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Healthy Military Children 5210 Tip Sheets


The Department of Defense strives to support the health and well-being of service members and their families, and 5210 tip sheets are a great way to get children and their families thinking about healthy habits in a new way. The tip sheets target the areas of nutrition, physical activity and screen time with a message that's clear and easy to follow. Each tip sheet encourages children and their families to use the 5210 system of five or more fruits and vegetables a day, two or fewer hours of screen time, one or more hours of physical activity and zero sweetened beverages per day. The tip sheets offer concrete suggestions for implementing the system for those who serve military children and their families such as day care providers, schools, leaders and more.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of Family Policy, Children and Youth, developed in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University. 

Tips at Commissaries

Making good choices when you're at the commissary can set your family up for healthy eating. Check out this tip sheet for a variety of delicious options to serve other than soda, creative ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your family's diet and more.

Tips at Military Dining Facilities

It can be challenging to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you aren't the one buying the groceries, but this tip sheet offers easy ways to incorporate healthy choices at dining facilities, such as filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, grabbing extra fruit to snack on later in the day and making plans to socialize with friends over activities other than eating.

Tips at On-Base Eateries

At certain snack bars, food courts and chain restaurants, it can seem difficult to make healthy choices, but consider giving your patronage to locations that support your healthy lifestyle. This tip sheet provides easy suggestions for families such as opting for apple slices or a salad over chips and different ways to add more activity into your daily life.

Tips for After-School Programs

After-school programs provide a great place to encourage children and youth to develop healthy habits. From serving healthy snacks and drinks to offering screen-free time with many other fun activities to get them moving, this tip sheet provides way to help foster a love for healthy living in children.

Tips at Fitness Centers

To get the most out your workout, it's important to incorporate healthy food choices into any fitness plan. This tip sheet provides great suggestions for high protein workout snacks and drinks, foods full of important vitamins and additional ways to get enough exercise throughout the day.

Tips for Child Development Centers and Child Care Homes

Young children are still learning about making healthy choices, so child development centers and child care homes have a great opportunity to model good habits and teach important lessons. Check out this tip sheet for tips on educating parents about healthy screen time habits at home, exposing children to new foods, preparing kid-friendly healthy snacks and meals, providing activities that foster children's love of movement and the outdoors (rather than screens) and much more.

Tips for Elementary Schools

Because children and youth spend the majority of their day in school, the classroom is a great place to introduce healthy habits. Find tips on making healthy cafeteria food sound more appealing, suggestions for fruit and vegetable-based activities to help meet math and science standards, ideas for educating parents on setting screen time limits and ways to rethink food-related fundraisers and physical education standards.

Tips for Families

With a wide variety of suggestions in this tip sheet, every family can find something to make their household healthier! Find good suggestions for creating healthy meals, setting up activity dates and making screen time less convenient so that healthier choices are easier to make for everyone.

Tips for Healthcare Professionals

Health care centers are a great place to promote a healthy lifestyle. Using the 5210 system, health care professionals can foster healthy families by teaching caregivers how to provide nutritious options, promoting screen-free time to parents, making water freely available to everyone and much more.

Tips for Leaders

With tips designed for leaders, such as creating healthy food environments, educating parents about healthy screen time and creating active, screen-free environments in child care homes and child development centers, this tip sheet can help leaders ensure they are doing their part to make military families healthier.

Tips for Middle and High Schools

Schools are an ideal location to support increased physical activity and healthy eating in children and youth. This tip sheet provides suggestions for nutrition lessons, cafeteria modifications, a review of the physical education curriculum and more.

Tips for the Workplace

Making healthy choices at work can be a challenge for workers, but this tip sheet provides some quick and easy ways to create a healthier workplace for all, including creating a workplace wellness plan, improving vending machine and cafeteria choices, offering walking meetings in place of seated meetings and much more.

Tips for Youth Centers

The 5210 system is a great way for youth centers to foster healthy habits in children and youth. Use this tip sheet to help identify ways to maximize active time, promote water consumption, offer healthy snack options and more.


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