What is the average height for 12-year-olds?

12 years old is when the big changes begin, including physical, mental, emotional, and social. But the thing that most parents are worried about is their children’s height. Are they growing normally? Why do their peers look taller than them, and so many more questions. Today, let’s discover the average height first and then learn how to help them get taller, stronger, and healthier.

What is the average height for 12-year-olds?

Height can vary widely for 12-year-old boys and girls. Check out the table below!


Height Range (Inches)

Height Range (Centimeters)


54.0 – 64.0

137.2 – 162.6


54.5 – 65.0

138.4 – 165.1

 At this age, girls seem to grow faster than boys. One of the main reasons is they reach puberty earlier than boys, typically between the ages of 8 and 13.

What if my 12-year-old kid is shorter or taller than their peers?

Being short or tall does not mean your kid has a health issue. However, you can take a quick check with the doctor to help you know whether your kid’s growth and height are acceptable. Remember that the most important thing is to track their height and weight growth regularly.

Sometimes, kids are late bloomers. So, they need a longer time before catching up in height with their peers. And this mainly depends on genetics. Normally, if their mom and dad were late developers and experienced a growth spurt later in their adolescence, their kids tend to take after them and spend the growth spurt slightly later.

However, in case you notice your kid is growing very slowly or has even stopped growing, you should consult the doctor. Normal growth is when your child grows by at least 1.5 inches (4 centimeters in a year) or 0.7 inches (2 centimeters) in 6 months. If not, it might be a sign of a health issue. Problems affecting your kid’s growth rate might include medical conditions (Turner syndrome or a growth hormone deficiency) or an underlying chronic disease.

A group of people are standing next to each other in front of a height chart .

Does genetics decide the final results?

We all know that our parents determine our height. That means if our parents are tall, we will be tall, and vice versa. However, we want to affirm that genetics is one factor contributing to how tall we will be, not the only predictor. Because you sometimes see a child be much taller than their parents and other relatives, or even shorter.

As parents, what should you do to help your 12-year-old kid grow well and gain their optimal height? Keep following us to know!

How does nutrition support kids at 12?

It is clear that feeding children a proper nutrient-rich diet helps them get enough nutrition for a good height and weight. Let’s show you how!

Ensure three healthy meals daily

Food is the main source in giving you the energy to get through a day as well as help the body grow. Getting the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs by eating healthy and regular meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) can make growing faster. Also, do not forget to consume two snacks between meals to prevent you from eating junk food.

Opt for foods from the five food groups

The five food groups include fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and lean proteins.

  • Choose fruits and vegetables like apples, blueberries, strawberries, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli.
  • Get grains from pasta, wheat bread, or cereals.
  • Meet your dairy requirements with milk, yogurt, cheese, or vitamin-fortified soy milk.
  • Get lean animal-based proteins from eggs, chicken, and fish or plant-based proteins such as tofu, lentils, soy, and chickpeas. Kids between 9 and 13 need about 34 grams of protein daily [1].

Stay hydrated

Getting enough to drink also makes the body grow faster and better. Of course, water is the best choice. Or you can consider milk, 100% fruit juice with no or less sugar, and sports drinks. At 12, children need about 5 to 6 cups daily. But if they are physically active or it is hot outside, they should drink more. Consuming fruits and vegetables can add about 2 cups of water to their daily total.

Limit unhealthy foods

Sweets, French fries, or sodas have low nutritional value and might prevent your children from growing taller [2]. However, that does not mean that they cannot eat them. To make it easier, consider adding a cheat meal or cheat day so they can eat whatever they want.

Make an ideal meal plan

Planning can help you get enough vitamins and minerals in every meal. Here is a good example for a day.

  • Breakfast: Whole wheat toast with peanut butter, milk of choice, and yogurt with blueberries.
  • Mid-morning snack: Apple slices.
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich, cut veggies and dip, and orange juice.
  • Afternoon snack: Crackers and string cheese.
  • Dinner: Chicken breast, brown rice, steamed vegetables, and fruits of choice.

Consider vitamin supplements for children

In some cases, if you are concerned your kids are not getting enough nutrients from their diet, you can ask the doctor to supplement them with suitable products.

A wooden table topped with a variety of fruits and vegetables

How do physical activities help 12-year-olds grow?

Exercise daily

Do at least an hour of moderate activities daily to build bones and muscles [3]. Your kids can try walking, running, swimming, biking, jump-roping, or playing hide-and-seek. Or engage in a sports team at school.

Stretch daily

Sitting or walking during the day makes the bones in your spine press together, contributing to a shorter posture at the end of the day. That’s why you must practice stretching regularly to help you look taller and improve your posture.

  • Sit on the floor and extend your legs wide apart. Bend forward at your hips and spread your arms out to touch your feet. Hold this position for seconds and repeat 3 to 4 times.
  • Stand against a wall with your back against it. Raise both hands in the air as far as possible. Hold this position for seconds and repeat 3 to 4 times.
  • Doing yoga also helps stretch the body and make you appear taller.

Participate active play

Kids tend to play video games or spend time on their tablets, but these activities do not help them move and grow. As parents, you should encourage them to join outside games, like going on a walk or playing tag together. If they prefer video games, try Wii or karaoke that can get them moving.

What about other lifestyle changes?

Get plenty of sleep

For children at 12 years old, sleeping between 9 and 11 hours per day is a must.

When sleeping, important processes happen; for instance, the release of hormones that control growth and appetite. And if children cannot get enough sleep, issues related to physical, behavioral, and cognitive function and development are amplified.

Parents should follow these practical tips to help their children sleep better.

  • Maintain the same bedtime and wake-up time daily.
  • Keep a cool, dark, and quiet environment for sleeping.
  • Limit sugary and caffeinated foods or drinks in the evening.
  • Take a warm shower or bath for 1 to 2 hours before bed.
  • Keep electronics away at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Encourage relaxation techniques.
  • Talk to children about the importance of sleep.

Maintain good posture

As mentioned above, having good posture makes you look taller. Meanwhile, sitting with your shoulders hunched forward or over might make your spine grow crooked. Hence, you must stand up straight and sit in a chair with your back to improve your posture.

Reduce stress levels

If your kids experience any stress due to peer pressure, bullying, school, or anything else, these might stunt their growth [4]. So, parents should educate them on ways to reduce stress levels, especially by doing breathing exercises or simply consuming healthy foods and exercising regularly.

In the end,

The information above the average height for 12-year-olds helps parents know where their children are in the growth and development journey. Are they too short or too high compared to their peers, and how to help them grow well with helpful tips?

What do you think? Do not mind sharing your thoughts with us and follow us to get further necessary news related to overall health for kids!

Related post: Can Short Parents Have Tall Children?


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