Does everyone call your child as "Chotu" because he is the shortest in the class? Kids not reaching the intended height for their age group is definitely concerning for parents. However, worrying about it will do no help! Instead, focus on providing them with well-balanced nutrition to ensure that they have a steady and healthy growth.
In this article, we will be discussing about 10 Height increasing foods in children and toddlers which can certainly influence the numbers on their growth chart. The results may not be immediate! But with time, you will notice visible difference in the height of your child.
10 Best Height Increasing Foods for Kids and Toddlers:
There is a definite link between diet and height of a child. It is known that children who eat a healthy, nutritious diet are likely to reach their growth milestones on time than those who don't. Experts recommend adding these foods to help your child grow taller:
1. Fresh Fruits:
Fruits are powerhouses of nutrition which can help your child grow taller. Each fruit has a unique nutritional profile that comprises of essential vitamins like D, B1, B2, C, E etc. and minerals like Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium etc. which support can boost the growth process. Instead of sticking to one fruit, try giving them seasonal varieties like Pineapple, Apple, Bananas, Mangoes, Kiwi, Dates etc. Encourage your child to ear whole fruits instead of just juices to not miss out on the dietary fiber.
2. Leafy Vegetables:
One group of food that supports children's height growth is green leafy vegetables. Most kids hate eating greens and hence miss out on important nutrition. Leafy greens are rich in iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, dietary fiber, potassium and other important nutrients which are imperative to healthy physical growth. Start including foods like Spinach, Broccoli, Coriander, Amaranthus etc. in their diet. Be creative with the way you introduce them to make your kid's mealtime more enjoyable!
Recent studies show that eggs can help undernourished children overcome nutritional deficiencies and grow taller. Eggs are superfoods which contain high amounts of protein, Vitamin D, iron and other nutrients like Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These agents support a faster height growth in children and toddlers. Depending on the kid's age and health, you can offer one or two eggs a day in different forms like boiled, poached, omlette or even wraps.
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Nuts are jam-packed with many height boosting nutrients. They are rich sources of Vitamin E, amino acids, minerals like Zinc, iron, and healthy omega fatty acids that contribute to a person's overall physical growth. Nuts are also easy to snack on and need no extra preparation. You can replace junk food with a handful of assorted nuts that can satisfy their hunger levels for a long time and also help them touch the right number on the growth chart.
Milk is an important food that can increase height in young kids and toddlers. Pure, adulterated milk contains many essential nutrients like Calcium and Vitamin D, to strengthen bones and skeletal structure. Additionally, Vitamin A supports bone growth in children. However, drinking milk alone with not influence the growth process unless it is supported with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
6. Whole Grains:
Whole grains are essential foods that help increase height in children. They are key sources of nutrition like dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, selenium, vitamin. which energy the system and contribute to overall development. Try giving your kids a variety of grains like wheat, rice, barley, oats, etc. in the form of cereals, pasta, whole grain bread, and crackers.
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Fish is a rich source of Omega fatty acids, which are linked to healthy bone development in children. Apart from Omega, fish is also a rich source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals that play a key role in increasing height in humans. Fish varieties like Salmon, Tuna and Sardines are considered to be very beneficial for kids to reach their optimum height.
Chicken is a lean protein food that can make your child grow taller. Proteins contain amino acids that stimulate the height growth in a person and maintain good bone and muscle health. Chicken is also exceptionally high in Vitamin B12, which is plays a crucial role in the physical growth of a person. It is always better to give baked, boiled or roasted chicken instead of deep-fried varieties to prevent childhood obesity in kids.
Legumes are one of the healthiest protein-rich foods which can speed up the height growth process in children. They are low-fat, cholesterol-free foods that are the best alternatives to eating meat. Legumes like Soyabean, red kidney beans, black beans, moong dal, double beans etc. can supply high amounts of proteins, folate, potassium, iron, manganese etc. that support the growth of tissues and muscles. You can include them in the form of dals, soups or salads for a protein-rich diet.
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A study conducted in China shows that preschool children who were given one serving of Yoghurt everyday along with regular diet recorded better height gain than others. Yoghurt is known to strengthen bones and improve bone mineral density. Additionally, the probiotics present in Yoghurt can improve the gut flora, which can speed up the digestion and lead to better absorption of nutrients.
Apart from serving these height-increasing foods to your children, make sure they exercise regularly to achieve good results. Also, remember that height is dependent on various factors like genes, health condition and overall lifestyle. So, stop worrying too much about it and let the growth process happen naturally. If you still are doubtful, talk to a pediatrician who can guide you better on this subject.