5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy This Summer
Summer is just around the corner and with it children often break from routine—mornings spent sleeping in, afternoons spent watching television or playing video games in the cool air conditioning and evenings enjoying a ice cream cone before bed. It may sound great, but a summer spent like this can have lasting negative effects.
Kids are less physically active and engaged in learning during the summer months and research shows that children gain weight two to three times faster than during the school year. In addition to that, kids can fall behind academically because they don’t have access to out-of-school learning opportunities.
Keeping Families Active
With this in mind, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine hosted Healthy Kids Day®, an annual, national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families on Saturday, April 29. Sponsored by Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital, free community events were held across Chester County with more than 3,000 people attending. Events included countless family activities such as face-painting, scavenger hunts, science experiments, moon bounces, obstacle courses and more.
When a child is healthy, happy, motivated and excited, amazing things are bound to happen. Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days but instead, focus on physical and mental play. Here are five tips to keep your family healthy all year long.
- High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain 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.
- Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
- Team Up for Athletic Events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.
- Volunteer Together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
- Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.