Armed Services YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® on April 20 Aims to Help Military Kids Exercise Minds and Bodies

San Diego| Scoop San Diego | April 18, 2013

On Saturday, April 20, the Armed Services YMCA San Diego (ASYMCA) is celebrating YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® with a free community event that encourages military kids in San Diego to get moving and learning, and families living healthier. Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, takes place at 1,900 Ys and kick-starts healthier behaviors now and throughout the summer, a critical out-of-school time for children’s health.

Military children face many unique challenges such as relocations and the prolonged and frequent deployments of a parent. In addition, many U.S. children do not get the daily recommended hours of physical activity and reading, and daily amounts of healthy foods. According to the latest findings of the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot – a survey of parents that gauges their children’s activity levels during the school year – only 19 percent of children get 60 minutes of physical activity, only 17 percent read books for fun, and only 12 percent eat at least eight fruits and vegetables daily.

“At the Armed Services YMCA San Diego, we understand that military parents have enough to worry about. We don’t think that keeping their kids physically and intellectually active every day should be one of them. We want to help ensure fewer kids are at risk of childhood obesity and more kids excel in school,” said Paul Steffens, Executive Director. “We are so excited to partner with the YMCA for this national initiative and specifically gear our ASYMCA’s Healthy Kids Day to military families. This event will get kids moving and learning while also helping families get a jump on creating a healthier summer, and ultimately a healthier future.”

ASYMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at the Santo Baseball Field from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. This event will feature fun, active play and educational activities. Families will get active with an obstacle course, mini-ball games, bounce houses, and tug-o-war. Healthy snacks like trail mix and fruit pizza will provide refreshment, while resource tables and activity booths like the Rad Hatter’s silly hat making booth will provide a place to relax. Gym Ventures will also be leading gymnastic-style exercises, while Heartlight will be coordinating fitness dance routines and jump rope fun.

ASYCMA’s Healthy Kids Day is supported by Coleman University and San Diego Uptown Rotary. ASY is proud to host representatives from Cabot Creamery, Feeding America San Diego, Chicano Federation, and Sunflower Family Child Care, who will provide a variety of healthy snacks and awareness materials for attendees.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is supported by national media partners Sprout and Lazy Town, who are committed to encouraging kids to lead a healthy lifestyle. Representatives from the Downtown YMCA, Mission Valley YMCA, and Borderview YMCA will join the Armed Services YMCA at Saturday’s event. The YMCA of San Diego County will be celebrating Healthy Kids Day the following Saturday, April 27th—allowing military families the chance to participate in two weekends of fun.

For more information, contact Cat Quirk at 858-751-5755 or visit MilitaryYMCA.org.