5210 for Families

5210 Healthy Children

5210 Healthy Children and 5210 Healthy Military Children are community-wide health messaging campaigns designed to improve children’s health. It spreads a simple message about behaviors that support good health in children throughout communities, where families work, live, and play, and how parents can aid in supporting children’s health. Parents play a critical role in child health because they influence children’s behaviors and create children’s home environment. The behaviors children learn and the environments in which they live may promote or be a challenge to good health. The resources assembled in the family toolkit are designed to help families promote the 5210 message:

Ready to promote the 5210 message in your family? All the information you need to increase healthy eating and physical activity in your family is in the toolkit. As a parent you have the unique opportunity to be a healthy role model for not only your family but also your community! Even small changes can make a difference and you can inspire other families to start living the 5210 way.

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5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide a lot of nutrients and water without a lot of calories. They also contain fiber and a variety of phytochemicals that help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Young children often reject new foods at first – it may take several exposures to a new food before it is accepted, so keep trying!

Here are some strategies that may help you to get your child to eat 5 more servings of fruits and vegetables a day:

  • Prepare meals and snacks at home using fruits and vegetables, and let children help in the kitchen so they learn how to make healthy foods.
  • Eat together as a family and model healthy eating to your children.
  • Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods at planned times throughout the day. Let children choose whether and how much they eat.

2 or fewer hours of recreational screen time

Screen time is free time spent in front of screens – like televisions, video games, and the Internet. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents set limits to their children’s screen time, they provide positive modeling behavior to their children by limiting their own screen time, they engage in live interactions with their children instead of placing their children in front of a screen, and they should review the content of what their children are watching. Additionally, children under the age of two should have no screen time. It is possible to get enough physical activity and still engage in an unhealthy amount of screen time – so encourage your family to find other fun ways to spend their free time!

Here are some strategies to reduce your family’s screen time:

  • Turn off televisions and put away cell phones during meals and enjoy spending time together as a family.
  • Work with your children to identify a variety of activities they enjoy that do not involve screens. Encourage these activities during leisure time and serve as a role model.
  • Make televisions, video games, and the Internet less convenient to use during free time so that healthier choices are easier to make.

1 or more hours of physical activity

Moving your body is a great way to burn calories, improve your mood, boost your energy, prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and help you sleep better at night – plus, it can be a lot of fun! Look for activities your family can enjoy together so everyone can reap the benefits and help keep one another on track.

Here are some strategies to keep your whole family active:

  • Use activities instead of foods as incentives – a trip to the park, sledding hill, laser tag arena, skating rink, batting cage, or community pool can be a great alternative to the ice cream shop to celebrate a job well done.
  • Walk or bike as a family to get where you’re going.
  • Set up activity dates with like-minded families or sign up your family for a charity walk – if you’re accountable to someone else you may be more likely to stay active.

0 sweetened beverages

It is important to drink fluids to stay healthy, but sweetened beverages add extra sugar and calories to the diet. Watch out for drinks with the following ingredients: sugar, honey, sweetener, syrup (e.g., corn syrup, brown rice syrup), and/or ingredients ending in “ose” (e.g., glucose, dextrose).

Here are some strategies to reduce sweetened beverages your family drinks:

  • Make water the norm for quenching thirst – drink water when you are thirsty and offer water to thirsty children.
  • Sparkling water, still water with slices of lemon, and fruity herbal iced teas are fun alternatives to plain water.
  • Nonfat and 1% milk and 100% fruit and vegetable juices contain beneficial nutrients and also calories, so think of them as foods contributing towards your family’s diet.