How to Grow Taller Naturally: Decoding Children’s Growth Spurts

Children experience numerous physical changes during a growth spurt. Learning how to grow taller naturally plays an important role in this process.

Toddler standing on tiptoes reaching for a doorknob.

A growth spurt usually occurs during the first year of your child’s life, or the start of their teenage years. During these periods, a child may experience bone and muscle growth, and an increase in the amount of fat stored in the body, that can help them grow taller.

They will also start to eat more, especially before and after a growth spurt. As such, it’s essential for parents to learn how to help their children grow taller. Here are a few factors which influence, and two ways to promote vertical development.

Father and son playing basketball at an outdoor court.
Playing basketball can stimulate height development. 

5 Factors That Have an Impact on a Child’s Height  

Genetics are the inherent factor that influences a person’s height. Though, intertwining, complex interactions that involve hormones, nutrition and a child’s external environment can also affect their physical growth.

Diet 

An adequate intake of protein and calcium can support the healthy development of a child’s muscles and bones. These nutrients work more successfully to increase your child’s height if they’re provided by whole foods, and not health supplements. Examples of these foods include beans, chicken soup, or bone broth. 

Foods that help to maintain the health of the spleen and stomach can also be beneficial. These organs are responsible for ensuring positive digestion and nutrient absorption, thus supporting healthy height development. 

Quality sleep 

Sleeping for an appropriate amount of time every night is also pivotal in helping your child grow up tall and strong. It’s worth noting that the best time to encourage physical growth in children is before the age of 11.

During those years, a child’s body undergoes a transition period called a bone turnover. This stage of growth involves processes like resorption and new bone replacement, which can occur throughout a person’s life and make minimal changes to a person’s physical structure. 

Separately, getting sufficient sleep can prevent obesity and help stimulate the release of growth hormones, thereby promoting healthy growth.

Exercise to grow taller

Exercise is also key in stimulating height development, as it increases the secretion of growth hormones. Running, jumping, rope-skipping or playing games with balls are some of the activities that are encouraged.

Positive emotions 

Exposing your child to sunlight, nature, and outdoor air can uplift your child’s spirits. In doing so, it’ll also prevent your child from slouching, hunching their back or laying their head on the table. This leads to a better circulation of blood and qi (vital energy), which have direct effects on a child’s height development. 

3D visuals of the Guanyuan, Shenshu and Qihai acupoints.
Stimulating the Guanyuan, Shenshu and Qihai acupoints can support a vertical growth.

How to Help a Child Grow Taller with 3 Natural Steps  

There are certain time frames that parents should take advantage of to maximise their child’s chances of growing taller. “8-16 years old is the prime time for children to grow taller, with the ages of 8-11 being especially crucial for growth. Once this period is over, a child’s height will basically remain unchanged”, explains Eu Yan Sang Traditional Chinese Medicine Physician Tiang Sack Sing.

Feed them balanced, nutritious meals 

Ensuring that your child consumes a healthy balance of calcium, iron, protein and vitamins is the best way to help your child grow bigger and taller. Eggs are a primary source of iodine, phosphorus, protein, selenium, vitamin D and essential amino acids, which can work together to boost a child’s overall growth.

Soybean milk is rich in calcium and suitable for consumption by vegans. Nuts and seeds can also be taken to gain similar nutrients. Leafy, green vegetables, meanwhile, can supplement your intake of vitamin K, which is good for improving bone health. 

The consumption of meals that are prepared with herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) will boost growth efficiency. “Four-herb soup with chicken has a stimulating effect on children’s development and is suitable for children of all body constitutions. Pork backbone in black bean soup is rich in trace elements and is a source of natural calcium, which is beneficial for bone development”, recommends Physician Tiang.

Rice-based cereals and meals that use black rice, beans or sesame seeds can be eaten to enhance bone formation. Chinese Yam Si Shen Spleen-Strengthening Meal — contains ginseng, jujube, millet, brown rice and a four-herb mixture — also supports digestion, absorptive abilities of the Spleen and Stomach. Notoginseng, too, can be taken orally in capsule form to boost physical growth in children. 

Use stimulation therapies 

Massaging your child’s spine daily can be good for strengthening their immune system. More importantly, it’ll allow you to stimulate neural pathways that run along the human body, whilst aiding bone development. For some children, it can even remedy imbalances in their body constitutions. 

One such massage technique involves you placing both hands along the sides of the spine, and pinching the skin up. Lift and pinch while pushing forward from the caudal sacral — a small opening right at the base of your spine — to the occipital. Repeat 3-5 times every day. 

A study that comprised the application of a herbal patch on specific acupoints showed promise as an approach to nurturing bone growth. The herbal patch used was made up of herbs like cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, Salvia root and Panax pseudoginseng.

Cinnamon can tonify yang, and warm the Spleen and Stomach. Frankincense, myrrh, Salvia root and Panax pseudoginseng, on the other hand, can encourage blood circulation and remove stasis. In like manner, the patches were placed on the Guan Yuan (CV4), Qi Hai (CV6), Shen Shu (UB23) and Zu San Li (ST36).

Qi Hai and Guan Yuan can invigorate the kidney, while Zu Sa Li can reinforce the spleen and stomach. Shen Shu is necessary for tonifying the kidney, and can be useful for bone growth.

To make certain of proper physical development during a growth spurt, identifying how to help your child grow taller is significant. Use the tips provided herein as a guide, but do seek consultation with a clinical and TCM physician.

This is to ensure the suitability of use and prevent adverse outcomes when using both treatment types adjunctively.

References

  1. US National Library of Medicine. 2018. Factors affecting height velocity in normal prepubertal children. [online] [Accessed 8 December 2021] 
  2. US National Library of Medicine. Systematic review of the use of bone turnover markers for monitoring the response to osteoporosis treatment: the secondary prevention of fractures, and primary prevention of fractures in high-risk groups. [online] [Accessed 8 December 2021] 
  3. Mom Junction. 2021. 11 Best Foods That Help Increase Height In Kids. [online] [Accessed 8 December 2021] 
  4. US National Library of Medicine. 2021. Influence and Effect of Acupoint Application of Chinese Medicine on Height and Bone Age of Children with Short Stature. [online] [Accessed 8 December 2021] 

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