I am trying to find the appropriate caloric intake and food exchanges for my children.


I have used food exchanges for over two years for meal planning for my husband and myself based on desired caloric intake and ideal weight for our age and heights. I feel that I am able to plan meals accordingly.

However, this is a different situation for my children. I am trying to find information on how to determine appropriate caloric intake and food exchanges for three of my children, 2 girls both age 9 and my son age 2. I also have a 1-year-old but assume that caloric intake and food exchanges wouldn’t apply to his age yet. Are you able to provide me with resources?

Have you tried my Healthy Kid Calculator® as it will calculate your children’s calorie and nutrient needs using each of your children’s data?

If you understand the diabetic exchanges, then planning exchanges for your kids will be a snap. Your daughters need around 1,600 calories a day with 5 servings of starches, 4 vegetables, 3 fruits, 3 milk, 5 types of meat & beans and 5 healthy oils and fats. Your 2-year-old son needs 1,200 calories a day with 3 servings of starches, 2 vegetable, 2 fruit, 2 milk, 2 meat & beans and 3 healthy oils and fats. An appropriate portion of food is 1 tablespoon per year of age per meal or about 1/4 of an adult portion for a 2-year-old child.

Your one-year-old needs about 1,000 calories per day and should be eating 1-ounce meat, 1/2 cup fresh or 1/3 cup canned fruits and 1/2 cup vegetables per meal and drinking 2 cups whole milk per day if he does not have a milk allergy. Starches could be added as between meal snacks.