LIVE 5-2-1-0: Making Healthy Choices Easier for Kids

PlanH Video: How Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Hope are Making Healthy Choices Easier for Kids from BC Healthy Communities Society.

This short video by PlanH showcases the work being done through the SCOPE project in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope around ensuring that all children have a chance to form healthy habits early in life. These three communities are using a community-based participatory approach and common consistent messaging for kids to make the healthy choice the easier choice around healthy eating and physical activity.

Research has shown that it takes a whole-systems, community-based, participatory approach to create conditions for healthier community environments for children and families. Community partners in all three cities have engaged around the Live 5-2-1-0 initiative created by the SCOPE project. Live 5-2-1-0 promotes a simple, easy to remember health message for kids and families: each day kids should aim to get at least five servings of vegetables and fruits, minimal screen time, at least one hour of active play, and zero sugary drinks.

The Live 5-2-1-0 message is shared in newspaper inserts, school day planners, community leisure guides, recreation centres, daycares, and many other places. Kids now recognize the Live 5-2-1-0 message and set their own goals for decreasing screen time, increasing physical activity and asking for healthier food and drink choices at school and home. Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope have become leaders in creating healthy communities for children, with the hope that they, in turn, will pass their knowledge down to future generations.

The 5-2-1-0 poster is simple and engaging.  It highlights the four requirements to build a baseline for healthy habits:

  • 5:  Enjoy FIVE or more vegetables & fruits every day
  • 2:  Power down – no more than TWO hours of screen time a day
  • 1:  Play actively at least ONE hour each day
  • 0:  Choose healthy – ZERO sugar-sweetened drinks

The Live 5-2-1-0 message is simple, clear and easy for kids to learn.  It is evidence-based, touches on all key behaviours that most physical and healthy-eating programs promote, and is shareable by all partners in every sector of a community.  The recommendations originate from the Childhood Obesity: Assessment, Prevention and Treatment Expert Committee and are endorsed by the Canadian Pediatric Society.