Eat Well, Move More and Feel Better with
the Hancock County 5210 Initiative
5210 is a national youth fitness and nutrition program aimed to help parents learn how they can support their children’s health and prevent obesity, including eating well, moving more and feeling better. Researchers at Penn State developed the initiative, and it is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatricians. Did you know Hancock County has a 5-2-1-0 initiative?
WHAT IS THE 5-2-1-0 PROGRAM?
The program aims to have children:
- Consume 5 fruits and vegetables a day
- Limit recreational screen time to 2 hours or less
- Engage in at least 1 hour of active play
- Drink 0 sugar-sweetened beverages
Hancock County 5-2-1-0 Initiative
In Hancock County, Healthy365 worked with Leadership Hancock County to tailor a 5-2-1-0 initiative to the community. It is a six-week curriculum for second graders and includes water bottles and fitness trackers as incentives for students who participate in and complete the program. It is a great age for children to start forming their own healthy habits, trying new things, and learning that nutrition and physical activity can be quite fun.
The curriculum has built-in challenges throughout the six weeks, based on the different concepts being discussed. The challenges are food-based, encouraging students to try a new fruit and vegetable, make a fruit salad, or make “ants on a log” as a snack.
Other challenges are tailored specifically to Hancock County residents, such as visiting a Greenfield park or spending time exercising on the Pennsy Trail.
If you would like to host 5-2-1-0 in your school, please reach out to Healthy365 for more information on incorporating this into your curriculum.
Be a 5-2-1-0 Hero in Your Child’s Life
As adults, we can adjust our habits, making changes to respond to our health considerations, but children do not have that same control over their habits, regardless of their age. They rely on us to shop for groceries, prepare meals, have snacks available, organize their schedules, and set boundaries on screen time. They also need us to set a positive example when it comes to healthy habits.
Sadly, we’re collectively not doing a great job on combating childhood obesity currently. Rates are at an all-time high.
Children tend to model our eating behaviors, so take a moment and make sure you are eating as healthy as you can. After all, your good habits will help them establish their own good habits. Healthy eating today goes a long way to help maintain a healthy weight tomorrow.
FREQUENTLY ASKED 5-2-1-0 QUESTIONS
What is a serving?
We’re glad you asked. For kids, a serving is about the size of the palm of their hand. So reaching five might be easier than you’d think. Here are some quick tips to encourage your kids to get to five servings:
- Kids love dipping. Offer salad dressing, yogurt, nut butter, or hummus to get them going.
- Add veggies and fruits to foods they already like.
- Keep prewashed and pre-sliced fruits and veggies at the ready in the fridge, so they’re easy to grab when the urge strikes.
- Make a fruit smoothie with yogurt. You can even add small amounts of frozen greens or broccoli. Trust us, it’s still delicious.
- Most people prefer crunchy foods to mushy ones. Serve raw or lightly steamed. (They’re also more nutritious this way.)
- Try fruits and vegetables in lots of different ways to find out what your kids like. It can take as many as seven to 10 tries before kids start to like a new food. So don’t give up!
What constitutes screen time?
Using computers, gaming consoles, tablets, and smartphones (and watching TV) all count as screen time. Screen time is associated with more snacking, lower reading scores, and attention problems. A healthy “screen diet” for childhood development means:
- No screen time or TV for children under the age of two
- No computer or TV in the room where the child sleeps
- One hour per day of educational TV or online activity for children between the ages of two and five.
- After age five, no more than two hours per day.
- What if they’re bored? (They will tell you they’re bored.)
- Do a puzzle
- Read a book or magazine
- Spend time catching up with your family
- Play board games
- Start a journal
- Go to the library
- Explore free activities in your community
What constitutes physical activity?
Physical activity makes you feel good, keeps your heart healthy, makes you stronger and more flexible, and helps attention and mood. One hour of physical activity can dramatically improve a child’s attitude and behavior. Here are just a few suggestions to start with:
- Play ball (basketball, catch, soccer, etc.)
- Walk, run, or jog
- Go to the park
- Go on a nature hike
- Put on music and dance
- Play charades
- Ride a bike
- Go play in the snow
Does fruit juice count as a sugary drink?
Yes, it does. Limit—or better yet, eliminate—sugary beverages, especially soda, energy drinks, and fruit drinks. Offer whole fruits instead of juices and suggest low-fat milk or water. Make the transition gradually for the best results: Sugar is addictive. And here are a few other ways to make healthy beverages more appealing:
- Keep iced or cold water handy in a bottle or pitcher
- Add a few fresh lemon, lime, or orange wedges to water for a little natural flavor
- Offer straws with fun shapes or patterns
Concerned About Your Child or Family’s Nutrition?
If you’re concerned about your family’s nutrition, please contact our Support Navigators. For concerns related to your child’s weight, please contact their pediatrician or family medicine provider. Please note that children should not be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.