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June 3, 2010
Any table of allowances must be interpreted according to the growth pattern of the individual child, the activity, the appetite, and the amount of musculature or body fatness. The growth patterns of children vary widely. Some children, by heredity, are destined to be short and stocky; others, tall and thin. Some children will have their rapid growth spurts at an earlier age than others. If a child does not have a satisfactory nutrient intake he will not reach the full growth of his hereditary pattern. The amount of physical activity varies widely and influences the calorie requirements.
During the second year the baby gains 3.5 to 4.5 kg (8 to 10 lb). Following the second birthday and to the ninth year, the increase in height and weight is at a much slower rate; the annual gain in weight is about 2 to 3 kg (4 to 7 lb). The muscles increase in size, the baby fat is lost, the legs become longer, and the bones become harder. There is a great development in motor coordination, in changing body proportions, and in mental development.
The daily allowances for children of one to ten years are relatively high for all nutrients, when the size of the child is taken into account. Seven- to ten-year-old children have calorie needs higher than those of their mothers. Because of the possibility of anemia, additional iron is recommended in the preschool years.
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