Calorie Intake Guidelines for Kids Health

Calorie Intake should follow these guidelines: Forty (40) Calories per Inch for Infants Toddlers up to age 3 and 8% can be of the sugary kind. Older preschoolers could consume 17 grams of sugar (about 4 teaspoons) a day.
Our American children are quite fat and growing fatter. So we know, left to their own devices what they will choose to eat. I believe that most of the reason for this is poor diet, overeating and too much sugar in children’s food/snacks. This incidence of diabetes is high and growing higher.

Calorie Consumption

Infants and toddlers should consume only forty calories per inch of height per day from ALL sources of food. A 30 inch child should consume 1,200 calories per day. This, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION. They continue: Only 7%-8% of the forty calories of total calories per day, per inch should come from sugar. Let’s round up to 10% to make our calculation simpler.


That would mean that 4 calories of sugar per day per inch of height is what is recommended for how much sugar a child should consume. For a thirty-inch child (boy or girl) this amounts to 120 calories a day that should come from sugar. And actually we increased from 8% to 10% the recommendation so it is really less than that. Toddlers should only consume 17 grams of sugar a day. This equals 68 calories of sugar a day.

So in practical terms we now need to determine how many calories are in a gram of sugar. There are four calories in a gram of sugar. What does that translate to in terms of teaspoons.

There are four grams in a teaspoon of sugar. So, there are 16 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. This translates to about 7-8 teaspoons of sugar a day for a thirty inch child. Remember 8% of calories should come from sugar even though sugar has many names.

This helps:

Sugar intake is complicated and difficult and at least one reason why is that sugar has many names of packages: sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, cane juice, maltose, lactose, ethyl malto and even malto dextrin.

Sugary Cereals

FROOT LOOPS are 40% sugar! Not a real food in my opinion. Lucky charms has three teaspoons of sugar per serving. Any cereal that has marshmallows in it sounds more like a desert than a real food. When do you serve Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms to a toddler or preschooler?

Sugar is the Main ingredient of Fruit Loops. It is 41% sugar by weight. 110 calories come from sugar in FROOT LOOPS. So, if you choose to give your toddler or preschooler FROOT LOOPS or Lucky Charms that is the ONLY sugar added food you should give them for the rest of the day because that is very close to the recommended limit of calories from sugar a child should have.

Read more about kids health and nutrition here.

Please visit our child care center to see how Honey Bear Preschool promotes kid’s health & nutrition. Call 619-224-4733 to schedule a tour and an interview.

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