Obesity is the new buzz word, especially when it comes to the health of our kids. All the information floating around out there can be confusing and add in the daily trails and tribulations of motherhood and the focus and commitment it takes to care for your own health, and you have information overload. Lets Go is an national childhood obesity prevention program. They focus on kids from birth to 18 years of age but what they are becoming known for is there catchy, catch phrase. 5210 Lets Go stands for five or more fruits and vegetables a day, two hours or less of screen time, one hour of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks. This is easy to remember and kids over the age of two can get on board and help keep themselves and their family healthy.
Lets Go started in Portland Maine in 2006. The program has made it into schools, afterschool programs, partnered with health care companies, workplace and early childhood centers. What seems to work about their message is the simplicity of it. 5210 is a program that can be used in even the busiest of households.
Older kids can keep track of how many fruits and vegetables they have eaten daily. It can be on a chart, a fun poster on the refrigerator, any visual way that motivates your gang. Two hours or less of screen time should be a given, but if you keep track for a week you might be surprised how quickly one tv show here or there can add up. Start with no more than two hours a day and try to get it down to two hours or less a week if you can! Make it a fun family challenge.
Everyone is busy these days. It seems families are busier than ever before. One hour of physical activity might seem overwhelming at first. It can help to break the hour into smaller chunks. Ten minutes of jumping jacks and stretching to get the blood flowing in the morning added to an after dinner walk already takes care of half the activity requirement. Try to get outside for 20 minutes no matter what climate you live in. Swing, play tag, jump rope, go sledding, and walk the dog; it all counts towards the hour.
Kicking the sugar drink habit may be a struggle but it is worth the battle. Lets be honest, there is no excuse for allowing your kids to drink soda and juice. Kids need water! Drinking apple juice is not the same as eating an apple. If your picky eater won’t eat a grape, don’t give them grape juice! The only drinks should be water, milk, or a milk alternative such as soy, rice, almond, or coconut. Don’t forget milk and the alternatives are full of sugar. Long gone are the days when kids “need” to drink a class of milk with every meal. They need their eight glasses of water a day just like you.
5210 can become the healthy lifestyle mantra for your family. It’s clear, concise and allows every member of the family to bear some of the responsibility of living a health life. Don’t forget to share with friends and extended family. Your family can be the inspiration another family needs!
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