Dreaming about becoming as tall as basketball players? Nutrition could help you do that. While being taller in and of itself may not be a goal for everyone, it’s certainly a by-product of regular exercise and right nutrition.
Height enhances the overall personality, some are blessed with great genes, whereas some need to work a little bit to achieve even average height. It is true that after a certain age the growth of height becomes stagnant, and this is why most people take care of child’s height right from a young age.
Certainly, there are several things that lead to an overall growth of a child, but dietary habits also play a pivotal role. Hence, it is often advised to feed kids with a proper nutrient-rich diet as this will give the child ample nutrition for a good height and weight according to his/her age.
There are many factors that can affect how tall a child can be, from nutrition to hormones, everything plays an important role as per best dietitian in Delhi. To be aware about how you can help your child grow taller, you simply need to understand what factors affect their height.
- 0.1 Height and weight percentile
- 0.2 Growth Hormone Deficiency can affect height
- 1 How nutrition can help:
Few factors that may put your mind at ease and help you take action which affect in a child’s growth:
- Genetic disposition: If parents are shorter in stature, the child may also follow suit. According to the National Institute of Health, genetics account for 80 percent of their height while environmental factors account for 20 percent. This means that height of parents is an important predictor of determining how tall the child will be.
- Nutrition: A proper balance of major macronutrients (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, fat, calcium, and magnesium) and micronutrients (i.e. Vitamin A and Iodine) is needed for proper growth. To make sure your child is getting the best nutritional intake, refer to the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines and note the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
- Health Conditions: There are a variety of health conditions that may affect a child’s height, including: constitutional growth delay, digestive disorders, kidney disease, growth hormone deficiency, and diabetes, among others. If any of these issues are observed, consult with your pediatrician. While 20 percent of your child’s height is affected by environmental factors which includes what his or her diet is while genes account for the other 80 percent.
Also read Making Healthy Snacks for Kids
Height and weight percentile
Height and weight are used together to determine a child’s growth percentile. The percentiles on the charts offered by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (boys and girls) are based on a scale of 100. For instance, if a child’s height falls in the 70th percentile, this means he or she is taller than 70 percent of children and shorter than another 30 percent children of the same age.
If a child visits a paediatrician regularly, paediatrician will keep track of this during child’s regular exams.
Growth Hormone Deficiency can affect height
In children, Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) is a rare disorder that can occur when there’s not enough growth hormone secreted from the anterior pituitary gland.
Note: If you observe growth retardation symptoms like shorter stature than their classmates or maturation delay, consult a paediatrician.
How nutrition can help:
Protein comprises of amino acids and is basic building block of our body. It contains hormones, enzymes and antibodies that stimulate growth and regulation. Here are a few reasons why proteins are beneficial for being tall:
- Protein is one such nutrient which cannot be substituted with anything else. It functions well with other nutrients to ensure proper growth of height.
- Protein is associated with the growth of new tissues and repairs the damaged tissue.
- Also, it ensures the growth of lean muscle and helps in the overall development of a child, giving him/her enough energy to go through the day.
Foods that can aid in achieving a good stature:
- Egg and chicken: Adding each of them- egg and boiled or grilled chicken every alternate day can help your child in growing taller and stronger. Egg being a source of complete protein can do wonders!
- Veggies: Vegetables includes nutrients like iron, magnesium, Vitamin B, and other minerals are extremely beneficial for a kid to increase his/her height. Try including a bowl of broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale, beans, carrots, beetroots, along with other vegetables. This will ensure that there is enough intake of nutrients for overall development of his body.
- Fruits: All varieties of fruits are considered as super food for their high nutrient content. Seasonal fruits are rich in minerals and have low-fat content. It is one of the healthiest foods for anyone, who wants to boost immunity and improve metabolism. Fruits like pear, guava, apple, and banana, orange should be a good option to include. Develop a habit in your child to eat a rainbow meal filled with different colored vegetables to accelerate the growth in height.
- Whole grains, pulses and legumes: Whole grains, dal, and pulses are a good source of protein, Iron and Vitamin B. All of these nutrients promotes the development of a child and boosts his/her metabolism. Include dal, and pulses in daily diet if you want to increase your child’s height. Switch to whole-wheat bread, pasta, cereals to help him/her achieve that perfect height.
- Soybean: For vegetarians, soybean is a great substitution for chicken and egg. This is the right alternative source of protein. Proteins play a vital role in the overall development of the body; it promotes and accelerates the growth of the children.
- Milk: Milk fulfils the daily requirement of Calcium, Vitamin-D and protein, further to add texture, nuts can be added to enhance the taste of the milk. It promotes lean muscle growth and keeps your bones strong. It also strengthens your child’s immune system. It is a complete food.
Physical activity also counts!
To achieve a good, decent height, with proper diet engage the child into some physical activities like stretching, playing outdoor games, this further helps in boosting height and improves the immunity. Children in school should get at least an hour of exercise a day and should be encouraged to focus on flexibility exercises, such as yoga, aerobic activities, such as playing tag, jumping rope, or biking.
In case you have a condition that affects your human growth hormone (HGH) production, the doctor may recommend a supplement containing synthetic HGH. Don’t entirely depend on supplements. There are rare cases where supplements may be appropriate to increase height in children. You should avoid taking too many or multiple supplements with promises about height. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking supplements.