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Key Factors in your Child’s Growth & Development

28 July 2020

As parents of a growing child, there are many things that may concern you regarding your child’s health and wellbeing. One of the big concerns during this time is if your child is growing at the right pace or slower than his or her school mates or friends of the same age. Not only is this a common concern among parents, but it is also a valid one.

Balanced nutrition and a healthy lifestyle play a significant role in determining the growth of your child. The height of your child becomes important because is it one of the key indicator of their overall well-being and marker of growth.

Understanding the determining factors of their growth will equip you with the right information to enable their development.

Nutrition
Nutrition is one of the most important factors that can impact growth and therefore, it is very crucial to pay attention to the food that your child consumes on a regular basis. One of the key points to remember here is that children need a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in their daily diet. Incorporating foods like dals and legumes, milk and milk product, vegetables and fruits, cereals like wheat, rice, ragi etc. ensures they are eating a balanced meal. The more colourful their plate is, the more variety of nutrition is being consumed. Children also tend to replicate the eating behaviour of others in their house so setting a good example will go a long way in laying the foundation for healthy eating habits.

Physical activity
Children today, are more interested in virtual games than climbing trees or playing hide and seek outside. But there are many benefits to getting your child to stay physically active and getting fresh air. They need to be active in order to develop, mentally as well as physically. There are plenty of activities your child can enjoy playing by themselves like running, basketball, cycling etc. Also, parents should set aside some together time for a bike ride or hiking trip as this is beneficial in enabling their muscles to lengthen and strengthen, it also provides relief from stress and uplifts their moods leading to overall happy children.

Familial Influence
We briefly touched upon the fact that children are heavily influenced by the rest of the members of their family. Leading by example is important during this phase because it is a formative time in your child’s life. So, eating on time and eating healthy, staying physically active, and not skipping meals, can influence your child to pick up a healthy and active lifestyle.

Hormones
Sometimes, despite ensuring the right nutrition and lifestyle for your child, they may still lack in height development when compared to their peers. Meeting with a paediatrician will help determine the main cause for this because hormones play a big role in children and adolescent’s development and overall health. There are many types of hormones that have specific functions and affect your child’s body in different ways. The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is essential for a child as it aids in muscle and bone growth, and a doctor will be able to determine if this is affecting your child’s growth potential.

Heredity
Children inherit DNA from both parents, and it is an important factor in determining their growth potential. Together with lifestyle and nutrition, genes can significantly affect how tall your child can grow.

The information provided in this article is based on the writers personal experience and view. Any recommendations made about physical activity, nutrition source and benefits on this website should be consulted with your paediatric/ health professional. The information you receive in our blogs, and other communication do not take the place of professional medical advice. Any recommendations made about physical activity, nutrition or diet on this website should be consulted with your healthcare professional.

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