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Children’s health care needs are different than adults. That’s why our pediatricians not only treat illnesses and
injuries, but work with you to develop healthy habits for your children, from newborns through teenagers.
Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of children’s good health habits. Eating healthy, nutritious foods acts as fuel for
growing bodies, giving children energy and nutrients to stay active and perform well in school and sports. It also
helps combat childhood obesity.
“About one-third of our pediatric patients are overweight or obese,” says Jennifer Brumm, M.D., a pediatrician
at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. “Childhood obesity is not just aesthetic. Being overweight can lead
to a host of physical and mental health problems, including low self-esteem, elevated cholesterol and sleep
Dr. Brumm encourages families to follow the 5-2-1-0
Let’s Go! rule as a guide to good health and nutrition
for kids:

5 – eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables
every day


limit screen time to two hours per day
get one hour of exercise per day
drink zero sugar-sweetened beverages
such as soda and juice

“The key to a healthy weight is making lifestyle
changes that will stick,” she says. “It’s not about
putting a kid on a diet. It’s about the whole family
making changes so everyone is healthier.”
Dr. Brumm 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 “real” foods – fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.

“Children who are
overweight may have low
self-esteem, elevated
cholesterol and sleep
disorders. The key is for
the whole family to make
healthy changes such as
being active and eating
‘real’ foods.”
- Jennifer Brumm, M.D.

Pediatrician, Mayo Clinic
Health System, La Crosse

To make an
with a pediatrician:
Onalaska: 608-392-5002
La Crosse: 608-392-9881
Holmen: 608-526-3351

Dr. Brumm says those are habits all families should
adopt — whether they have pounds to lose or not. “It’s much easier to prevent obesity than to go backward if
your child gains weight,” she says. “These are healthy choices we all should be making.”

157-013 © 2018 Mayo Clinic Health System


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