Summer is just around the corner and with it children’s break from the routine—mornings spent sleeping in, afternoons spent watching television or playing video games in the cool air conditioning and evenings enjoying a nice ice cream cone before bed. It may sound great, but a summer spent like this can have lasting negative effects.
Kids are less physically active and engaged in learning during the summer months and some studies have shown that children gain weight two to three times faster than during the school year. In addition to that, kids can fall behind academically because they don’t have access to out-of-school learning opportunities.
With this in mind, on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Lima Family YMCA is hosting the 25th annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families. Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days but instead, focus on physical and mental play. Across the nation nearly 1.3 million participants will partake in games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and more. Here at the Lima Family YMCA families and children will engage in activities to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.
“The Y believes in the potential of all children, and they Y strives to help kids find the Wow! factor inside 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,” said Terri Averesch, Vice President of Operations at the Lima YMCA.
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.
• 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, etc.
• 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 10-12 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.