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Forming healthy habits before the summer

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:50 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:51 a.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
A bounce house is among the healthy activities featured at the YMCA's annual Healthy Kids Day. This year's event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

SYCAMORE – Lazy summer days can lead to unhealthy habits; research has found that kids gain weight twice as fast during the summer than during the school year.

The Kishwaukee Family YMCA, 2500 W. Bethany Road in Sycamore, offers a free community event each year to promote healthy habits. This year’s Healthy Kids Day will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 26, and is presented by the American Midwest Bank with local sponsors. The event is an opportunity for kids and their families to learn fun, creative ways to keep their minds and bodies active, especially during the summer months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 children in the U.S. is obese. Children are often less active during the summer, which is why it is important for families to learn and practice healthy habits now.

“Healthy Kids Day is a YMCA national initiative,” said Heather Eade, marketing and communications director of the Kishwaukee Family YMCA. “The event gets kids from all around the country learning how to be active and healthy. It encourages and teaches them about nutrition and health.”

The event will include nutrition and exercise games, an obstacle course that parents and their children can do together, face painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts, and a vendor fair.

“Exercise doesn’t have to be drudging,” Eade said. “It can be games and fun, as long as you’re moving.”

If families sign up in advance and pay $25 per person, they may participate in the second annual Swimathon, which helps raise money for students who cannot afford swim lessons. There are four different lengths: 15 minutes, one mile, one kilometer, and 10 kilometers.

Firefighters from the Sycamore Fire Department Local 3046 will attend the event with a fire truck and answer questions about fire safety.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office will also attend the event and have a police dog demonstration.

“The event will be family-orientated,” Eade said. “We are teaching the family so that they can take it and apply it at home and in daily life in the future.”

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