Many parents believe think that their child is growing healthy until they visit their school and notice that their son or daughter is the shortest among his or her peers. Is this normal? Or should you do something about it?
Every child grows at his or her own pace. While some children shoot up suddenly, a few might take some years to reach the same height. However, as a parent, it is your responsibility to support your child’s physical growth by ensuring he receives adequate nutrition and leads a healthy lifestyle.
If you are worried about your child’s height, here’s how you can help him.
Your Child Needs a Healthy Diet
Most children do not enjoy green leafy vegetables. They prefer fast food and cola drinks. One can eat cheesy burgers, candies, sugary treats, salty snacks and carbonated drinks, but only occasionally. When it comes to your child’s daily diet, you should aim for a balanced meal as a deficiency of vitamins stunts growth.
Your child’s diet should include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meat in large quantities. Saturated fats and sugar should be eaten in controlled quantities. If your son or daughter detests eating vegetables, you can scour the web for vegan recipes. There are different ways in which you can make vegetables a lip-smacking and a visually appealing treat.
Ensure Your Child Gets Enough Physical Activity
As a child, you might have spent most of your time playing in the mud or fighting over a board game at a friend’s place. However, today, given the number of gadgets our children have access to they prefer to spend most of their time indoors.
A child’s body should engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes, daily. Stretch exercises support bone and muscle growth. Swimming and cycling are also exercises your children will enjoy. Encourage your child to spend most of his leisure hours outdoors. Exercising will not only help your child reach his maximum height potential; it will also help him or her maintain healthy weight.
Establish a Proper Sleep Schedule
The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has an important role to play in the body. HGH is synthesized in the pituitary gland in the brain when the body is at rest. Children should get minimum 8-10 hours of sound sleep every night. Establishing a nighttime schedule is the best way to ensure your child gets 8-10 hours of sleep. Put off the lights and switch off the television so that there is no distraction. Lack of sleep will prevent your child from growing taller.
Consult Your Doctor
In the meanwhile, you can also consult a pediatrician. He will measure your child’s height and weight in terms of his age. If an illness or deficiency is responsible for a short stature, an early diagnosis will rectify the problem at the earliest, with the right medication. If there is nothing wrong, the doctor will suggest an exercise and diet plan that will help your child grow as tall as his peers.
Above all, set an example for your children by leading a healthy lifestyle yourself.