Calorie intake for children

How many calories does a child need? It’s important to know the number of calories a child to eat to stay healthy.
How many calories you need each day depends on a few things: 1) Age 2) Boy or girl 3) How active are your children.
The tables on the next pages show the calories needed each day for boys and for girls. They are split by age and three levels of activity.

Not Active
Not much ENERGY OUT. Does only light activity needed for daily life. For instance, cooking or walking to the mailbox.

Somewhat Active
Some ENERGY OUT
Does physical activity equal to walking quickly for 1 ½ to 3 miles (about 30–40 minutes) each day. Plus, does light activity needed for daily life.

Very Active
A lot of ENERGY OUT. Does physical activity equal to walking quickly for more than 3 miles each day (more than 40 minutes). Plus, does light activity needed for daily life.

The amount of calories needed differs by age based on the level of regular physical activity. That’s why the tables give a range of calories for some age groups. For children, more calories are needed at older ages.

Calorie intake for children

Calorie intake for Boys

Age Not Active Somewhat Active Very Active
2–3 years 1,000–1,200 calories 1,000–1,400 calories 1,000–1,400 calories
4–8 years 1,200–1,400 calories 1,400–1,600 calories 1,600–2,000 calories
9–13 years 1,600–2,000 calories 1,800–2,200 calories 2,000–2,600 calories
14–18 years 2,000–2,400 calories 2,400–2,800 calories 2,800–3,200 calories

Calorie intake for Girls

Age Not Active Somewhat Active Very Active
2–3 years 1,000 calories 1,000–1,200 calories 1,000–1,400 calories
4–8 years 1,200–1,400 calories 1,400–1,600 calories 1,400–1,800 calories
9–13 years 1,400–1,600 calories 1,600–2,000 calories 1,800–2,200 calories
14–18 years 1,800 calories 2,000 calories 2,400 calories
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