nickelodeon worldwide day of play

by katherine stevens
It wasn’t that long ago when day-long bike rides, playing catch in the front yard and running through the sprinkler were all necessary ingredients for summertime fun. But fast forward to the year 2008: the bikes are put away and the video game consoles are out; the ball is deflated in the garage, the laptop is perched on the couch; and “running” is only brought up when mentioning high-speed internet. What’s wrong with this picture? Why is all the action of childhood being locked inside four walls?
Today about 25 million kids in the United States are unhealthy or at risk. We’re talking almost one in every 3 children. Time that could be spent exercising is now wasted surfing the net. And if you take a glimpse around, you shouldn’t be surprised at what you see: more overweight children than expected.
So, in an effort to motivate children (and their parents!) to get off the couch, the First Coast including; JaxParks, American Heart Association, Police Athletic League, Jacksonville Children’s Commission, First Coast YMCA, Jacksonville Jaguars and Comcast; has partnered with every child’s favorite television network, Nickelodeon, to celebrate “Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play.”
On Saturday, September 27 Nickelodeon will stop programming for 3 hours to encourage children to go outside, play and enjoy the day. That’s where our great community comes in. From noon to 3 pm the Clanzel T. Brown Park (4575 Moncrief Road) will be hosting the “Day of Play.” The free, fun day will include everything from activities, relay races and carnival games to nutritional guidance. And, as a special surprise, one of our very own Jacksonville Jaguars will be making an appearance in a dunking booth. That’s right, you can go head-to-head with a big cat! And for parents, there will be a Parent Zone complete with air conditioning.
Some experts believe that unless the unhealthy habits among kids stops increasing, our current generation could become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents. These staggering statistics speak for themselves. So get your kids out of the TV glare and into the natural sun!

here are a few healthy tips for your kids from the alliance for a healthier generation:
– Kids should get an average of 60 minutes of exercise a day, 6 days a week.
– Only serve juice beverages that are 100% juice with no added sugar.
– Include the recommended 2 to 4 cups of fruit and vegetables in your kid’s daily diet.
– Cut back on your kid’s screen time by limiting it to a total of 1-2 hours per day.