What every community can do: programs and the 5-2-1-0 rule

Communities have a responsibility to promote childhood healthy weights. There are many programs that promote physical activity, healthy eating and support families in leading healthy lifestyles.

5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day

Fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients that a child’s body needs and they should be taking the place of high calorie food from a child’s daily food menu. According to the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, children who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day are significantly less likely to leave the healthy weight trajectory than children who eat less than 3 servings per day. Additional evidence supports the linkage between high fruit and vegetable consumption and decreased cancers, diabetes and heart disease rates. Find out about the following healthy eating programs:

  • Farm to School Salad Bar: Children consume 30% of their daily calories at school. So an important step is improving access to locally-grown, culturally-appropriate foods in schools. The Public Health Association of BC is piloting a Farm to School Salad Bar initiative in twelve schools – in the North and Interior – where access to such foods can be limited. A central focus is to build relationships between schools and local farms. Parents, students, and school staff prepare, serve and eat fresh, local produce. Children benefit because fresh veggies and fruit are readily available at school and they learn about the local food system, nutrition and health.e serves snack and/or lunch to students, serve fruit and vegetables at each mealtime.
  • Food Skills for Families: Cooking healthy food that is tasty and appealing to our families is not always easy. Adding to the challenge is the fact that some families have limited incomes or do not even have basic information about where to start. Drawing on the strengths of two existing programs – Cooking Fun for Families and Cooking for Your Life! – the Canadian Diabetes Association is developing a new food skills program geared to the needs of vulnerable families. The program will build skills necessary for choosing and preparing healthy foods. New programming, promotion, venues and training for community-based facilitators ensure the program reaches those who need it most.
  • Healthy Beverages at School, Work and Play: Schools receive customized support from Dietitians of Canada as they implement provincial school guidelines for food and beverage sales. The BC Recreation and Parks Association, along with the Union of BC Municipalities, is ensuring local government buildings and recreation facilities also receive the support they need to make vital changes to their food and beverage selections.

LIVE 5-2-1-0!


fruits or vegetable or more per day.

hours of screen time or less per day

hour of physical activity or more per day

sugar sweetened beverages per day