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    For Parents

    Logo for the 5210 Youth Nutrition Program

    5210: Numbers to Live By!


    Aim for 5 fruits and vegetables every day

    The vitamins, minerals, and fiber in fruits and vegetables are important to your children’s health. Fruits and vegetables help kids grow, fight off illness and can prevent weight gain, so encourage your children to eat at least five servings each day. As a parent, your job is to offer opportunities for your children to make good food choices, not to try to force children to eat these foods.

    Child feeding expert and author Ellyn Satter has developed the Division of Responsibility in Feeding. According to Ms. Satter, as a parent it is your responsibility to decide:

    • What food is offered
    • When food is offered
    • Where food is offered
    It is your child's job to decide:
    • If he or she will eat or not
    • What he or she will eat from what is offered
    • How much he or she will eat
    Fresh is best, but frozen is also a good choice. If you're using canned fruits and vegetables, watch for sodium and added sugar. Limit 100 percent juice.

    Additional Resources for Healthy Eating
    Community Alliance with Family Farmers
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    Keep recreational screen time to 2 hours or less every day

    Using screen time for homework is fine, but make sure to limit the time your children recreationally watch television, play video games or surf the web to no more than two hours per day. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children age two or younger not watch any television.

    Here are some great reasons to limit screen time:

    • Children need to be active
    • When engaged in screen time children are more likely to eat unhealthy snacks
    • Too much screen time may lead to attention difficulties
    • The content is often inappropriate (violence/sexual/language)
    • Children are vulnerable to the influence of commercial advertising
    Tips to reduce screen time:
    • Keep TVs, computers and video games out of children’s bedrooms
    • Turn electronic devices off during meal times
    • Keep homework time TV-free
    • Set a screen time schedule—plan viewing in advance
    • Be a role model—show your children you too can limit screen time
    • Keep family friendly board games handy
    • Use an automatic timer to turn off power to TV
    Alternative activities:
    • Go for a walk
    • Ride a bike
    • Dance to favorite music
    • Plant a garden
    • Play ball (basket ball, base ball, tennis)
    • Have children help prepare healthy family meals
    • Play charades
    Give your TV a nap and send the kids out to play!

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    Include at least 1 hour or more of active play every day

    Participate in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

    Active play is fun and important for your child’s health, and active kids will likely become active adults. Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your children to join you. Remember: children imitate adults.

    Physical activity:

    • Helps to maintain healthy body weight
    • Increases strength
    • Improves coordination
    • Reduces stress
    • Decreases risk of developing type 2 diabetes
    Try these fun activities as a family:
    • Dance to your children's favorite music
    • Go for a hike
    • Toss a ball or Frisbee
    • Take a family bike ride
    • Walk the dog or volunteer as a family at local shelters to walk dogs
    • Play tennis
    What Can You Do?

    Parents and caregivers play a powerful role in the development of children. Let your actions speak louder than words; let your children see you active. By displaying healthy behaviors you can have a positive impact on the behaviors of your children.

    Provide your family with opportunities for fun and safe play!

    Additional Online Resources:Toss the remote. Play catch with your kids!
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    Skip sugar sweetened beverages, drink

    Skip the soda and sugar-sweetened sports and fruit drinks. Instead, drink water and three to four servings a day of fat-free/skim or 1 percent milk

    Why avoid sugary beverages?

    • Soda, sports drinks, chocolate milk and juice add lots of empty calories which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy body weight
    • Sugary drinks lead to tooth decay and can end up replacing milk in children's diets
    • Drinking sugary beverages may lead to increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
    What can you do?
    • Set a healthy example by role modeling, let your children see that you can be sugar free
    • Instead of sugary beverages, try adding a slice of your favorite fruit to some water
    • Read the label before you buy a beverage
    Take a look at how much sugar is in some popular children's drinks:
    DrinkServing SizeFatSugarTeaspoons
    Sunny Delight6.75 oz0g16g4120
    Snapple Lemonade Iced Tea16 oz0g50g13220
    Hershey's Chocolate Milk8 oz4.5g30g7.5200
    Gatorade Thirst Quencher8 oz0g14g3.550
    Coca Cola Classic8 oz0g27g797
    Red Bull Energy Drink8 oz0g27g7110
    Tropicana Healthy Kids Orange Juice8 oz0g22g5.5110
    Minute Maid Coolers6.7 oz0g27g7100
    Minute Maid 100% Apple Juice6.7 oz0g21g5100
    Water8 oz0g0g00
    For sugar-free resources, visit:Kids. Sweet enough without soda.

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