How Much Food Does a Child Need Each Day?

Kids can benefit from dietary improvements at any age. Quality foods make a difference when they are young, and their brains are growing most rapidly. It also makes a huge difference for teens, whose brains are restructuring for adult life.

For most kids, about 80% of adult height is gained before 6th grade is over, but the need for quality nutrition doesn't stop there. About 20% of adult height and 50% of adult weight are gained during adolescence. Most boys undergo a dramatic increase in their lean body mass between the ages of 10 and 17. Because growth and change is so rapid during this period, the requirements for all nutrients increase.

You can use these guidelines to help make nutritious choices and create balanced meals for your kids. And remember that organic foods may provide a nutrition bonus from healthy mineral content, higher antioxidant content, as well as lowering your child's exposure to developmentally disruptive pesticides.

Girls from 4 - 8 years old
Whole grains - 4 oz
Vegetables - 1 cup
Fruits - 1.5 cups
Beans, nuts, eggs, or lean meats - 3 oz
Milk, other dairy, or other source of calcium and protein - 2 cups

Boys from 4 - 8 years old
Whole grains - 5 oz
Vegetables - 1.5 cups
Fruits - 1.5 cups
Beans, nuts, eggs, or lean meats - 4 oz
Milk, other dairy, or other source of calcium and protein - 2 cups

Girls from 9 - 13 years old
Whole grains - 5 oz
Vegetables - 2 cups
Fruits - 1.5 cups
Beans, nuts, eggs, or lean meats - 5 oz
Milk, other dairy, or other source of calcium and protein - 3 cups

Boys from 9 - 13 years old
Whole grains - 5 oz
Vegetables - 2 cups
Fruits - 1.5 cups
Beans, nuts, eggs, or lean meats - 5 oz
Milk, other dairy, or other source of calcium and protein - 3 cups

Girls from 14 - 18 years old
Whole grains - 6oz
Vegetables - 2.5 cups
Fruits - 1.5 cups
Beans, nuts, eggs, or lean meats - 5 oz
Milk, other dairy, or other source of calcium and protein - 3 cups

Boys from 14 - 18 years old
Whole grains - 7 oz
Vegetables - 3 cups
Fruits - 2 cups
Beans, nuts, eggs, or lean meats - 6 oz
Milk, other dairy, or other source of calcium and protein - 3 cups

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article or blog are strictly those of the author. The contents of this article or blog and any reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service whether by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by ISI Brands and ISI Brands assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, service or process disclosed or referenced herein. All information is provided on an as-is basis and is provide for information purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.