Children's Growth and Daily Dietary Intake

02 August 2010

Growth pattern is affected by nutrition, genetics and environment. Under-nutrition can lead to poor weight gain and poor growth, while over-nutrition may cause excess weight gain and obesity.
The most rapid periods of weight gain are in infancy and adolescents.

 

Normal Monthly Weight Gain by Age:

 

Age (years)

Weight gain/month

1-6

210g (7oz)

7-10

250g (9oz)

11-18

During peak of growth, they might gain around 4.4kg (2lbs)

 

3 Common Weight Myths:

  • It's not diet related (child does not eat a lot)
    • Weight is related to the child's eating habits.
  • They will grow out of it
    • Children might not grow out of the excess weight especially if they don't change their habits.
  • It's genetic, so nothing can be done about it
    • Genetics play a very small role in obesity. Diet and activity play a major role.

 

Calorie Needs:

Age (years)

Calories/day

 2-3

1000-1400

Girls 4-8

1200-1800

Boys 4-8

1400-2000

Girls 9-13

1600-2200

Boys 9-13

1800-2600

Girls 14-18

2000-2400

Boys 14-18

2400-3200

The Calorie range is based on activity patterns:
Lowest calories = sedentary activity (sitting most of the time and no regular exercise)
Highest calories = at least 60 minutes of moderate activity per day.

 

How Much Should My Child Eat?

 

Offer your child three meals and two to three snacks a day. Kids will eat mostly what's available at home. It's important to control the foods you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks. Don't push foods on a child, but kids shouldn't be allowed to eat on demand all day long.

Tips for parents:

  • Establish a predictable schedule for meals and snacks
  • Serve fruits and vegetables with meals and as healthy snacks everyday
  • Limit fast food and low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don't completely ban favorite snacks from home. Instead, make them "once-in-a-while" foods so kids don't feel deprived
  • Quit the "clean-plate club". When kids notice and respond to feeling of fullness, they are less likely to overeat
  • Don't bribe or reward kids for food. Using sweets as a bribe creates the impression that they are more valuable or better than other healthy foods
  • Try to stay neutral about foods and be a role model by eating healthy yourself
  • Let your kids try new foods

 

How much you should eat from each Food Group:

 

 

Food Group

Servings/day
(based on 30-60min of moderate activity per day)

 

Food

2-3 years

4-8 years

9-13 years

14-18 years

Milk

2 cups

2-3 cups

3 cups

3-4 cups

Milk, yogurt

Protein

60g

90-150g

150-180g

150-210g

Meat, fish, chicken, cheese, beans

Vegetables

2 cups

2-3 cups

2-3 cups

3-4 cups

Choose different colors

Fruits

2

2

2-3

2-3

Choose different colors

Grains

3 servings

4-6 servings

6 servings

6-8 servings

Bread, pasta, rice, cereal

Fat

3 teaspoons

4 teaspoons

5 teaspoons

6 teaspoons

Mainly olive oil
Limit butter or margarine to less than 1ts

* 1 cup = 240ml (baseball size)

                             * 30g is the measure of a deck of playing cards

 

 

One toast

1/4 loaf large Arabic bread (size of a CD)
 
Half cup rice, pasta, cereal

 
       



References:

www.quickstudy.com

www.fns.usda.gov