Annual Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA

The obstacle course at Healthy Kids Day is always a favorite activity for participants. — Elizabeth Cecil

On Saturday, April 30, from 1 to 4 pm, the YMCA hosts its annual Healthy Kids Day, encouraging families to take a moment to help kids be kids and set them up for a summer of success. The event will feature activities including an obstacle course, rock climbing wall, Nip ‘N Tuck Farm hayride, MV Bounce House slide, face painting and more
“At the Y, we believe in the potential of all children and each day we work to help kids find that potential within themselves,” said Jill Robie-Axtell in a press release from the YMCA. “Healthy Kids Day is a fun, free community-wide event to kick off summer and remind us all how important it is for kids to stay active physically and mentally throughout the summer.”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2022, Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. The day is meant to get more kids moving and learning, “creating healthy habits they can continue while they’re away from the classroom,” the release states. 

In celebration of the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:

High five the fruits and veggies: Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for 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: 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 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, and learning.