Categories: Paediatrics

Healthy Habit 5 – 2 – 1 – 0 The Scientific Explanation

5 or more fruits and vegetables

  • Supports growth, development and immunity
  • Most fruits and veggies are low in calories and fats, making them a healthy choice any time
  • Helps prevent excess weight gain
  • Fruits and veggies of different colours have different nutrients – Make a rainbow of colours
  • Lowers chronic diseases like heart diseases, strokes, high blood pressure and possibly diabetes and some cancers

2 hours or less of recreational screen time

  • Excess screen time is associated with an increased prevalence of overweight and obesity, lower reading scores and attention problems
  • Recommended Screen Times:

Children < 2 hours Ages 3 – 5: < 1 hour < 2 years: No screen time

  • TV and computers should be kept out of the child’s bedroom
  • Screen time reduces activity, increases food intake, increases exposure to inappropriate food advertisements and reduces family time

1 hour or more of physical activity

  • Regular exercise is essential for maintaining weight and preventing disease
  • Children raised in families with active lifestyles are more likely to stay active
  • Physical activity makes you energetic and makes you feel better
  • Increased activity is enjoyable, makes children health-conscious and improves lifestyle

0 sugary drinks and more water

  • Sweetened soft drinks: They are leading causes of health problems including obesity
  • Water: Drink unlimited and make sure the urine is colourless
  • Milk: 2 – 3 cups a day. Underage 2: Whole milk. Overage 2: Low fat or reduced-fat milk

Healthy Habits

Sleep requirements in children

  • Inadequate sleep physical energy, school performance and impacts health
  • Ages 1 -2: Average 11 – 14 hours (Range 9 – 16 hours)
  • Ages 3 – 5: Average 10 – 13 hours (Range 8 – 14 hours)
  • Ages 6 – 13: Average 9 – 11 hours (Range 7 – 12 hours)

Healthy family habits improve physical and emotional health

  • Have a good breakfast
  • Eat out frequently
  • Eat together as a family
  • Exercise and be active together as a family

Dr. Mahesh Balsekar | Senior Consultant – Paediatrics | SRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai

Narayana Health

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