Lifestyle

Healthy Kids Day draws crowd at Marysville YMCA

MARYSVILLE — In spite of gray skies and a light drizzle, this year’s “Healthy Kids Day” at the Marysville YMCA drew more than 400 attendees of all ages.

According to Caroline Brown, health and wellness director at the Marysville YMCA, attendance topped out at just under 600 last year, so there was a decline from last year, but especially in light of the weather, she praised members of the community for their participation in the event.

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

Inside the YMCA, Marysville’s Brianna Edwards received lessons in healthy eating from Marysville YMCA food caterer Debbie Torbett, whose displays included hands-on squishy models of how a pound of muscle and a pound of fat feel.

“Her health is very important to me,” said Brianna’s mom, Angela, as they made their way through their first Healthy Kids Day. “I’m not such a healthy person, I’ve been overweight all my life, so I want my child to get the sort of healthy ideas that weren’t ingrained in me at that age. The younger, the better.”

“We show kids what healthy and unhealthy eating habits do to their bodies, and explain the difference between good fats and bad fats,” Torbett said. “They learn how to make their own meals, based on nutrition information.”

The Marysville YMCA 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.”

“These are video games that keep kids active and fit, but they’re also for all ages,” Britsch said. “They don’t fall into the stereotypes of video games that you sit down for. You’re interacting and moving when you play these games.”

Naveed Arang, a 7-year-old boy from Arlington, had never played games on a Wii before, although he and his mother, Farideh, have attended Healthy Kids Days for a few years.

“I liked the boxing game,” Naveed said, referring to the game where he held the controllers and swung his arms to hit a punching bag on the screen. “Plus, I got a ton of prizes today. It’s a really fun time.”

“We get a lot of useful information here,” Farideh said. “They teach you how to make healthier snacks and encourage your children to change their lifestyles. Besides, it keeps the children entertained.”

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