The linear growth of a child is determined by their genetic make-up. In light of this, they are limited in their ability to grow beyond a specific height. But it's frequently asserted that certain diets can help kids grow taller. So, are there any foods that can help kids grow taller? Well, there are no foods that can increase your child’s height beyond their genetic potential. But by include particular foods in their well-balanced diet, your kid can easily grow to their full potential height. Additionally, these foods may include nutrients that support a child's general development. Continue reading to learn about foods that can make kids taller and the causes of kids not growing taller.
➥Can the height of a child be increased?
The height of a child is largely influenced by that of their parents and other near relatives.
Children develop at their own rate, and during puberty, this rate of growth can considerably accelerate. Both boys and girls are likely to grow two inches (five cm) taller per year after puberty (1). However, a number of factors, including the child's genetic makeup, which has a considerable impact, can determine their final, adult height.
➥Nutrients Required To Help A Child Grow Taller
During growth years, children need a well-balanced diet and exercise for their overall growth. There are some specific nutrients that are required in increased amounts to ensure an increase in height.
- Protein: The reference value for protein intake is 0.9 g/kg/day for boys (3-18 years) and girls (3-15 years). Ensure to provide the recommended amount from a variety of sources, especially those with high protein content.
- Carbohydrates: Increased calories are required for children to grow. Thus, a balanced carbohydrate intake from complex carbohydrate sources must be consumed. Whole grains and millets are some of the healthy sources. Avoid simple carbohydrates, like those from sugary food items, since it could increase the risk of childhood obesity.
- Vitamins: All vitamins are essential for growth and sustenance. However, some specific vitamins, such as vitamin D and vitamin B-complex, can impact your child’s height directly. Thus, ensure to meet the recommended intake of all the vitamins.
- Minerals: Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, and fluoride are essential for the growth of your child. Several fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals, along with legumes, meat and dairy products. An adequate intake of minerals help promote healthy growth and height-increase.
If the daily requirement of these nutrients is not met, the chances of growth stunt may increase . Growth stunting could occur in extreme cases of nutritional deficiencies.
➥Reasons Why A Child Is Not Growing In Height
Your child’s height is an important marker of nutritional status and physical development . Besides genetic makeup and diet, there could be several other reasons for a child to exhibit delayed growth. Below are some possible reasons that are worth a check.
- Constitutional growth delay: Children with this condition grow at a normal rate. However, they are shorter than average. They usually exhibit delayed bone growth and tend to reach puberty late. Due to this, such children have a below-average height in the teenage years, but then they tend to catch up with their peers in adulthood.
- Growth hormone deficiency: Growth hormone (GH) is a hormone that helps in normal growth and development. In cases where a child has partial or complete GH deficiency, stunting is observed.
- Hypothyroidism: It is a common endocrine disorder caused by an underactive thyroid gland. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone, thus leading to conditions such as fatigue, weight gain, decreased growth, etc.
- Turner syndrome: It is one of the common genetic conditions in girls caused by a complete or partial absence of the X chromosome during embryonic development. The most prominent features of the condition are short height and premature ovarian failure.
➥Is the growth rate of height in girls different from boys?
Usually, puberty comes a little later in boys than in girls. In general, boys will begin puberty between the ages of 10 and 13 and experience a growth spurt between the ages of 12 and 15. This means that the strongest rate of height growth in boys occurs about 2 years later than in girls.
Also, most boys will stop increasing in height by the age of 16, however their muscles can continue to grow.
◾ When will a girl stop growing in height?
The timing of puberty plays a key role in determining when a girl will stop growing in height. The age at which a girl reaches her adult height will depend on when she starts menstruating.
Some of the first signs of puberty in girls usually include breast growth, hair growth in the pubic area or under the arms, and discharge. These are all signs that girls may soon start growing taller faster than before. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, girls going through puberty will experience a growth spurt after their breasts begin to develop or two to three years after their first menstrual cycle.
Girls will stop growing and reach their final adult height only 2 – 2.5 years after their first menstrual cycle. Most girls will grow in height at a rapid rate during childhood. When reaching puberty, the growth rate of female height increases suddenly. In general, girls usually stop growing by the age of 14 or 15.
MORE: Child height development milestones
◾How does puberty affect height growth in girls?
Most girls will have a great height growth in 1-2 years before the start of menstruation. Puberty in girls usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 13, and the growth of height in girls usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 14. Height in girls only increases by 1-2 inches for a year or two after the first menstrual period. And this is also the time when children reach their adult height.
Most girls will reach their adult height by the age of 14 or 15. However, this age may be less depending on when a girl first gets her period. If the child is 15 years old but has not started menstruating, parents should take the child to see a pediatrician for specific advice on delayed puberty.
◾When do boys stop growing in height?
Puberty is a process of growth and changes that take place in the body as boys begin to mature. Puberty is different for each person, it can begin when a child is between the ages of 8-14.
The average age at which boys notice the first signs of puberty is around 12 years of age, and usually about a year later after girls start puberty.
The fastest rate of height growth in boys is usually 1-2 years after the onset of puberty. Meanwhile, the process for a child to develop physically into an adult will take 2 to 5 years. In general, boys will stop growing in height at the age of 16, and fully develop at the age of 18.
◾How does puberty affect height growth in boys?
When entering puberty, most boys will go through an amazing period of growth in their height. However, every boy will have a different rate of height growth because their puberty can begin at different ages. Typically, boys will tend to grow an average of 3 inches, or 7.6cm, each year during puberty.
In general, a boy's age during puberty will not affect his final height, but it will affect when his height growth begins and stops.
Puberty in boys is generally divided into two main categories:
Precocious puberty : Boys will start puberty around 11 or 12 years old Late puberty : Boys will start puberty around 13 or 12 years old 14 years old.
➥Here’s a list of 5 foods that your kid must consume daily to gain height
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is a direct correlation between the diet of a child and his/her height. Not just that, but another study published in the Public Health Nutrition suggests that consumption of milk, chicken, and other animal-based foods is the best way to make your kids taller.
We know that it’s a huge task for every mother, but milk is one of the most wholesome foods that your kids require to grow well. It contains some of the most essential nutrients that will help your kid gain height fast. Not just that, it will also help develop your kid’s bones as well as make their muscles stronger and sharper.
Remember that good old phrase, “Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande”? Well, it’s not just true for you, but for your kid too. Eggs are rich in protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin, and some of these nutrients are really hard to find in other food sources. The best part is eggs are one of the most versatile foods, and you can make them in endless ways!
Soy is another good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. Also, if you are vegetarian, it is the best alternative to eggs.
We always underestimate the power of this humble fruit, but this is one fast food your kid needs the most. If s/he resists eating it as a whole, you can appease them with a glass of banana smoothie or shake. In this way, both milk and banana can be served to them without any issue.
5. Dry fruits
When they are growing up, kids need both energy and nutrition. What’s better than dry fruits that pack a punch in every way? Yes, nuts and seeds are a rich source of minerals, good fats, and amino acids. They are all essential to help your child grow.
➥Along with foods, these tips will help your kid gain height faster
- Ensure they get proper sleep.
- Encourage them to do stretching exercises to elongate their bones and muscles.
- Encourage them to play sports.
- Expose them to the sun for vitamin D.
- Urge them to eat home-cooked food.
- You can consult your doctor, if there is a need for any additional supplements for your child.
So, just inculcate these foods to your diet and see your kids grow taller, stronger, and sharper.
➥What are the 10 exercises to increase height?
Probably the best and most straightforward exercise for increasing height, hanging can be done by just grabbing a hanging bar and letting your body hang. This is also a great exercise to increase stamina and activate your upper body muscles. Hanging exercises also target your spinal muscles to promote growth and height.
If you are planning to try this height growth exercise, start with hanging for 30 seconds at least 2-3 times a day. Gradually increase the duration and sets.
If you want to combine games and exercises together, skipping is your perfect height increase exercise at home. When you jump a rope, it strengthens your legs and also makes them longer; that ultimately helps in increasing your height.
This is also a great exercise that you can teach your kids and see them grow a few inches longer. Skipping also helps in increasing bone mass and boosting your cardiovascular health.
3. Jump Squats
When you are looking for exercise that can increase height, it is suggested that go for the ones that have some kind of jumping included. This is because jumping tends to stretch your legs and make them stronger which ultimately increases the height.
Now coming back to the exercise to increase height, you can try jump squats. This exercise conditions and strengthens your lower body muscles to boost height. It is quite similar to the classic squats. All you need to add is a jump as you go up and then sit into a squat position.
Another exercise that can instantly bring excitement to your workout to gain height is swimming. You would have heard people sending their kids to swimming classes to boost their height. Well, that was not just because childhood is the best time for exercise to increase height but also for the fact that swimming helps in stretching your whole body to the fullest while developing muscle strength. This also helps in increasing height.
What more? If you are trying an upper body workout in summer, swimming is the best. It won’t just rejuvenate your body but also make you taller. Try breaststroke to get taller faster.
5. Dry Land Swim
What to do when you can’t swim or have a fear of water? In that case, try an alternative of swimming – dry land swimming. It basically refers to an exercise where you have to move your legs and hands alternatively just the way one does while swimming. The only difference is that you perform it on the floor and not water. The stretching of muscles is what makes it one of the best exercises to increase height.
So if you do not have access to the swimming pool or don’t know how to swim, this is your best exercise for increasing height.
6. Forward Spine Stretch
Let’s do a sitting exercise that can increase height. To do forward spine stretch you need to just sit straight and spread your legs in front of you. Extend them as far as possible while keeping them together. You can also keep a shoulder-wide distance. Inhale, stretch your arms and try to touch the toes with fingers.
Perform 3-4 sets with 10-15 seconds hold for this height increase exercise at home. This exercise to increase height stretches your spine and that’s how it helps in improving height.
7. Straight Leg-up Exercise
If you want to do some exercise to increase height while lying down, Leg ups should definitely be in your list. They are simple and very easy to perform. Just lie down on your back and lift your legs up together. Keep going upwards till they are in the air. Hold for a while and lower them down but don’t touch the ground. Keep the legs a few inches above the ground and then repeat.
Do at least 7-8 repetitions a day of this exercise to increase height.
8. Alternate Leg Kick
A derivative of Korean martial art – “Tae Kwon Do”, alternate leg kick is a defensive move wherein you one leg to your chest while standing straight and then straighten it. It is like a motion in cycling and you are not supposed to rest your feet on the ground in between. In short, it is a rigorous exercise to increase height. This exercise also focuses on your thighs and helps in maintaining equivalent body-mass growth.
Tired of practicing height increase exercise at home and don’t even want to go to the gym? Turn to cycle. This is an excellent cardiovascular exercise to increase height by expanding your leg muscles. Cycling also burns calories at a faster rate. This means that you don’t just get a taller body but also a slim figure! Now isn’t that a win-win situation?
10. Pelvic Shift
This is the must-try exercise to increase height. In a pelvic shift, your body looks like the bridge pose. You have to lie in a straight position and bend your knees. Your feet shoulder be at least shoulder-width apart. Now, put pressure on the foot and raise the hips. Your back should be straight and look like a bridge. Breathe in slowly bring back your hips at the base. Repeat.
If you want to do some exercise to increase height and also get curvy hip, this is a great option. The pelvic shift also helps in stretching back after hours of sitting.
The Bottom Line
Honestly, there is no best time for exercise to increase height than now. So stop thinking that your height will not increase now that you are in your late teens. Make a workout to gain height with all these exercises and start a fitness routine. You can also talk to your fitness trainer to suggest you a few tips to do the exercise to increase height properly. All the best!