Stay healthy with 5-2-1-0!

This catchy string of numbers guides healthy eating and activity habits.  Maine launched the 5-2-1-0 idea as part of their Let’s Go! state-wide campaign.  With the growing pediatric obesity rate, the campaign quickly grew into a national favorite, adopted by many schools, daycare centers & physician offices. Have you spotted these numbers in your child’s pediatrician’s office or the school’s cafeteria?

What do these numbers mean?

5 – Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day

2 – No more than 2 hours of screen time a day

1 – Be active for 1 hour every day

0 –   Zero sugary drinks; drink skim or low fat milk and more water

How can we apply 5-2-1-0 in our homes?

5 – Set out a bowl or platter of fresh fruit and veggies (plain or with low fat dip) for snacking; start the day with a fruit and/or vegetable at breakfast; have fruit and 1-2 vegetables for lunch and dinner

2 – Reinforce structure around the TV and electronics.  Encourage play time outside and when inside, board games and reading

1 – Break up the hour: consider 3-20 minute fun activities during the day; include their gym class or recess time; check out ways to keep kids active in the winter

0 – Encourage water between meals; flavor water with sugar free packets, 100% fruit juice or lemon/orange slice; reduce to half sugary beverage intake as a first step when transitioning to zero

5-2-1-0 creates awareness and is simple to understand and apply to our daily lives. It may be a fun guide, too, in keeping your family’s health status in check!

Want more? Check out Get UP! Montgomery County at

  • Comment
  • Rate this article
    An error occurred!

eGrowing Together

is a monthly e-newsletter of child health, safety and parenting tips from the pediatric experts at Dayton Children's.

Subscribe to the blog

We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to