Primary Care in Rochester and Kasson

5-2-1-0 Let's Go! It's not just for kids

8/4/2022 by Tammy Schmit, R.N.


People have a healthy body shape that's just right for them. But gaining excess weight is easy to do. 

Life's busy for everyone. Summer is winding down. School is about to start. 

That quick stop at McDonald's after baseball can turn into a fast food stop multiple times a week. The lazy Saturday afternoon bingeing on Netflix movies slowly turns into night after night in front of the TV. Or maybe it's the addictive new app that you found that's keeping you from the family walk. 

Remembering the 5-2-1-0 Let's Go! rule is a way to help your family create healthy habits:

  • Rule 5
    Eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits per day. 
  • Rule 2
    Limit recreational screen time to two hours or less per day. 
  • Rule 1
    Get one hour of physical activity or more per day. 
  • Rule 0
    Drink zero sugar-sweetened beverages per day. 

Preventing obesity can take time, and no one can follow every tip every day. But you can take these steps to prevent putting on excess pounds:

  • Become knowledgeable.
    Learn about healthy eating and active living. Creating these habits early will typically carry through your life. 
  • Eat meals together.
    Studies show that having a healthy breakfast reduces tardiness and results in better academic, behavioral and emotional functioning. Clear off the dining table and sit down together. Make the table a "no electronics zone." This promotes mindful eating, which has been linked to eating less later in the day. 
  • Avoid foods with added sugar.
    Over two-thirds of processed foods have added sugar. Keep these foods to a minimum to keep off the excess weight. 
  • Watch your portions.
    Remember that just because the box says that 2 cups is a portion, that may not be the best choice for your body. Keep portion sizes age and body size appropriate. 
  • Lead by example.
    Children will do what you do — not what you say. To promote a healthy lifestyle in your children, show them how to accomplish it by your actions. 

Find out more about the rules of 5-2-1-0 Let's Go! in an upcoming article. 

Tammy Schmit, R.N., is the nurse manager in Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.