The national YMCA initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of establishing healthy habits in children at a young age. The goal is to get kids moving and learning and to keep the habit up all summer long — a critical out-of-school time for kids' health.
Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically, and also gain weight twice as fast during the summer compared with the school year.
In celebration of the 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.
- Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. 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, bike rides and fun runs.
- 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