Calories-Calculating A Child's Daily Needs

In order to maintain normal growth and good health, your child has two important needs: an adequate intake of calories, and a balanced diet that supplies a wide range of essential nutrients. Calories supply the energy needed for growth, and keep you from feeling hungry. The number of calories a child needs varies according to the child's size, growth rate and activity level.

In general, if you want to know how many calories (per day) your child needs, a good rule of thumb for children up to 5 years of age is to begin with a base of 1,000 calories and add 100 calories for each year of your child's age.

For example:

  • A 1 year-old would need approximately 1000 + 100 calories for 1 year, or 1100 calories/day.

  • A 2 year-old would need 1000 + 200 calories for 2 years, or 1200 calories/day.

With this simple equation, you can calculate the approximate number of calories your child needs in order to maintain normal growth.