14 year old Martha has been noticing bodily changes in all her friends. They grew from kids to adolescents. She overhears them discuss about their growing bodies and the monthly menstrual cycles, but couldn’t be a part of it. Her mother is equally worried because Martha should have attained puberty by now but hasn’t yet. She has been frantically researching on how to hit puberty faster.
Usually, girls enter puberty at the age of nine or ten while boys hit it at 11 or 12. Bodily changes take place in the boys as well. Some children go through puberty faster, but for some, it may get delayed. If your child does not attain puberty around this age, she may feel awkward and left out. However, delay in puberty is normal.
MomJunction tells you how you can enable your child reach puberty quickly in a natural and healthy way.
How To Hit Puberty Faster?
Late or constitutional delay in puberty is normal and does not require any treatment unless the delay is due to a medical condition. Late puberty could be hereditary (onset of puberty in the mother is important) or due to lack of nutrition. It is a process that happens naturally and should not be rushed through medication. So, here are a few natural ways to speed up puberty.
1. Maintain Healthy Body Weight
A healthy BMI requires that your child’s height and weight are proportionate. If your child is underweight, it can be the cause of delayed puberty. Malnourishment can also cause delayed puberty. In fact, studies reveal that people who are healthy or even obese may hit puberty faster (1). However, obesity or excess weight comes with its side-effects. So to hit puberty faster, your child needs to maintain a healthy body weight and keep his or her body in proper shape.
2. Intake Of Essential Nutrients
One of the most important factors that can affect pubertal development in kids is nutrition (1). Lack of nourishment or malnutrition prevents the body from growing as it should when the child reaches the age of puberty. Underweight children usually have delayed puberty Also, puberty results in the growth of the body and increases the nutritional requirements of your growing kids. If your children eat healthy and nutritious food every day to meet their daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals, they can hit puberty at the right time.
Also, eating nutritious foods helps your child to cope up with the hormonal changes as puberty is the stage when your teen’s body gets ready for sexual transformation.
Here are some vital nutrients that your teenager needs for hitting puberty faster:
Calcium is an essential nutrient that enables growth and builds stronger bones in children. Equally important is vitamin D. Young girls lack calcium and vitamin D during puberty. Also, to overcome calcium deficiency problems like osteoporosis in the future, they should consume calcium-rich foods. The food list must comprise dairy products including low fat curd or milk, yogurt, cheese, butter and green leafy vegetables.
Children should get the recommended dose of iron (11mg a day for adolescents) for healthy body growth. Iron is also vital for girls during puberty. Teen girls experience the onset of menstruation cycle during puberty. To replace the blood lost during periods, it becomes important to intake iron-rich foods. If the child looks pale get a haemoglobin test done.
Food containing high levels of iron is whole grain, fish, beans, and red meat. Iron present in these nutritious food items helps in speedy growth of your teen. Girls should avoid eating high-calorie food during puberty, as it makes them obese and increases unhealthy fat in the body.
Protein is a vital nutrient that helps in body growth and development of your teen. Lack of protein in the body also prevents muscle build-up and inhibits growth in children. During puberty, protein helps in building body muscles, tissues, and initiates overall growth. It makes the body active and fit for daily activities like sports and other extra co-curricular activities. The best sources of protein are fish, meat, dairy products, and poultry products.
Young girls and boys need to maintain proper amount of fats in their diet. Foods containing the right amount of fats help in growth processes and supply optimum energy to the body. Unsaturated fats that occur naturally in varied food sources like salmon, nuts and olive oil are excellent foods to consume during puberty.
Puberty hormones cause fat deposits in different areas of your teen’s body like breasts, hips, and thighs. A healthy weight gain is a normal occurrence during puberty, and it is advisable to avoid any unhealthy weight loss methods. At the same time, your teen needs to intake nutritious foods to avoid excess consumption of calories.
An essential nutrient, zinc plays a major role in growth hormone synthesis and interacts with other hormones like testosterone, insulin, thyroid and vitamin D3, which boost bone growth. Foods your teen should eat to increase zinc content in her body include spinach, beef, oysters, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds (especially for girls), watermelon seeds, kidney beans and shrimp.
3. Hormone Treatments
The brain releases several hormones that enable us to function properly. When children reach the age of puberty, gonadotropin hormone or GnRH is released. This triggers many changes, physical and emotional, that a child goes through during puberty. In some cases, the body does not produce these pubertal hormones, which spur growth. In such situations, treatment to restore the balance of hormones in the body may be recommended.
Your endocrinologist or primary care physician may recommend injections of male (testosterone) to kick start puberty in boys. However, this should only be done after proper investigations and physical examination of the boy. In the case of girls, pelvis ultrasound to see the uterus, ovary etc., and hormonal studies need to be carefully done. Do not be in a hurry to start hormonal treatment.
4. Have Patience, Have Fun
There is no treatment for constitutional delay of puberty. Unless and until there is a pathological condition, it is best to wait for natural onset of puberty. The only way to deal with the issue is to accept the fact and focus on maintaining optimal health to hit puberty soon. Have patience and let the body grow at its own pace. Most of the teens panic as all their friends begin having the symptoms of puberty.
When the child does not hit the puberty for the more than 18 to 20 months after he reaches the designated age, he needs to visit a pediatric endocrinologist.
Tips To Hit Puberty Faster
Rather than worrying about ‘how to hit puberty faster’, focus on how to stay healthy and fit and you will reach puberty in time. Here a few tips to go through puberty fast, and naturally.
1. Stay Healthy – Eat Healthy
For your child to hit puberty around the same time as his friends, he has to eat healthy and nutritious food. Give him protein and healthy fats. Let him not consume anything in excess – maintain a balanced diet. Give him vegetables, lean meats, fruits, dairy, and legumes.
2. Be Active – Participate in Sports
Sports has a very important role to play in physical and mental development of the child. Late puberty may discourage children from actively participating in sports. But if your child wants to hit puberty, let him know that one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit is to have an active physical life. Encourage your child to participate in sports without any apprehensions. The more active they are, the fitter their bodies become and the sooner they can hit puberty.
3. Stay Positive – Enjoy Your Childhood
Delayed puberty is normal in some children. There is not much you can do, and getting frustrated won’t help. In fact, getting worked up about late puberty will only affect his health, leading to loss of appetite and further delay in reaching the next stage. So try to focus on the bright side – he will have an extended childhood. He will have the rest of his life to be an adult, but his childhood is lost forever once he attains puberty.
4. Sleep Well
If your child has difficulty sleeping at night, it could be the reason for delayed puberty. In addition to nutrition, your kid’s body also needs enough rest to grow. A natural way to increase secretion of growth hormone and hit puberty fast is to sleep. Research has proved that proper sleep increases secretion of growth hormones in young adults (2).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will it take to hit puberty?
Puberty usually happens between the ages of six and 16. Girls usually hit puberty by the age of 11. But it might sometimes start as early as six or seven years old. Similarly, boys hit puberty by the time they are around 12, but it can also start by nine years of age or late (4).
2. How do I know if I hit puberty?
Following are the signs that show that you have hit puberty (4):
- Deepening of voice
- Appearance of acne
- Increase in the size of secondary sexual organs
- Muscles strengthen
- Development of breasts
- Gets periods
- Develops acne
- Hair in the pubic area, armpiinfographicts, and legs
Children may worry that their peers have attained puberty before them and think about how to hit puberty faster. Delayed puberty may be hereditary or have reasons such as underweight and nutritional deficiencies. It may be tempting to opt for hormone treatments or other medications to reach puberty early. However, it is not a good idea unless an underlying medical condition is the reason behind the delay. Instead, it is wiser to ensure that your child is physically fit and making healthy food choices. Talk to a doctor if you are concerned about the delayed growth of your child.
Infographic: Tips To Hit Puberty Faster
Puberty is the period when children start to transition into adolescents, and there are a lot of changes happening in the body. The following infographic presents tips that can help your child hit puberty faster. Give it a read and share it with other parents as well.
- Ashraf Soliman et al.; Nutrition and pubertal development.
- Y. Takahashi et al.; (1968); Growth hormone secretion during sleep.