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Healthy Baby Festivals begin on Tuesday

Young and expectant families are invited to free Healthy Baby Festivals in the coming weeks in five cities across the region by the Catholic Charities Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

Children will be able to take part in a variety of activities, including face painting, games, crafts, Movin’ and Groovin’ and the appearance of popular children’s characters from Paw Patrol and Doc McStuffins.

Parents and parents-to-be will have the chance to stock up on educational and informational resources. The Buffalo Zoomobile will visit four of the sites, except Jamestown. All will feature prizes and giveaways.

The festivals are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following days:

Tuesday: Allen Park in Jamestown

Friday: Delaware Park, near Colvin Avenue at Amherst Street.

Aug. 1: Hyde Park Splash Pad, Pine Avenue at Hyde Park Boulevard, Niagara Falls

Aug. 3: Washington Park, Dunkirk

Aug. 8: Altro Park on Willow Street in Lockport

No registration is required.

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WIC offers nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, prenatal and postpartum support, referrals and supplemental food vouchers. WIC services are available through application to married or single parents, foster parents or other legal guardians of a child under 5. All services offered are free.

Catholic Charities administers WIC in Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. The program served more than 25,000 women and children last year in 20 locations in those counties. For more information, visit ccwny.org/wic or call 218-1484.

More than 50 community agencies are participating in the Healthy Baby Festivals. They are being held in collaboration with sponsors BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, the World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action and Lake Erie Medical Services PC. The festivals celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, to raise awareness about the significance and benefits breastfeeding provides to babies and mothers, alike.

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