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Calorie Needs for Teenagers

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Guidelines on calorie needs for teenagers seem to vary according to country. For example, American calorific guidelines suggest higher calorie intakes for teens than European guidelines. Thus both are included in the calorie charts below. Note however, that pediatric nutritionists and dietitians agree that a balanced diet, including foods from all main food groups, which contains enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, should meet all the energy requirements of healthy adolescents and teenagers. So counting calories is not strictly necessary. However, as an approximate guide, here are the basic teenage calorie requirements.


For older children - adolescents and teens - Calorie Needs For Teenagers are determined by gender as well as age. Boys typically need more calories than girls. Other relevant factors in calculating energy needs include a child's size, body composition and level of activity. An active teen at the top of the pediatric growth chart typically requires more calories than a smaller or less active child.


US Guidelines: Calorie Needs For Teenagers

Teenage Girls AgeAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years2200 calories
15-18 years2200
Teenage Boys AgeAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years2500
15-18 years3000


UK Guidelines: Calorie Needs For Teenagers

Age of Teenage GirlAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years1845 calories
15-18 years2110
Age of Teenage BoyAverage Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years2220
15-18 years2755

Source: UK Department of Health (London)