You Grow, Baby! Charting Your Child's Growth and Development

How Much Does Diet Impact Growth?

Girl eating more veggies

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"Genes are the most important factor, but you can't reach your genetic potential if you're not adequately nourished," explains Dr. Rauch. If she is eating a balanced diet, your child probably doesn't need a multivitamin. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants, children, and adolescents get a daily dose of 400 IU of vitamin D, which is essential for healthy growth. Since it's hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone, your child will probably need to take a daily supplement soon after she is born, unless she gets at least 34 ounces of D-fortified formula per day.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine

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