Hobart Family YMCA helps promote healthier lifestyles for kids

2013-01-10T20:55:00Z 2013-01-10T23:25:04Z Hobart Family YMCA helps promote healthier lifestyles for kidsBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART |  Sandy Chandler and her daughter, Madison Svitek, 9, are both sold on the Hobart Family YMCA after-school program.

"They are kept active and are always having fun," Chandler said.

Madison enjoys swimming at the YMCA and her mom likes the healthy snacks served to her active daughter.

"We love it," Chandler said.

Encouragement of healthy lifestyles in its preschool and after-school programs has been a cornerstone of the Hobart Family YMCA for a number of years, YMCA Director Dale Polomchak said.

On Thursday, at open house held at Joan Martin School, the Hobart Family YMCA formally committed to those new standards, Polomchak said.

The new program is part of a nationwide commitment to combat childhood obesity and ensure that all those who participate in YMCA programs live a healthier, balanced life.

"Kids are facing a lower life expectancy than their parents and we need to turn this trend around. That's why we're joining the national initiative," Polomchak said.

The Hobart Family YMCA is partnering with St. Mary Medical Center and the School City of Hobart to implement the new standards, Polomchak said.

Those who attended Thursday's open house were treated to snacks such as baked chips and fresh vegetables.

St. Mary Medical Center representatives also set up booths where parents could receive information about breastfeeding or get their body mass index compiled. 

"Breastfeeding is the best way to get the baby off to a good healthy start," Diane Gora said.

Gora, a registered nurse, is employed as a lactation consultant for St. Mary Medical Center.

Polomchak said the YMCA has also committed several of its instructors to come to the after-school program to lead Zumba and cheerleading programs this semester.

"Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle has to start somewhere," Polomchak said.

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