There’s no proven way to predict a child’s adult height. However, some formulas can help you guess.
Here’s a popular way:
- Add the mother’s height to the father’s height in centimeters
- For boys, add 13 centimeters, and for girls, subtract 13 centimeters.
- Divide what you get by 2
Another way to estimate a child’s adult height is to double a boy’s height at age 2 or a girl’s height at age 18 months.
Are the methods accurate?
Both methods are not always very accurate, partly because they assume that the child grows up in a similar environment, receiving similar nutrients as their parents did. That means the methods may rely too much on genetics.
How do the parents’ genes influence height?
The heritability for height depends on how children grow up. In rich countries where most children eat a lot (and often too much), genes have a greater impact on the differences in height than nutrition. This is because most children already eat good food. In poor countries where many children experience malnourishment, genes matter less, and the diet matters more.
In other words, if a child eats a lot of good food, their height will depend more on their parents’ height. If they don’t, a lack of nutrients has a greater impact than the genes.
Foods that help your child grow taller
There are different kinds of food parents can give their children to help them grow tall. The Harvard Medical center recommends lots of vegetables, fruits, grains (preferably whole grains), protein (poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, peas, nuts, soy), dairy, and healthy oils.
Foods that can help your child grow taller
Here are 8 types of foods that may be especially beneficial for a child’s height:
- Leafy greens
Shall I be concerned about my child’s height?
If you’re concerned about your child’s growth, talk to a healthcare provider. A pediatrician can assess whether your child’s growth is adequate by comparing height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) to those of other children.
It’s important to note that children grow at different rates. Some children begin their growth phases early, while others are late bloomers.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (1 October 2022)