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Foods that help kids grow taller

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Genetics predetermines a child’s height, but a healthy diet is a key factor in your child reaching her potential height. According to Kidshealth.org, children grow at a steady pace of about 2.5 inches each year.

Concern for a child’s height is normal for the parents and child, but extra food and vitamins will not make him grow faster. A healthy diet, exercise and adequate sleep each night is the best formula to encourage your child's growth.

Foods to Eat

Children should not use supplements unless it is for a specific condition or under the supervision of a medical professional. Certain foods will help your child grow. Zinc, fiber, calcium and vitamin D are essential for a child's growth.

These nutrients are present in whole grains, milk, fish, fruits and vegetables. Learn how to make these foods fun by decorating meals, adding dark chocolate to milk, mixing fish pieces into brown rice.

Ages 2 to 3

Mayoclinic.com reports the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for American. Children between the ages of 2 and 3 should consume 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day depending on height and activity.

Incorporate 1,000 milligrams of sodium, 14 to 20 grams of fiber, 700 milligrams of calcium and 600 international units of vitamin D to your child's diet daily. Between ages 2 and 3, calories can be split into 5 to 20 percent protein, 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates and 30 to 40 percent total fat.

Ages 4 to 8

Girls between the ages 4 and 8 need about 1,200 to 1,800 calories each day, while boys need up to 2,000 calories. Girls and boys need 1,200 milligrams of sodium, 1,000 milligrams calcium and 600 international units of vitamin D. Girls need 17 to 25 grams of fiber daily, while boys need up to 28 grams.

Ages 9 to 13

Girls ages 9 to 13 require between 1,400 and 2,200 calories a day. Boys may require up to 2,600 calories a day. Girls and boys need 1,500 milligrams of sodium, 1,300 calcium and 600 international units daily.

Girls need between 20 and 31 grams of fiber daily, and boys need between 22 and 36 grams. From ages 4 to 13, calories can be split into 10 to 20 percent protein, 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates and 25 to 35 percent total fat.

Considerations

Children grow at different rates, and there is no proven way to predict a child’s height. If you suspect your child suffers from a growth disorder, consult a doctor.

An endocrinologist will run several tests to determine if there is a growth deficiency including an x-ray, blood test and growth monitoring.

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