Author Topic: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?  (Read 13341 times)

Offline goodsamaritan

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How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« on: February 14, 2010, 07:07:42 AM »
My wife is badgering me again about our 8 year old boy who is still not growing fast enough.  His 6 year old brother is gaining on him.

How much sleep?  How much food?  Frequency of food?  What food?

confoundit

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2010, 07:29:22 AM »
While I am not an expert on the subject, I've read a lot about it since I have two girls.

Kids need more sleep than you think, 10 hours a day is an ideal.  My girls go to bed at 7pm and are asleep usually around 730.  They wake up at 630am.

For food....most important nutrient for kids is fat!  For growth they need calories....but the fat helps for brain development.

What are his other developments like?  Is he doing well in school?  Hand eye coordination?  Does he seem fatigued during the day?  Has he always been small on the growth curve?  Are you and your wife tall/short?

My oldest is 5 and she's nearly as big as an 8 year old.  My youngest is more average and is more appropriate in height/weight for a 3 year old.  Siblings can be different!  I'm 5'7 and my brother is 6'7!  My dad is 6'1 and my mum is 5'2!


Offline ajmesa

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 10:31:18 AM »
I don't know if you remember this thread I started a while ago discussing the possibility that a non-paleo diet leads to taller individuals:

http://cavemanforum.com/index.php?topic=1449.0

I recommend you give it a read from the beginning and make your own conclusions. In that thread I have also posted an email from Dr. Cordain's group supporting my theory.

The only tall traditional group I can think of are Masai (heavy milk consumption) and North American Indians (specially those from the south), many were over 6 feet tall. In the case of the (southern) Indians they had tuber consumption (http://cavemanforum.com/index.php?topic=2059.0).

I don't think eating fatty meat leads to tall individuals. Plenty of lean meat (protein is really important) along with some other dietary habits, maybe (does your son eat organ meats? does he get enough vit A and D?). Remember that insulin is a pro-growth hormone, keeping it high exacerbates growth, that's why teenage years are years of natural insulin resistance.

EDIT: I know we were taller in the pre-agricultural era. I am interested in reading archeological evidence to find out what they were eating exactly, any one has a source/link of an archeological site with tall hunter-gatherers?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 01:45:12 PM by ajmesa »

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2010, 01:08:42 PM »
Kids need more sleep than you think, 10 hours a day is an ideal.  My girls go to bed at 7pm and are asleep usually around 730.  They wake up at 630am.

For food....most important nutrient for kids is fat!  For growth they need calories....but the fat helps for brain development.

Agreed on the sleep, and agreed on the importance of fat - and in particular, pastured animal fats - for brain development.

For weight and height, though, I don't think fat is the critical nutrient.  Breast fed babies get more and better quality fat than formula fed babies, and are smaller.  That's probably because they get enough nutrients for their brains without the excess protein and calories that formula fed babies get.  Breast fed babies do catch up later, after being weaned.

The evidence from Japanese data on average height gain over the 20th century strongly suggests that it's protein that's most important for height, especially animal protein.  Adequate calcium and certain other nutrients are probably also important.

If he's tall enough, you could make him fatter by increasing his carbohydrates, but I suspect he'd be better off skinny than fat in that case.  There's also genetic variation, which you can't do anything about.

confoundit

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2010, 02:19:35 PM »
I dunno about that!  Both my girls were breastfed and they were larger than any formula baby.  Both breastfed until they were 18 months old and exclusively breast milk until 6 months old. 


Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2010, 04:02:52 PM »
I dunno about that!  Both my girls were breastfed and they were larger than any formula baby.  Both breastfed until they were 18 months old and exclusively breast milk until 6 months old.

Turns out the situation is more complex than I realized:

Quote from: CDC
The 2000 CDC growth charts can be used to assess the growth of exclusively breast-fed infants, however when interpreting the growth pattern one must take into account that mode of infant feeding can influence infant growth. In general, exclusively breast-fed infants tend to gain weight more rapidly in the first 2 to 3 months. From 6 to 12 months breast-fed infants tend to weigh less than formula-fed infants.

http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/growthchart_faq.htm

So it's only after six months that breast fed babies tend to be temporarily smaller.  Yours might have been exceptions to the rule, of course.


Offline NutMeg

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 06:32:17 PM »
Sometimes you just have a small child.  There is nothing wrong with it as long as they are meeting all developmental milestones appropriately.  My girls both are very small for their age.  They didn't start out that way, one was 8 lb 15 ounces at birth, but didn't even make 20 pounds by 12 months.  She is now in the 25 percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight at 4 years old.  She is tiny, and just perfect in every way.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2010, 08:08:47 PM »
Sometimes you just have a small child.  There is nothing wrong with it as long as they are meeting all developmental milestones appropriately.  My girls both are very small for their age.  They didn't start out that way, one was 8 lb 15 ounces at birth, but didn't even make 20 pounds by 12 months.  She is now in the 25 percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight at 4 years old.  She is tiny, and just perfect in every way.

Absolutely.  And you probably missed this thread.  Warning:  disturbing to some:

http://cavemanforum.com/index.php?topic=1922.0

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2010, 08:11:32 PM »
The only tall traditional group I can think of are Masai (heavy milk consumption) and North American Indians (specially those from the south), many were over 6 feet tall. In the case of the (southern) Indians they had tuber consumption (http://cavemanforum.com/index.php?topic=2059.0).

The data I can find says that the tall American Indians were the buffalo hunters.  See for example "Tallest in the World:  Native Americans of the Great Plains in the Nineteenth Century":

http://eh.net/XIIICongress/cd/papers/70PrinceSteckel378.pdf

Offline Il Capo

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2010, 08:32:13 PM »
As a 5'6" guy I need to tell you that being short kinda sucks. As a grown up I don't really care that much (except for the fact that I like volleyball and can't spike properly). As a kid, though, being the shortest one around was not fun. At sports (except for soccer or motorsports), or even in social interactions, you are at a disadvantage that you need to overcome. This disadvantage can be overcome, for sure, but if the disadvantage wasn't there things would be much easier.

My 2cents: if you can (without trading off with health), make your kid taller.

confoundit

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2010, 09:03:01 PM »
As a 5'6" guy I need to tell you that being short kinda sucks. As a grown up I don't really care that much (except for the fact that I like volleyball and can't spike properly). As a kid, though, being the shortest one around was not fun. At sports (except for soccer or motorsports), or even in social interactions, you are at a disadvantage that you need to overcome. This disadvantage can be overcome, for sure, but if the disadvantage wasn't there things would be much easier.

My 2cents: if you can (without trading off with health), make your kid taller.

you just gotta spring the hitch out of your gittyup!!!  I'm 5'7 and female and I can spike men's height nets!  and I'm 100 lbs overweight!  you should see me when I was lighter!

confoundit

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 09:07:19 AM »
okay I just wanna make sure I have this right....


a SAD diet contributes to a taller population (excluding genetics?) and so if you want your children to be tall, include some healthy SAD foods. 

During adolescence, where there are huge growth spurts, we have higher levels of insulin which causes acne as well and allows the growth hormone to encourage us to grow. 

Now.....is it the high levels of insulin that are causing the acne or the growth hormone.  Because if that's the case...could you say that high levels of insulin cause acne?

I have had acne since I was 10 years old.  This is also when I started a growth spurt AND slimmed down.  I started menstruating at age 11.  I stopped growing at age 12 BUT my acne got steadily worse over my teenage years and I still have it. 

I've had my testosterone tested and I am not anywhere near high levels.  My cycle has always been regular and had no trouble getting pregnant twice....so my hormones could hardly be to blame for the acne.  Could it have been caused by high insulin all along?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 09:18:55 AM »
a SAD diet contributes to a taller population (excluding genetics?) and so if you want your children to be tall, include some healthy SAD foods.

Meat is part of the standard American diet.  You don't have to include any nonpaleo foods for this.

Offline ajmesa

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 08:37:59 PM »
okay I just wanna make sure I have this right....


a SAD diet contributes to a taller population (excluding genetics?) and so if you want your children to be tall, include some healthy SAD foods. 

During adolescence, where there are huge growth spurts, we have higher levels of insulin which causes acne as well and allows the growth hormone to encourage us to grow. 

Now.....is it the high levels of insulin that are causing the acne or the growth hormone.  Because if that's the case...could you say that high levels of insulin cause acne?

I have had acne since I was 10 years old.  This is also when I started a growth spurt AND slimmed down.  I started menstruating at age 11.  I stopped growing at age 12 BUT my acne got steadily worse over my teenage years and I still have it. 

I've had my testosterone tested and I am not anywhere near high levels.  My cycle has always been regular and had no trouble getting pregnant twice....so my hormones could hardly be to blame for the acne.  Could it have been caused by high insulin all along?
You don't have to include SAD food. My point is that you have to include more lean meat and switch the fats for paleo carbs like vegetables, fruits, and tubers (tubers have the advantage of not having so much sugar). I think the amount of protein plays a vital role. I wouldn't be surprised if dairy, along with the artificial hormones used to grow cattle industrially, also have something to do with it. Right now we can only speculate, I doubt there is going to be any experiments about that done any time soon.

About acne, you are trying to think about it as if insulin and growth hormones are unrelated, and they are not. Cordain's explanation for acne revolve around insulin and IGF-1 which go hand in hand. He also explains how lectins, omega 3 ratio, and many other things exacerbate acne. High insulin levels definitely play a role in acne. This is not to be confused with high carbohydrate consumption. For example, the study with the Kitavans show they have absolutely no acne, they also eat 70% of their calories from carbs. When their insulin levels were tested (Lindeberg did this) they were really low, even though they consume super starchy meals.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: How to make children grow faster and gain weight?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 09:26:06 PM »
You don't have to include SAD food. My point is that you have to include more lean meat and switch the fats for paleo carbs like vegetables, fruits, and tubers (tubers have the advantage of not having so much sugar).

Tubers are not paleo.