Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

How Many Calories Should a 3 Year Old Eat?

author image Chelsea Flahive, RDN, LD
Chelsea Flahive is a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed dietitian with a passion for health and wellness, weight management and disease prevention. She received a Bachelor of Science in human nutrition, foods and exercise from Virginia Tech and completed her dietetic internship through the University of Delaware. Flahive is completing a certificate of training in weight management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
How Many Calories Should a 3 Year Old Eat?
Young girl eating sandwich Photo Credit: petrograd99/iStock/Getty Images

A balanced diet can help your 3-year-old achieve optimal growth and development and create healthy eating habits that reduce the risk for chronic diseases and obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth chart provides a guideline to help monitor your child’s growth in weight and height in relation to age.

Video of the Day

Calorie Recommendation

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that children who are 3 years old should get 1,000 calories per day. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 45 percent to 65 percent of these calories should come from carbohydrates, 30 percent to 40 percent of total daily calories should come from fat and the remaining 5 percent to 20 percent of total calories should come from protein.

A Balanced Diet

To have a balanced, healthy diet, your child’s calories should come from a variety of food. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has specific recommendations for the serving size your little one should get each day. Your 3-year-old needs 2 ounces of protein foods, 2 cups of dairy, 1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of vegetables and 3 ounces of grains every day.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media