You’re so happy your little boy or girl is growing up, becoming more sensitive and mature and suddenly showing a lot of responsibility. There are simultaneously a lot of bodily changes your kid is grappling with. You want to be there for your child and lend a helping hand with the physical upheaval and emotional overhaul that your young one’s system needs.
One of the most common concerns with growing kids is the issue of gaining a good height. Since this is a detrimental age for physical growth, it is justified for you to be concerned.
Height is mainly governed by genetics of the family. Your height and your spouse’s height will be a major factor determining the upward distance your child’s body is set to traverse. Both you and your spouse being short does not imply that your child is ordained to that height. At the same time, both the parents being tall doesn’t necessarily mean that your little one will stretch and grow 6 feet tall in no time! Medical science claims that physical growth does not stop till mid-twenties. There are several lifestyle changes that help in a big way in contributing towards fostering your child’s height in the pre-teen years. So, while having realistic expectations, one can follow these simple steps to grow to your full potential.
1. Eating Right: Healthy eating habits contribute significantly towards wholesome growth.
- Include a lot of carbohydrates in your child’s diet. The calories gained will give the body ample energy to grow.
- Plenty of calcium can help promote bone growth for your kid. Insist on dairy products and green vegetables- an excellent source of calcium.
- Encourage your kid to spend a lot of time in the sun to get plenty of vitamin D. Eating fish, alfalfa, or mushrooms also helps, as they are a good source of the wonder vitamin. Vitamin D is known to promote bone and muscle growth in children, and a deficiency has been shown to stunt growth and cause weight gain in teenage girls.
- Include protein, the miracle potion to aid physical growth, regularly into your child’s diet. Lentils, pulses, sprouts, beans, eggs, tofu and meat and all rich sources of protein.
Proteins provide an essential building block for the body to grow well.
- Study reveals that zinc deficiency can cause stunted growth in children. So, up your child’s zinc intake. All vitamin supplements contain zinc. A daily intake of a multi-vitamin should be enough to meet the body’s zinc requirement.
- Discipline your child’s eating schedule. Eating 3 meals a day, with small snacks bekid main meals is a good practice.
- Keep your young one’s immune system strong, as an illness can stunt growth. Plenty of vitamin C ensures a strong immune system. Stock your kitchen with citrus fruits, for your kid to pick a quick healthy snack on the go.
2. Adequate Exercise: Coax your kid to indulge in sports. Swimming, biking, skipping, dance, yoga and a whole lot of outdoor sports will help your child grow.
There are tons of exercises for growing taller, like pull ups, which your kid can easily follow at home. Being regular with these exercises can make a big difference!
3. Keep your kid at bay from Growth Stunting Factors: Caffeine, smoking, alcohol, steroids and artificial hormonal capsules that claim to be helpful in increasing one’s height are known to stunt growth and this must be reason enough for your kids to be convinced to stay at bay from these influences.
4. Good Posture: Straight spine, shoulders stretched in a perfect alignment with the curve of the neck, hips in a straight, perfect proportion over the feet; encourage you young one to practice a good posture with all these considerations in mind. It not only makes them look taller, but also more confident.
5. Cultivating Confidence: A positive attitude coupled with high self esteem will make up for any lacking height. Inspire your children to feel good about themselves. Encourage them to participate in various school activities, take up a hobby and go for something that will make them feel good about themselves. Being taller might be nice, but it is not the end of the world if you are short. Give them example of several legends who are short in height, but high in stature. Give your children examples of legendary personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, Shahid Kapoor, Rani Mukherji, and many others, who ensured that their height didn’t stop them from doing their best.
6. Seeking Medical Help: If your child has a healthy lifestyle, eats well, sleeps enough, gets good exercise and is yet not growing by mid-teens, it is a good idea to consult a doctor. Though rare, there can be conditions like hormone deficiency or autoimmune disorders that stunt growth. Medical intervention can help in such cases.
7. Ample Sleep: The same growth principle we followed, when our children were babies, applies even at this age. Body grows and regenerates tissue while at rest. Persuade your kid to sleep like a baby for 8-10 hours every night and let nature work its wonders.