Taking pride in the nutritional values of a youth’s development is something Richmond County Family YMCA program director Ron Alston takes seriously. Every Thursday at the Richmond County Intermediate School, Alston and two YMCA counselors take part in the Nationally acclaimed YMCA 5210 program.
“Kids will do what is role modeled in front of them,” Alston said. “No one is going to be enthused about eating carrots, unless they really like carrots. I try to role model my eating habit, and tie it in with coolness. Kids like cool stuff.”
The program stands for the following lifestyle principles: Five servings of fruits, or vegetables a day will provide a child’s body the nutrition needed to live a healthy life.
Limit each child to two hours or less of screen time. The child will be encouraged to sit less and move more. While smart phones, television, and computers are a valuable part of our everyday lives, too much screen time can lead to an unhealthy life.
Children should have one or more hours of physical activity each day. Not only does physical movement limit stress, but it improves healthy bone development, sleep improvement and stronger muscles.
Zero tolerance for sugary drinks, such as fruit punch, sodas, sweetened ice tea and energy drinks contain a lot of sugar. They also have the propensity of leading to unhealthy weight gain.
“Zero sugary drinks is the hardest one, because people are going to drink juices,” Alston said. “The education of choosing water is something we try to push for as well.”