26 April 2021
A good height is something everyone aspires to have. While genes play an important role in determining height, there are also a bunch of other factors such as a good, balanced diet, exercise, environmental factors, and more that can enable growth and development in children. A nutrient-rich diet is extremely important for your growing child (aged between 8-16 years).
So what exactly should you be looking for? Protein, to begin with. A good amount of protein is required for tissue growth, repair, immune function, and overall development. Another essential component of your diet needs to be micronutrients that are imperative for bone development which will, again, boost overall growth. Ensuring children are given food that covers their dietary requirements correctly can go a long way. A balanced diet is important for growing kids. You can read more about the importance of a balanced diet on our blog. Meanwhile, if you’re looking at improving your child’s growth through food (and a few other key elements), here’s what you need to look out for:
Milk & Dairy Products
What better source of calcium and phosphorus than dairy products? Having good and desired quantities of milk, cheese and yogurt can provide calcium and phosphorus that are required for bone health. In fact, milk is also a source of first-class proteins, and proteins are also needed for bone growth, development of the body, cellular repair, and smooth functioning of the immune system. If your child has taken to eating yogurt, you can always amp it up by adding fruits to make it more delicious. Similarly, you can add Complan to your milk to make it tasty and more healthy, as it contains 34 vital nutrients that are required for your child’s growth.
PS: Growth and development are influenced by genetics, nutrition, and environmental factors. Complan to be taken as a part of a daily balanced diet.
Egg, Chicken, Meat
If your child enjoys eating non-vegetarian food, then be sure to add eggs, chicken, and fish to make sure they get the desired quantities of protein for the overall growth and development of the body.
Fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals and also provide fiber to the body. They contain antioxidants that are required for good health and contain nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and more. Growing children should eat at least 2 -3 fresh fruits daily. Fruits such as apricot, mangoes, and papaya among others are rich sources of Vitamin A which are required for the smooth functioning of physiological processes.
Whole grains such as barley, brown rice, millets, oats, and more provide B Complex vitamins to the body which are required for growth and development of the brain, muscles, and the nervous system, along with performing an important task of unlocking energy in the system. Contrary to the assumption that carbohydrates should be kept away from the diet, children, in fact, need carbs in good quantities for energy. For kids, 60% of their energy should come from good, healthy carbs.
Green Leafy Vegetables
In addition to regular vegetables, don’t forget to add green leafy vegetables to your child’s diet. Vegetables are considered protective foods and contain vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), folate, iron, calcium, vitamin C, fiber, and more. Make sure you include greens like spinach, amaranth (even red helps), fenugreek leaves among others to maintain good levels of iron and vitamin A. Iron helps prevent conditions such as anemia, and while vitamin A can help with overall growth and development. Children need up to 3 servings of vegetables every day, out of which at least 1 serving should be green vegetables.
Pulses & Lentils
Vegetarians, too, have plenty of amazing options and sources of protein that can easily be included in your child’s daily diet. Make sure you have good quantities of pulses and lentils like kidney beans, black-eyed beans, green gram, split Bengal gram, chickpeas, green peas, and more included on an everyday basis (at least 2 servings daily) These are rich sources of protein and fiber, both of which are crucial for the body.
Nuts and Seeds
Eating a handful of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashew, pine nuts and more every day provides essential micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc, etc, which helps support growth. It is recommended that children have a fistful of nuts everyday and have at least 30gms of nuts and seeds everyday.
Apart from the different ways to increase your child’s height through food, there are a few other important things you need to do, such as:
Children must be encouraged to indulge in physical activities. Apart from playing games, even simple stretching exercises and yoga can have a huge impact on their height, apart from keeping them fit and flexible overall. You can read more about the importance of physical fitness in children on our blog.
Vitamin D: Sunshine vitamin
Just like physical activity is important, what would be even better is if children are encouraged to exercise and practice their yoga in the morning sun. Exposure to sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Apart from this, you can include food like fatty fish in their daily diet to provide this much-needed vitamin or give them health drinks such as Complan which are fortified with Vitamin D.
8 Hours Of Sleep
Children should get at least 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Sleep helps promote growth in children, as growth hormone is normally released during sleep. Kids should not be sleep deprived and should sleep enough.
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