Height is genetically determined, but food and environment can also make a difference. If calories or protein are restricted early in life, children may not grow to their genetic potential. Because of improved prenatal care and increased protein intake children are getting taller with each generation.
Have you discussed this with your children’s physician? What percentile were their heights and weights at birth? What are their respective heights and weights now?
The 50th percentile (average) for a six-year-old boy is about 45 1/2 inches in height and 46 pounds in weight. Less than 43 inches and 39 pounds would be below the 10th percentile (small) for a six-year-old boy.
The 50th percentile (average) for an eight-year-old boy is 50 1/2 inches in height and 56 pounds in weight. Less than 47 1/2 inches and 47 1/2 pounds would be below the 10th percentile (small) for an eight-year-old boy.
Another consideration is growth spurts, which generally occur around birthdays. When comparing your children to their classmates remember that children in one grade can be up to 12 months apart in age. Are you children younger than their classmates?
Food choices and meal patterns can be planned from My Plate which is also geared to current healthy eating guidelines which recommend increased fiber with reduced fats and sweets. A variety of foods from the six food groups in the pyramid are a good basic eating plan.
If you are concerned that your children are not getting the nutrients they need because of their food preferences, you can give them a daily multivitamin. Generally, it is not necessary though. No specific vitamin or mineral directly influence height yet the absence of calcium and vitamin D would produce less dense bones.