Local YMCA event encourages kids to get moving

The Emma B. Howe Family YMCA, Coon Rapids, will host Healthy Kids Day Saturday, April 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., a free community event that encourages kids in Coon Rapids, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, Blaine and Anoka to get moving and learning and families living healthier.

Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, takes place at 1,900 Ys and kick-starts healthier behaviors now and throughout the summer, a critical out-of-school time for children’s health, according to Robin Hedrick, director of Healthy Kids, YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.

Many U.S. children do not get the daily recommended hours of physical activity and reading, and daily amounts of healthy foods, Hedrick said.

According to the latest findings of the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot – a survey of parents that gauges their children’s activity levels during the school year – only 19 percent of children get 60 minutes of physical activity, only 17 percent read books for fun and only 12 percent eat at least eight fruits and vegetables daily.

“At the YMCA we know parents struggle to keep their kids physically and intellectually active every day. We want to help ensure fewer kids are at risk of childhood obesity and more kids excel in school,” Hedrick said.

“The YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day event will get kids moving and learning while also helping families get a jump on creating a healthier summer, and ultimately a healthier future.”

Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year, according to Hedrick.

The YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day will help parents begin thinking early about what their kids need to grow and achieve all summer long, Hedrick said.

The Emma B. Howe Family YMCA event will feature fun, active play and educational activities to help families get a jump on creating a healthier summer.

Ideas to create a healthy family home and activities to put more play in their day will be featured.

Families can sign the Healthy Kids Day – Healthy Living banner pledging their commitment to living healthier this summer.

The Y will collect hundreds of signatures from across the metro to show support of this important initiative.

Participants will receive a Live Healthy wristband to celebrate their shared commitment.

Families can also receive a Healthy Family home planning calendar with tips to guide them all summer long. Each tip supports the Y’s five pillars of a healthy family home – eat healthy, play every day, get together, go outside and sleep well.

Pool and gym activities, family fitness samplers, face painting, a craft project to turn a T-shirt into a reusable bag, hands on CPR and a Scholastic Book Fair are just a few of the many activities.

This event is free and open to the public

To learn more about Healthy Kids Day and the activities go to Yhealthykidsday.org or call 612-230-9622.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is locally supported by UnitedHealthCare, Matrix, Dolan Printing, Precor and Coborns.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is supported by national media partners Sprout and Lazy Town, who are committed to encouraging kids to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The Emma B. Howe Family YMCA is located at 8950 Springbrook Drive, Coon Rapids.

For more information, call 612-230-9622 or visit Yhealthykidsday.org

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