Wellness Wednesdays – What’s Happening to My Son?

“I’m getting hair in places I’ve never had hair before … My voice is changing … I think I’ve grown another inch overnight.” You may have begun hearing this from your pre-teen. If so, don’t panic!

Hormones in your son’s body have started to take over – most commonly known as puberty. Technically speaking, puberty is his body’s way of transforming him into an adult.
Some signs that your son may be entering puberty:

  • Ears, hands, & feet grow larger
  • Shoulders may broaden and muscles may get stronger
  • Penis & testicles increase in size
  • Testes begin to produce testosterone as well as produce sperm
  • Voice begins to deepen
  • Facial hair & pubic hair begin to grow

No one can tell you exactly when these changes can occur. For some, it can happen quickly, while others, it may take several years!

The exact age for puberty varies, depending on many factors, such as heredity. Boys normally begin this phase at about 12 years of age. This sexual development continues for several years, often ending around the age of 15 or 16 for boys. Not eating enough the right types of foods may delay the onset of puberty.

According to the Institute of Medicine, “…We recommend specific amounts of nutrients depending on certain criteria, including age. Adolescents between the ages of 9 and 13 should consume about 1,200 mg of vitamin C, 600 mg of vitamin E and about 60 mg of vitamin B6 each day, among various other nutrients. The recommendations for teens between 14 and 18 years of age include 1,800 mg of vitamin C, 800 mg of vitamin E and 80 mg of vitamin B6.

Providing a well balanced diet while eliminating junk foods will help your child avoid nutritional deficiencies that may affect the normal rate of growth during puberty. Teaching your son to make nutritious food choices can encourage a lifetime of healthy eating, as well as minimize his chances of developing dangerous dietary patterns and eating disorders!”

The good news is, you aren’t alone – tell your son that it’s okay to ask questions about his body – if not to a father figure, then perhaps a school counselor, or another friend that he trusts.

Below are some more links for boys and their questions about puberty! 🙂

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