OWOSSO — Saturday, the Shiawassee Family YMCA is hosting a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.

Healthy Kids Day, officials said in a press release, is an opportunity “to ignite children’s imaginations so that they can imagine what they’ll accomplish this summer.”

The Shiawassee Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day takes place at the Shiawassee Family YMCA from noon to 3 p.m. and features active play and educational activities, such as basketball, dodgeball, dancing, arts and crafts, games, rock wall challenges and more.

Healthy Kids Day will include representatives from the community, including: Adiska Family Dentist, Riverside Dance, Red Cross, Owosso Fire Department, Owosso Police Department, Stretch Yoga, S & S Equestrian, Steam Railroad Institute, the Health Department, Shiawassee Martial Arts, Memorial Healthcare, Owosso Community Players and the library.

The event features activities such as games, rock wall races, arts and crafts, gymnastics, dancing, and kite building to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home throughout the summer months.

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

“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” said Laura Burroughs, Shiawassee Family YMCA CEO. “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.”

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 of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for 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 to 12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5 to 12 and seven to eight hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, and learning.

For more information, contact Shiawassee Family YMCA at (989) 725-8136 or visit shiawasseefamilyymca.org.

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