If your family is expecting a new arrival or has a younger member already running around, your next outing could be a mix of fun and education.
Festivals are being held in different communities across the region. They have one key goal in mind: to make babies healthier.
Catholic Charities Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program is hosting the festivals that provide a variety resources and information for parents along with fun activities for children.
One festival is being held in Delaware Park today (July 28) from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the corner of Colvin Avenue and Amherst Street.
There will be games, crafts, face-painting, music and giveaways. There will also be visits by characters from the Paw Patrol and the Buffalo Zoomobile for the events at Delaware Park and Niagara Falls.
For families attending the events in the Buffalo or Niagara Falls location, a salad bar food truck is also scheduled to be on site.
The festivals celebrate World Breastfeeding Week that begins Aug. 1. Advocates use the week to highlight the advantages of breastfeeding.
“We know children that are breastfed have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, asthma, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), developing allergies, ear infections,” said Katie Constantino, breastfeeding coordinator at Catholic Charities. “There’s health benefits for mom’s as well where they have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, heart disease. There are so many reasons to breastfeed, and our rates have really gone up in Western New York in the past few years.”
But the festival’s awareness and educational missions of don’t obscure the fun aspects of the event.
“We just like to bring all the different community agencies together,” Constantino said. “For families to
come to one place to learn about all the resources in our community, and it’s also just a fun day out in the park for people to make friends, for the kids to have something fun to do.”
Constantino added that the festival was popular in 2016.
“Last year, [we] had almost 700 people,” said Constantino. “So, it’s a lot of people. Pack a lunch, bring the kids. It’s kind of geared for families with kids under five. That’s what the WIC program is geared towards: pregnant women, parenting families and kids under the age of five.”
For more information about Catholic Charities' profgrams, call: (716) 218-1484 ext. 2411, or visit www.ccwny.org/calendar.