On Saturday, April 27, the McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity to ignite children’s imaginations so that they can imagine what they’ll accomplish this summer. The event features activities such as a kids run, family stretch class and family Zumba to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home throughout the summer months.
Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 Ys across the country by over one million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer long. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.
“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” says Becky Shipley, Executive Director “We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. A child’s development is never on vacation and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer.”
Keeping Kids Healthy All Summer Long
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:
- High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
- Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
- Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
- Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
- Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, and learning.
McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at 1055 E. Piedmont from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and features fun, active play and educational activities. This year, in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the YMCA will be offering vouchers for a session of FREE swimming lessons.
For more information, contact McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA at 770-977-5991.