5210 Plan: March 18, 2011

5210. Four simple numbers that could be life-changing. "We do a lot of talking about the 5,2,1,0," admits Dr. Angela D'Alessandro, a pediatrician on The Children's Hospital medical staff.

She reveals the meaning behind the numbers. "Five fruits and vegetables a day. Less than two hours of screentime a day. One hour of physical activity a day, doesn't have to be consecutive, and zero sugary beverages like sweet tea, cola."

March is National Nutrition Month and with childhood obesity still a problem in our community, she is encouraging parents to adopt the 5210 rule. She says start small and make it fun. "Pick something easy. Pick an achievable goal and go from there. Whether it be planting a garden, whether it be a walking scavenger hunt through the neighborhood, if you have a toddler, a trip through produce pick a rainbow of colors and we'll find a vegetable for every color of the rainbow. Make it fun and creative. Make it attainable. Make it a family goal."

The word 'family' is key in the 5210 plan. "You can't take the cookies and put them on the top shelf so Bobby can't reach them. That's just not fair. Kids don't understand that. They think they're being punished. So, the whole family has to make that change and that's what we push for."