New Year’s Resolution Made Easy

It’s that time of year when we make our resolutions for the new year:  save more money, volunteer more, practice gratitude, and everyone’s perennial favorite: get healthier. This year, make the commitment to to adopt 5-2-1-0 into your days. It’s simple, it’s easy to remember, and your whole family can get on board. 

Our friends at Let’s Go! Maine created a simple slogan to help you remember four ways to be healthy every day: 5-2-1-0. These research-proven recommendations come from experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5-2-1-0 strip:  5 fruits or vegetables, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour of physical activity, and 0 sugar-sweetened beverages

Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables

When you think about eating healthy, focus on increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat. This strategy is more helpful—and more likely to become a lifelong habit—than trying to completely cut out other foods that you love. 

A banana at breakfast, an apple at lunch, tomato on your sandwich, and a salad or steamed vegetable with dinner, and you’ve met your goal.  Look for ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into other foods that you love: make a smoothie, experiment with different dips, add vegetables to scrambled eggs, or try vegetable soups hot or cold. 

A young girl holds a glass while a fruit smoothie is poured in

Find more ideas in our Resource Hub50 Ways to Add Fruits and Vegetables

Limit recreational screen time to 2 hours or less

Step away from digital devices such as TVs, computers, tablets, and phones. Excessive screen time has been linked to weight gain, increased risk for chronic disease, poor sleep, and difficulty concentrating.  Watch for the technology traps in your everyday habits and reduce the temptation: turn off televisions and other devices during dinner, don’t place electronics in bedrooms, set a timer for an appropriate amount of screen time and do something else when time is up.

Replace sedentary screen time with physical activity, and you’ll see even more health benefits. Ask everyone in the family to unplug and take a walk together. Play games like Freeze Tag or Red Light/Green Light with kids. Or simply turn on some music and dance. Or use your screens to get your hour of physical activity.  You can play a dance party game on your game console or move along with the videos on GoNoodle.  There are loads of physical activity videos on YouTube as well – everything from dances to yoga to pilates to crossfit.  

Statistic:  a preschooler's risk for obesity increases by 6 % for every hour of TV watched per day.

Too much screen time? Get the facts, plus tips for cutting back.

Get at least 1 hour of physical activity

As you might guess from the suggestions above, you don’t need fancy equipment or gym memberships to be physically active. You don’t even need to get your hour of activity all at once; short bursts of physical activity are just as effective as one long exercise session.

A mom and her son are dancing in the living room

More strategies for success: 10 Tips for Becoming More Active as a Family

Drink 0 sugary beverages, more water

Adults and children consume about 400 calories per day in beverages alone. Replacing sugary beverages like soda and fruit juice with water can substantially reduce your calorie intake. 

Jars of water infused with different fuits

Experiment with infused water recipes by adding sliced fruits and herbs to a pitcher of water. If you can’t resist ordering your favorite soda when dining out, enjoy one glass, then ask for water on the second round.  

Do you know how much sugar you (and your kids) drink? Get the scoop…and additional tips for cutting back.