Why Veggie Fest is a can’t miss family event

You might be thinking, I’m not a vegetarian so Veggie Fest isn’t the place for me or my family. But organizers want you to know the fest is about more than just picking broccoli over a burger for dinner.

Here are four ways this year’s Veggie Fest can help you and your family get healthy while having fun together.

1 Learn to meditate as a family

One of the features of the fest is a family meditation tent. Parents will learn how meditation can help kids and kids can try concentration and focus activities. The tent is close to the kids’ area filled with a stage full of music, face painting and arts and crafts. Don’t miss the Veggie Fest costume parade at 5:30 p.m. both days. (Participants get a special gift.)

2 Learn how to embrace a more plant- and fruit-based diet

One of the speakers at Veggie Fest, Dr. James Gruft, director and founder of From Pain to Wellness, LLC, and a vegetarian who is raising his 12-year-old twins as vegetarian, says he has seen first-hand not only how healthy his children are, but how a change in diet improves his patients’ nutrition while reducing their chronic pain.

“The more plants you eat, the more you ensure you get those necessary nutrients,” he says. He recommends parents walk the talk about eating healthy. During mealtimes, include a big salad filled with dried fruits, nuts and a dressing kids love.

Gruft’s talk at Veggie Fest will focus on how healthy eating improves memory.

3 Try the Veggie Fest Vegetarian Challenge for two weeks leading up to Veggie Fest

Families who take the challenge get a special goodie bag at the fest.

“Everybody owes it to themselves to try to be a vegetarian,” Gruft says. “You’re introducing into your body the highest nutritional content food that exist.”

Studies have shown that ridding bodies of nutritional deficiencies can improve such things as Type 2 diabetes, obesity and hormonal imbalance in adults, he says, but more importantly, it may prevent kids from getting those conditions.

He says it’s never been easier to be vegetarian because of the number of substitute products available in stores and restaurants.

4 Eat to your heart’s content

The acclaimed food court features an array of international cuisine and treats to try. Buddha Bowl, anyone?


If you go

  • 12th annual Veggie Fest
  • Aug. 12-13
  • 11 a.m.-8 p.m. both days
  • Benedictine University, Lisle
  • Free admission
  • veggiefestchicago.com

Get a preview of the fun!

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