In this Article
- Food and Height of Children
- Amazing Foods for Kids and Children to Grow Taller Naturally
- Foods That Help to Increase Height
- Foods to Avoid
Helping children attain optimum height is often a big concern for parents, and takes a bigger toll on the kids than most of us realise. While there is obviously nothing wrong in being short, coping with peer pressure can be hard for kids who do not grow as fast as their contemporaries. Many a time, kids who are comparatively shorter are made fun of or bullied at school, and this may make them fearful and also impact their self-confidence.
It is important to note here that height is usually determined by genes. However, studies have found that external factors like the food one eats can also make a difference and influence the height of a person in his or her growing years. The three most important determining factors for height are genes, diet and lifestyle. You cannot change the genetic makeup you have passed on to your kids, but you can do your bit to ensure that the other two factors are taken care of – that your child has a healthy diet and lifestyle to support his or her growth spurt. Inadequate nutrition can stunt the growth of a child, no matter how strong the genes are.
Food and Height of Children
If you and your partner are tall, the chances of your child being tall are very high, and the same is true of short parents too. But what a lot of parents are unaware of is that it is in their hands to enable their kids to grow to their full height, which might be more than their genetically determined height, if the recommended diet to increase height in children is followed. It might not make a dramatic difference but can boost the predetermined height of the child by a couple of inches.
A child starts growing almost instantly after birth. It is important to know that women reach their full height approximately by the age of 19 and men can grow until an age of nearly 25. In our bodies, it is mainly the pituitary gland which plays the biggest role in determining our height. The pituitary gland secretes the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which is responsible for an increase in height. There are a number of foods for child growth which can help in stimulating the function of the Human Growth Hormone so that one can achieve the maximum possible height in their growing years.
When it comes to the relation between food and child growth, you should understand what nutrients help the child and how. Read on for a list of natural foods that can help your child grow tall.
Amazing Foods for Kids and Children to Grow Taller Naturally
So which are the natural foods that help children grow taller naturally? To understand this, let us look at the nutrients that help your child grow and the foods that contain those nutrients.
Nutrients Essential to Achieve an Optimum Height
- Proteins: This is one of the most important dietary factors when it comes to boosting height in kids. Protein is essential for building, developing and maintaining muscles and tissues in the body. Protein deficiency can lead to stunted or abnormal growth as well as low mass muscle. Hence, parents should make sure that the child’s diet is balanced with enough proteins in it.
- Minerals: Certain minerals in food are essential for supporting the height growth of the child. Foods which are rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorous, iodine, manganese and fluoride are known to enhance growth in children and teenagers. Calcium is crucial as well, as it not only supports growth but also makes the bones strong.
- Vitamins: When it comes to bone health and height, vitamin D plays a crucial role. This is because it helps in the absorption of calcium in the body. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to not only weak bones and stunted growth but also have a negative effect on height. Apart from this, the other vitamins essential for good growth in kids include vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, riboflavin, ascorbic acid and vitamin F. Vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins are essential in a healthy, balanced diet.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs are considered harmful, but they are actually essential in a diet for kids to increase height. Carbohydrates give energy to the body, especially in the case of kids. Having said that, you obviously need to be careful that your child’s diet comprises healthy carbohydrates. The carbohydrates they consume should be from whole grain foods like wheat and cereals. Food comprising refined flour, such as pizza, burger and white bread, are rich in carbohydrates that can be harmful
Besides carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, your child also needs the recommended amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in their diet to ensure good health and optimum height growth. Encourage your child to pick foods which contain these nutrients when making meal choices.
Foods That Help to Increase Height
Your child can get the required nutrients from a variety of foods. These include:
1. Dairy Products
Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese and curd are all high in essential minerals like calcium and vitamins like A, B, D and E. Milk is also a good source of protein, which helps in cell growth in the body. No child’s diet is complete without a big glass of milk every day! Yoghurt is great too!
High in proteins, calcium, vitamin B 12 and riboflavin, eggs are essential additions to your child’s diet if you want to boost their height. The white in the egg (or albumin) is 100% protein. So, if you want to keep the fat away, you can feed them only egg white and not the yolk. The best part about eggs is that they can be prepared in so many ways that your child could be having them every day and not get bored! From the humble boiled egg to tasty pancakes, there are a variety of ways to cook eggs!
Chicken is also high in protein just like eggs; in fact, it is one of the highest protein-content items among animal-based foods. Chicken helps in building your child’s tissues and muscles which in turn help his or her height growth
This is another underrated nutritious food that helps boost your child’s health and height! It is rich in proteins, folate, vitamins, carbohydrates and fibre, and is a good alternative to those looking for vegetarian protein options. Tofu made from soybeans is beneficial too!
Rich in potassium, manganese and calcium, the humble banana is a simple fruit which can really help in boosting your child’s health.
Like soybean, oatmeal is also a rich source of protein. This is also a favoured food for boosting height and muscle in the body. No wonder it is considered one of the healthiest breakfast options!
7. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also great foods to give your kids when they are growing. Nuts and seeds are rich in essential minerals and vitamins as well as healthy fats and amino acids, which are vital for growth. You can add them to breakfast cereals or other breakfast preparations or give these to your children as a snack.
8. Leafy Green Vegetables
Kids might make a face when they see green veggies, but you know how good they are for them! Green veggies like broccoli, spinach, peas, okra and brussels sprouts are rich in all the essential minerals, vitamins and fibre too. All these elements are imperative for good overall growth and development. Green veggies should be included in their diet no matter how many excuses they make to not eat these!
Intake of fresh, seasonal fruits is also good for your child. They are so rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre that any child’s diet is incomplete without them. So, make sure you feed your child all types offruits, especially those rich in vitamin C and A like papaya, oranges, watermelon, mango, apple and apricots.
Another non-vegetarian option, fish is rich in proteins and vitamin D, which are necessary for bone and muscle development.
It’s no secret that carrots are rich in vitamins A and C. These vitamins are essential for preserving calcium in the bones and keeping them healthy.
12. Whole Grains
Whole grains are very healthy and are essential for kids. They are a storehouse of energy, being very rich in fibre, vitamins, iron, magnesium and selenium. Whole grain bread and pastas are great options for children to boost their height!
13. Red Meat
Meant to be given in moderation, red meat is another non-vegetarian food option which is super rich in protein. However, since too much red meat is not good for the body, its consumption should be moderate.
While turnips are not very popular among kids, they are very good for their health. Turnips can help in boosting the growth hormone and are also rich in various vitamins and minerals. Daily intake of turnips is known to boost overall health as well.
Another food that’s known to stimulate the growth hormone in the body is beans. Whether they’re boiled, baked or cooked, they are great for your child! Plus, beans come loaded with a lot of fibre.
Foods to Avoid
While the above foods help increase height in children, there are some which are detrimental to growth as well. The intake of excessive sugar, salts, coffee, fat and aerated drinks should be curbed in children. This is because these foods are known as calcium inhibitors, which can impact the absorption of calcium in the body in a negative way. Smoking and consumption of drugs in the growing years can also stunt growth and take a negative toll on health. Children with poor eating habits can also develop health complications in the long run like obesity, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis!
Here are some more tips that you can follow in addition to giving foods that increase height in children, that can help boost your child’s growth:
- Make sure your child has a regular sleep routine. Ten to twelve hours of sleep is ideal. Sleeping and waking up at the same time every day not only has health benefits, but instils discipline too.
- Encourage your child to exercise and play every day instead of being sedentary. Some activity or sports outdoors every day is bound to do them good, not only in terms of helping them get essential vitamins from the sun, but also by exercising their muscles in the process. If possible, engage in some fun outdoor activities with your child that both of you can enjoy and bond over.
- Exercises like swimming, those that involve jumping (like basketball), certain yoga poses like Surya Namaskar, stretches, skipping and jogging can also go a long way in boosting your child’s height when done in the correct phase of their life. Do remember that this works best when supplemented with a balanced diet and lifestyle.
- Make sure your child has a healthy lifestyle. The type of lifestyle you lead as a family can really help in boosting your child’s health and height as well. Keep your child off junk food and make sure he or she enjoys home-cooked meals, which is how you can also make sure that the diet is balanced in every aspect.
- Ask your doctor to recommend some good supplements to boost your child’s health and immunity. Vitamin and mineral supplements can help your child get a good balance of nutrients in the body. But this should be done only on a doctor’s recommendation. Over-the-counter products marketed as ‘height enhancers’ for children may not work. Avoid giving them to your children without consulting your doctor first.
Height in children is majorly determined by the genes. And while there is no magic potion which can boost your child’s height overnight, a good diet and lifestyle can go a long way in making your child taller. Plus, a healthy and balanced diet has other advantages too such as maintaining overall health and boosting development.
Also Read: Healthy Foods for Brain Development in Kids