Can skipping meals affect height growth?

by   |   May 14, 2024

Have you ever rushed out of the house skipping breakfast since you are about to be late for school or work? Or ignore lunch because of your busy schedule? We all know that a balanced diet plays an important role in maintaining overall wellness, but it can also contribute greatly to the additional gain in your height. Lacking occasional meals seems harmless; however, regular skipping may indirectly stunt your growth, including height in the long run.

Let’s unveil the relationship between meal patterns and height growth, highlighting the science of nutrition and see why each meal might be even more crucial for a teen’s growing body than you can imagine.

Fueling the Growth Engine: How Food Powers Height

Genetics plays a major role in determining one’s final stature among individuals, accounting for 60-80 percent of all factors involved. Although genes are beyond our reach, the good news is that we can adjust the remaining 20-40% through other modifiable factors, such as a nutritious dietary regime packed with essential vitamins and minerals. In simpler terms, good nutrition is beneficial for bone growth, strong bones, healthy muscles, and overall well-being, making it a cornerstone of healthy growth and development during the child’s critical years.

Just like a car, your body needs the right materials to function properly. A nutritious diet is indispensable to fuel the body with key building blocks for healthy growth.


Muscles, Metabolism, and More: Why You Need Protein

Our bones, muscles, and all bodily tissues require an adequate amount of protein to develop, repair, and function properly. In other words, protein effectively supports muscle growth, cellular repair, immune responses, and enzymatic activities in metabolism during childhood and adolescence.

By definition, proteins are large and intricate molecules made up of a series of amino acids, known as the building blocks of the body. 20 different amino acids can be arranged and sequenced in various ways to determine proteins’ distinctive properties. Some non-essential amino acids can be synthesized by the body via different metabolic processes and converted from other amino acids. Meanwhile, the 9 essential amino acids cannot be manufactured and must be obtained through our diet.

Therefore, to ensure sufficient intake of all essential amino acids, it is imperative to consume protein-infused foods. There are two main sources of protein available for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Looking for a way to add up muscle-building proteins? Meat from beef, pork, lamb, and chicken is known for their high-quality protein content. Besides, you can find a protein powerhouse in fish like salmon and mackerel. Eggs deserve a standout as their most complete protein source containing full essential amino acids your body needs.

For those who are allergic to animal-based protein or are following a specific diet regime, plant-based proteins like legumes (beans, lentils, peas), nuts, and seeds (almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds) are perfect alternatives.

Grow Up Strong: Why Calcium Matters for Kids and Teens

Calcium is the superstar of strong bones. During years of growth spurts, your body requires a great deal of calcium to consolidate mineral density for stronger and healthy bones. Calcium is particularly important for children and adolescents because this is the critical phase for bone growth and density. Adequate calcium prevents bone loss later in life, which might lead to osteoporosis.

If you are on the search for calcium-rich food, think of dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese because these products are generally high in calcium per serving consumed.

Leafy green vegetables are another excellent source of calcium, packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These plant-based foods are also loaded with fiber, which is essential for digestion and skin health, and antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.

If you want to prioritize the amount of calcium delivered through diet, you can consider fortified foods, such as plant milk or breakfast cereals that are often fortified with calcium. These alternatives allow an easy boost of this miracle mineral, especially for those who are vegan or suffering from lactose intolerance.


Unlocking Calcium’s Potential: How Vitamin D Boosts Bone Health

Without sufficient levels of vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium obtained from the diet. Indeed, vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption, utilization, and improved overall bone health. Here is a look at how this process takes place:

Vitamin D consolidates efficiency when it comes to calcium absorption from the small intestines. Lack of vitamin D hinders the intestines from absorbing and retaining calcium effectively, regardless of how much calcium is consumed.

In addition, vitamin D is involved in the bone remodeling process, where new bone tissues are established and old bone tissues are broken down and replaced. Vitamin D works to deposit calcium into the bone matrix, strengthening and maintaining overall strength, density, and structure.

Children exposed to vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from rickets, characterized by softened bones, skeletal deformities, and even growth retardation. In terms of adults, lack of vitamin D increases the risks of osteomalacia, with bone pain, muscle weakness, and fragile bones as a resulting symptom. Besides, osteoporosis is not an exemption, marked by reduced bone mass and incremental risks of fractures.

Besides safety and accessibility, sunlight is the most natural way of getting vitamin D. Skin starts to synthesize vitamin D under direct exposure to sunlight or UV rays. However, the amount of vitamin D may vary depending on many factors, like geographical location, skin pigmentation, and so on.

Many foods are fortified with vitamin D and sold on the market, ranging from milk and orange juice to cereals.

Conclusion: Can skipping meals affect height growth?

Generally speaking, meal skipping can negatively affect the growth in height of children and adolescents during their formative periods. By limiting nutrient intake from the diet, your body ends up not getting enough necessary vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The subsequent nutritional deficiencies make it difficult for the body to normally grow and develop since meals are the primary source of calories, which are then turned into energy to fuel growth processes. Besides, nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy level of growth hormones. Therefore, poor nutrition might impact height growth potentially.

Regularly skipping meals may result in other serious health issues, such as malnutrition or a weakened immune system, which can indirectly interrupt the optimized height growth trajectory

How to grow taller


Jay Lauer is a renowned physician and nutrition expert specializing in helping people achieve optimal health and wellness. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Lauer has become a trusted voice, particularly in the field of natural height growth.

Dr. Lauer believes a nutrient-rich diet and healthy lifestyle are essential for maximizing growth potential. She develops personalized nutrition plans incorporating foods and supplements that support bone development and works closely with patients to achieve their height goals.

In addition to height growth, Dr. Lauer is an expert in weight loss, disease prevention, and overall wellness. She regularly shares her expertise through media outlets like The Today Show and Good Morning America.

Dr. Lauer recognized the need for a comprehensive resource on natural height increase and created the website The site provides proven strategies, nutrition plans, exercises, and support to help individuals feel more confident by achieving their desired height naturally and improving their quality of life.

Researcher Locations: 33 Whitehall Street, New York

Email: [email protected]

Education & Training Fellowship: Pediatric Psychology – Nemours Children’s Clinic – Jacksonville, 2003 Internship: Child Psychology – University of Florida, 2002 Board Certifications: American Board of Professional Psychology

Areas of Research:



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