SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA will host 'Healthy Kids Day' April 21, providing an opportunity for families to have the tools they need to help kids stay active and engaged all summer long.
The annual event is part of a nationwide initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families. 'Healthy Kids Day' is a strong reminder not to let children idle away their summer days but instead, but rather to focus on physical and mental play. Across the nation, nearly 1.2 million participants will partake in games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and more.
At the Summit YMCA, from 3 - 5 p.m., families and children will enjoy activities involving 'Healthy U', 'CATCH' games, pedestrian safety, pool safety, outdoor basic first aid, sun safety, bike safety and nutritious snacks. Arts and crafts, games, pool time and a visit from Sparkee of the Somerset Patriots. Families will have a chance to participate in the passport of health for a chance to win a number of prizes.
At the Berkeley Heights YMCA, from 1 - 3 p.m., participants can enjoy music, games, prizes, art and crafts, information tables and more. A ShopRite nutritionist share information about healthy eating with with activities and samples, and attendees can try their hand at gardening at the Summer Garden planting station, enjoy samples and fun with New Providence’s Juice House, get active with Soccer and Basketball Shootouts, playground fun, dancing and meet Pedals for Progress, a local organization that ships donated bikes to the working poor around the world and which has, to date, shipped more than 145,000 bicycles!.
“As we head into the summer, the Y wants to help kids awaken their imaginations and help them achieve amazing things. There are no days off for a child’s developing mind and body,” said Francesca Garrard, Program Director of the Berkeley Heights YMCA. "'Healthy Kids Day' is a great opportunity to educate families and engage kids to stay physically and intellectually active over the summer.”
In celebration of YMCA’s 'Healthy Kids Day', the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:
• High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain 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, learning and other vital functions.
'Healthy Kids Day' is sponsored the Walmart Foundation and Delta Air Lines. The Summit Area YMCA is located at 67 Maple Street, while the Berkeley Heights YMCA is located at 550 Springfield Avenue.