I would like to know approximately how many calories my almost 10 year old son should have per day to maintain a healthy weight. He does have Down Syndrome and is more on the docile side as far as his personality. He also has Autism. He is starting to look overweight and I want to try to get him on a more healthy diet so that he can maintain a good weight to adulthood as DS children tend to be very heavy. I feel this is the best time to start him on a healthy diet with good eating habits, which he is basically on, but tends to eat too much of even good food such as yogurt and crackers. Just wondering what is a good calorie count so that I can be sure he is eating enough, but not too much.
His weight is on the 50th percentile and his height is below the 3rd percentile for his age. Due to his height he appears heavier; however, his weight is normal. For his age he needs approximately 1800 – 2000 calories a day to grow. It is recommend increasing children's physical activities (play, dance, sports) to lose weight, and not lower calorie intake due to the need of calories for growth. Limit time in front of the TV or non-active-video games. There have been studies showing the longer the length of time a child sit in front of the TV, the greater the weight gain. Limit high sugar drinks/snacks, and try replacing with low fat milk/yogurt, fruit, air popped popcorn, or low-fat cheese. Additional suggestions: cook only low fat meats (chicken, fish, loin of pork) or non-meat sources (soy products, nuts), low fat vegetarian combinations (rice & beans, pasta & beans, low fat cheese & pasta), fat free or low fat dairy products (skim milk, 1% milk, low fat cheese, low fat yogurts, low fat soy milk/yogurt), use plant oils, non trans-fat margarines, and eat a lot of fruits, salads, and vegetables. Eat daily high fiber breads and cereals (oatmeal) and limit ‘junk’ foods. Hoped that helped you.
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