5-2-1-0 in the classroom

By Lauren Kollauf on Monday, September 17, 2018

How does your school wellness policy measure up?

The beginning of the academic year is a good time for schools to review their wellness policy or gather their wellness committee to consider areas of improvement.

According to federal law, schools are required to have a wellness policy that "guides efforts to establish an environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn." 

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! helps keep kids healthy by focusing on the importance of good habits. Focusing a school wellness policy on increasing 5-2-1-0 habits can help schools make the healthy choice the easy choice for students.


A school wellness policy guides efforts to establish an environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn.

Here are a few recommendations from the 5-2-1-0 Strategies of Success to help incorporate 5-2-1-0 into your school and classroom wellness policies:

Encourage healthy celebrations and snacks.

It may be hard to envision a classroom party with sugary treats, but it can still be fun and festive with healthy snacks like fruit kabobs, granola bars or veggies with dip. Check out more resources on Healthy Classroom Celebrations.

RELATED: Become a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site

Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks.

Make cold, fresh water available to your students as often as possible. You can jazz it up by adding fresh fruit wedges to water for some natural flavor or try mixing seltzer with a splash of juice for special occasions instead of sugary juice drinks or soda.

MORE RESOURCES: 5-2-1-0 Action Guide for Schools

Make the switch to healthy rewards.

Using food as a reward can have negative consequences. Reward students in other ways, such as special recognition or privileges. Here is an example of a "Rewards Menu" at Van Allen Elementary in Chariton, provided by the Iowa Department of Education: 

Van Allen

Provide opportunities to get physical activity every day.

Even outside of recess or PE class, teachers can incorporate movement into their classroom with "brain breaks" or online resources like GoNoodle. Reward students with extra physical activity rather than taking it away as punishment.

ATTEND: 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit on October 22

Have more fun with less screen time.

The more time children engage with screens, the harder time they have turning them off. Instead of entertaining kids with TVs and iPads, provide alternate activities like indoor and outdoor play, reading, crafts and more. The options are endless! 

Want to learn more?


5210Healthy Choices Count! is a health-focused movement for kids that’s under the nationally recognized program, 5-2-1-0. This proven, scientific method helps keep kids healthy by focusing on the importance of good habits. And it all starts by encouraging them to eat and play the right way. Learn more.