Did you know that a child starts growing almost instantly after birth? As per some research, females gain their full height approximately by the age of 19 whereas boys can grow taller until the age of 25!
When children are undergoing major stages of development, their bones keep on growing in length until the very end of puberty. As and when the child hits the end of puberty, these growth plates in bones called epiphyses merge together, and eventually, he/she ceases to grow.
Factors that Influence Height of Children:
Here go some factors that influence how tall a child will turn out to be:
Genes largely determine how tall a person is. As per research, genetics contributes about 80% to a person’s height.
Another biological factor that plays a key role. Women tend to have less total height potential than men.
The body produces hormones that can affect a person’s growth.
Certain Medical Conditions:
The following conditions can alter the way a person grows during childhood.
- Untreated celiac disease
- Any condition requiring the prolonged use of steroids
- Down Syndrome
- Turner Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome
Getting good nutrition that includes dietary sources of vitamins & minerals helps children grow. Therefore, kids who do not get adequate nutrition get severely impacted on this front.
[ Read: 15 Best Foods for Hair Growth ]
Physical activity plays a significant role in gaining desirable height, as being active promotes the release of the growth hormone.
The Science Behind the Height of Children
It is primarily the pituitary gland that plays the most crucial role in determining our height. The pituitary gland produces the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), responsible for an increase in height. Of course, there are many foods that can help boost the function of the Human Growth Hormone to achieve the maximum possible height in their developing years.
Healthy Habits to Increase Height Naturally:
It’s possible for children to be able to make a small gain in height by improving their postures. Parents should always encourage them to improve their posture as it will help straighten their spines too in the long run.
Some Hacks Include -
- regular stretching
- strengthening your core
- sitting with good posture regularly
- exercising regularly
- avoiding slouching
Helping out children attain their optimum height often turns out to be a big deal for parents. What we fail to perceive is how a child’s height can potentially affect his/her confidence. Needless to say that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your child being short for his/her age or growing at a slower rate than his/her peers. Often, kids who are comparatively shorter are mocked and bullied at school. It may become a source of trauma for children and young adults and remain with them their whole lives, often leading to mental distress & depression, and in extreme situations, even suicide.
Essential Nutrients that Help to Grow Taller Naturally
Interestingly, dietary habits play a pivotal role. Feeding a proper nutrient-rich diet shall provide your child ample nutrition for a good height and weight according to his/her age.
Parents who are short often give up on the idea that their kids will ever have a good height. Well, as per a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is a direct link between the diet of a child and his/her height. Another research published in Public Health Nutrition suggests that daily intake of milk, chicken, & other animal-based foods can contribute to their child’s exponential growth.
Let’s take you through 5 common foods that can aid your child to grow to his/her fullest:
Make sure to add these elements to your child’s diet, better than feeding those height-gaining pills, any day!
Essential Nutrients to Achieve Optimum Height:
It is the most needed dietary factor that functions well with other nutrients to ensure proper growth of height. Hence, a protein-rich diet is essential to accelerate the height of a kid as it repairs the tissues and develops & maintains lean muscles. Protein deficiency can lead to stunted or abnormal growth as well as low muscle mass.
Foods that are rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, manganese, and fluoride are known to pump up growth in children & teenagers. Calcium is vital too, it not only supports growth but helps makes the bones stronger.
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium in the body. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to not only brittle bones & stunted growth but may have an overall negative effect on height too. Other vitamins essential for proper growth in kids include Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, and Vitamin F. Read the article Best Vitamins and Minerals Required for a Healthy Immune System for more details.
Contrary to popular belief, carbs are essential for kids. It produces energy for the system, especially in the case of kids. However, we obviously need to make sure that the diet comprises healthy carbohydrates. Junk food items made of refined flour, like pizza, burgers, and white bread, are rich in carbohydrates which are too harmful.
Apart from these, children also require the recommended amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diet to ensure good health and optimum height.
15 Best Foods to Increase Height in Children
When it comes to the relation between food and child growth, we have to focus on what nutrients assist the child's growth & how. Here goes a quick list of foods that can help your child grow a few inches taller.
Power packed with protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin, and some of these nutrients mind you are too rare to be found in any other food sources. Plus, eggs are one of the most versatile foods, and we can come up with endless recipes!
Adding boiled/ grilled chicken to your kid’s daily meal is a great idea.
3. Red Meat
Animal-source food (ASF) like red meat is another non-vegetarian option that is nutrient-dense and serves as an excellent source of protein.
Milk is one of the most wholesome foods that contain some of the most essential nutrients and will help develop your kid’s bones as well as make their muscles stronger & sharper.
Rich in vitamin D and calcium, yogurt or curd should be a part of your kid’s daily lunch. The pro-biotics in it keep your child’s gut healthy. And, a healthy gut means a stronger immune system.
Infused with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fresh seasonal fruits are undoubtedly a must in your child’s daily routine. All types of fruits, especially those rich in Vitamin C and A, like papayas, oranges, watermelon, mangoes, apples, & apricots are essential.
7. Leafy Green Vegetables
A bowl of broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale, beans, carrots, and beetroots, along with other vegetables that your kid enjoys eating works great. Prepare a rainbow meal filled with different colored vegetables to accelerate the growth.
8. Nuts and Seeds
Packed with essential minerals & vitamins as well as healthy fats & amino acids, these are vital for growth. Add them to breakfast cereals/other breakfast items or serve as a snack.
Zinc is found to have a huge effect on your child's growth. Therefore, add zinc-rich food like peanuts and squash seeds to their diet.
An underrated plant-based nutritious food that helps boost your child’s health & height. Super rich in proteins, folate, vitamins, carbohydrates & fiber, it’s a good alternative for those looking for vegetarian protein options.
Made from soybean curd, it is naturally gluten-free & low in calories. It contains no cholesterol & is an excellent source of iron and calcium too.
11. Whole Grains
A storehouse of energy, rich in fibre, vitamins, iron, magnesium & selenium. Whole grain bread and pasta are great options that you may consider.
Helps stimulate the growth hormone. Boiled, baked, or cooked, beans in any form are great for your kids! Also, they come loaded with fibre. proteins, and other nutrients.
Packed with high proteins & Vitamin D, vital for bone and muscle development.
Try adding legumes like lentils, black beans, pinto beans, and red kidney beans, to your kids’ meals for a protein, nutrient-packed diet. These are rich in protein and low in fat content. Most of them contain a good amount of calcium and dietary fiber, essential for a growing child.
A highly nutritious few plant-based food item that’s considered a complete protein, which basically means that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that our body requires.
An excellent source of magnesium, a necessary component of bone tissue that can increase bone mineral density.
[ Read: Top 15 Foods for Healthy Sleep ]
Tips to be Followed to Increase Height Fast Naturally
Besides following a nutrient-rich diet, try to inculcate these methods below to help your kid gain height faster:
- Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is a must.
- Try and do stretching exercises with them to elongate their bones and muscles.
- Inspire them to play a sport
- Exposure to the sun for vitamin D.
- Encourage them to eat home-cooked food.
- You can consult a healthcare professional if there is a need for any additional supplements
Foods to Avoid
Ensure that your children keep away from junk food and aerated drinks as they’re a strict no-no.
- Refined carbs are not to be consumed on a regular basis
- Sugary treats like chocolate, candies, ice cream, etc.
- Packed & frozen food
- Unhealthy fats like salted butter, mayonnaise, etc. Instead, opt for healthy alternatives like almond butter or even peanut butter.
Regular physical exercises like swimming, especially the ones that involve jumping (i.e basketball), certain yoga postures like Surya Namaskar, stretches, skipping & sprinting also go a long way to ramp up growth. Nevertheless, it only works best when supplemented with a well-balanced diet and active lifestyle.
Also Read the Following Articles:
- How to Get Children to Recover Faster from Illness?
- How Do I Get my Child to Focus & Concentrate?
- 6 Reasons Why Growing Children Need Supplements for Bone Growth & Height
- What is Puravida?
*** Author Name: Deepashree Banerjee (7+ years of diverse experience in content creation & journalism.)