Basking Ridge, NJ April 2, 2015 – On Sunday, April 26, the community is invited to Somerset County YMCA’s annual Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of families through fun and educational activities including games, crafts, swimming, healthy food and more.
A full slate of family-friendly activities is planned at Hillsborough YMCA, Somerset Hills YMCA and Somerville YMCA. At Bridgewater YMCA, family swim time will be offered. Free and open to the community, the activities are designed to encourage families to develop and maintain healthy routines at home. Healthy Kids Day is scheduled from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at all locations.
YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at nearly 1,300 Ys across the country, including more than 50 in New Jersey, aims to close the summer learning gap by motivating kids to move and learn even after school lets out. Each year, Y programs and services help over 9 million youth nationwide “hop the gap” and achieve more by providing them with a safe to place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.
“The Y is so much more than sports, swimming and enrichment classes. We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home,” said David M. Carcieri, president and CEO of the Somerset County YMCA. “Our hope is that Healthy Kids Day will help parents understand the many ways in which the Y nurtures children by motivating them to stay active and to keep learning – important building blocks for a healthy future.”
Hillsborough YMCA – Concert by popular children’s musician, Mr. Ray, Zumba for families, family swim time, activities for small children, healthy snacks, basketball, and contests for all ages.
Somerset Hills YMCA- Music/DJ, inflatable bounce house, games, group exercise classes, family swim with slides, healthy food choices, membership raffle and giveaways, open climbing wall, Tae Kwon Do, crafts, drum circle and dancing. About 20 community organizations and groups will be on hand, as well.
Somerville YMCA- Zumba for families, family obstacle course, kids crafts, fire truck, family swim and healthy food choices.
All sites will also be accepting donations for a food drive for Somerset County Food Bank’s
backpack program. Items need include gallon size closable plastic bags, oatmeal packs, Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, tuna packets, fruit and vegetable cups and Vienna sausages.
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families form healthy habits:
Try, try, repeat – There are many great tasting fruits and vegetables that kids have never heard of, let alone tried. Grab a new fruit or vegetable and encourage everyone in the family to try at least a bite.
Play around town – Challenge the family to play on a different playground every week. Identify playgrounds at a variety of parks; expand definitions of playgrounds to include nature trails, a nearby stream, and a bike path.
Families at play for an hour a day – From walking to gardening, or swimming to shooting hoops, make playful movement a part of your family’s day. To get 60 minutes of moderate activity throughout your day just add 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there.
Foster a passion for reading – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
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, learning, and other vital functions.
For more information about Healthy Kids Day at Somerset Hills YMCA, please visit www.somersetcountyymca.org. For more information about Healthy Kids Day at Bridgewater, Hillsborough and Somerville YMCAs, please visit www.ymcasomersetvally.org.