Summer is just around the corner and with it kids often get a break from normal routines—mornings spent sleeping in, afternoons spent watching television or playing video games in the cool air conditioning and evenings enjoying an ice cream cone before bed.
The downside to some of these common summer habits can mean that kids are less physically active and engaged in learning during the summer months—research shows that children gain weight two- to three-times faster than during the school year. In addition, 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 the Y is celebrating Healthy Kids Day, a 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.
As part of the Y’s mission to help keep kids active and achieving all summer long—you can get discounts of $10 to $25 on Summer Programs when you register your child on April 30. Get details on discounts, and location-specific events to celebrate Healthy Kids Day.
Plus, you can help your family develop healthy habits with these tips:
High five fruits and veggies
Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development. 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. Or give these kid-friendly recipes a try.
Foster an ongoing passion for books
Read to and with your kids on a regular basis. 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 and more. Need guidance on surviving your first 5k? We’ve got you covered.
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. Get inspiration and tips for finding volunteer opportunities.
Make sleep a priority
Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions. Doctors recommend:
- 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12
- 7-8 hours per night for adults
“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 Robin Hedrick, Director of Healthy Kids, YMCA of The Greater Twin Cities.
All Y programs for kids are focused on helping them to be healthy and be their best selves. Learn about our year-round Healthy Kids Initiatives.