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Why do you stop growing in your teens?

Scientists believe about 80 percent of your height is determined by your genes (thanks, Mom and Dad!), but they don’t fully understand the exact connection between genetics and height.

Height is determined by more than 700 gene variants (rather than just one gene), which makes it really tough to predict how tall someone will be. A 2017 study that looked at DNA samples of more than 700,000 people found that there are also less common genes that account for more than 1 centimeter of a person’s height.

Your genetics can also contribute to health conditions that affect your height, like Gigantism or Marfan syndrome.

Most people stop growing by age 18, but the exact time may vary depending on when you start puberty and whether you’re male or female.

Girls typically reach their full height by about age 14, or a few years after menstruation starts. Boys usually stop growing around age 16 but may grow a few inches after that.

Throughout puberty, your bones get longer thanks to the growth plates at the ends of your bones. As you near the end of puberty, your long bones undergo their final formation, and the cartilage in the growth plates turns to bone, or ossifies. Once that happens, your height is a done deal.

Now this article will give some ideas of what determines growth and then proceed to some useful tips to help your child grow taller. A child’s height is controlled by genetics. Children grow at different rates.

Some begin their growth phases early, while others are late bloomers. Other factors that can affect your child’s growth are gender, nutrition, medical condition, and physical exercise.

Tips to grow taller - Feed them the right food

Diet is the core of a healthy, developing body. If your children eat the proper food they’ll have healthier bodies which is favorable for growth and development. Give them foods rich in carbohydrates for energy to sustain growth, lean meat, eggs, and nuts as protein sources for muscle-building, and dairy products and green veggies for calcium. Also ensure intake of vitamins A and D, and iron to further supplement growth. Make sure that they have a balanced diet, and are not eating too much of one thing.

Tips to grow taller -The egg a day study

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Photo: Thetodayshow.com

In 2015 there was an interesting study done in Ecuador on children ages 6 to 9 years old. The group was randomly assigned to two treatment groups: one group ate one egg per day for six months; the other had no intervention. The group who had an egg a day reported a reduced prevalence of growth stunting by 47%. These findings suggested that early introduction of eggs to young children improved their growth.

Want to help your child grow taller? An egg a day sure couldn’t hurt.

Tips to grow taller -Ensure that they sleep well

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Photo: Verywellfamily.com

Sleep is crucial for height development because when your child is asleep, his/her body produces growth hormones. Growth hormones are synthesized naturally by the body which encourages a range of building activities in the body (i.e., building new muscle tissues, creating new cells, or mineralizing bones). Tell your kids to skip watching late night shows or playing video games until midnight and encourage them to get at least eight hours of sleep. Sleep works like magic for children when it comes to getting taller.

Tips to grow taller -Encourage them to exercise

Exercise helps the bones and muscles become stronger, fights obesity, and develops a leaner body. It also improves endurance, flexibility, and strength. Hanging and stretching exercises are the two most practical exercises to grow taller. Flexibility exercises entail stretching the muscles and bones, specifically the spine and legs, which helps them lengthen thus increasing height.

Luckily, kids don’t have to go to the gym or run laps every afternoon. Encourage your child to stay active by playing and engaging in sports such as swimming, running, soccer, basketball, etc. or enroll them in outdoor sports classes.

Does the caffeine in coffee affect your bones?

Some people believe that drinking coffee, especially as a teen, can affect bone health, but there’s not much evidence to back this up.

A 1998 study looked at 81 white American women ages 12 to 18 and found no difference in bone mineral gain between those who had the highest daily caffeine intake and those who had the lowest.

Although this study was small, it suggests that caffeine intake doesn’t affect bone gain in the teen years.

Tips to grow taller -Yoga

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Photo: YogaJournal.com

Today we are lucky to have many, many types of yoga available. We can stream a class into our home. There are yoga’s that specialize in improving posture. Really, any type of yoga is great for boosting height. Pick one you like and do it together as a family.

Stretching – Don’t like yoga? Try some stretching. Simple stretches that will elongate the spine and neck are the best. You are trying to free up your joints and loosen tendons and ligaments to give all of your bones the room and strength to grow. Anything that helps elongate your body creates room for growth. Create a daily stretching routine and join in with your kids. It’s fun, cheap, and will help your kids grow tall. You’ll feel energized.

Tips to grow taller -Hanging

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Photo: FirstCryParenting.com

Did you know astronauts are 3 to 5% taller when they get back from space. Gravity is a constant force in our life and is compressing us every day. Do some hanging. Just ten minutes a day can make a difference. Pull-ups are great exercise but if your kid can’t do a pull-up – just let them hang. If you have a park nearby with a jungle gym – walk over with your kid and have them do some monkey swings. They stretch the body, elongate the spine, and build strength.

Swimming – swimming may be the king of sports for making kids taller. Again, it elongates the spine, stretches the neck and core muscles, and it promotes growth hormones in the body. Most exercise and sports will promote growth hormones. Tennis, basketball, soccer (stay away from those headers though) are all great sports and will help promote growth hormone production in the body. However, swimming helps to elongate the body as well. It’s stretching and strength building in one fluid motion.

Exercise to avoid – Heavy weight-lifting can interfere with the natural human growth hormone in pre- and early teens. Stick to bodyweight exercise and sports to build strength. Disruption of growth hormone secretion can have a dramatic impact on height, suggested on sneakz.com.

Tips to grow taller -Practice good posture

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Photo: VersantHealth.com

Slouching, spending too much time on the computer, and using hand-held gadgets tend to shorten your children’s spines, making them shorter than they should be. Since kids’ bone structure is still immature and soft, you can remedy this by encouraging them to exercise and engage in sports. Also, avoid giving them heavy objects to lift and make sure that they don’t sleep with more than one pillow to ensure that the spine is in the correct (straight) position. It is crucial to remind them to keep their shoulders back and chins up at all times.

Consult a doctor if your child is not getting taller at all and for supplements

If you want to give supplements to your child, consider consulting the doctor first. He/she can prescribe the most effective and safest ones for your child. Do not purchase any supplements without a prescription as there are a lot of brands with false promises and side effects. Some have no basis for their claims, and some of the ingredients have not received thorough evaluation, according to lifehack.org.

Growth shakes

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Photo: Pinterest

It’s not uncommon for pediatricians to recommend shakes like PediaSure or Healthy Height. Although there is no evidence to support that these supplemental shakes actually help your child grow taller, they do contain ingredients that could give your budding superhero a boost, including protein, calcium, and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid that helps brain growth) to name a few.

Don’t bank on a shake to ensure your child’s spot as a center on the basketball court or a middle blocker on the volleyball court, but then again, you’re still supporting their growth so why not?

Monitor their growth chart

Each child is different, and there are a lot of factors that go into childhood growth (i.e. age, skeletal age, time of puberty, etc.) You really can’t predict your child’s height, but you can look for certain growth spurts. For girls, growth spurts typically happen between the ages of 10-14 years. For boys, it usually happens between the ages of 12-16 years, cites howdoesshe.com.

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