How Many Calories Should A 12-Year-Old Eat Boys And Girls

Many of us are familiar with the calorie information on nutrition labels, which indicates that the nutrition data are based on a daily average of 2000 calories.

Calories are the energy units that a food or beverage offers. You can typically find calorie counts on food labels, and wearables such as the finest fitness trackers enable you to measure the number of calories you burn through various activities.

Have you ever wondered where the number 2000 originated? Does this quantity represent men? Women?

What about children? Some argue that children should eat more because they are growing. Others assert, “Children should eat less, as little bodies require less fuel.” Which one is it, then?

If you find this topic puzzling, you are not alone. This subject becomes more pertinent as childhood overweight and obesity prevalence increases, especially since children eat most meals away from home.

When a meal is served to us on a plate, the portion size communicates, at least unconsciously, that this is an average amount to consume. And now that calorie counts are appearing in fast food places, and we can see the calorie count of a children’s meal, parents need context for this number—iis a children’s meal with 800 calories reasonable?

How Does The Body Uses Calories?

The energy balance is the pace at which the body exhausts energy or burns calories. Your metabolic rate over 24 hours is commonly referred to as your daily energy expenditure (TEE) and is measured in calories.

Physical exercise, such as a brisk walk or ascent up a flight of stairs, helps your body burn calories. However, it also burns calories by conducting the most fundamental physiological processes.

Breathing, regulating body temp, and pumping blood around the body are processes that demand energy 24 hours a day. Between sixty and seventy-five percent of your TEE consists of this passive calorie expenditure, known as resting metabolism.

Numerous variables determine whether an individual has a high or low resting metabolic rate and, thus, burns more or fewer calories throughout the day without exertion.

How Many Calories Should 12-Year-Olds Eat a Day?

how many calories should a 12 year old eat

The researchers questioned approximately 1200 parents of children ages 5 to 12 about how many calories their children should consume per meal, including all courses and beverages.

Only one-third of parents accurately calculated that a child’s daily caloric intake should be between 400 and 600 calories. Still, even though they stated that their response was merely an educated guess, most parents admitted they were not very confident in their answer.

One-third of the parents overestimated their children’s requirements, whereas the same proportion underestimated them.

An average 12-year-old boy needs $1,800. Considering these averages and assuming that daily caloric demands are distributed across three meals results in 400–600 calories per meal.


  • 6 to 9 years old: 1,600 calories per day
  • 10 and 12 years old: 1,800 calories per day
  • 13 years old to 14 years old: 2,200 calories per day
  • 15 to 18 years old: 2,400 to 2,800 per day


  • 6 to 9 years old: 1,600 calories per day
  • 9 and 11 years old: 1,800 calories per day
  • 13 to 18 years old: 2,000 calories per day

How Many Calories Should A 12 Year Old Have To Lose Weight?

how many calories should a 12 year old eat

After the onset of puberty, your child may be able to drop 1 to 2 pounds per week. Consult their physician to determine the best course of action. What you can do: Preteens and adolescents can make health-related decisions for themselves.

Children aged 7 to 9 consume 1,600 calories per day. Children between 10 and 11 years of age use about 1,800 calories daily. Those between the ages of 12 and 17 should consume 2,000 calories daily.


  • 7 to 10 years old: 1,600 calories per day
  • 10 and 11 years old: 1,800 calories per day
  • 13 years old to 17 years old: 2,200 calories per day


  • 6 to 9 years old: 1,600 calories per day
  • 11 and 11 years old: 1,800 calories per day
  • 12 years old to 17 years old: 2,000 calories per day

Do Kids Need More Calories To Grow?

The required caloric intake varies by age, depending on the intensity of regular physical activity. Because of this, the tables provide a range of calories for different age groups. Age increases the required caloric intake for children. Age decreases the required caloric intake for individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How many calories should a 12-year-old weigh?
Ans. Active 12-year-old boys need 2,000 to 2,600 calories per day.

2. Should 12-year-olds be dieting?
Ans. Most children should not go on a diet for weight loss. Dieting during childhood can lead to health problems that may be difficult to reverse even years later. Vitamin and dietary deficits are two of the most common problems.

3. What is overweight for a 12-year-old?
Ans. Overweight kids vary between the 85th and 95th percentiles, and obese children have a BMI of at least the 95th percentile. Consequently, a healthy weight range for a 12-year-old girl is between 65 and 120 pounds.

4. How can I help my 12-year-old lose weight?


  • Make the change to healthy snacks and meals.
  • Pack your child’s lunch instead of having her purchase one from the cafeteria.
  • Motivate your 12-year-old to increase water consumption.

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