Birthday cakes are being traded in for a healthier option for the Raritan Valley YMCA. On Thursday, June 8, parents of two-year-old Sonika brought in a cake made entirely of fruit to celebrate her birthday. Since adopting the Healthy U program, an updated policy about birthday treats was issued for the Raritan Valley YMCA’s on-site childcare center and includes the following statement: “Birthdays are an important milestone in a young child’s life, and we like to celebrate them. As a promoter of the Healthy U program, we would like our parents to choose healthy options to celebrate birthdays, for example instead of cupcakes, bring in special fruits your child likes to share.”
The Healthy U initiative promotes healthy changes by providing nutrition education and implementing behavioral changes in preschoolers. “We’re very optimistic that healthy changes like this will help shape the culture of health here at the YMCA,” said executive director Gina Stravic. Parents are also encouraged to spend time with their children instead of bringing sugary treats.