‘Y’ and Ebnhc Team Up to Promote Healthy Living for Eastie Children

Two East Boston events to promote healthy living for kids and families will kickoff Saturday around the neighborhood.

On April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the East Boston YMCA and the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) will hold separate events to promote exercise and healthy eating.

The Y’s Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative of the Y to improve the health and well being of kids, will be filled with fun, active play and educational activities that will help parents improve their kids’ lifestyles for the long term. The event will take place at the Y on Bremen Street.

“At the East Boston YMCA, we know that when the school year ends, many kids lose exposure to activities that keep them moving and learning. Healthy Kids Day will help parents to begin thinking early about what their kids need to stay physically and intellectually active in the summer,” said Director of Health & Wellness at the Y Bridgette Ridlon, “Summer is just around the corner and is an ideal time for kids to get out and grow so they are healthier and sharper when the next school year begins.”

Activities will include face painting, a family road race starting at 10 a.m., story time, sports demos, zumba, karate, obstacle courses, and more. The YMCA nutritionist will also be available to provide helpful information and nutritious snacks, and summer camp staff will be available for a Summer Learning Workshop.

The EBNHC, along with the Boston Public Health Commission and WalkBoston, is sponsoring a community walk for the whole family on Saturday starting at 10:00 a.m.

The walk begins at Bertulli Park (Central Square/Liberty Plaza), and will continue around Eagle Hill. At two and a quarter miles in length, the walking route is suitable for all ages.

“We’re excited about this next Let’s Get Walkin’ event,” said Community Initiatives Coordinator for the Let’s Get Movin’ Program Alison Smizer. “Families will have a chance to explore a beautiful area of Boston by foot. Come join us and other community members for a healthy and fun experience.”

Free yoga will be available after the walk.

The Let’s Get Movin’ program at EBNHC is a lifestyle-change program for children and teens that promotes physical activity, teaches proper nutrition, and helps young people make healthier lifestyle choices. Let’s Get Movin’ activities are fun as well as healthy and educational, and include after-school and summer programs, field trips, community events, and cooking classes and educational seminars for adults who want to learn more about supporting their children’s healthier lifestyles.

Both events come after Mayor Thomas Menino and Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the BPHC launched Boston Moves for Health this week. Boston Moves for Health is an ambitious campaign to improve the health and fitness of the city of Boston. At the program’s announcement, Menino challenged Bostonians to collectively lose one million pounds and walk 10 million miles as part of the initiative.

“Together, we have come a long way toward making Boston a healthier city, and Boston Moves for Health is the next step forward,” said Menino. “We have added healthier beverages to vending machines and cafeterias in our schools and city buildings, launched the innovative Bounty Bucks program to improve purchasing power at farmers markets, built hundreds of backyard and community gardens, and changed the way we use our city streets through the Hubway bike share program. Now residents can bring even more healthy changes home to their communities by joining Boston Moves for Health.”

Menino also unveiled www.BostonMovesForHealth.org. This free online resource allows participants to set health goals, record their individual progress, find community resources to help keep them on track, connect with friends and neighbors to share tips and workout routines, and view the city’s progress toward meeting the challenge goals.

Boston Moves for Health aims to make significant progress in reducing the obesity rate in the city.

“We know that getting to a healthy weight and being active is so important for overall health, but we also know how tough that can be to achieve,” said Dr. Ferrer. “Boston Moves for Health is a fun and interactive way to help people stay on track to meet their health goals by providing community support, free resources, and exciting activities,”

In the coming months, the initiative will expand to include a corporate challenge; community events such as yoga on City Hall Plaza and zumba at community centers; physical activity challenges at schools; walking groups in every neighborhood; and other ways to get involved throughout the City.

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