5-2-1-Almost None, A Practical Guide for Wellness

5-2-1-Almost None is a simple formula created by Nemours Children’s Health System. Nemours is a nonprofit pediatric health system that provides life-changing medical care and research, helps kids grow up healthy, advocates for kids nationally and trains tomorrow’s pediatric experts.

It stands for:
5- or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day
2-hours of screen time or less per day
1- hour of physical activity
Almost None- Sugary Beverages

Vegetables are full of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Vegetables keep skin, hair and eyes glowing while helping us maintain a healthy weight by regulating digestion. A serving of fruit is the equivalent of a ½ cup chopped fruit, ¼ cup dry fruit, one medium fruit, or ½ cup real fruit juice.  A serving of vegetables is one cup leafy greens, ½ cup chopped raw or cooked vegetables, or ½ cup vegetable juice. Make it fun and attempt to eat a rainbow for fruits and vegetables every day.

2 hours of screen time may seem like a lot, and it is. But for some kids it adds up quickly and they are spending up to 6 hours a day in front of a screen. Screen time includes television, video games, playing with a smart phone and computer time. (Homework on a computer is not included). Research shows that kids who watch more than10 hours of television per week are less likely to do well in school. Screen time is time kids could be being active, helping with chores, doing homework, reading, playing games and interacting with family and friends.

1 hour of physical activity does not sound like a lot, but if you don’t take time to plan it into your child’s day, it may not happen. Benefits of physical activity include increased heart health, increased capacity for learning, helps control weight and prevents chronic disease, builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases self-esteem. Physical activity can be unstructured time or structured, it requires elevating the heart rate and moving.

Kids (adults too) should have almost no sugary beverages. Almost none is defined as 2 or less servings per week. Sugary beverages include regular soda (some have over 18 tsp of sugar per 20oz bottle), lemonade and other juice beverages that are not 100% juice, sweetened iced tea, sports drinks, and many coffee drinks. Healthy alternatives are milk, 100% juice and water.

5-2-1-Almost none can work as a great foundation for building a healthy and happy family. For more information on 5-2-1-Almost None visit http://www.nemours.org/service/health/growuphealthy/521almostnone.html