5-2-1-0: The Formula for Healthy Families

This article is part of our Member Blog Series, which showcases Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative Members' efforts and commitment to ensure that play is a critical element in the lives of people of all ages. Each month, a different member organization will share their take on how play is a part of the work they do. The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative hopes that these stories of play from our diverse set of member organizations will encourage and inspire leaders in communities, businesses, schools and families to prioritize play every day.

Let’s Move Pittsburgh, a collaborative program of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens that aims to improve children’s health and wellness, is a proud member of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative. Play is important for the growth and development of healthy children and even plays a role in helping us make nutritious food choices and maintaining an active lifestyle. We are keeping it playful with our new movement, 5-2-1-0, which reinforces healthy lifestyle choices that benefit local kids and their families.

So, 5 + 2 + 1 + 0 = ?  If you guessed “8,” you are mathematically correct, but this equation also equals a healthy family!  5-2-1-0 is a fun way to remember four healthy habits to strive to do every day:

5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day!

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks goes a long way in improving nutrition and making healthier kids. Have children help you in the kitchen and offer them taste tests of seasonal produce. Remember to keep the experience positive when trying new foods!

2 hours or less of recreational screen time every day!

Children who limit screen time not only sleep more soundly, but also perform better in school and are less likely to face weight issues. Unplug and turn on the fun by reading your favorite book, playing make-believe, or dancing to music.

1 hour or more of physical activity every day!

Research shows that physical activity can greatly improve kids’ attention spans and attitudes, therefore making them more successful learners. Plus, physical activity is great for overall health. Take it outside and get dirty in your garden, take a hike in your city park, or play tag with your best friends. Reward kids when they try new activities.

0 sugary drinks and more water every day!

Overloaded with sugar, commercial juices, soda and energy drinks wreak havoc on developing bodies and should be replaced in the diet by water. Practice healthy hydration and keep bottled water on hand, add flavor to water with fresh fruit, and keep a pitcher of thirst-quenching water in the fridge. Remember that you can stay hydrated by eating foods with high water content.

By emphasizing these healthy habits, we can all help forge a brighter future for Pittsburgh’s kids! For more 5-2-1-0 tips, follow our #5210Friday posts on Facebook and Twitter and our 5-2-1-0 Every Day Pinterest board.

5-2-1-0 is adapted from Let’s Go! www.letsgo.org