Puberty is the period of human development when the body undergoes the biggest changes. For girls, puberty often starts between the ages of 8 and 14.
Growth spurts are common at this stage, and for many parents, maximising the spurt as much as possible is often the goal.
If you’re interested in maximising the growth spurt of your daughter, it’s highly likely that you’ve already looked up various information on the subject. Some information may seem a bit extreme or outrageous--such as having her take breast enhancement pills or other such supplements--and can certainly leave you wondering what you should believe.
Below are some of the medically confirmed ways that you can maximise your daughter's growth during puberty:
A Well-balanced Diet
Give your child foods that are rich in protein, vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc. Likewise, make sure she eats a balanced diet comprised of meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates.
The nutrients in these foods work together to help a child realise her height potential. On the flip side, consumption of foods deficient in these nutrients will only serve to hamper her physical growth.
Keep in mind the that following foods and their corresponding nutrients are essentials during her adolescence:
- Fruits and berries – Vitamin C
- Milk, fish, dairy, green vegetables – Calcium
- Eggs, red meat, liver – Iron
- Chicken meat, pork, beef etc- protein
Yet another important nutrient in your child’s growth is Vitamin D--and the best source for it is the sun. Don’t burn yourself trying to get some vitamin D, however.
Usually, exposing yourself to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes is time enough to get the amount of vitamin D your body needs daily.
You can also get vitamin D by taking supplements. This is a good alternative to sunlight if your daughter isn’t receiving much of it. Look for Vitamin D3 supplements in tablet or capsule form.
Make sure to focus on Calcium and vitamin D, as these are the most prominent nutrients in bone growth. By feeding her with foods rich in these two vitamins, you not only encourage optimal bone growth during her puberty, you also set your daughter up for healthy, strong bones that last a lifetime.
Normal Eating Patterns
Aside from ensuring that she eats right, you also need to make sure that she eats on time. Teens may start skipping meals for various reasons, and this can lead to a feeling of deprivation triggered by hunger which, in turn, can lead to overeating.
Teens need to eat three meals a day without fail. Spread her food intake evenly throughout her waking hours. Spacing mealtimes equally like, for instance, once every four or five hours, to ensure she doesn’t go hungry.
Early to Bed
Children in their puberty years need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. During sleep, growth hormones hit their peak.
This is also the best time for the body to rejuvenate itself, helping the body to recover from the day’s activities faster. Encourage your child to go to bed early in the evening to allow her body to achieve the right amount of sleep.
With adequate rest, her body can grow properly, maximising her growth cycle.
The right sleeping posture can also help in optimal growth. It helps keep the body as flat as possible, so ideally, you should do away with the pillow because it applies undue pressure on the spine.
Encourage her to exercise daily and engage in active sports such as biking, swimming, and walking to keep her growth at a consistent rate. Aside from growth, exercise has the added benefit of keeping obesity at bay and guide her toward a healthy and active lifestyle.
Stationary cycling is one of the best exercise activities for growth. The constant stretching and contracting of leg muscles when one cycles can help in lengthening the legs.
For best results, increase the height of the cycle seat, to compel the legs to stretch for the pedals. Be sure to increase the handlebar as well to compensate for the seat height and prevent her body from slouching.
Having your family physician assess your child on a regular basis is the best way to identify problem areas in her growth. Have your child see a doctor regularly to have her height and weight checked.
With the physician’s help, you’ll be able to tackle a short stature problem at the early stages. If there are any underlying medical conditions stunting her growth, they can be dealt with immediately.
Your doctor may also advise you on what else you can do to boost your child’s height during puberty, based on what they find during her check-ups.
Certain hormones, such as sex hormones and thyroid hormones, determine the body’s growth and development while regulating changes in physical composition.
A deficiency in these hormones can stunt growth. On the other hand, an abundance could mean rapid growth during puberty.
Likewise, certain pills encourage protein synthesis in the body, which promotes growth. Be sure to consult a physician with regards to hormone therapy.
Unlike the other items on this list, urbanisation isn’t a commonly known growth factor in children, but it has recently been observed to have a positive effect on both their development and growth.
Urbanisation involves meeting your child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, and education. Scientists observe that in areas with an adequate supply of these basic needs, children tend to have taller stature and faster maturity than those who lack them.
Tackle the Myths
There are several myths about growth. Perhaps you’re guilty of believing some of them. For instance, some parents believe that jumping rope and basketball can boost the child’s height more than any other sport.
Some believe that they can push a child’s growth spurt to last until she’s 25 years of age, instead of the normal 21.
Several girls have fallen victim to these unconfirmed beliefs about growth which, aside from being ineffective, have the potential to cause harm.
It is important to have realistic expectations about your child’s growth, because a child’s growth is directly influenced by parental height.
If you and your spouse are of short stature, then it would be unrealistic for you to expect your child to achieve extreme height, although it’s not entirely impossible for that to happen.