Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Healthy Kids Plan

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.

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