For Kids and Teens

Taking the first steps to becoming healthier? Or looking to improve what you’re already doing? You’ve come to the right place!

What would your doctor say? 

Remember that you can talk about this at any time with your doctor, even if he or she does not bring the topic up at your routine visits. Simply mention that you would like to talk about ways to lose weight/eat healthier/get more exercise and your doctor will help you set goals to get there.

When asked about advice for ways to get healthier, Dr. Curi, from Torrington, CT, says that it depends. First he figures out your goal (Are you playing football and trying to gain weight in a healthy way? Are you a runner trying to lose weight? Is your motivation simply that you want to lose or gain weight for better health?) Regardless of your motive, Dr. Curi recommends the 5-2-1-0 message with an emphasis on avoiding drinks with calories and eating plants and protein at every meal. But what is 5-2-1-0?

5210 BOX

If you follow this message everyday, it’s almost difficult not to get healthier!

Healthy Eating:

  • Sources of protein (not just meat!)
  • How much food should I eat? That depends on your height, weight, and how active you are everyday. You can enter this information by clicking on the link.
  • Tips for eating smaller portions. This is a simple way to get healthier. Try eating slower and just until you are no longer hungry, not until you are completely full. You will find that you will feel satisfied after a few minutes and will not need to eat more. Also, try eating off a smaller plate, which is an easy way to help you eat less.
    • What is one portion? It is roughly the size of the palm of your hand!


 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

  • Did you know? Sometimes it takes us (adults too!) 7-15 times of trying something before we like it. That vegetable you don’t like? Keep trying it and you might even be surprised to find it become your favorite some day.
  • Seasonal guide to fruits and vegetables in New England. Fruits and vegetables taste best when they are fresh and in season, so get all the variety while you can! Check our your local farmers’ markets and community or school gardens.
  • Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day: try it, mix it, slice it! For ideas, click the link!


Hours or Less of Screen Time (TV/Computer/Video Games/Phones & Tablets)

  • Why do I need to reduce screen time? Too much screen time can make you sad, angry, lonely, restless, or overweight, and prevents you from doing fun physical activities that keep you healthy! Screen time is also linked to lower grades and more snack and soda consumption.
  •  Fun alternatives to screen time: Check out this list of activities and then go try some!


Hour or More of Physical Activity 

  • Physical Activity Ideas: Are you getting the different types of physical activity: Moderate (getting your heart to beat faster), Vigorous (really getting that heart going and starting to sweat), Muscle-Strengthening, and Bone-Strengthening? Check out the list and try out the different activities!


Sugary Drinks, More Water and Milk

  • Sugar 101: why we crave sugar, how it is so addicting, and how to decrease your daily intake.


More Resources: