Family Challenge: Less Screen Time, More Apples

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
With the 5210 Y Healthy Hero program, even the busiest of families can discover ways to eat healthier and get active. Now provided year-round at YMCA After School, the 5210 program makes healthy living fun for kids. Each week kids get to learn a new healthy habit, like eating more fruits and veggies, or spending less time in front of a screen. And parents receive at-home activities that turn developing healthy habits into a game kids want to play.


5210 is based on Let’s Go!, a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program. The foundation of the program is simple with an easy-to-remember message:

5 – Eat 5 Or More Fruits & Vegetables

2 – Spend 2 Hours or Less of Recreational Screen Time

1 – 1 Hour of Active Play

0 – Avoid Sugary Drinks - Fuel Your Body with Water & Low-fat Milk



Kids enjoy healthy messaging provided through fun, engaging activities that encourage them to choose healthy habits. And they especially enjoy visits from Healthy Hero himself, who gives out an award once a month and Healthy Hero stickers to kids "caught being healthy.” 
"Our hope is the 5210 Y Healthy Hero program will help kids understand the importance of eating healthy and being active," says Susan Pettengill, YMCA Vice President of Healthy Living. “The Y is committed to helping reduce childhood obesity in our community and we partner with our families to provide them with resources and tools.”


Kids and their families will be challenged each week to develop a healthy habit. The challenge might be less time playing video games or more time eating apples. At the end of the challenge, participants receive a fun family game to play together. 
“We really see 5210 Y Healthy Hero as an extension of the work our YMCAs are already doing to make healthy living more accessible,” says Susan. “5210 is a way to infuse healthy living into every day and makes it easier for families to make healthy choices.”


  • 1/3 of North Carolina youth are considered overweight or obese.
  • More than 60% do not eat the adequate number of servings for daily fruits and vegetables.
  • More than 50% of North Carolina youth spends more than two hours of screen time during a typical day.
  • More than 20% of North Carolina youth do not engage in adequate (60 minutes or more) physical activity on a daily basis. 17% reported NO activity at all throughout the week.
  • More than 55% of North Carolina youth drink sweetened beverages one or more times per day (soda, sweet tea, fruit punch, Kool-aid, sports drinks or fruit drinks).


The YMCA implemented 5210 Y Healthy Hero in 2015 at our After School programs. The YMCA provides helpful information and handouts on our 5210 website pages to help your family get started. Parents can expect to receive 5210 information from their After School program via email and in Rides Out. 

Register now for After School