From 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, the Santa Barbara Family YMCA will hold a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. 

The event will feature activities such as the blender bike from Foodbank Santa Barbara County, an obstacle course by the Santa Barbara Youth Rugby Team, martial arts drills with Martial Arts Family Fitness and much more. There will also be a bounce house, face painting and the opportunity to pledge to a healthy summer on the Y’s Healthy Kids Day Mural.


The goal of this event is to help motivate and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home.

This year marks the 25th annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at more than 1,300 Ys across the country by over 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer long.

As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days, which are a critical time for kids’ health. 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 physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year.

“By encouraging children to be active year-round, it sets a great standard to start healthy habits for a better quality of life,” said Kayla Edwards, associate membership services director at the Santa Barbara Family YMCA. “Healthy Kids Day is a great event that brings our community together to display various ways to stay active all summer long.”

In celebration of 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. 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.

» 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, fun runs, bike rides, etc.

» 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.

» 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.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is supported by Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, Surf Happens, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Velo Pro Cyclery, Santa Barbara Public Library System, Santa Barbara Youth Rugby Team, Martial Arts Family Fitness, All Good Things Organic Seeds, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and a local group of Santa Barbara Girl Scouts.

For more information, contact Santa Barbara Family YMCA at 805.687.7727 or visit www.ciymca.org/santabarbara.

You do not have to be a member of the Y to attend this free event.

Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Family YMCA.