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Keep Kids Healthy With 5-2-1

Looking for ways to keep your kids healthy? Follow these numbers for a fun and healthy season:

servings of fruit and vegetables a day
Tip: Keep cut fruit available for quick snacks.

hours maximum of screen time
Tip: Set up screen-free zones in your house, such as the dining room and bedrooms.

hour of physical activity
Tip: Try the suggestions below for keeping your child active

Almost none
Sugary drinks, which can lead to dental cavities and weight gain
Tip: Offer water and low-fat milk instead.

Ideas for keeping your kids active

  1. Go for a night hike.
    Plain old walking is more fun in the dark, and you might spot some nocturnal creatures. Don’t forget a flashlight! Wear reflective clothing and stay on the sidewalk if you’re near traffic.
  2. Tour a bike path.
    We’re lucky to have a whole network of bike paths in Rhode Island.
  3. Take a photo walk.
    Pick up an inexpensive digital camera and find a scenic spot, then have kids look for interesting things to photograph. Later, they can make a fun photo album with their shots.
  4. Build a fort.
    Kids can turn anything into a fort—a large packing box, a low-hanging tree, a blanket draped over patio furniture. Constructing the fort is just as much fun as playing in it.
  5. Pick your own produce.
    Head to a local farm where you can do the picking. Kids love to help—and eat their healthy, fresh harvest, too. Find local pick-your-own farms on the Farm Fresh Rhode Island website.
  6. Visit an Audubon center.
    They’re great places to get outside and learn about nature. They have walking trails, and many offer small educational exhibits. Check the Audubon Society of RI for special kids’ programs and guided tours.
  7. Play backyard games.
    Badminton, croquet, baseball, ring toss—all the traditional favorites are fun no matter what your skill level is.
  8. Hold a nature scavenger hunt.
    Make a list of items to find, such as leaves, rocks, pinecones, items of a specific color, etc. Then send kids off to find them in the yard, the beach, or wherever you are.
  9. Play sidewalk games.
    You only need a few inexpensive items and a small patch of sidewalk or driveway for hopscotch, hula hoop, or jump rope.
  10. Make an obstacle course.
    Lay out a few items to run or jump over, under, or through. It can be items you have on hand, such as hula hoops to jump in, blocks to run around, and a broom placed over two chairs to crawl under. See who can get through the fastest.