Thoughtful Parenting: Make the healthy choice the easy choice

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Let's Go! 5-2-1-0

■ 5 or more fruits and vegetables

■ 2 hours or less recreational screen time

■ 1 hour or more of physical activity

■ 0 sugary drinks

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 is intended to help families improve healthy eating habits and be more physically active.

2013 is the year to set one healthy eating goal for you and your family because:

■ 12.8 percent of adults in Routt County are obese and 38.4 percent are overweight, totaling 51.2 percent, which is not that far from the Colorado rate of 58 percent.

■ Our children are getting heavier: From 2009 to 2011, overweight and obesity rates increased 5 percent.

■ More than 48 percent of adults and 70 percent of children in Routt County are eating 1 to 1 1/2 cups or less of fruits and vegetables each day. The recommended number of cups per day is five.

■ More than 80 percent of our children are drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage each day. The recommended amount of sugar per day for children is 4 to 6 teaspoons or 16 to 24 grams, for men is 9 teaspoons or 36 grams and for women is 6 teaspoons or 24 grams.

Healthy choices are easy

■ Increase the amount of fruit and vegetable servings you serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner by one cup each day.

■ Decrease the number of sugar-sweetened beverages you provide for your family by one each day.

■ Increase the amount of water you encourage your family to drink by one glass each day.

■ Decrease the teaspoons of sugar you provide for your family by one each day.

■ Add one fruit or vegetable as an evening snack instead of other food options.

A 2012 success story

A family chose to no longer purchase sugar-sweetened beverages. They now drink only milk and water, and this includes the choices they make when they have drinks outside of the home.

Barb Parnell is a community coordinator for LiveWell Northwest Colorado. She can be reached at 970-819-4110 or livewellbparnell@gmail.com. LiveWell Northwest Colorado partners with First Impressions of Routt County to ensure young children have access to healthy food and health education materials.

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