Nutrition for Kids- A Healthy Diet Guideline

nutrition foods

Children need proper nutrition for the proper growth. Proper nutrition can be gained from food that’s why we all want our kids to eat healthy food. But, here is a little problem. Most of us don’t know which nutrients are necessary and how can we get them for our child.

Well, a human body needs all 6 principal contents of food in several amounts such as Carbohydrates, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins, Fats and Water. In this article, we discussed specific amount of nutrients formula for different ages and in which food you can get it.

2-3 Years: Boys & Girls

In the age of 2-3 years, kids generally need 1000-1400 calories (depends on activity level & growth) in a day, additionally, they need 2-4 ounces of protein. To ensure proper nutrients, you should give them 1-1.5 cups of vegetables, 1-1.5 cups of fruits, 2 cups of dairy and 3-5 ounces of grain in a day.

4-8 Years:

Remember, in the age stage of 3, boys and girls need same nutrients. But after 3 years, they need different amount of nutrients for their body structures and growth.

Boys: Boys need 1200-2000 calories (depending on daily activity and growth) in a day. They also need 3-5.5 ounces of Protein, 4-6 ounces of grains, 1-1.5 cups of fruits, 1-1.5 cups of vegetables, 2.5 cups of dairy for proper growth daily.

Girls: Depending on daily activity and growth, girls need 1200-1800 calories in a day. They also daily need 3-5 ounces of Protein, 4-6 ounces of grains, 1-2 cups of fruits, 1.5-2.5 cups of vegetables, 2.5 cups of dairy for actual growth.

9-13 Years:

Boys: In the stage of 9-13 years, boys need more nutrients. Such as, they need 1600-2600 calories, 5-6.5 ounces protein, 3 cups dairy, 5-9 ounces grains, 1.5-2 cups fruits and 2-3.5 cups vegetables.

Girls: Girls need a little bit less nutrients for daily growth. They need 1400-2200 calories, 4-6 ounces protein, 3 cups dairy, 5-6 ounces grains, 1.5-3 cups vegetables and 1.5-2 cups fruits.

Sources of Nutrients:


Protein: Protein is essential for proper body growth. To give the proper amount to your kids, you may choose Eggs, Beans, Sea-foods, Peas, Nuts, Lean meat, Poultry, Soy products and Seeds.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates help to build the body. You can get carbohydrates from Rice, Potato, Cereals, Millets etc.

Fruits: Fruits are the best sources of Vitamins and Minerals. Just encourage your kids to eat fruits. Actually, all kind of people, especially children love fruits most. Fresh fruits are better but you can give them frozen, canned or dried fruits too. Fruit juices are best way to provide vitamins, but ensure that that doesn’t contains added sugar and is 100% fruit. Sour fruits are great source of Vitamin C. Yellow fruits contain Vitamin A which helps to prevent Night Blindness.

Vegetables: After fruits, vegetables are also great sources of nutrients too. Give your kids vegetables daily. Fresh vegetable is better than the canned or frozen one. Remember, Vitamin C is destroyed at heat, and it can’t be stored in the body. So you need to provide Vitamin C daily.

Grains: You may choose whole grains, oatmeal, popcorn, wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa or pasta. These are sources for nutrients too.

Dairy: Give your kids low fat dairy products, as like as milk (The perfect food), cheese, yogurt or beverages.

Note: Aim to limit added sugar & Trans and Saturated fats. These foods add too much fat to body which is the cause of gaining extra weight. Check fruit juices as if it contains added sugar. On the other hand, try to replace high density fat foods such as red meat, full fat dairy and poultry with low fat & natural healthier fat foods such as Olives, Nuts, avocados, sea foods.

If you’ve specific question about kids nutrition of diet, talk to your children’s doctor.