'Healthy Kids Day' returns to Marysville YMCA April 16

MARYSVILLE — The YMCA's annual Health Kids Day returns to Marysville on April 16.

The Marysville Y will host the free event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help local families overcome obstacles toward leading healthier lives, by learning how to become more physically active on a day-to-day basis.

According to Caroline Brown, health and wellness director at the Marysville Y, last year's Healthy Kids Day drew more than 400 attendees of all ages to the Marysville Y. Although attendance had topped out at just under 600 the year before, Brown attributed the decline between the 2009 and 2010 Healthy Kids Days to gray skies and a light drizzle during the latter.

Last year's volunteer supporters included sailors from Naval Station Everett and members of the Marysville Kiwanis Club. The Rotary Club of Marysville provided its miniature train for families to ride on, while the local Lions Club conducted health screenings for children and Marysville firefighters let kids climb on one of their engines.

This year's events aim to engage entire families in physical activity through healthy all-ages games and activities such as Zumba. The Marysville Y will also provide information on nutrition and water safety skills, as well as fitness testing and screenings for dental, vision and hearing. Contacts for community resources will also be on hand to answer questions.

At last year's Healthy Kids Day, Marysville Y food caterer Debbie Torbett passed on lessons in healthy eating with displays that included hands-on squishy models of how a pound of muscle and a pound of fat feel. The Marysville Y's gymnasium also hosted representatives of the Lakewood Best Buy, who brought a set of Nintendo Wiis for kids to try out what local Best Buy Customer Sales Manager Christina Britsch called "social gaming."

"As a leading nonprofit strengthening communities through healthy living, the Y holds Healthy Kids Day to teach healthy habits to kids and inspire a lifetime love of physical activity," said Colleen Temple of the YMCA of Snohomish County. "At a time when one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese, developing healthier habits that include increased physical activity is critically important."

The Marysville Y is located at 6420 60th Drive NE. For more information, call Brown at 360-653-9622.

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