When roaming grocery store aisles, selecting the right foods for different age groups can be a bit like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. Each life stage has its unique nutritional demands, so let’s break it down, age by age.

Infants (0-12 months)

Toddlers (1-3 years)

  • Caloric Intake: They need about 1,000 to 1,400 calories daily That’s almost 70% of an adult’s diet in a tiny human that never stops moving!
  • Nutritional Needs: Protein (for muscle development), fiber (for their little digestive systems), and calcium (still those bones) are critical.
  • Label Reading Tip: Many toddler foods sneak in sugar and salt. Always check the nutrition label and opt for whole foods when possible.

Children (4 years and older)

Teens and Young Adults


  • Caloric Intake: Women typically require between 1,800 and 2,400 calories, while men might need between 2,200 and 3,000, depending on activity levels.
  • Nutritional Needs: Fiber, good fats, calcium, and iron (for women) are the cornerstones.
  • Label Reading Tip: That “servings per container” can be tricky! What looks like a single-serving snack can often be two or three, dramatically changing its nutritional impact.

Unraveling the %DV Mystery

Here’s something you might’ve noticed: the % Daily Value (%DV) on food labels. This metric indicates how a nutrient in the food contributes to a daily diet. But here’s the catch—it’s typically based on adults consuming 2,000 calories a day. For your growing toddler or your energetic teenager, this won’t necessarily match up.

Wrapping Up…

Choosing the right foods for each family member can feel overwhelming, but with these pointers in your toolkit, it becomes a touch simpler. Think of it as harmonizing each person’s diet to the rhythm of their life stage.

Until next time, happy label-reading and even happier eating! 🌽🥩🍇🥑🥪🍽️📜

author avatar
Giovana Celli Founder | Mom
I'm Giovana, the heart and brains behind MotherFood, where I blend my love for innovation in nutrition with the joys and jitters of motherhood. As CEO and founder of MotherFood, I’m all about creating wholesome, innovative nutrition solutions for infants and toddlers. But hey, it's not all lab coats and patents here (though I've got a couple of those up my sleeve)! As a mom to an energetic 2.5-year-old and a sweet 5-month-old, I'm living the parenting adventure every day. Join me on this exciting journey where I share not just expert tips, but also my personal stories and lessons learned from the roller coaster of raising two little ones. Let’s make feeding our kids fun, healthy, and less of a guessing game!