Growth Chart: Calculate Child’s Growth Curve

August 21, 2014 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Health Calculators

Growth Chart: Calculate your Child’s Growth Curve

Many parents worry about whether their child is growing as fast as it should. At the same time, many parents are now realizing that obesity can start when a child is still a baby. What is normal? Use this calculator as a starting point and then talk to your doctor. Find a doctor here.

Normal growth and development

A child’s growth and development can be divided into four periods:

  • Infancy
  • Preschool years
  • Middle childhood years (per-pubersent)
  • Adolescence (beyond puberty)

Immediately after birth, an infant normally loses about 5 – 10% of his or her birth weight. This is quite normal. child birth is quite traumatic to an infant. Also, the baby is transitioning from being fed through the umbilical cord, to being breast or bottle fed. However, by about age 2 weeks, an infant should start to gain weight and grow quickly.

An infant’s weight should be double the birth weight, by age 4 – 6 months. During the second half of the first year of life, growth is not as rapid. Between ages 1 and 2, a toddler will gain only about 5 pounds. Typically Weight gain will remain at about 5 pounds per year between ages 2 – 5.

Between ages 2 – 10 years, a child will continue to grow at a steady pace. A final growth spurt begins at the start of puberty, sometime between ages 9 and 15. Children are going through puberty younger than they were 50 years ago.

The child’s nutrient needs correspond with these changes in growth rates. It is important to be sure a child gets adequate nutrition, however, it is also important not to feed a child excessive calories. An infant needs more calories in relation to size than a preschooler or school-age child needs. Most children get too much sugar and highly processed foods. Visit a Registered Holistic Nutritionist or Dietician.

Nutrient needs increase again as a child gets close to adolescence.

A healthy child will follow an individual growth curve. It is usually not a concern if a child is not exactly like their peers, however it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with a Doctor. No two families eat exactly the same. The genetic factors vary and the nutrient intake may be different for each child, even in the same family. Parents and caregivers should provide a diet with a wide variety of foods that is suited to the child’s age.

Healthy eating habits should begin during infancy. This can help prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Sugar can also lead to hyperactivity and behavioural problems. Children can also have sensitivities to various foods.

Intellectual Development and Diet

Poor nutrition can cause problems with a child’s intellectual development. A child with a poor diet may be tired and unable to learn at school. Sometimes, parents who have poor eating habits, purchase foods that are not necessarily healthy for children. The lure to purchase fun foods for kids, can attract a parent to foods that are over processed. Also, poor nutrition can make the child more likely to get sick and miss school. This can sometimes be related to finances and parents not being able or educated in how to manage a food budget in such a way as to ensure a child gets healthy nutrition. Breakfast is very important. Children may feel tired and unmotivated if they do not eat a good breakfast.

There are government programs, and non-profits programs are, in place to make sure each child has at least one healthy, balanced meal a day. This meal is usually breakfast, because the relationship between breakfast and improved learning has been clearly shown.

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