5-2-1-0: Raising Children with Healthy Weights
The world of proper nutrition and physical activity can be confusing and at times overwhelming. 5-2-1-0 simplifies this information into 4 easy-to-remember rules.
Here are some tips to help your kids live by the 5-2-1-0 guideline:
Enjoy – 5 or more vegetables and fruits a day
- Choose fruit and vegetables for snacks most of the time. Snacks high in sugar, fat and salt are not recommended.
- Try beginning dinner with a salad or raw vegetables
- Keep a bowl of fruit out for the kids to grab as an easy snack.
- Eat dinners together as a family. Children are healthier when they eat with their family.
- Introduce new foods to your children but don’t force. It may take many times before they are willing to try.
- Get the whole family involved with preparing and cooking food.
Power Down – no more than 2 hours of screen time a day
- Power down TV’s, video games, computers and other electronics and power up family games, outings and activities.
- Enjoy quality family time during meals by turning the TV off and turning the focus on each other.
- Keep a selection of board games, books and puzzles on hand as an alternative to TV on rainy days.
- Post the drop-in swim, skate and gymnasium schedules on the fridge for quick reference.
- Schedule “outdoor” time each day. Put together a bag of play and sport equipment to bring outside.
Play Actively – at least 1 hour every day
- Children need to move and play as much as possible, provide the space and time for active play
- Choose fun, active family outings such as ice skating or playing games at the park
- Teach children basic sports skills like running, jumping and throwing
- Set an example and live an active lifestyle. Children of active parents are more likely to be active themselves
- Involve children in household chores such as washing the car, walking the dog or vacuuming
- Walk or roll to school, to the store or to the park whenever possible
Choose Healthy – ZERO sugar-sweetened drinks
- Get your calories from healthy foods and your liquids from water.
- Sugar sweetened beverages, like pop and fruit punch, provide little nutritional value and are packed with calories. These drinks are not recommended.
- Offer children water throughout the day. Try fresh slices of lemon or cucumber to add a refreshing flavour to water.
- Plain milk is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. Refer to Canada’s food guide to learn how much milk and milk alternatives your child needs each day.
- Real, unsweetened fruit juice can be offered as an occasional treat. Be sure to limit juice to one small glass (125 ml).
- Pack a reusable water bottle in your child’s lunch or sports bag.
- Caffeine, energy and sports drinks are not recommended for children.
You may require Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.
- Download this information as a Fact Sheet
- Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Children (PDF, Health Canada)
- Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Teens (PDF, Health Canada)
- Canada’s Food Guide: Web or Printer-friendly Version (PDF)
- Canada’s Food Guide Builder: Build a food guide that’s tailored to you or your child!
- Childhood Obesity Foundation
- Download helpful fact sheets that fit the 5-2-1-0 guidelines for children 2-5 years old from the ActNowBC, the Shapedown Centre and NutritionLink.
- Better Together: Supporting families to spend more time eating together – with helpful suggestions, tips and resources for your family!
- Learn to SipSmart! A Resource for Educators and Families from the BC Pediatric Society and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.
Links & Reports
Here are some links to information on current trends of overweight and obesity in Canada. There are also links to information on what SCOPE is…
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Read our resources on childhood obesity…
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