MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Families are invited to Memorial Park on April 30 to celebrate the South Mountain YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, a free, fun-packed event to thwart the summer slide.
From noon to 3 p.m., children can enjoy a giant challenge inflatable, a 50-foot climbing tower, a Spider-Man healthy lifestyle assembly, and camp games in the Camp Zone. Families can try a fitness obstacle course, watch healthy cooking demonstrations, check out a Maplewood firetruck and St. Barnabas Medical Center burn truck, and enjoy healthy snacks.
“This free family event shines a spotlight on the importance of staying active in mind and body during the long summer break from the schoolyear routine,” South Mountain YMCA Executive Director James Goodger said in a release.
Research shows that idleness causes children to fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during the summer as compared to during the school year. Childhood obesity remains a serious problem in the United States, affecting 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Y offers these tips to encourage healthy habits:
- Ensure children get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day;
- Read with and to your children;
- Set family fitness goals and sign up for community/charity events;
- Volunteer together; and
- Make sleep a priority.
Healthy Kids Day is sponsored by Stop & Shop, and will take place at Memorial Park, 580 Valley St., Maplewood. For more information, visit http://www.smountainymca.org or call 973-762-4145.