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As parents, it is our desire, and our duty, to provide our children with a healthy, balanced and appropriate diet for their sex, age, height, weight and physical activity.
Not all children eat the same, each child has their own nutritional needs. However, we tell you what are the suitable calories for children by ages.
At birth, breastfeeding is the best food for our newborn. In addition to providing the necessary nutrients for their proper growth and development, it ensures the best start on the path towards creating healthy eating habits, since, if the child's demand is respected and they are allowed to decide when and how much they want to eat, we teach them to understand and attend the signals of your body.
After the introduction of complementary feeding, it is appropriate to continue with breastfeeding as the basis of feeding - most of the calories come from it - but gradually introduce food into the baby's diet. Once the baby makes meals like adults, the following daily caloric intakes could be established, remembering that they are only indicative and that each child has their own individual needs that may vary from day to day. These are the appropriate calories for children by age:
- 1 year old baby: 900 Kcal basal. If the baby is already walking and crawling very actively, his needs are likely to be higher, up to 100-250 Kcal higher.
- Children from 2 to 3 years: 1000 Kcal basal. It may be necessary to increase this recommendation by up to 200-350 Kcal depending on whether the child performs mild (1200 Kcal), moderate (1250 Kcal) or high (1350 Kcal) physical activity.
- Children 4-8 years: 1200-1400 Kcal daily are usually the basal average, and may require 200-400 more Kcal depending on physical activity.
- Children 9-13 years: 1400-1600 Kcal daily when no physical activity is performed, adding another 200-400 Kcal depending on physical activity.
- Children over 14 years: 1800-2200 Kcal plus 200-400 Kcal depending on the physical activity they do.
From the age of 4 or 5, it can be observed that the caloric needs of girls are lower than those of boys, and may need up to 200 Kcal less, for example, a 5-year-old girl who performs moderate physical activity, may need 1400 Kcal, while a child of the same age, also doing moderate physical activity, may need 1600 Kcal.
It is also worth remembering that no more than 25-30% of calories should be provided from fat (mono and polyunsaturated), and that the consumption of saturated fats should also be limited, trying not to exceed 10% of total calories. Hydrogenated fats and / or trans fats should be avoided as much as possible.
About a 10-15% of the calories in the diet should come from protein sources, while carbohydrates should constitute at least 55-60%, limiting simple carbohydrates to no more than 10% of the total contribution.
You can read more articles similar to Adequate calories for children by ages, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.