The 9-5-2-1-0 Nutrition Rule

(Mayo Clinic News Network/TNS) -

If your children participate in school sports, you know proper nutrition will help them perform at their best. The same holds true for academics. Mayo Clinic Children’s Center pediatrician Dr. Brian Lynch says healthy, nutritious foods will benefit kids’ academic performance, behavior and overall health. Plus, it will combat childhood obesity. Dr. Lynch and his colleagues encourage families to follow the 9-5-2-1-0 Let’s Go! rule as a guide to good health and nutrition for kids:

• 9: Get nine hours of sleep per night

• 5: Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day

• 2: Limit screen time to two hours per day

• 1: Get one hour of exercise per day

• 0: Drink zero sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and juice.

Dr. Lynch says when it comes to feeding your children, avoid processed foods and foods containing trans fats, saturated fats, sugar and sodium. Instead, opt for more of what he calls “real” foods — fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy.