to monitor the fat content of what children will eat at home: the more chocolate in the diet, the more lean there should be other food that day.
Standard bar weighing 50.5 g contains 249 kcal, 3.8 g of protein, 32.4 g of carbohydrates (there are 26 of them g sugar), 12.7 g fat.
For a child 3-7 years old one Snickers is 13.8 % of daily calories, 7% protein, 12.4% carbohydrates and 7.6% fat. The proportions are not bad, because having made the child will receive only a slight shortage of his diet only from Snickers proteins and fats or a light bust of carbohydrates. But the main danger lies in sugar. One bar contains 26 g of sugar, which means that ten bars contain more than a quarter of a kilogram! According to representatives of the domestic system health care, the amount of sucrose should not exceed 10 % of the calorie content of the children's daily diet. We consider. One Snickers is 99 "sugar" kilocalories, so two bars is already more than 10 % of the 1800 kcal for children of this age day. Even one bar a day is an occasion to think about the composition of the rest products on the menu.
Child 7-11 years old, eating Snickers will get 11.8 % calories needed, 6% protein, 10.6% carbs, and 8.9% fat. A complete failure in proteins, however, when the task is to “snicker”, that is, quickly replenish the supply of energy, they do not needed. Not bad if the child plays sports or has an important control, but remember to keep an eye on the amount of sugar you consume.
Teenage boy 11-14 years old can, say, eat 10 Snickers a day - one contains 9.9 % of required calories. The girl can no more than 9 pieces: one "Snickers" is 10 .8% of the required energy. With fats and carbohydrates, everything will also be within the normal range - in one bar, about 10% of what is needed. But at the same time, both will receive a shortage of proteins: one bar is about 5% of the daily requirement, and 10 bars will only satisfy the need by half. In general, if you take into account the rest of the diet, this is also more of an emergency energy help than part of a permanent lifestyle.
500 ml Coca-Cola contains 210 kilocalories, no fats and proteins, but 53 g of carbohydrates, of which all are sugar.
Coca-Cola (however, like Pepsi-Cola and other sodas) is literally pure sugar. To drink a bottle is to consume 2 tablespoons of sugar with a slide. Therefore, consider it from the point of view view of the balance of the BJU is meaningless. And if you look from the point of view allowable amount of sugar, things are rather alarming.
One half-liter bottle of Coca-Cola is 20% of the carbohydrates needed by a child 3-7 years old, 17% - needed by children 7-11 years old and 15-16% - teenagers. If we remember that, according to Russian standards, sugar should not give more than 10 % from the daily norm of kilocalories, then 500 ml of cola without a twinge of conscience can only be drunk by children at the age of 11-14 years, and they will still have a small gap in sugar: it will be possible, for example, to eat fruit. The rest is proteins and fats, cottage cheese, meat and fish. For children under the age of 11, half a liter of cola is the daily amount of sugar. And for children of age 3-7 years half a liter of cola is already too much, the maximum allowable amount is 400 ml of soda.
Now let's imagine that the child consumes all these foods in a day. Their total calorie content is 2031 kcal, proteins in them are 36.15 g, fats are 102.9 g, and carbohydrates are 320.15 g.
For a child of 3-7 years old, this is 12% of excess calories, 66% of the necessary proteins, fats - 70% more than the norm, and carbohydrates - 22%. (And do not forget about the sugar norm, which is already exceeded by one Coca-Cola.)
For a child of 7-11 years old, this is almost the daily calorie intake, 57% of the necessary proteins, 47% of excess fats and the daily intake of carbohydrates.
And for teenagers - 81-88% of energy, half of the norm of proteins, 23-33% of the excess of fat and slightly less than the daily norm of carbohydrates.
How many calories does a child need
Recommended intakes of energy, proteins and carbohydrates for children and adolescents (per daily diet)
Gender and age
0 - 3 months
7 - 12 months
1 - 3 years
53 903 9
7 - 10 years
Norms of physiological needs for energy and nutrients for various groups of the population of the Russian Federation.
Norms (Methodological recommendations MR 126.96.36.1992 dated December 18, 2008) approved by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation G.