CHICAGO, April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In preparation for summer break, a time when many kids and teens lose the daily structure of lessons and physical activity, Ys nationwide are providing millions of families with tools for building a foundation for practicing healthy habits that will last through the summer.
It's all part of YMCA's Healthy Kids Day®, to be celebrated on Saturday, April 26, at nearly 1,600 YMCAs across the country.
YMCA's Healthy Kids Day – the nation's largest health day for kids – helps families learn how to improve their health and well-being, which can benefit kids during out-of-school time. Kids are at risk for the 'summer slide,' with studies showing that when they're not learning and staying physically active during summer, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast as than during the school year.
"More than one in three American children and teens is overweight and there are concerns we're lagging other countries academically. We know summer break can put kids further at risk for both issues," said Dr. Matt Longjohn, national health officer at YMCA of the USA. "It's critical for families to develop healthy habits now that will continue into adulthood. YMCA's Healthy Kids Day is designed to provide parents with the tools and skills to establish these healthy behaviors."
YMCA's Healthy Kids Day features games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and more. To build on the healthy habits learned at this year's event, the Y offers five simple tips for families:
- High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings per day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development.
- Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of 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 and bike rides.
- 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.
- Lead By Example – Be a good role model – kids can be influenced by seeing how hard their parents work at home or on the job and how rewarding that experience is.
YMCA's Healthy Kids Day is supported by the National Basketball Association and national media partners Sprout and LazyTown, who are committed to encouraging kids to lead a healthy lifestyle.
For more information or to find an event in your neighborhood, visit ymca.net/HKD.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net
YMCA of the USA
SOURCE The Y