Sarah Petersen, M.D., pediatrician for University of Utah Healthcare talks about the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Healthy Kids Plan.
Supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Healthy Kids Plan is easy for children to learn and fun for families to practice together. The 5-2-1-0 program is a daily guide that focuses on the following:
5 or more fruits and vegetables
Children (and adults) should eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
• Show it: Keep a bowl of fresh fruits on the counter. Be a role model – eat YOUR veggies!
• Choose it: Encourage picky kids by letting them choose which veggies to serve at meals.
• Stock it:
Stock the fridge with small bags of cut-up fruits and veggies, then grab & go.
Stock the freezer with frozen veggies: 4-5 minutes microwaving in a covered dish will ‘steam’ them perfectly.
• Try it…again: Kids don’t like unfamiliar things. It can take 7-10 ‘tries’ before a kid becomes comfortable with a new food.
• Grow it: Studies show that kids eat more fruits/veggies when the produce is home-grown.
2 hours or less of screen time
Children over the age of two should spend less than two hours each day watching television, on a computer, or playing video games. Avoid screen time for children under the age of 2.
• American kids spend an average of 4 hrs/day (28 hrs/wk) in front of a screen
• Watching 10 or more hours of TV per week has been shown to negatively affect academic achievement.
• Number of ‘junk food’ ads aired during 4 hours of Saturday Morning cartoons: 202
1 hour or more of physical activity
Children need to get at least an hour or more of physical activity each day.
• Benefits of exercise for kids: better sleep; strong heart, muscles & bones; weight control; decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes; better able to handle emotional and physical challenges; improved self-esteem & academic performance.
• Add it up: for example, 20 minutes riding the bike + 10 minutes walking to the park + 30 minutes swimming = 60 minutes.
• Get outside: It’s hard to ‘sit around’ for long when you’re out of the house.
• Make it fun: Kids won’t do something they don’t enjoy. Make it a game. Invite friends.
• Go places: Take kids to places where they can run around – the park, camping, hiking, outdoor malls, and running trails.
• Play a sport: Kids learn life skills from sports – how to be a ‘team player,’ discipline, goal-setting, confidence, etc.
0 sugary drinks
• For each glass or can of a sugared beverage that children consume per day, they increase their chance of becoming obese by 60%.
• Drink more water and low-fat milk instead of soda and chocolate milk.
• Kids usually only drink what you buy – so don’t buy it.
• Limit 100% juice to:
◦ 4-6 ounces/day for ages 1-6
◦ 8-12 oz/day for ages 7-18
◦ No juice for babies < 6 months
• Juice might as well be soda: the less kids drink, the better.
• Make gradual changes: add water to your child’s juice, a little more each time, until they are basically drinking water…then switch to water.
• Get a fun water bottle. Kids can carry it around the house, in the car, and to the park.
Free cookbook for kids
If your child would like to receive a coloring cookbook full of healthy, kid-tested snack recipes, call 801-213-9500 or visit healthcare.utah.edu/primarycare.