YMCA camp

Hugh Metzler, center, dances to a sing-along song July 20, 2018 during the Summer Day Camp at the YMCA in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — Healthy Kids Day, the YMCA’s annual national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families, will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 at 1751 Elizabeth Blvd. The Magic Valley YMCA will hold the free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. Featured activities will be water safety demonstrations, a craft project, active games and more.

Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 YMCAs across the country by more than a million participants, works to get more kids learning and moving — creating habits they can continue all summer long. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. They also gain weight twice as fast during the summer than during the school year. 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.

The YMCA 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 of fruits and vegetables each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development. 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, 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 to 12 hours of sleep a day for children ages five to 12 and seven to eight hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory and learning.

For more information, call 208-733-4384 or go to ymcatf.com.

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