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5 to Go

At Cleveland Clinic, we want to help children take the right steps toward wellness. After all, roughly one-third of Ohio children, ages 10 to 17, are considered overweight or obese, and many kids aren’t getting the physical fitness they need.

To help curb the growing obesity epidemic in children, we are introducing the 5 to Go!™ program, which offers the students and families in our community an easy countdown of steps for good health. Apart from the usual fruit, veggie and calcium consumption, the countdown also stresses fitness and civility. Steps include limiting children to just two hours of media time (TV, video games, computer) each day and empowering them to get at least one hour of exercise after school. The countdown also encourages children to give four compliments a day to others.

For More Information

Our goal is simple: healthy living, inside and out, for everyone. In addition to 5 to Go!™, Cleveland Clinic also offers other innovative programs for schools to help improve their students’ well-being.

To learn more about how you can incorporate any of these wellness programs into your school, please call 216.445.6547.

At Cleveland Clinic, we care about your health. We’ve dedicated our new 5 to Go!™ Program to you — the students and families in our community.

Our goal is simple: healthy living, inside and out, for everyone. To achieve it, Cleveland Clinic experts will help you count down to wellness.

Get ready. Get set. GO! in good health.

Eating FIVE fruits and veggies a day provides all the necessary vitamins and minerals to help children grow healthy and strong. Cleveland Clinic’s Food is Knowledge program teaches children about healthy eating.

Giving and getting FOUR compliments allows children to develop self-esteem and respect for others.Cleveland Clinic believes that mental health is just as important as physical health for children.

With growing and changing bodies, children need at least THREE sources of calcium to ensure those bodies are strong and healthy. One lesson in Food is Knowledge is devoted entirely to the calcium group.

Limit media time to TWO hours a day. Limiting the amount of media exposure encourages active lifestyles — crucial for children. Time away from screens creates more time for healthy activities as well as time to spend with friends and family

Get at least ONE hour of exercise a day. Children who exercise are not only more physically healthy, but studies show that they do better in school as well. Cleveland Clinic’s Healthy Futures curriculum teaches children the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Consume ZERO sugar-sweetened drinks. To promote healthy living, children should avoid sugared beverages.

Be healthy, inside and out!

Cleveland Clinic knows that healthy eating is important at every stage of life, and childhood is a particularly crucial time to teach good habits that will serve students well throughout their lives. Our world-renowned expertise and experience can help you develop and implement quality programs that encourage your students to make healthy food choices as part of their daily routine.

Food Is Knowledge

Food Is Knowledge is a program for children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. It is aimed at curbing the obesity epidemic by teaching children about nutrition through fun, accessible materials and characters.

Developed by Cleveland Clinic Executive Chef Jim Perko, this program comprises nine interactive lessons based upon the USDA Food Pyramid. Students learn about science, language arts, math, culture and hospitality using food and nutrition as the medium.

The final lesson ties everything together in a celebratory luncheon to which students can invite an adult guest. The children select the menu, set and decorate the tables, greet and seat guests, prepare and serve the food, and clean up.

School-wide Nutrition Policy Intervention

Cleveland Clinic recently completed pilot testing of a program through which we assess the nutritional components of food in local schools. Our team can audit school menus and vending machine choices and make recommendations for change, using the methods employed at our own facilities.

All menus, cafeterias, vending machines and hospital-owned pharmacies at Cleveland Clinic have undergone similar scrutiny and now operate under healthy menu parameters that are free of artificial trans-fat.

Additional Nutrition Programs

Here is a look at some additional programs Cleveland Clinic has implemented to encourage healthy eating in children and adults.

Go Foods!®

This program, established by the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute in conjunction with Heinen’s Fine Foods, helps consumers identify foods that meet key health criteria. The GO! Foods® “green light” stickers identify the healthiest options available at all Cleveland Clinic cafeterias and Heinen’s stores. It also includes an eight-week online program, based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, that teaches you how to change your life by changing what and how you eat.

We Can!

Deciding which foods to serve your family can be challenging, especially on a tight budget. Cleveland Clinic participates in the We Can! program, which helps families plan meals before going to the store. We Can! helps people make more informed choices that also save time and money. You can learn more at 866-35-WE CAN. We also make information on developing healthy meal plans available at

Healthy Futures

The Healthy Futures curriculum, developed by Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, is an interactive wellness program for students in the fourth through sixth grades. This 10-week program helps students and parents/guardians better understand the impact daily choices have on their personal well-being and overall health. This is especially important at a time in their lives when they have more choices and freedom available.

Students learn to develop a positive attitude about nutrition and exercise, and cultivate a good self-image. They also learn the hazards of poor choices, such as using alcohol, tobacco or drugs. The program can be offered at your school or at another community location that is convenient for your students.

School-Wide Activity Policy Intervention

Cleveland Clinic recently completed a pilot test on school-wide interventions at one local elementary school that is now available at other area schools. The program includes at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity in physical education classes or other settings.

Structured sessions that focus on fitness are combine, ideally, with an open recess or other period designated for active play. Sessions are designed to be implemented without reducing instructional time available to students.

Additional Fitness Programs

Here is a look at some additional programs Cleveland Clinic has implemented to encourage healthy physical activity in children and adults.

Fit Youth

The program is for children ages 7-16 years who are serious about wanting to lose weight. Specifically designed for children and their parents, the group will meet once a week for 90 minutes. The program lasts for 12 weeks. Group leaders include a psychologist, dietitian and exercise physiologist. Learn more

Go! Fit

The Go! Fit program provides free access to fitness and nutrition programs to Cuyahoga County residents, including three-month memberships to select area fitness facilities, weight management programs and educational events. Learn more about the program.

Employee Fitness Programs

Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute was created to help address aspects of behavior that can significantly affect the health of Americans. It is led by nationally known wellness expert and bestselling author Michael Roizen, MD, who has committed his life to creating a healthier work force, patient population and community.

Through this program, Cleveland Clinic offers employees a number of resources, including access to Weight Watchers and a free membership to on-campus Fitness Centers and reimbursement for Curves, a franchise of fitness and weight loss centers for women.

Shape Up and Go

At Cleveland Clinic, fitness has become a team effort with “Shape Up & Go.” This 12-week program encourages coworkers to compete with other teams to exercise the most hours, lose the most weight and/or walk the most steps. Teams track their progress in an online community. This program is designed for employees of all fitness levels. All participants receive a pedometer and access to support materials.

BMI Evaluations

Children are the nation’s future, and Cleveland Clinic is collaborating with many area school districts to uncover their health issues. Evaluating BMI Helps Schools Identify At-Risk Kids.

The ratio between a child’s height and weight can be used to calculate the body mass index (BMI). A child’s growth is an indicator of overall health, and BMI is a screening tool to identify possible weight problems in children.

Students at participating schools are screened by school personnel and Cleveland Clinic health professionals to gather information regarding their health, including calculation of their body mass index (BMI), the relationship between height and weight that is associated with body fat and health risk. After the evaluation is completed, a summary letter is mailed to parents with their child’s results. Having this information can help your school develop appropriate nutrition and fitness interventions to support student wellness.

Participating fifth grade students also complete a short survey on behaviors such as how many servings of vegetables they eat and how many hours of TV they watch.

At Cleveland Clinic, we want to help children take the right steps toward wellness. We have created resources with the information you need to keep your kids healthy.

Download the specific information that will be useful to you — and watch your child take the right steps toward wellness.