One in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. Obesity puts children at risk for health problems that were once only seen in adults, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The good news is that these problems are preventable. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, First 5 San Diego encourages you to make healthy choices together as a family.

The County of San Diego is fortunate to have the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative (SDCOI). The SDCOI provides resources to help families overcome obstacles that could lead to childhood obesity, such as a roadmap with ways to help families and children stay active and healthy. #5210EveryDay! is an initiative created to help remind families of daily choices they can make to help foster a healthy lifestyle.

5 or more servings of fruits & vegetables
2 hours or less of recreational screen time
*(0 hours of screen time for children under 2)
1 hour or more of physical activity
0 sugary beverages, drink more water

There are many child and family-friendly activities that can be practiced as part of a regular family routine. Using the 5210 model, families can focus first on their eating habits. First 5 San Diego often distributes child friendly food preparation items to little ones so they can become involved and aware of what happens in the kitchen at an early age. Items range from healthy recipe cards, Potter the Otter Cookbooks, Potter the Otter Picnic Day Books, Potter the Otter Market Adventure Books, water bottles, MyPlate portion plates and much more.

Here are some tips to keep your family healthy:

Make healthy meals: Turning family meal time into something fun can lead children onto a path full of healthy food choices. Encourage your child to eat healthy by getting him or her involved with the process. Get your child involved with planning the meals, picking some of the foods, helping prepare or wash the veggies, mixing or stirring with supervision, and setting the table. MyPlate is an excellent resource which helps parents and children understand the importance of eating well-rounded meals. Well-rounded means include fruits, grains, vegetables, protein and water.

Limit Screen Time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day. Instead, families should strongly encourage activities such as family talk time, reading and signing. #Talk.Read.Sing. You can play board games, act out charades, sing karaoke, play hide and go seek, play tag, play memory games, do puzzles, or color.

Get Active: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride or play basketball at the park. There are so many family friendly activities going on throughout San Diego County. Check out First 5 San Diego’s events calendar and our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for local happenings!

Taking small steps together as a family can greatly increase the probability that your child stays at a healthy weight and avoids the health problems that accompany childhood obesity.