Imani 2 smallerOn her birthday one year ago, Imani was excited, because she got to miss school for her annual check-up, with the promise of a birthday meal at IHOP afterward. But this year, the fourth grader received some news from her doctor: She was at risk for developing diabetes.

“I was scared,” Imani said, recalling how her grandmother had passed away just a few months prior and how she heard you could faint or have other major problems with diabetes.

The health care clinic provided Imani with a packet of information about 5-2-1-0, a message that stayed so clearly with Imani that she can repeat what each of the numbers means: eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, spend two hours or less on screen time, exercise at least one hour, and consume zero sugary drinks. It’s a health message United Way of Central Iowa has been sharing throughout central Iowa, working with partners to promote these daily habits in schools, child care centers, and health care clinics.

New habits

Imani came back to the after-school program at Children and Families Urban Movement (CFUM) the day of her birthday and asked for fruit for a snack. When the staff served dessert, she gave it to another classmate.

Topics: Health & Well-Being

Sarah Welch

Written by Sarah Welch

Sarah Welch is the former Strategic Communications Officer at United Way of Central Iowa.