Foods that contain calcium, protein, fiber and iron are the most important for a growing body. The nutrients found in food are what helps build strong bones and muscles and are responsible for the rate in which people grow.
Without the right nutrition, the body is starved of essential nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. Calcium maximizes bone growth, according to the Institute of Medicine, kids ages 1 to 3 need 500 milligrams of calcium each day, while those ages four to eight need 800 milligrams and ages 9 to 18 require 1,300 milligrams.
Protein provides calories, but also offers the body amino acids that are essential for growth. The amino acids are responsible for a variety of functions, including hormone production and regulation. Protein needs vary depending on age, with children ages 1 to 3, 13 grams of daily protein is required, while 4 to 8-year-old's require 19 grams and nine to 18-year-old's require 34 grams each day.
Fiber keeps everything functioning inside the body, which in turn helps it grow strong. According to Sheah Rarback, RD, Director of nutrition and associate professor at the Mailman Center for Child Development states that the best way to determine a child's fiber needs is to take their age and add 5, so an 8 year old would need a daily intake of 13 grams of fiber.