85210: 5 steps to a healthier lifestyle

With warmer weather here, now is a good time to revamp your family’s routine and challenge each other to live a little healthier. Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is a proud supporter of 85210, a health initiative that encourages families to adopt the 85210 five-step healthy recipe to promote healthier and fitter families.

With just five simple steps, your family can work toward achieving a healthier, active lifestyle:

1. 8 hours of sleep or more each night. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Remove distractions (TV, video games, etc.) from the bedroom, and create a routine that makes it easier for your child to fall asleep at a decent time. Try having him or her take a warm bath, then read a story.

2. Consume 5 or more fruits and veggies day. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables provides vitamins and minerals and is important for supporting growth and development and for optimal immune function. High daily intakes of fruits and vegetables are associated with lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly some types of cancers. The fruits and vegetables you eat can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried and may be eaten whole, cut up, mashed or pureed.

3. Limit your family’s recreational screen time to 2 hours a day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the average child watches on average 5-6 hours of television a day. Children spending this much time watching television results in less physical activity, more overeating and a higher risk for becoming overweight. Why? Because watching TV means being inactive while viewing, snacking more and being exposed to lots of advertising for high fat, high sugar foods.

4. Engage in 1 hour or more of physical activity a day. Regular physical activity is essential for weight maintenance and prevention of chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, colon cancer and osteoporosis. While most school-age children are quite active, physical activity sharply declines during adolescence. Children who are raised in families with active lifestyles are more likely to stay active as adults than children raised in families with sedentary lifestyles. You do not have to get your full hour of physical activity in at one time. You can break it up into comfortable intervals. Take the family dog on a morning walk for 15 minutes, then turn on music and have a family dance off for 20 minutes; lastly, take a 25-minute family walk after dinner.

5. Consume 0 sugary beverages, and drink more water and low-fat milk. Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. High intake among children is associated with overweight ad obesity, displacement of milk consumption and dental cavities. Whole milk is the single largest source of saturated fat in children’s diets. Switching to low-fat or non-fat milk products significantly reduces dietary saturated and total fat, as well as total calories.

exercise, food, sleep