Source: NJ Today.net
The Gateway Family YMCA joins YMCAs throughout New Jersey in celebrating the kickoff of their annual Healthy U Fall youth programs, the result of a collaboration between The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance.
The Gateway Family’s Lunchbox Challenge asks students and their families, to take a close look at the food choices they make in their “lunches” as an opportunity to learn and practice making smart healthy eating choices. Healthy U’s goal is to promote healthy behavior and to prevent childhood obesity through more physical activity, family involvement and nutrition education.
In New Jersey, one out of every three school age children is either overweight or obese putting them at risk of developing serious health problems later in life. In Healthy U research, participating children and families report that they are eating more fruits and vegetables, and consuming fewer processed and sugary foods. They are also spending more time being physically active and less time in front of screens.
“Celebrating Healthy U is so important to raise the awareness of improving the health and well-being of children,” said Krystal R. Canady, CEO of The Gateway Family YMCA. “Healthy U has positively impacted over 96,000 children ages 3 to 14 at 480 YMCA preschool and afterschool sites and 90 school sites statewide.” “Healthy U is a unique asset to YMCA childcare education programming,” stated Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO.
Since Healthy U’s inception in 2008, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has invested more than $4.7 million to sustain the program through 2019. “All evidence indicates that well-nourished active children are more prepared to learn and thrive. We are thrilled to have The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey as a strong partner,” said Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director.
For more information about programs and services provided by The Gateway Family YMCA, please visit tgYMCA.org, or contact its branches in Elizabeth (908-355-9622), Rahway (732-388-0057), or Union (908-688-9622).