On Saturday, April 26, The Community YMCA is hosting a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. Hosted at the CYMCA’s Family Health & Wellness Center on Maple Avenue, the event — part of the national YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® initiative — begins with a free, healthy breakfast sponsored by The Family Dinner Project and Cheerios. The 9 am sitting is followed at 10 am by games and “field day” activities to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.
Healthy Kids Day was established in 1992 in response to the alarming statistics that indicate one in three American children as being obese, and that kids become more idle when summertime hits. Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during the summer vacation than throughout the school year.
“Healthy Kids Day is an exciting and engaging way for the Y to bring families together and inspire them to stay active and healthy,” said Rhonda Anderson, President and CEO of The Community YMCA.
Anderson said The Community YMCA is pleased to connect families to community partners at Healthy Kids Day that “share the Y’s commitment to nurturing the development of kids and supporting families in building stronger bonds.”
One of those partners is the Family Dinner Project, which champions family dinner as a way for family members to connect through food, fun and conversation that matters. The Family Dinner Project has been collaborating with The Community YMCA to expand its family dinner initiative with Y members. Through this movement, families come together to share their experiences and insights to help each other realize the benefits of eating together as a family. Studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem.
The Family Dinner Project recently teamed up with Cheerios for their 7-day Family Breakfast Project, another strategy to bring families together around the table, but in this case, at the start of the day. Lynn Berendsen, executive director of The Family Dinner Project, knew the Cheerios project would be a great fit for Healthy Kids Day.
“We know that it’s often challenging for families to find time to sit down together and connect over a meal,” Berendsen said. “Together, we see breakfast as another opportunity to promote healthy habits, and help bring families closer.”