What are carbs for kids?

It is the same definition of carbohydrates for adults and kids. Besides providing the body with energy, carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source for the brain and nervous system. Most carbohydrate-rich foods come from plants and are essential to a child’s health. Most children, however, consume carbohydrates that lack the nutrients they need for optimal growth and development. You should also consider the quality of the carbohydrates your child consumes.



Carbohydrates are essential for life, whether you are a child or an adult. 


Carbohydrates come in two main forms:

  1. Simple carbohydrates (sugars/ sweetener): This includes fructose, glucose, and lactose, which are also in fruits.
  2. Complex carbohydrates (starches): found in foods such as starchy vegetables, grains, rice, and breads and cereals


The world’s food supply is largely made up of starches, mostly as grains. The most common starches are rice, corn, and wheat. Most fruits, legumes, and vegetables contain fiber, particularly in the outermost part of the grain.


Highlight Unrefined Carbohydrates

Your child’s diet should include lots of unrefined carbohydrates. Concentrate on these carbohydrates instead of refined carbs like store-bought bread, white pasta, white rice, packaged foods, cookies, cakes, and candy. You can help your child learn this by providing carbohydrates found mainly in the produce section, which includes fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grains. Compared to refined carbohydrates, unrefined carbohydrates increase a child’s vitamin and mineral intake, increase fiber intake, enhance satiety, and control blood sugar levels.


General Guidelines

Suggests grain intake for 1 year old is 2 ounces per day. For a 14 – 18 years old is 7 ounces per day. Whole grains should make up at least half of the intake. 


It is also recommended to provide a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruit intake for children ages 1 to 3 is recommended at 1 cup per day, and for a 14- to 18-year-old boy, it’s recommended at 2 cups. 


Intake of vegetables for a 1-year-old is three-quarters of a cup, while for a 14 – 18-year-old is 1 – 3 cups each day.



A child’s optimal growth, development, and performance depend on carbohydrates. Many children eat high-glycemic foods such as sugar, candy, breakfast cereals, and white potatoes. The best carbohydrates for kids are slow-digesting, unprocessed, high-fiber carbohydrates. Carbohydrates of this type are typically high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for your child’s optimal health and growth. It is recommended carbohydrates account for 45 to 65 percent of total daily calories in your child’s diet



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