Summer is a time when children can let their imaginations run wild! From creating their own to plays to building forts in the backyard, there’s no limit to what kids can dream up—provided their properly supported.
The Y wants to ensure all kids in the community awaken their summer imaginations through healthy eating habits and physical activity. Because when a child is happy, healthy, motivated and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result. As children grow and reach their true potential, they can accomplish great things.
That’s why, on April 21 the Summit YMCA and Berkeley Heights YMCA are hosting Healthy Kids Day®, a chance to help ensure families have the tools they need to help kids stay active and engaged all summer long. The annual event is a nationwide-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 1.2 million participants will partake in games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and more.
At the Berkeley Heights YMCA from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, participants can enjoy music, games, prizes, art and crafts, information tables, samples and more. Learn more about healthy eating with a ShopRite nutritionist with activities and samples, try your 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. To date, they have shipped over 145, 214 bikes!
At the Summit YMCA from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, families and children will enjoy activities involving Healthy U, CATCH games, pedestrian safety, pool safety, outdoor basic first aid, sun safety, bike safety nutritious snacks and more. 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.
“As we head into the summer, the Y wants to help 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, “and 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 encourages youth and families to awaken summer imagination and this cannot be done without proper nutrition. Walmart Foundation is proud to sponsor Healthy Kids Day to raise awareness about the importance of food security and nutrition for youth and families.
Delta wants to ensure that kids have their best summer ever and is a proud sponsor of Healthy Kids Day.
Join us on April 21 to learn healthy habits, enjoy family time, fun games and more.
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.