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How much weight gain is healthy for children and teens?

The general guidelines regarding healthy, appropriate weight gain during infancy and childhood are:

  • Newborns gain approximately 30 grams (g) per day (1 oz per day) until 3 months of age.
  • Infants gain about 20 g per day (0.67 oz per day) between 3 and 6 months of age and approximately 10 g per day between 6 and 12 months.
  • Infants double their birth weight by 4 months of age and triple their birth weight by age 1.
  • Children typically gain 4 to 6 pounds per year between age 2 and puberty.

During puberty the childhood growth rate doubles, but because some kids start developing as early as age 8 and some not until age 14. It can be normal for two kids who are the same gender, height, and age to have very different weights. Children gain on average between 30 to 40 pounds (13.5-18.0 kilograms) between ages 11 and 14. A child can gain 20 pounds (9 kilograms) or more in one year during this age range.

This answer was created with the help of physicians at South Riding Pediatrics (www.SouthRidingPediatrics.com) and www.HealthyChildren.org.

Jodie Shield
Healthcare Specialist

Between the ages of two and five years, the average child grows about 2 1/2 inches and gains four to five pounds each year.

During the grade school years, kids grow at a steady pace. Each year they get about two inches taller and gain anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds.

During preadolescence, most children, especially girls, gain weight primarily in the form of body fat. Preadolescent weight gain often occurs between the ages of 9 and 11 in girls and 10 and 12 in boys. This weight gain is normal and necessary to help them prepare for the rapid and intense growth spurt that will occur in adolescence.

During the adolescent growth spurt, many kids lose their “extra” body fat and grow into their weight. During this time, adolescents achieve the final 15 to 20 percent of their adult height. The age range in which kids reach this growth spurt varies greatly.

Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.