Q:

How many calories should a 12-year old girl eat?

A:

Quick Answer

It is recommended for females between the ages of 9 to 13 to consume around 1,600 calories a day, which will also have to be adjusted depending on the child's level of daily physical activity. This figure is based on the recommendations of the American Heart Association to promote good cardiovascular health.

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Full Answer

The recommended daily caloric intake of 1,600 for female children in the 9 to 13 age group is for those who live a sedentary lifestyle. The caloric intake should be increased by 200 calories if the child is moderately active and by up to 400 calories if the child is very physically active. The recommended daily caloric intake for males in the same age group starts at 1,800 calories.

Also included in the recommendations of the American Heart Association are the ideal portions for each food group. Female children 9 to 13 years of age are also advised to consume 3 cups of fat-free milk, 5 ounces of lean meat or beans, 1 1/2 cups of fruit, 2 cups of vegetables and 5 ounces of grains, with half of the grains being whole.

As a general recommendation for families, the calories of food that is prepared and served should be enough for growth and development. It should also be controlled properly to maintain a healthy weight for every family member. Servings should have the proper proportions of protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients. The food that is served should also be low in trans fat, sodium, cholesterol and added sugars.

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