Caloric demand of kids

Food provides energy; with energy our body can maintain its normal function. For children under growth, with the increase in age and weight, the caloric demand will increase progressively. On the other hand, the demand will also increase for boys, people with high personal activity level or during cold days.

 

If the energy intake of kids is lower than the daily energy consumption, the body growth and development will be hindered. A 3-5 year-old kid on average needs 1550-1750 kcal per day; 5-7 year-old 1750-1850kcal; 7-10 year-old approximately 1800-2400 kcal. Compared to an adult woman who needs around 2200 kcal, an older kid actually needs more energy intake.

 

While kids need more energy, does it mean eating more ice-cream, chocolate, deep fried food, desserts, etc. can ensure they will have enough intake of energy? These kinds of food do have energy, but if all the energy comes from these high-fat foods, kids will not only have obesity, but they will also suffer from lots of health diseases. Therefore, it is important to select food for energy intake.

 

Nutrition of food can generally be divided into three categories: carbohydrates, protein and fat.

 

 

Carbohydrates can instantaneously provide energy. When our body has enough carbohydrates intake from our diet, protein will then be preserved for growth and development as well as repairing of body tissues. On the contrary, if we only eat protein foods like meat without any carbohydrates, protein will be decomposed to release energy in order to support the needs and maintain general functions of our body, resulting in malnutrition. The intake of carbohydrates should account for not less than 55% of the total energy supply, so kids should eat 3-4 bowls of rice or other carbohydrates food per day so as to fulfill the needs.

Protein mainly comes from meat, dairy products, eggs and beans, which the amount of intake shall accounts for 10-15% of the daily caloric value. Protein needed for each pound of body weight of a kid is 1.5-2 times of that of an adult, which approximately 25-39 grams of protein is enough. Protein helps to promote the synthesis of hormones and enzymes and maintain the pH value of blood. After digestion, protein is decomposed into amino acids. Protein can be classified into complete and in-complete, which our body only needs 22 types out of thousands of amino acids. In-complete protein refers to those lacking a particular essential amino acid.

Fat is responsible for the transfer of fat-soluble vitamins (i.e. vitamins A, D, E and K), preventing our body from heat loss in adversely cold environment and our internal organs from shock, as well as promoting the synthesis of hormones, helping to control the functions of major glands and resulting in the essential chemical reactions of enzymes. Its polyunsaturated fatty acid is one of the components of cell membrane. The amount of intake shall not exceed 30% of our daily energy need. Teenagers in adolescent have to take in enough fat for growing up.

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