Can You Feed Your Kids Taller?

Can You Feed Your Kids Taller?
See Gallery
Can You Feed Your Kids Taller?

Read on to find out if you can encourage growth in kids.

Image Credit: Getty Images

DNA And Height

Science tells us height is based on DNA, but there is evolutionary evidence height is effected by what we eat. We know from looking at Darwinian sketches, people today are taller than cave people. But, it may surprise you to learn men today are 4.5 inches on average taller than men who lived just 100 years ago. This can’t just be the result of evolutionary selection. There is something larger at play, and that something is nutrition.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Better Nutrition

The increase in the consumption of nutritious food, especially protein, is credited in large part for the collective growth of our species. Parents in the last century are more knowledgeable about nutrition and hygiene. People started to have fewer children and incomes increased, making feeding each member of the family much easier. The advances in medicine, combined with better hygiene practices and education, have decreased the incidence of disease, many of which can cause malnutrition.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Tall As Can Be

Studies have shown taller people earn more, get promoted faster and are luckier in love and politics. Because a mom always wants to see her children happy and successful, perhaps I should be loading my kids up on protein? Actually, it isn’t that easy. Proper nutrition will only help them reach their own individual potential. It will not help them break through genetic predisposition.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Amount Of Protein

The recommended daily allowance of protein for children is as follows:

  • Ages 1-3 ….. 13 grams
  • Ages 4-6 ….. 19 grams
  • Ages 9-13 … 34 grams
  • Girls ages 14 -1 8 … 46 grams
  • Boys ages 14-18 … 52 grams

Image Credit: Getty Images

Meatless Protein

Most Americans eat more protein than they need. This is easy to understand when we stop thinking of protein as coming from meat alone. While a three ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein, other foods are also excellent sources.

  • 1 cup of beans has 16 grams of protein
  • 1 yogurt has about 11 grams
  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams
  • 1 egg has 6 grams
  • 1/2 cup of tofu has 10 grams

Image Credit: Getty Images

Be Healthy

Not only for their vertical growth, but for their overall health and well being, the best way to approach nutrition for your children is balance. Overfeeding your children will cause them to grow out, not up. In addition to healthy meals, feed your kids loads of love and confidence, and it will not matter where they rank on the growth chart.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Protein-Rich Recipes

The following recipes are great ways to get your child to eat protein if they, like many kids, don't like meat, or if you are raising them vegetarian.

Bean Burgers With Spicy Guacamole

These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.

Get the recipe: Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

Egg Breakfasts

Learn how to make a fun egg dish kids and teens will love.

Yogurt Ice Pops With Berries

These tasty treats are actually high in protein

Get the recipe: Yogurt Ice Pops with Berries

Tofu And Broccoli Stir Fry

Broccoli or any mixture of vegetables you have on hand will work in this tasty stir-fry. One way to get great tofu texture without deep-frying is to toss the tofu in cornstarch before stir-frying. Let it cook for several minutes without stirring to help it develop a little crust.

Get the recipe: Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry


A couple of my kids are vertically challenged. My husband and I are of average height, and based on genetics, it is a medically sound assumption our children should follow in suit. We are not expecting supermodels and NBA stars, but would like to help them reach their full growth potential.

We've considered the Bobby Brady stretching technique, but making them spend hours hanging from a bar, even if effective, would probably get us arrested now. You just can't abuse or neglect your kids like you used to in the good old days.

Check out the slideshow above for ways to encourage growth in kids and then check out how scientists say you really can get kids to like veggies from our friends at

Become a KD VIP to save your favorite recipes from anywhere to your recipe box and so much more.

More from Kitchen Daily:
7 Tips to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies
The Healthiest Store-Bought Foods for Kids
Essential Tips for Planning a Meal with Busy Kids

Expert Approved Karen Latimer

Read Full Story

From Our Partners