Your health: Practice the 10-5-2-1-0 rule every day for your children

Jill Whisler
Special to the Sun
Wash and chop veggies so they are ready to grab and eat. Most people prefer crunchy foods to mushy ones.
Getty Images / iStockphoto |

Tame the TV and computer

Here are seven ways to set limits and provide alternatives for your children:

Set some basic rules, such as no TV or computer before homework or chores are done.

Do not watch TV during mealtime.

Use a timer. When the bell rings, it’s time to turn off the TV.

Eliminate TV time during the week.

Set family guidelines for age-appropriate shows.

Make a list of fun activities to do instead of being in front of a screen.

Keep books, magazines, and board games in the family room.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The B-FIT theme for May is the recommendation of 10-5-2-1-0 every day for better health for our kids.

This means 10 hours of sleep or more, five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, two hours or less recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity — and zero sugary drinks.

Ten hours of sleep or more

Research shows that an early bedtime (between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. works best for babies and kids through school age) and trying no food two hours before bed with no screen time one hour before —such as TVs, tablets, and the like—will lead to better sleep.

Five fruits and vegetables

Try it! Try the three bite rule. Offer new fruits and veggies different ways and try at least three bites each time — it can take seven to 10 tries before you like a new food. Also, many fruits and veggies taste great with a dip or dressing. Or, make a fruit smoothie with low fat yogurt.

Mix it! Add them to foods you already make, like pasta, soups, casseroles, pizza, rice, etc. Add fruit to your cereal, pancakes, or other breakfast foods. And, can be a great role model for your family and have at least one veggie at every meal.

Slice it! Wash and chop veggies and fruits so they are ready to grab and eat. Most people prefer crunchy foods to mushy ones. Enjoy them fresh or lightly steamed.

Two hours of screen time or less

Limit recreational TV or computer use to two hours or less. Screen time includes TV, computer, video games, etc. Too much TV has been linked to lower reading scores and attention problems.

Healthy Screen Time Means the following: No TV/computer in the room where the child sleeps, no TV/computer under the age of two, one hour of educational TV/computer time between ages two and five, and after the age of five — two hours or less per day. Take the challenge of screen free for one week in May!

One hour of moderate physical activity physical activity

Get 20 minutes of it as vigorous physical activity meaning doing activities where you sweat, like running, aerobics, or basketball. Physical activity makes you feel good, makes your heart happy, makes you stronger and makes you flexible. Adults need this too!

Zero sugary drinks

Try water and low fat milk instead of soda and drinks with lots of sugar. Soda has no nutritional value and is high in sugar. Many sodas also contain caffeine, which kids don’t need.

Jill Whisler, MS, RD is a nutritionist with Tahoe Forest Health System’s Wellness Neighborhood, promoting Rethink Healthy. B-FIT (Be Fit in Tahoe) is a program providing wellness to our community. If you are interested in more information, email

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