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Active kids are happy kids

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Houston Jeanjacques participates in a relay event during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event was put on by the Health and Wellness Center and designed to provide families with a fun opportunity to be active and learn about healthy lifestyle habits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Houston Jeanjacques participates in a relay event during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event was put on by the Health and Wellness Center and designed to provide families with a fun opportunity to be active and learn about healthy lifestyle habits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chris Pfeifer does the “grapevine” in a relay event against his father during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event consisted of an hour of physical activity followed by healthy food to demonstrate the “5-2-1-0” initiative put on by the Health and Wellness Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Chris Pfeifer does the “grapevine” in a relay event against his father during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event consisted of an hour of physical activity followed by healthy food to demonstrate the “5-2-1-0” initiative put on by the Health and Wellness Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Peterson youth and parents compete to see who is the quickest to complete a game during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event encouraged families to try the “5-2-1-0” plan in an effort to keep kids healthy and active. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Peterson youth and parents compete to see who is the quickest to complete a game during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event encouraged families to try the “5-2-1-0” plan in an effort to keep kids healthy and active. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Valeria Pfeifer places a dot on the ground during a game of human tic-tac-toe at the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event was put on by the Health and Wellness Center to bring attention to Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and ways to live a healthier lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Valeria Pfeifer places a dot on the ground during a game of human tic-tac-toe at the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The event was put on by the Health and Wellness Center to bring attention to Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and ways to live a healthier lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Nick Boughton, left, along with other Peterson youth reach into goodie bags of healthy lunch choices during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The Health and Wellness Center hosted the event to encourage families to implement healthier activities and snacks into their lifestyles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Nick Boughton, left, along with other Peterson youth reach into goodie bags of healthy lunch choices during the Family Fun Night at Lyon’s Park on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 22, 2016. The Health and Wellness Center hosted the event to encourage families to implement healthier activities and snacks into their lifestyles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. This is an effort to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and inform families how they can take steps towards healthier living.

Did you know?

• Children who eat healthier foods and engage in daily physical activity have fewer school absences, higher self-esteem and academic achievement.
• One in 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. This puts children at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, conditions that were once only seen in adults.
• Currently more than 27 percent of a child’s daily calories come from snacks and unhealthy snack choices are linked with childhood diabetes.
• Technology such as smart phones and tablets have not replaced television time, but have increased the amount of time children spend with screens.

If you want a winning combination for healthy kids, try 5210. Get them started on a healthy path with an easy-to-remember plan.

What is 5210?

5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day: A single serving can include a medium piece of fruit; one-half cup of chopped, canned or cooked fruit; or one-half cup of raw or cooked vegetables. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables, and beans and peas.
2 hours or less of screen time: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents manage technology in their lives. Parents should limit recreational screen time (TV, phones, tablets, computers and video games) and break up time spent sitting in front of screens.
1 or more hours of physical activity: Physical activity, such as aerobics, muscle- or bone-strengthening activities raises the heart rate and should be included at least 3x week, along with other activities that improve movement and motor skills.
0 sweetened beverages a day: Limiting sugary drinks such as fruit drinks, soda and sport drinks reduces the risk of obesity and dental-related health problems. Limit juice to 4-6 ounces per day for children 1 to 6 years. Limit juice to 8-12 ounces per day for children and adolescents 7 years and older.

You can make simple lifestyle changes at home and while shopping and eating out, such as:

• Offer new foods over and over again. It may take many exposures to a food before a child is willing to try it.
• Serving sparkling water or still water with slices of lemon instead of sweetened beverages.
• Opting for restaurants that offer healthy choices.
• Helping your children find activities to enjoy that don't involve screens.
• Remove screens from children's bedrooms and turn off phones and TVs during mealtimes.
• Utilize resources such as: 5210 Let’s Go (www.letsg.org) or The American Heart Association (www.heart.org) for additional information.


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