Healthy Kid Calculator® FAQs

Healthy Kid Calculator FAQs

You spoke of nutrition software that determines calorie intake for those trying to gain. Where can I get it?

Try the Healthy Kid Calculator®. It will predict calories kids need for weight gain based on your weight goals or 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Thank you for replying so promptly. I enjoy calculating my family’s requirements and making our diets better. I would be interested in the book you mentioned. What are its title / author? Your web site was very helpful keep up the good work!

The book I mentioned below is the U.S. DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) 2004 edition published by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. Here is a table of the U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes.

Here are Australia and New Zealand’s Nutrient Reference Values.

The Healthy Body Calculator® says “for adults” and when I put in a 9-year-old, it replied this program is only for people over 18. I am currently studying at Deakin University in Australia and I am doing an assignment on a nutritional analysis for a 9-year-old. I would like to know the percentage of fats, carbohydrate and protein that should be in her diet. Currently her diet consists of 24% fat, 7% protein and 69% carbohydrate. I noticed you suggested 10% protein for adults. Is this the same as for a 9-year-old female? If so, she should increase her protein intake. I find this confusing because her protein intake in a 24-hour period was 65 grams. This is higher than the dietary required amounts. I am unsure whether to recommend an increase in her protein intake if she is already above the required amount for her age. She weighs 25 kilograms and is very active. Her total energy intake for the 24-hour period was 9500 kJ (kilojoules) and her required amount I calculated turned out to be 8500 kJ. This took into account her BMR (basal metabolic rate) and activity level. Where are the other 1000 kJ going? She hasn’t an ounce of fat on her. I am confused and would appreciate some answers! Thank you.

In order to comment on her energy requirements, I would need to know how tall she is. The Healthy Kid Calculator includes age appropriate percentages of fat, carbohydrate and protein. Her carbohydrate appears high and her protein low as well as a slightly low-fat amount. Her calculated protein grams may be higher than her Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) because % protein is based on calorie recommendations not RDA. If 65 grams of protein as 15% of total calories = 260 calories, then her basal calorie recommendation should be at least 1,733 Kcal or 7,251 kilojoules. (One calorie = 4.184 kilojoules.) Since her energy estimation you calculated at 8,500 kilojoules is 1,000 kilojoules less than her actual intake, you may have underestimated her activity kilojoules.

Consider this. The only variables are food intake, energy expenditure and physiological stress (fever, burns, surgery, broken bones, etc.) in addition to growth. So, if she is healthy and without physiological stress, either she overestimated her food intake which is less likely than you underestimated her energy expenditure. Another factor in children of course is growth energy which is difficult to estimate and you could attribute the 1,000 kilojoules to growth if you are sure her food intake and activity expenditure are accurately estimated. Have you read the current (2004) RDA book on calories needed for growth in children?

I am a 15-year-old girl. I weigh 130 pounds and I am 5 feet 6 inches. I play tennis five times a week for 2 to 3 hours at a time. Except for the past two years I have always been overweight. To lose the weight I went on a very strict diet and exercise routine. I lost about 30 pounds. I am now curious if I am at my ideal weight and how many calories and fat grams a day I should consume. Thank you.

Have you tried my Healthy Kid Calculator®? I ran your data below through it and a healthy body weight for you is 117 – 143 pounds. You are at a healthy weight for your height and age.

To maintain your current weight, you would need about 2,150 calories with 72 grams of fat. Have you heard about the My Plate? It is a good eating plan to follow for balanced meals.

Weight loss for teenagers who are still growing is not a good idea because it may limit your height potential. Girls reach 90% of their adult height by age 15, so any weight loss up till then could result in a lower height.

The other problem is weight loss diets often restrict calcium which is vital to bone growth. Your bones increase in density up to age 25 and reach a peak density at age 35. After that it takes calcium rich foods, estrogen and exercise to keep women’s bones hard. I know that seems a long way off, but I would not recommend a very strict diet that limits calories to less than 1,200 or calcium to less than 4 servings of calcium rich foods per day.

Rather than focusing on your weight, why not set a goal related to a strong, fit body? Hope you are doing aerobics and weight lifting exercise to help reduce body fat and build muscle. Tennis is anaerobic (without oxygen) if you play competitively and your body will mostly burn stored carbohydrates, not stored fat.