Teen boys generally need more calories than teenage girls.

Calorie Counts for 13 Year Old Teenagers

by Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.

Helping your 13-year-old teen obtain proper nutrition will optimize his growth, development, energy level, sports performance and even his focus at school. Consuming sufficient calories from a variety of healthy foods is important. According to the American Heart Association, one in three U.S. kids and teens are classified as overweight or obese. This statistic underscores the importance of regulating calorie intake in young people.

1. Teen Girls

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 estimates calorie needs based on gender, age and activity levels. According to these recommendations, a 13-year-old girl needs about 1,600 calories a day if she’s sedentary, 2,000 calories a day if she’s moderately active and 2,200 calories a day if she’s active on a regular basis.

2. Teen Boys

Since 13-year-old boys are generally bigger and have more muscle than 13-year-old girls, their calorie needs are often higher. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 suggest 13-year old boys require 2,000 calories daily if they are sedentary, 2,200 calories daily if they’re moderately active and about 2,600 calories daily if they are active.

3. 2,000-Calorie Meal Plan

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 provide sample meal plans for various calorie allotments, which are useful when planning diets. An example of a healthy, 2,000-calorie plan includes 6 ounces of grains, 3 cups of dairy foods, 27 grams of oil, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 5.5 ounces of protein-rich foods – such as lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds -- and approximately 258 calories from solid fats and added sugars.

4. 2,600-Calorie Meal Plan

A 2,600-calorie meal plan provided by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, which could be appropriate for active 13-year-old boys, includes 9 ounces of grains, 3 cups of dairy foods, 34 grams of oils, 3.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 6.5 ounces of protein-rich foods and 362 calories from solid fats and added sugars.

About the Author

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.

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