Optimal growth of kids is the major concern for parents. Right from ensuring they have a strong immunity to them gaining an optimal height- it is necessary that children achieve the expected growth milestones. A child’s height has a lot to do with his parents’ height and the roleplay of genes. But it is important to understand, that it is not just the genes that can solely decide on the height outcome, but a lot of other factors like Nutritional status of the patient, and the level of physical activity significantly affect the height as well.
To help the little ones grow to their maximum potential, Dietitian Garima Goyal shares some tips about nutrients which are beneficial:
Protein is one of the most important nutrients which can really help boost a child’s growth period. It is the muscle building nutrient, important for maintaining and repairing the tissues. Protein deficiency can lead to a stunted growth and development. Look out for protein rich foods like chicken, meat, eggs, lentils, beans etc. The protein in Beans and lentils is shown to increase Growth Hormone-1(IGF-1), which helps increase height.
Calcium is required for Healthy and stronger bones. It would be helpful in supporting the growth, in terms of height in children and adolescents. Aling with Calcium, optimal Vitamin D is required for a better calcium absorption. For meeting these requirements, give your little ones enough dairy products, ragi, sesame seeds along with sufficient sun exposure, at least 15 minutes.
3. Healthy Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates form the major energy contributing nutrients, and a positive energy balance is required for the right growth to occur, in children. But, it is important to choose the healthy sources of carbohydrates, particularly complex carbs from whole grains, vegetables and fruits, beans etc. to prevent the incidence of overweight and obesity in children.
Some specific foods to include:
A. Leafy greens
As much as the kids despise dark green leafy vegetables, they are very ruck sources of Calcium and Vitamin K, both very essential to maintain the bone health and hence, faster height attainment.
B. Fruits and Other Vegetables
Though they are not directly linked with the height increasing diet, fruits and vegetables are full of important nutrients, which help maintain health and immunity. If there are lesser bouts of sick periods, children obviously grow better.
Nuts are protein rich as well as in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The latter has an Antioxidative effect on the body- and is very beneficial for the bone health and turnover.
Chicken, in addition to being a great source of Protein, is also rich in Vitamin B12 and Taurine Amino acids. Vitamin B12 helps maintain height, and Taurine is great for promoting bone and muscle growth.
While we don’t recommend any supplements without taking advice from your pediatrician, Glucosamine is natural substance found in the human body. It helps build cartilage, which makes up part of joints, such as knees and elbows. Glucosamine can also be taken as a supplement for strengthening bones and joints, but again- not without checking with your pediatrician.
Apart from all these nutrients and foods, it is also very helpful to engage kids in regular physical activity, to make sure the bones are strengthened and muscles stay active, all of which can help your child grow taller.