The golden stages for height growth in children
According to top nutritionists, three stages are considered the golden stages for height growth in children. If they are well-cared for nutrition, exercise, and sleep during this time, they will own outstanding heights in the future.
Many pregnant women are unaware that their children's height is shaped right in the gestation period and is largely dependent on mothers' nutrition and mental states.
Since the fourth month of the gestation period, children's skeletal systems have begun to be formed and developed rapidly. At this time, children also need to be sufficiently provided with nutrients, especially calcium, to contribute to bone growth. Therefore, right from the beginning of the gestation period, pregnant women need to eat a lot of calcium-rich foods to meet their bodies' calcium needs as well as help children achieve the best height when they are born and facilitate children's later height growth.
Pregnant women should pay attention to nutrition during pregnancy.
If pregnant women have proper diets, good mental health, and proper rest and their weights increase by about 8-15 kilograms, their children can reach standard height, usually 50 cm.
Besides, with the following formulas, parents can also "predict" their children's adult height based on children's height at birth:
- Adult height of boys = Height at birth / 0.2949 (cm)
- Adult height of girls = Height at birth / 0.3109 (cm)
0-3 years old
The next stage for height growth in children is the period from 0 to 3 years old. Children who are well-nurtured will grow 25 cm in the first 12 months and 10 cm per year in the next two years. As such, in 3 years, your children can grow up to 45 cm. To do this, mothers need to take care of children thoroughly in many aspects:
Nutrition: Children should be fully breastfed for the first six months without adding any nutritional sources. Breast milk is full of nutrients for children while also enhancing the immune system and preventing diarrhea. After 6 months, mothers may give children formula milk, porridge, and other nutritional sources. However, children's diets should be consulted by a nutritionist.
0-3 years old is an important period to take care of children's height.
Health care: Children should be vaccinated on time to prevent the risks of common illnesses. Simultaneously, children also need to be sunbathed daily before 8:00 AM and after 4:00 PM for 15 to 30 minutes for their bodies to synthesize vitamin D, which supports the growth of bones and joints. Moreover, children need to get enough sleep to facilitate height growth.
This is the "last chance" to promote children's height growth. This period varies between children but usually occurs between the age of 10-16 for females and between the age of 12-18 for males. Children who are cared for properly during puberty will grow 8-12 cm per year. After that, their height continues to grow but the height growth rate is not significant. Their height will stop growing after the age of 20.
Nutrient-rich diet: With the onset of the growth spurt and increased hormonal activity, adolescents require a nutrient-rich diet to support their rapid growth and development. Proper nutrition during this period is crucial for building strong bones, developing lean muscle mass, and ensuring overall well-being. Adolescents should consume a balanced diet that provides essential macronutrients and micronutrients.
Calcium and vitamin D: Both take the spotlight when it comes to bone health during adolescence. Calcium is essential for bone mineralization, ensuring the skeletal system develops strong and resilient bones. Adequate vitamin D is equally crucial as it facilitates calcium absorption in the gut. Together, these nutrients play a significant role in preventing bone-related issues and supporting proper growth.
Protein for muscle development: As adolescents undergo significant growth spurts, their muscle mass increases, requiring an ample supply of protein. Including lean protein sources, like poultry, fish, legumes, and dairy products, in their diet ensures that they have the necessary amino acids for muscle development and repair.
Some notes in taking care of children for maximum height growth
Encourage healthy eating habits
The foundation of a child's growth begins with the food they consume. Parents can encourage healthy eating habits by providing a balanced diet rich in nutrients. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. By involving children in meal preparation and making healthy food options readily available, parents foster a lifelong appreciation for nutritious eating.
Encourage outdoor activities
Physical activity is not only essential for a child's growth but also for their overall health and development. Parents can encourage outdoor activities that promote physical fitness, coordination, and social interaction. Whether it is playing sports, going for hikes, or simply enjoying time in the park, these experiences contribute to a child's physical and emotional growth.
Proper attention to sleep
Quality sleep is the body's natural rejuvenation process and a cornerstone of growth. During deep sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormone, facilitating tissue repair and growth. The recommended sleep duration varies by age, with infants needing up to 17 hours a day, toddlers requiring around 12-14 hours, and school-age children benefiting from 9-11 hours of sleep. Establishing healthy sleep habits, such as consistent bedtimes and creating a calming bedtime routine, is crucial for promoting growth.
Take care of children's mental health
A research team in health science at Linkoping University in Sweden has conducted a study and concluded that prolonged stress adversely affects children's immune system and blood circulation, causes disturbances in thyroid hormone levels and a decline in height growth as well as harms the nervous system. Therefore, parents should pay much attention to children's mental health.
Set a positive example
Parents are the primary role models in a child's life. Their behavior and choices profoundly impact the habits their children develop. By consistently making healthy choices in their own lives, parents set a positive example that inspires their children to follow suit. Whether it is choosing nutritious foods, staying physically active, or prioritizing self-care, parents' actions speak volumes.
The journey of childhood growth is a multifaceted exploration encompassing genetics, nutrition, hormones, and parental influence. By understanding the nuances of the three golden stages, parents can empower themselves to support their children's growth journey effectively. But remember that growth goes beyond inches and centimeters—it is about nurturing holistic development, fostering health, and cultivating happiness. As parents, caregivers, and champions of children, let us embrace this holistic approach and guide our young ones toward a future of boundless growth and well-being.