YMCA to hold 25th annual Healthy Kids’ Day on May 21

MERRIMACK – The YMCA of Greater Nashua is holding a free community event from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, May 21, to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active.

This year marks the 25th annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids’ Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. The event will feature activities such as obstacle courses and family challenges. There will be a bounce house, magicians, clowns, Launch Nashua, a Teddy Bear Clinic (please bring your own bear or doll), games, arts and crafts, and more to motivate and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home.

Healthy Kids’ Day, celebrated at more than 1,300 Y’s across the country by more than 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer, which is a critical time for kids’ health.

"The Y believes in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find the ‘Wow! Factor’ inside themselves," said Elizabeth Covino, director of community relations. "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."

The Y offers these tips to help families develop healthy habits:

? 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 such as races, walks, fun runs and bike rides.

? 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 seven to eight hours a night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.

The event will take place at the Merrimack YMCA, 6 Henry Clay Drive. It is free and open to the community.

For more information, call 881-7778 or visit www.nmymca.org.