Healthy Habits Program
Helping children and families in Winter Haven, Florida, establish healthy habits is a priority at Pediatric Partners of Winter Haven. It’s no secret that obesity is a major contributing risk factor to the diagnosis of life-threatening, chronic diseases. In fact, the major causes of death for residents in Polk County are such chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. According to the Florida Department of Health, over half of adults and nearly 30% of middle and high school students are overweight or obese in Polk County. From this, we recognize that childhood obesity, although too prevalent, is preventable; and if obesity is preventable, than so are the chronic diseases claiming too many lives in Polk County, Florida.
Our Healthy Habits program is driven by our desire to help change the facts on childhood obesity. To accomplish this, we’re partnering with the Florida Department of Health to help spread awareness of the 5-2-1-0 campaign. Promoting healthy habits at home starts with helping our little patients (and their families) to grow up healthier by offering healthy habits medical advice at each pediatric appointment.
What We Do
Our physicians work closely with the families of patients whose BMI falls into the “obese” category. If a child’s BMI does fall into this category, our physicians will walk the patient and parents/guardians through the Healthy Habits program to help them learn, track and develop healthy eating and active lifestyle habits via the 5-2-1-0 goal points. Although our focus is on the kids we treat at Pediatric Partners, our hope is to also encourage parents to adopt and support healthier habits within their families at home as well.
The road to developing and changing habits is not an easy one. But we’re here to help. Throughout the program, our physicians will measure and track the child’s progress at each appointment. During this time, our physicians can answer questions/concerns about the program and provide guidance and solutions to potential roadblocks that can happen along the way.
What is 5-2-1-0?
5-2-1-0 promotes four primary behaviors that reduce their risk of childhood to obesity if adhered to. These four behaviors should be used daily to help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight and establish healthy habits that will help keep them healthy throughout their childhood and set the foundation of their health as they progress into adulthood.
• Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables
• Have 2 hours or less of recreational screen time
• Have at least 1 hour of physical activity
• Consume 0 sugary drinks
Why 5 Fruits and Vegetables
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins and minerals that support growth, development and immune function. Children who are served more fruits and veggies than anything else are more likely to eat them. Similarly, children that see their family members eating fruits and veggies, will eat more themselves!
Fresh, Frozen or Canned fruits and vegetables are all healthy options. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can also be healthy and affordable. They are picked at the peak of the season and are immediately canned or frozen, preserving their nutritional value. Canned and frozen items are easy to store and are already washed and cut to save you time. Choose canned or frozen fruits and veggies that have “no salt added” and ” no sugar added”. Also, if your buying canned fruits, choose those that are packed in their own natural juice and not in a sugary syrup.
Why 2 Hours or Less of Screen Time
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children watch an average of 5–6 hours of television a day. Watching too much television is associated with an increased incidence of obesity as well as lower reading scores and greater incidence of attention problems! It can also cause anxiety and sleep loss, which can greatly impact a child’s performance at school as well as an adult’s performance in the workplace.
By limiting screen time to 2 hours or less you’re encouraging your family to have healthy habits by sitting less and moving more! Screen time includes any time spent watching television, being on the computer or tablet and time spent playing video games. The aim is to replace the time your family usually spends in front of a screen with physical activities. Or, you can add a physical activity for every hour of screen time.
Since children often model the behaviors of their parents; parents can set a good example with their own healthy habits involving their screen time. Do this by planning screen time in advance and setting goals such as 15 minutes of activity for every hour of screen time.
Why At Least 1 Hour of Activity
Where most adults only need 30 minutes, children need at least an hour or more of physical activity every day to help them stay healthy. Children that are raised in active lifestyle families are more likely to remain active as adults than those raised in families with sedentary lifestyles. As such, it’s important to set an example for your kids with your own activity goals and habits. Not to mention, children who are more physically active have a better chance of higher academic performance. Physical activity also helps to decrease stress, improve sleep and increase energy.
Why Consume 0 sugary drinks
Children and adults over age 9 should be drinking at least 7-10 cups of water every day. Children ages 4-8 years should drink 4-5 cups of water every day and children 3 and under should drink 2-3 cups every day. The following sugary beverages should be avoided, but can easily be substituted with healthier ingredients and water!
- Juice and Fruit-flavored Drinks – Even 100% juice such as apple juice, grape juice, and orange juice can have as much sugar as a soda! This sugar can cause tooth decay, sleep problems and weight gain. “Fruit-flavored” drinks are sweetened with sugar and contain little to no fruit juice at all. Real fruit provides the nutrients needed and has fiber!
- Sports Drinks are flavored beverages that usually contain sugar, and electrolytes (like sodium, potassium, and calcium). Most people do not need sports drinks. They are recommended only when you have been doing continuous, intense physical activity for an hour or longer.
- Energy Drinks are not the same as sports drinks and are NEVER recommended for children and adolescents. Energy drinks are flavored drinks that usually contain stimulants (like caffeine), sugar, added vitamins or minerals, and maybe even protein. Energy drinks may cause increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, trouble sleeping, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, upset stomach, and caffeine toxicity.
Be a role model for your kids and set healthy habits goals to help you drink more water – it will not only help you, but help them be healthy too! If water seems too boring, try jazzing it up with fresh fruit.