On Saturday, April 22, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City is hosting a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active this summer. The annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® is a YMCA national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. Families can enjoy games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and other activities that inspire healthy routines at home.
When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. The effect of Summer slide can be more pronounced among students from low-income families. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days.
“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated and excited, something amazing is inevitably going to result,” says Jill Goyette, director of Youth Development for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. “We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find
that potential within 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.”
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers these five important tips to help your family 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. Keep kids’ taste buds evolving and 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 to 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.
The YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at the following Y locations and times:
- Bethany YMCA, 10 a.m. – noon
- Earlywine Park YMCA, 10 a.m. – noon
- E.L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA, 9 – 11 a.m.
- Midwest City YMCA, 1 – 3 p.m.
- Mitch Park YMCA, 10 a.m. – noon
- North Side YMCA, 9 a.m. – noon
For more information, visit www.ymcaokc.org/healthy-kids-day.