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DHHS gives ‘Let’s Go’ a thumbs-up for school

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services has recently re-funded the “Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0” program in Aroostook County with Community Educator Katharine Putnam of Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) at the helm.

Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program for children and families that aims to change environments and policies to effect healthful change across Maine.

Putnam began her role this spring, working with with young people in childcare settings, recreation centers, out-of-school programs and youth-focused events by promoting healthy eating and physical activity.

A program of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, “Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0” promotes a daily goal of five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks. Organizers plan to spread the program within Maine schools with “Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Goes to School.”  

“Many schools in Aroostook County have been a part of Let’s Go! and are doing amazing things,” said Putnam. “The program has helped schools add gardens, increase physical activity in the classroom and change school menus to include fun, healthy choices. These changes make a well-rounded environment for our children to learn and grow.”

Let’s Go!’s top five strategies are as follows:

  1. Provide healthy choices for snacks and celebrations; limit unhealthy choices.
  2. Provide water and low fat milk; limit or eliminate sugary beverages.
  3. Provide non-food rewards.
  4. Provide opportunities for children to get physical activity every day.
  5. Limit recreational screen time.

For more information about Let’s Go! in schools or any youth-serving program, contact Putnam at 554-4110 or kputnam@acap-me.org.

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