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Calorie Needs of Children

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Guidelines on children calorie needs tend to vary. American diet guidelines suggest higher calorie intakes for children than European guidelines. Both are therefore included in the calorie tables below. Most pediatric dietitians and nutritionists agree that a balanced diet, containing foods from all main food groups, which contains enough energy to maintain a healthy weight, should meet all the energy requirements of healthy children.


So counting calories is not really necessary. However, for reference purposes, here are the basic guidelines for children calorie needs.


US Guidelines: Average Calorie Needs For Children

Age of ChildAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
0-5 months650 calories
5-12 months850
1-3 years1300
4-6 years1800
7-10 years2000


Guidelines: Calorie Needs For Children

Age of GirlAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
1-3 years1165 calories
4-6 years1545
7-10 years1740
Age of BoyAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
1-3 years1230 calories
4-6 years1715
7-10 years1970