The carbohydrate in the diet of the growing child has, as far as is known, no specific function to perform. Nevertheless, it is a very essential component of the diet. It serves mainly as a source of energy, supplying the necessary calories which are not furnished by fat and protein. In so doing, however, carbohydrate accomplishes other purposes. It is the most efficient sparer of protein, being for this purpose superior to fat. This function of carbohydrate is so well known and has been so frequently discussed in the literature that it need not be taken up in detail here. It has been accepted generally that carbohydrate is essential for complete metabolism of fat, and that in the absence of carbohydrate from the diet, or when the amount is very low, fat is incompletely burned and acidosis may result.
When digestion is normal, a reasonable intake of carbohydrate is almost,
HOLT LE, FALES HL. THE FOOD REQUIREMENTS OF CHILDRENIV. CARBOHYDRATE REQUIREMENT. Am J Dis Child. 1922;24(1):44–55. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1922.04120070047004