Helping kids grow to attain their optimum height is often a big challenge for parents. But what we don’t realize is how a child’s height can also impact his confidence. Of course, there’s nothing bad with your child being short for his age or growing at a slower rate than his friends.
Often, comparatively shorter children are made fun of or are bullied at school, which may make them fearful and impact their self-confidence.
It is important to note here that genes usually determine height. However, research has found that external factors, like the food one eats, can also make a difference and influence an individual’s height in his growing years.
The three most crucial determining factors for height are genes, lifestyle, and diet . We cannot alter the genetic makeup you have passed on to your children, but we can do our part to make sure that the other two factors are taken care of – that our child has a healthy lifestyle and diet to support her/his growth.
Poor nutrition can stunt the growth of a child, no matter how strong his genes are .
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Foods To Help Children Grow Taller
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
Your child might make a face when he sees green vegetables, but you know how valuable they are for him! Green veggies like spinach, broccoli, peas, okra, and brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins, essential minerals, and fiber too .
All these elements are essential for good overall development and growth. Green vegetables should be included in his diet, no matter how many excuses he makes not to eat these!
Beans are superbly nutritious and an excellent source of protein. Protein has been proved to increase levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), an important hormone that regulates growth in kids.
Not only is iron needed for tissue growth, but iron deficiency anemia can also lead to delayed growth in kids. Moreover, beans are rich in several other nutrients, such as copper, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.
Yogurt is an excellent source of several vital nutrients that are necessary for growth, including protein. Just 200 grams (7 ounces) of Greek yogurt pack in nearly 20 gm (grams) of protein. Certain types also have probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help protect gut health.
In addition to decreasing inflammation and improving immune function, some studies show that probiotics can help increase kids’ growth. Yogurt is likewise an excellent source of multiple nutrients involved in bone metabolism, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
4. Mixed Nuts
Nuts are powerhouses of nutrients and contain minerals, vitamins, proteins, and healthy fats. The omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts are useful for turnover and bone health. The proteins in nuts are also critical for the growth of your child.
Add nuts to cereals or include nuts (15 g) as a snack. You can powder nuts and incorporate them into porridges.
Note: If your child has a nut intolerance or allergy, check with a pediatrician before introducing any new foods.
5. Pulses And Beans
Pulses and beans are excellent protein sources but have a limiting amount of amino acids. If coupled with cereals, in the form of khichdi or any other dish, they aid healthy digestion and appropriate growth.
Legumes, including black beans, lentils, pinto beans, red kidney beans, are low in fat content and rich in protein. Most legumes contain a fair amount of dietary fiber and calcium, essential for a growing child. You may try adding legumes to your kids’ meals for a nutrient-packed protein diet.
Grains may not consist of much calcium but can be a magnesium source, which plays a crucial role in promoting bone health. Include an assortment of grains in your kid’s diet. Use whole grain that has the husk, an excellent source of fiber.
A few of the whole grains that are a wonderful source of magnesium and calcium are barley, oats, and pseudocereals like quinoa and buckwheat.
Milk is a critical part of your child’s diet. Ensure h/she gets at least two glasses of milk every day to make sure the required vitamin-D, calcium, and protein intake. Fortify the glass of milk with saffron and almonds for more nutrition and natural antibiotics, or go for protein-powders, rather than having just any chocolaty powder.
Fresh and seasonal fruits are full of minerals and vitamins required for the synthesis of protein in the body. Give your kid at least 2-3 fruits every day. This way, She/he will get an uninterrupted supply of multivitamins in the most organic way, make them stay full, and avoid processed foods that hamper their growth.
10. Chicken and Eggs
Protein is one such nutrient that can’t be altered with anything else. It is the most required ingredient that works well with other nutrients to ensure proper growth of height. Protein is linked with the growth of tissues and repairs the damaged tissue.
Also, it ensures the growth of lean muscle and helps in the overall development of a kid, giving her/him adequate energy to go through the day! Adding egg whites and grilled or boiled chicken to your daily meal can help your child grow more robust and taller.
Genes majorly determine your child’s height. And while there’s no magic wand that can boost your child’s height overnight, a good diet and healthy lifestyle will go a great way in making your child taller.
Furthermore, a balanced and healthy diet has other advantages, such as helping your child maintain his overall health and boost his development.