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

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.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition estimates the average daily energy requirements for children aged 7 to 10 years old are:

This table splits average daily requirements for kilojoules and kilocalories, for boys and girls aged 7 to 10, into separate columns and rows.
Age Boys Girls
7 6,900kJ or 1,649kcal 6,400kJ or 1,530kcal
8 7,300kJ or 1,745kcal 6,800kJ or 1,625kcal
9 7,700kJ or 1,840kcal 7,200kJ or 1,721kcal
10 8,500kJ or 2,032kcal 8,100kJ or 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 on sports and activities 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 or alternatives (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, or drink too many sugary fizzy drinks.

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

Further information

Page last reviewed: 3 August 2021
Next review due: 3 August 2024