Thoughtful Parenting: Take the 5-2-1-0 challenge

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At a glance

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0

■ 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables

■ 2 or fewer hours of recreational screen time

■ 1 or more hours of physical activity

■ 0 sugary drinks

Online: www.letsgo.org

Source: LiveWell Northwest Colorado

— During October, LiveWell Northwest Colorado is challenging Routt County to 5-2-1-0, a simple way to a healthier lifestyle by eating at least five fruits and vegetables, spending less than two hours in front of a screen, getting one hour of physical activity and consuming zero sugary drinks daily.

We want to spread the 5-2-1-0 message across Routt County, and that means involving schools, workplaces, homes, the community and families like you.

Research supports that home food behaviors and parent food consumption were significant in determining a child’s healthy eating behaviors in rural communities. The researchers suggest that strategies to place healthier food in the home should be combined with interventions directed at parents’ and families’ eating behaviors. What better way to do that than to challenge all of us to model healthy eating and active living behaviors in our homes and with others in our community?

A common question I get is, "Why Routt County? Aren’t we all healthy here?" I respond with the data. Obesity is an increasing problem and is a growing concern for children and adults in the state of Colorado and even in Routt County.

• About 51 percent of the Routt County adults are overweight or obese.

• The number of K-12 students who are obese or overweight has increased from 16.4 percent to 19.4 percent from 2009 to 2012.

• 82 percent of youths and 71 percent of adults drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverage each day.

• 72 percent of youths and 53 percent of adults are eating three or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

We have some healthy behavior change opportunities to address in our county.

Join the free Routt County challenge by picking up a packet that includes a 5-2-1-0 refrigerator magnet, information sheet and challenge calendar to track your family’s effort daily for the month of October. When the month is finished, turn in your calendars and enter a raffle to win a prize.

For more information about how to participate and where to pick up challenge packets, visit LiveWell’s Facebook page at LiveWellNWCO or contact Barb Parnell, LiveWell Northwest Colorado community coordinator, at livewellbparnell@gmail.com.

Barb Parnell is the LiveWell Northwest Colorado community coordinator. She can be reached at bparnell@nwcovna.org. LiveWell Northwest Colorado partners with First Impressions of Routt County to ensure all young children have access to healthy food and health education materials.

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