Following a year of social distancing, virtual school, mask-wearing and endless hours of screen time, the YMCA of Western North Carolina is hosting its annual Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, July 17, to help kids be kids.
The free, day-long event at Patton Park in Hendersonville will feature activities such as games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, friendly competitions and more to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home.
“As adults, we know that 2020 was difficult on so many levels, and it’s important to remind ourselves that as much as we try to protect our kids from worry, they faced many of those same difficulties,” said LK Paden, executive director of the Hendersonville Family YMCA. “As communities continue to reopen, the Y is here for families, helping kids recover both physically and mentally from a stress-filled year. We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. When a child is healthy, happy and supported, they can make great things happen.”
The Y’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at Patton Park from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and features fun, active play and educational activities. The event is free and open to the public.
Hendersonville’s Healthy Kids Day sponsors are Hunter Automotive, Hendersonville Pediatric Dentistry and Reid & Reid Pediatric Dentistry.
Healthy Kids Day, now in its 29th year, is the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. Its goal is to get more kids moving and learning, creating healthy habits they can continue while they’re away from the classroom. 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. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. After a year filled with change and uncertainty, Healthy Kids Day is a reminder to families that we can help ensure all children have access to the key ingredients to reach their full potential, even during out-of-school time.
Recipe for a Healthy Kid
In celebration of the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y is focusing on 5 “ingredients” that make a healthy child:
- Healthy Food – Children need at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day for healthy development. Kids who help make their own meals and snacks are more likely to try the food, so enlist children in meal prep to encourage tasty explorations.
- Physical Activity – From increased screen time to virtual school, studies show that children moved less in 2020 than usual. Help kids get back into physical activity routines by setting at least 60 minutes for fun games and play every day.
- Curiosity – Children who are read to by a family member at least three times per week are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading compared to their peers. Encourage children to access new wonders with their own library card. Many libraries now offer curbside pickup, too!
- Laughter and Fun – It’s important to let kids be kids! Parents should make sure they are joining in the fun with their kids. Close the laptop, turn off the phone and have uninterrupted play time. These opportunities allow adults to model a love for activity while providing invaluable family bonding time.
For more information, please visit ymcawnc.org.