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View original article on NHS Choices

How many calories does a child of 7 to 10 need?

The amount of energy that food and drink contains is measured in both kilojoules (kJ) and kilocalories (kcal), and is commonly referred to as calories.

Children aged 7 to 10 years old need lots of energy and nutrients because they're still growing.

The amount of energy that food and drink contains is measured in both kilojoules (kJ) and kilocalories (kcal), and is commonly referred to as calories.

A report from 2011 estimated that the average daily energy requirements for children aged 7 to 10 years old are:

Age (years)  Boys                                Girls
7                   6,900kJ /1,649kcal            6,400kJ /1,530kcal
8                   7,300kJ /1,745kcal            6,800kJ /1,625kcal
9                   7,700kJ /1,840kcal            7,200kJ /1,721kcal
10                 8,500kJ /2,032kcal            8,100kJ /1,936kcal

But these figures are only a guide. Children may need more or less than these estimates depending on a number of factors, including how physically active they are.

Read tips for getting active with your kids.

While the amount of energy your child needs is important, they should also eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Healthy, balanced diet

healthy, balanced diet for children aged 7 to 10 should include:

  • at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day 
  • meals based on starchy foods, such as potatoes, bread, pasta and rice (choose wholegrain varieties when possible) 
  • some milk and dairy products (choose low-fat options where you can) 
  • some foods that are good sources of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils

Make sure that your child doesn't eat too many sugary or fatty foods, such as sweets, cakes and biscuits. They also shouldn't have too many sugary fizzy drinks.

These foods and drinks tend to be high in calories but contain few nutrients. Get ideas for healthier school packed lunches and helping your family get 5 A Day.

Further information:

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