You may have heard about The 95210 Challenge. You may even know what it means. But did you know that it could change your life and the lives of your children?
At Kids Plus, we’ve expanded our Childhood Weight Management Program for all of our patients. 1 in every 3 children in the United States is overweight, and 2/3 of normal-weight children become overweight or obese as adults, and we want to help change this!
So… how do we start? As I’m sure many of you know, you have to start slowly and change only a few things at a time; otherwise, you can become frustrated pretty quickly. I know this for a fact, because I’ve failed miserably with this in my own life! Changes must be small steps; we first need to conquer mole hills, not mountains. The steps should be easy to follow and not burdensome. The goal of it all is to teach our children and families as much as we can about what’s healthy.
One easy start is the 9-5-2-1-0 Challenge. Read about it below, and see if you can start it in your house…!
Get at least 9 hours of sleep every night! Getting enough sleep every night has been proven to have many benefits, including better health, stronger immunity, better weight control, and more energy (for exercise, and for fun too!)!
Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily! How many times are we eating on the go and skipping these important foods? Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and minerals to help support growth and development and strengthen our immune system to help fight off infections. So it’s a win-win situation more fruits and veggies to replace the sugar and snacks, which help control weight and fight off infection!
No more than two hours (and preferably fewer) of screen time per DAY. I know for some of us this may be hard to enforce at home. Le’ts face it: we all, at times, rely on those screens to give us a few moments of peace and quiet. But we need to consider when our kids are staring at the screen are they being creative, are they solving problems, are they thinking about the context, are they asking questions? We need a healthy mind and body, and by reading or talking with our children and interacting with them, everyone is much better off. Also did you ever notice that anytime they tend to sit in front of a screen they want to snack? Think of other activities in your home that you can participate in with you kids rather than the screen. Read a book together, play a game, talk about the day. You will be amazed at where this may take you.
At least 1 hour of physical activity per DAY. This can be any kind of activity. It does not have to be an organized sport or require going somewhere and paying money to be active. How about riding a bike, of course with a helmet on, playing tag outside, talking a walk with the dog. Not only does physical activity help to burn off calories but it helps to reduce stress, improve out cardiovascular health and help sleep better at night. Again, a win -win situation.
Remove all sugary drinks from the diet, better yet from your home. Yes, we all agree the sugary drinks taste great. However, do they really quench your thirst, are they adding a significant benefit to you diet? NO, but what they are adding are a lot of unwanted calories. Did you realize that 1 can of pop contains roughly 150 calories. If you have 1 can of regular pop per day for a year that is approximately 54,750 calories from pop alone, which converts to roughly 13 pounds. Encourage water, milk and 100% juice as alternatives.
That’s it. Five easy steps to get you started toward better health and wellness..
Do you think these are changes you can make? I urge all of our families out there to try this challenge for at least a week, and see what happens!
Good luck! And let us know how you do!
Dr. Alicia Hartung, a shareholder in the practice, has been a Kids Plus Doc since 2001. She’s the Team Leader for Kids Plus’ participation in the AAP’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative (COPI), and in our own Kids + Fit program.