How much should my child be eating?

Nutrition is very important for your growing child. Good nutrition is three-fold: enough fuel (ie calories), well balanced (ie a healthy mixture of fats, protein and carbohydrates) and diverse (containing necessary vitamins and nutrition). A diet lacking in any of these three components can affect your child’s health increasing risk of infection, affect growth, affect behavior and could cause fatigue, headaches and abdominal pain. We have learned that children even though they consume a lot of fuel may actually be malnourished. Nevertheless, let us first look at how much your child should per consuming, ie calories per day. While this may vary based on how active your child is typically the AAP recommends that a child between 2-3 years consume 1000 cal/day and between 4-8 years consume 1200-1400 cal/day. In reference a Happy Meal can contain as much as 700 calories in 1 serving. Once your child hits puberty girls and boys need a different amount. Typically a girl between ages 9 and 13 years requires 1400-1600 calories perday and boys will require 1600-2000 calories per day. And girls 14 to 18 will need about 1800 calories per day, whereas boys will need 2000- 2400 calories per day. The importance of yearly check-ups can help us detect over eating or under eating. For more information please visit:

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