How Many Calories Do Teenagers Need?

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Are you concerned about your teen’s weight? Do you ever wonder what is causing the sudden weight gain in her? If yes, then you must go through our post on how many calories do teenagers need.

A typical teen diet is high in saturated fat, sugar and calories. Teens find is incredibly difficult to resist the unhealthy food temptations that bombard them on a daily basis. Also, hundreds of sugary and caffeinated drinks make the water seem bland to them. So how can you control the excess weight gain in your teen? A starting point for a healthy diet is understanding the calorie needs of your teen. Read on to know more about the calorie intake for teens.

Recommended Daily Calorie Intake For Teenagers:

The caloric needs of teens depend on their growth rate, body size and activity level. A teen who leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle needs fewer calories than those who are very active. Below is the chart of the recommended daily calorie intake for teenagers and caloric amounts for male and female teens.

BoysAgeSedentaryModerately ActiveActive
9 to 131,600 to 2,0001800 to 2,2002,000 to 2,600
14 to 182,000 to 2,4002,400 to 2,8002,800 to 3,200
GirlsAgeSedentaryModerately ActiveActive
9 to 131,200 to 1,6001,400 to 1,8001,600 to 2,000
14 to 181,600 to 1,8001,800 to 2,2002,200 to 2,400

[ Read: Causes Of Weight Gain In Teenagers ]

Why Do Teens Need High Amounts Of Calories:

Teen energy requirements are higher than those of children and adults. The internal and external factors as well as rapid growth spurt increase hunger exponentially during the teenage years. The calories should come from nutritious and healthy foods, rather than junk and snack foods. A proper supply of nutrition will ensure that your teen develops to his/her potential during the time of growth while maintaining a healthy weight.

Diet Composition:

Knowing your teen’s calorie intake is just the first step. You also need to ensure that your teen gets all the proper nutrition from those calories. A balanced diet will provide your teen will all the calories, vitamins, minerals and macronutrients that he need for optimum growth and development.

A teen should consume a balance of three macronutrients – fat, protein and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates from grains, vegetables and fruits should make up 45 to 65 percent of the total calories. Protein from poultry, legumes, and beans should make 10 to 35% of the total calories. Fats should make up just 20 to 35% of calories. These fats should ideally come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources like olives, avocados, vegetable oil, nuts and seeds.

[ Read: Balanced Diet For Teens ]

Sample Meal Plan:

Counting calories is a tedious and time-consuming task for teens. So meal planning can go a long way in helping teens who are trying to meet their daily calorie needs. Here is a sample diet plan for teen boys and girls, according to the USDA’S Daily Food Plan.

Sample Food Plan For Teenage Girls:

The USDA’S Daily Food Plan recommends that teenage girls should get 2.5 cups of vegetables, 1.5 cups of fruit, 6 ounces of grains, 5 ounces of protein, 5 teaspoons of oil and 3 cups of dairy and extra 161 calories each day. This diet plan is suitable for sedentary female teens.

[ Read: Nutrition For Teens ]

Sample Food Plan For Teenage Boys:

USDA’S Daily Food Plan estimates that teenage boys should get 10 ounces of grain, 3 cups of dairy, 7 ounces of protein, 2.5 cups of fruits, 3.5 cups of vegetables, 8 teaspoons of oil and 400 additional calories a day.

Do not make your teen follow the fad or low-calorie diet if you are worried about your teen’s weight. Encourage him to indulge in physical activities. Make changes as a family to help your teen to stick with healthier choices. Also, create a positive environment around food. It is important for all the teens, regardless of their weight.

[ Read: Healthy Foods For Teens ]

Hope you liked our post on how many calories do teenagers need. What meal plan does your teen follow? Any special recipes or suggestion? Then please share with us by commenting below.

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