How To Make Your Child Grow Taller
The adult height of your child is nearly impossible to predict, yet it seems to be a question on the minds of many parents. It is especially poignant when a child seems to be growing at an unusual pace. As your child reaches an age where interactions with other children become a part of everyday life, it can be alarming to suddenly notice that your child is much shorter than other kids their age. Such alarm is mitigated if both, or even just one, parents are short in stature.
As your child progresses through their childhood years, it is important to take regular measurements of their height and weight. Doing so can help you and your pediatrician identify any problems while there is still time to address them. Once a child has finished puberty, growth stops. As a result, a short teenager has little or no time to change their growth pattern. A younger child, however, still has time to correct their growth progression.
Pediatricians use a standardized growth chart at each well-child visit to plot your child’s height and weight that will show their growth patterns.
What Factors Influence Height?
Regularly tracking height and weight will aid the doctor in determining that your child is growing as expected. Puberty, especially for girls, is starting earlier and earlier. Growth charts can help pediatricians determine whether your child's growth is within the normal range.
The most influential factors when it comes to height are family history and genetics. Height and growth patterns typically run in families with late bloomers and early growth spurts usually following their parents patterns. As a result of this connection, your pediatrician may ask about your height as an adult and child. If you were short in elementary school but kept growing into your high school years, it is likely that your children may do the same. Knowing this family pattern can help your pediatrician in properly monitoring and analyzing your child’s growth.
While genes are the primary factor in determining your child’s height as an adult, they are by no means the only factor. A number of other elements can play a role in your child’s growth patterns. See below other factors that can affect your children’s height.
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in maintaining and improving height. Children need protein, certain minerals and vitamins in order to grow to a healthy height. High quality proteins, minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc and vitamins such as A, C, and D are crucial in promoting height.
Another factor that affects growth is the presence of a hormone imbalance such as growth hormone deficiency or hypothyroidism.
Certain medical conditions can cause irregular growth. Children who are suffering from systemic diseases, celiac disease, or children who have cancer can show slower growth.
How to Promote Healthy Height & Weight
In most cases, your child's growth rate will slow after their first year of life. Normal growth from age 4 through the years of puberty and is usually around 2 inches per year.
Girls tend to have a growth spurt of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches a year beginning with puberty, typically around 10 years of age. While boys also experience their growth spurt during puberty, they are usually closer to 12-13 years old and grow 3 to 5 inches per year.
In order to grow properly and reach their maximum potential growth, your child must get an adequate number of hours of sleep. However, what is adequate for adults is too little for children. Infants require 12 to 15 hours of sleep and toddlers usually need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep each night. As your child continues to grow, less sleep is needed. It is recommended that children ages 6-13 receive 9-11 hours of sleep each night and teenagers 14-17 need 8-10 hours.
Protein also plays a large part in help children grow to their full potential. According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, children who consumed high protein diets saw a significant increase in height as compared to those following a restricted, or low, protein diet. These findings indicate that feeding your child plenty of high protein foods such as fish and lean meats will have an impact on proper growth.
Consumption of high quality proteins has also been correlated with lower body fat on numerous occasions.
Ensuring that your child is receiving the vitamins and minerals necessary for growth is vital to their development. Calcium, in particular, is extremely important for growing bodies as it helps the bones grow stronger.
According to the National Institutes of Health, children between the ages 1 of 3 need 700 mg of calcium daily, while those aged 4 to 8 need 1,000 mg and ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 mg. Increasing dairy consumption can help ensure your child has enough calcium for vital bone growth.
In addition, you will want to ensure your child is eating a variety of food in order to ingest other nutrients important for growth such as vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc.
Take your child in for regular check ups with their pediatrician. This allows the doctor to track your child’s growth patterns and detect any irregularities. When it comes to stunted growth, early detection is key to helping determine any underlying medical conditions which would require immediate medical treatment. If your child is in the 5th or 95th percentile of height for their age range, or the growth pattern is changing your doctor may want to do further tests.
Finally, if your doctor determines your child is healthy, consider using Healthy Height™, a great tasting shake mix for children ages 3-9 who are short and lean. This nutritional profile is doctor developed and tested, and can easily be added to your child’s favorite drink in order to give them a nutritional boost.
Healthy Height™ contains an excellent source of protein, with added vitamins and minerals, while still maintaining a great taste. In our clinically study, results were seen in children as early as three months after use with the most noticeable height difference seen after six months of consistent use.
There is a lot to consider when thinking about your child’s height and how best to help them grow to their full potential. Most of their height is predetermined by genetics, but you can lend some assistance to your child’s development by helping them develop healthy habits. These habits include establishing a sleep schedule and consuming a nutritional diet of protein, calcium, and other important minerals and vitamins. If you become concerned that your child is not growing properly, talk to your pediatrician and they can help you determine if there is an underlying cause.