YMCA event to promote healthy families, kids

Published 10:37 am Thursday, March 19, 2015

David Demro, with his mother Marty Demro and sister, June Demro, takes a crack at bowling. -- Herald file photo

David Demro, with his mother Marty Demro and sister, June Demro, takes a crack at bowling. — Herald file photo

The YMCA is encouraging children to get active and stay healthy during the summer.

From 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, the YMCA of Austin is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day aims to improve health and well-being for kids and families

Healthy Kids Day, which is celebrated at about 1,300 YMCAs, features activities to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home. It aims to get more youngsters moving and learning so they can keep up the habit all summer — a critical out-of-school time for children’s health.

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When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles or gaps that prevent them from reaching their full potential, related to hunger, water safety, learning, safe spaces to play and health.

Each year, the Y helps more than 9 million youth nationwide by providing a safe to place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.

“The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, gymnastics and a place for kids to hang out. We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home,” said Austin Executive Director Tedd Maxfield in a press release.

There will also be a Family Fun Night from 6 to 8:45 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoy the open gymnastics gym, play with inflatables in the pool and enjoy dinner. Family Fun Nights are free to those with family memberships and $20 for non-member families. Food is served on a first come first served basis.

To learn more about Healthy Kids Day, visit ymca.net/healthy-kids-day, or join the YMCA Facebook event page.

For more information, contact the YMCA of Austin at 507.433.1804 or visit www.ymca-austin.org.

YMCA tips for families develop healthy habits:

• Try, try, repeat — There are many great tasting fruits and vegetables that many kids have never heard of, let alone tried. Grab a new fruit or vegetable and encourage everyone in the family to try at least a bite.

• Play around town — Challenge the family to play on a different playground every week. Identify playgrounds at a variety of parks; expand definitions of playgrounds to include nature trails, a nearby stream, and a bike path.

• Families at play for an hour a day — From walking to gardening, or swimming to shooting hoops, make playful movement a part of your family’s day. To get 60 minutes of moderate activity throughout your day just add 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there.

• Foster a passion for reading — Read to and with the kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.

• 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 a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.

Healthy Kids Day activities:

•Canoe rides in the pool

•Open gymnastics gym


•Healthy snack station

•A gardening station

•Bracelet making

•A bounce house


•Basketball and soccer

•Giveaways and prizes

•An Austin Police Department squad car