Growth chart and a diet plan to increase height
Whether your kids are tall, short, big, or small is determined by various factors, including genetics, nutrition, exercise, living environment, and sleep. These factors, interestingly enough, vary greatly from family to family. Besides, while there are a myriad of healthy shapes and sizes for kids, they also grow at their own pace.
Given such diversity, how can doctors decide upon healthy measurements for children’s height and weight, keep track of their growth, or identify any medical problems affecting their development? The answer lies in the growth chart. What a growth chart is and how parents and doctors use it to examine children’s physical development will be thoroughly addressed in this article , followed by a diet to increase height suggested for you to ensure your kids can attain their maximum potential height.
What is a growth chart?
A growth chart measures the height, weight, and head size of your kids and compares them with those of other children at the same age. There are separate growth charts for boys and girls as they grow in different patterns and at different rates.
One set of growth charts is used for babies from birth to 36 months whereas another set is used for kids and teens aged from 2 to 20 years old. In addition, special growth charts are designed for children with certain conditions such as Down syndrome or those who were born early.
To develop these growth charts, thousands of children were measured to gather information, and based on these numbers, the national average height and weight for each age and gender were established.
Growth charts allow both you and your health care provider to follow your child’s growth as well as give early warnings if your child has any medical problems.
What does a growth chart measure?
At each visit, your child’s health care provider will measure the following numbers:
- Height (measured while lying down for children under the age of 3 and standing up for children aged 3 and above)
- Weight (measured in pounds and ounces, or kilograms and grams)
- Head circumference (a head size measurement taken by wrapping a measuring tape around the child’s head above the eyebrows).
In addition, starting at age 2, your child’s height and weight can be measured to calculate the body mass index (BMI). This BMI measurement is used to estimate a child’s body fat.
The results of your child’s measurements will be placed on the growth chart to be compared with the standard (average) range for children of the same age and gender. The same chart will be used as your kid grows older.
How to understand a growth chart?
The lines drawn in curved patterns on the growth chart show the percentiles of where a child is compared with other kids in terms of height and weight at a certain age. For instance, if a 5-year-old girl’s height is in the 40th percentile, this means that 40% of girls at that age are shorter than her and 60% of girls at that age are taller than her.
Many parents are worried when their child’s weight, height, or head size is smaller than those of other children at the same age. However, it should be noted that being in a low or high percentile does not necessarily mean that a child has a growth problem or is healthier.
Let’s say that the 5-year-old girl who is in the 40% percentile for height is also in the 40% percentile for weight. So 40% of kids weigh less and are shorter than her whereas the other 60% weigh more and are taller. This merely shows that she is quite smaller than average, which usually does not mean there is a problem.
Parents should bear in mind that there is no ideal percentile for your child. Healthy children come in all shapes and sizes, and as long as your kid follows the same growth pattern over time with the weight and height in proportion to each other, there is no reason to worry. Besides, your child’s measurements cannot predict whether he/she will be tall, short, fat, or skinny as an adult.
However, there are some changes to your child’s growth chart that you should look out for:
- The head is growing too quickly or too slowly when measured over time.
- When a child does not get taller at the same rate at which he/she is gaining weight.
- When one of your child’s measurements stays above the 90th percentile or below the 10th percentile for their age.
- When a child’s height or weight percentile changes from a pattern it has been following.
Any sign of abnormal growth on the growth chart only depicts a possible problem. Your health care provider will decide if it is an actual medical problem, or if your child’s growth needs more attention.
5 foods to increase height
Now that parents can closely follow their child’s physical development thanks to growth charts, what can they do to give their child the best chance of growing taller? As mentioned earlier, genetics is not the only determinant of your child’s height; some external factors, especially nutrition, have a profound impact on height as well.
In other words, it is in the hands of parents to help their kids increase height by food. Not only can a healthy and balanced diet increase height quickly but it also allows children to grow to their full height, which might be more than their genetically determined height.
It might not make a dramatic difference but can boost the predetermined height of the child by a few inches. With this in mind, we are suggesting a list of increase height foods that can help your child grow tall.
Not to say dairy products are the most effective increase height food but they are definitely up there. In fact, milk and other dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and paneer are essential for growth because they contain all the vital ingredients for height increase, including calcium, proteins, vitamins A, B, D, and E.
Calcium is instrumental in the growth and maintenance of healthy and strong bones whereas vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium from various foods into the body. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with low height gain and even stunted growth. Milk is also a good source of protein, which helps in cell growth in the body. No child’s diet is complete without a big glass of milk every day!
A diet of increase height foods would not be complete without the inclusion of eggs in it. Eggs are a cheap and easily available source of high-quality protein that is pivotal to optimum growth.
High in proteins, calcium, vitamin B12, and Riboflavin, eggs can help your child develop strong bones and a healthy body. The white part in eggs is 100% protein. You can feed your child only this part and avoid the yolk if you want to keep the fat away. The best part about eggs is that you can prepare them in so many ways, from the humble boiled eggs to tasty omelets, your child can have them every day and not get bored!
Just like eggs, chicken is also high in proteins. It is one of the most popular protein-rich items of all animal-based foods. Chicken helps to build your child’s muscles and tissues, which in turn allows him to grow taller.
To increase height quickly food that is rich in proteins, vitamins, folate, fiber, and carbohydrates like soybean should be a valuable addition to your child’s daily menu. Soybean contains the most proteins among all vegetarian foods and these proteins can improve bone and tissue mass, thereby boosting your child’s health and height.
For height growth, consuming 50-55 grams of soybean on a daily basis is recommended. You can include boiled or baked soybean in your rice, salads, and other recipes. Other soy products such as tofu or milk are also extremely nutritious.
Fruits and vegetables
Your kid might not be so happy when he/she sees these items on the table but if you want to help him/her increase height fruits and vegetables are a must in your family’s daily meals.
They contain all the essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and dietary fibers required to stimulate growth hormone production in the body, which contributes directly to height growth.
Fruits seem more favorable to kids than vegetables, so make sure you feed your child all types of fruits, especially those rich in vitamins A and C such as oranges, papayas, mangoes, watermelon, apricots, and apples. In addition, green veggies like spinach, broccoli, okra, peas, and Brussel sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
All these elements are imperative for good overall health and development. Your kid might make a face or come up with excuses not to eat green veggies but don’t give up, try to convince him/her to eat them given their benefits to not only height growth but also overall development.
While there is no magic potion to boost your child’s height overnight, a healthy lifestyle and diet can go a long way in making your child taller. Try to follow your child’s growth chart closely and incorporate plenty of height-boosting foods into his/her diet to facilitate optimal height growth.