Healthy Kids Day returns to the Auburn Valley YMCA on Saturday, April 27.
The free community event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Y, 1620 Perimeter Road.
Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity to ignite children’s imaginations and get their bodies moving and to develop lifelong healthy habits. The event features activities such as games, arts and crafts, free snacks and healthy living demonstrations, prize drawings (including a free week to a Y summer camp), free bike helmets and shirts, and coupons for Y memberships.
Healthy Kids Day is celebrated at more than 1,500 Ys throughout the country and by more than one million participants. The goal is to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they can 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 months than during 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 this summer and beyond.
“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” said Wendy Bart, chief membership and health officer for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “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.”
Kaiser Permanente and the Physio Foundation are sponsoring Healthy Kids Day in the Seattle area. Kaiser Permanente will provide free bike helmets to the first 200 kids. Thanks to a generous contribution by the Physio Foundation, Y instructors will hold free compression-only CPR training.
Keeping kids healthy all year long
In celebration of the Y’s Healthy Kids Day, the YMCA offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits 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 to 12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5 through 12 and seven to eight hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory and learning.
For more information, visit seattleymca.org/healthykidsday.