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5210: The Secret Code to a Healthy Lifestyle

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, which means it’s the perfect time to take stock of your family’s nutrition. Days in the Marine Corps can be long, and sometimes the last thing you want to do after work is exercise or prepare and cook a nutritious meal.  It’s tempting to just order takeout and relax on the couch with your family. That’s why the Department of Defense has devised the 5210 plan to make things simpler for you. 

What is the 5210 plan?

5210 is an easy-to-remember plan that spells out exactly what you need to keep yourself and your family healthy and fit.

What does 5210 stand for?

  • 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day
  • No more than 2 hours of unproductive screen time per day
  • 1 or more  hours of vigorous physical activity per day
  • 0 sweetened beverages

You can implement all these changes at once, or start with one and work your way up to following the full 5210 plan. Here are some simple lifestyle changes to get you started:

  • Serve your children lemon water  or nonfat or 1% milk instead of sweetened beverages 
  • Help your family find activities to enjoy that don’t involve sitting in front of a screen
  • Turn off televisions and put away phones during meals
  • When you only have a few items on your shopping list consider walking or riding your bike to the commissary
  • Vary your fruits and vegetables  - eating a mix of colors will ensure that you consume a variety of nutrients!

For more nutrition tips, visit a Health Promotion expert at your local fitness center.

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