For families looking to spring clean their lifestyles, the Tri-Town YMCA offers Healthy Kids Day to get them up and moving and give them ideas to improve their health and well-being.
The event, part of the Y’s national initiative, aims to inspire kids to keep their minds and bodies active with games and activities, healthy snacks and prizes from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, at Madison Elementary School, 150 W. Madison St., Lombard. Admission is free.
Participants will be able to learn bocce ball with Pinstripes, experience the benefits of karate with Sky Centers Martial Arts, sample healthy snacks, play games, win prizes and more. Families can bring home healthy routines and gear up for summer.
YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated by more than 1.2 million participants at more than 1,600 Ys nationwide, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically.
This summer learning loss is more pronounced among students from low-income families. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year.
Healthy Kids Day is a reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on “charging” kids up with enthusiasm for themselves and their potential.
“We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves,” Tri-Town Y Executive Director Joanne Mitrenga said.
“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.”
In conjunction with 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.
• Foster an early and ongoing passion for books: Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
• Team up for athletic events: Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides and more.
• Volunteer together: Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
• Make sleep a priority: Doctors recommend 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5 to 12 and 7 to 8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.