Junior League of Savannah plans to encourage kids and their families to get excited about fitness with its third annual Fit Kids Fest.
Kristen Peterson, Fit Kids Fest chair, said the goal of the April 18 event in Daffin Park is “to aid in curbing this growing childhood obesity epidemic.”
There are some great incentives to get involved, she added.
IF YOU GO
What: Junior League of Savannah’s third annual Fit Kids Fest
When: 3-5 p.m. April 18
Where: Optimist Field in Daffin Park
Tummy Time Foods healthy cooking demonstration
Hula Hoop challenge
Nate the Gnat
Zumba dance off
My plate bracelet making
Warm-up station with pool noodles and hula hoops
Jump rope games
Fit Kids Games
“The first 250 kids will receive free tickets to that evening’s Sand Gnats game and a free T-shirt,” Peterson said.
“Fit Kids Fest is a free community event, focused on increasing awareness and prevention of childhood obesity by providing children and their parents with resources and tools to help them make more educated choices and live active, healthy lifestyles,” she said.
“We are very excited to have Tummy Time Foods at our event this year. They will be hosting a healthy cooking demonstration for children and their families.”
Peterson said last year they had more than 30 community organizations come together to provide information on healthy lifestyles to 746 students, parents and other community members who attended the event.
“This is a complex issue facing our community and it will take all of us to move the needle and make a difference,” she said. “We are hoping this year we will reach even more children and families and we can promote a better lifestyle through education about healthy living.”
The obesity rates in the nation have been going up for a number of years.
“Since the mid 1980s, obesity has increased so that not only is it considered an epidemic, but it has become one of the most serious public health problems facing the United States,” Peterson said.
The numbers Peterson quotes could stand as a wake-up call to many in the community.
“Gov. Nathan Deal’s office states that Georgia’s childhood obesity rate is the second highest in the United States. In fact, one in three children in Chatham County is considered obese,” she said. “Studies show that overweight kids are more likely to become overweight and obese adults. If obesity among kids continues to increase at this rate, our current generation could become the first in history to live shorter and sicker lives than their parents.”
The Junior League of Savannah focuses its efforts on women and children’s advocacy and “believes that women and children deserve to be empowered through quality opportunities in order to thrive and to be contributing members of our community.”
Peterson said the Fit Kids Fest was created three years ago as a perfect opportunity to bring families in different communities and organizations together.
The Junior League of Savannah works diligently to involve the community and local businesses in the annual Fit Kids Fest.
“The Junior League is very lucky and thankful for the support from many local businesses and their generous donations,” Peterson said. “Local businesses donated supplies and money to help make Fit Kids Fest a free event for the community. This event is not a fundraiser; it is a free event to make awareness and promote healthy eating and more active lifestyles.”
The goal is to get even more families involved in this year’s event.
“Last year we had more than 746 children, parents and other community members attend. We are hoping to exceed this amount of participants,” she said. “The more children and families we reach and promote healthy lifestyles, the better our chances of decreasing the obesity epidemic.”
Parents and children can come out to Fit Kids Fest and then head over to the Sand Gnats game at 6 p.m. with their free ticket.
“We have been planning this event for many months and we are so excited it is almost here,” Peterson said. “We hope to have a large turnout this year and the more the merrier!”