Awaken Summer Imagination at Healthy Kids Day 2018

Young boy looking at a strawberry

On Saturday, April 21, the YMCA Youth Services at Beaverdam is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day.

This national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families is an opportunity to ignite children's imaginations so they can picture what they'll accomplish this summer.

The event features healthy food, inflatables, face painting, music, giant swing, climbing wall, yard games, kids Zumba, a Westridge CrossFit demo, and community vendors. The goal is to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home through the summer months.

Healthy Kids Day is celebrated at more than 1,500 Ys across the country by more than 1.2 million participants. The event works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits they continue all summer long. 

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 far behind academically. 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. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.

"When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen," says Melissa Wiedeman, vice president of operations for K-12 child care at the YMCA of WNC. "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."

Keeping kids healthy all summer long
In celebration of YMCA's Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:

  • 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. And 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.
  • Read together - The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants, and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
  • Get moving! - Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
  • Play together - Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family's day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
  • 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.

Healthy Kids Day encourages youth and families to awaken summer imagination and this cannot be done without proper nutrition. Walmart Foundation is proud to sponsor Healthy Kids Day to raise awareness about the importance of food security and nutrition for youth and families.

Delta wants to ensure that kids have their best summer ever and is a proud sponsor of Healthy Kids Day.

Locally, Healthy Kids Day at YMCA Youth Services at 201 Beaverdam Road in north Asheville is sponsored by Mission Health. The event takes place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., rain or shine. 

The YMCA of WNC is also hosting Healthy Kids Day at Patton Park in Hendersonville and the Corpening Memorial YMCA in Marion.

Locations: Asheville YMCA