Using the 5210 Rule
Looking for successful ways to improve your child’s health? The 5210 rule can be a beneficial program to use for your family. The program includes the following rules:
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- A limitation of 2 hours or less of media consumption per day
- 1 hour of physical activity
- 0 sugar-sweetened beverages
Following these guidelines can keep your kids healthy, help them maintain a healthy weight, and set them up for a lifelong of healthy habits. Here’s info about each of these rules.
The 5 rule:
Vegetables and fruits contain essential nutrients needed for your child’s growth and development. Medical evidence also suggest that vegetables and fruits can decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease when consumed regularly. These foods contain antioxidants that protect the cells against free radicals, as well as fiber, which helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Vegetables and fruits tend to be lower in calories than many other types of foods. But due to being nutrient-dense and a good source of fiber, they can be filling snacks, satisfy hunger, and prevent overeating. Include fruits and vegetables as part of every meal and as snacks in between meals.
The 2 rule:
Too much media can affect your child’s ability to concentrate, their academic performance, their mental health, and their physical health. When children spend too much time in front of electronic devices, they get less physical activity, which can lead to childhood obesity. Excessive usage may also lead to screen addiction and affect their social life and sleep as a result. Keep media use under 2 hours to prevent these issues.
The 1 rule:
Exercise keeps your kid physically healthy and also improves their mental health. Sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day is important to keep their muscles and bones strong. To encourage and motivate your children, try involving them in activities they find enjoyable, whether that’s riding a bike, roller skating, swimming, hiking, dancing, or playing a sport. If the activity is fun for your child, they are likely to continue and it can be an effective way to ensure that they’re staying active every day.
The 0 rule:
Added sugar can be harmful to your child’s health and sugary beverages are among the worst sources. Many of them have a high amount of added sugar and little to no nutrients and fiber. Sweetened beverages such as soda can also lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. Instead of giving your kids these drinks, opt for water and plain milk.
The best way to encourage your kids to follow these rules is to model them as the parent or caregiver. When your kids see you adhering to these health practices, they’re more likely to do it as well. If your child shows resistance, you can create a simple reward system such as a weekly game night. It’s also helpful to create a 5210 chart and hang it on the fridge to keep track, especially when you have a busy schedule.